The Class of the Dispossessed will Unite a Whole Lot of Fuckers

We live in a period where solidarity is at an historic low. Where the concept of “working class” is more usually used to exclude and break solidarities, to demonise migrants, the disabled and the unemployed, than it is used to articulate a shared situation and experience. This is largely due to the solidarity and class consciousness disintegrating strategies of neoliberalism over the past 40 years, but also indicates a failure of the concept itself. In a world where an increasing proportion of the proletarian population have little to no hope of waged work in their lives, perhaps “working class” has outlived its usefulness. So if not “working class” then how do we articulate class in a way which is productive of solidarities?

Our suggestion is that we must decentre the relation to productive work that stands monolithic in the articulation of class. This, of course, has already been partially achieved by Marxist feminists like Silvia Federici who expose the social reproductive underworld upon which productive work depends. However, we think this doesn’t go far enough; it exposes the reproductive foundations of productive labour but does not decentre it. We want to rearticulate class with the relation to reproduction at its centre.

This post is one of a series announcing all the plenaries, workshops and entertainment at Plan C’s Fast Forward Festival this year. On Facebook? Join the event and follow the page for the latest.