Even as George Osborne assures us that the recession is over and new jobs are being created our incomes continue to fall and our day-to-day lives get harder. Even before the recession, paid work was was increasingly characterised by precarity – most notably zero-hour contracts – and this tendency has only worsened with the economic crisis and austerity. This session will discuss this crisis of work and income, and potential solutions to it. Is Universal Basic Income an inherently reformist demand, or does it have revolutionary potential? What are the strengths and weaknesses of an anti-work politics? How can we organise against the neoliberalisation of our own workplaces?
This inquiry we will attempt to use our diverse collective knowledge, experiences, stories and ideas to construct a genealogy to map our a history. Each inquiry is orientated around a “lens”. A lens, like what we would imagine a lens to be, is a perspective we can look through that enables us to see the world with a particular emphasis, from a different angle so to expose the parts of the world we may miss and passby.
We want to better understand the present, why are things the way they are, what events and moments have occurred that have had significant effects on the course of struggle – an intersectional class struggle – that illustrate deeper understandings of the shifts and needs of a capital accumulation, how these events relate or not to each other, if they define a break with the past, suggesting that what is now is different to what was before – how does this then effect what we do?
We envisage this to be autodidactic, self-educational sessions to produce collaborative and collective narratives and understandings of the political terrain we are operating upon.
Some things that might be touched upon: What can we see happening now that is an image of the future? Ours and “theirs”? What are the limits exist to forming a movement that attempts to face the totality of capitalism? What does it mean for the way we have currently struggled, to struggle more effectively? What demands can be raised to articulate these new struggles?
Each inquiry will have a facilitator and invited contributors to help lead off the discussions. We want your ideas and participation to do the rest.
Some suggested reading:
Human capital or toxic asset: after the wage (Marina Vishmidt)
Wages Against Housework (Silvia Federici)
Do They Owe Us a Living? 7 Reasons the Universal Basic Income is Worth Fighting For. (Andrew Dolan, Plan C/Novara media)