Author Archive

Eat the Rich

Americans like to keep things simple and direct, so here it is: they rule. For the simple reason that they (the ruling class) have all the money. The top 5% of US citizens own almost 2/3 of the country’s wealth, or 63.5%. Compare that massive share to 12.8% for the bottom 80% — that is, “the rest of us,” as Rhonda Winter puts it in the excellent article from which this pie chart is taken.

Now go a little further, into the research she drew her chart from — a briefing paper of the Economic Policy Institute called “The State of Working America” — and you find that the top 1% holds over 1/3, or 35.6%, of the country’s net worth.…

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Three Crises: 30s – 70s – Now

Here is the outline of a self-organized seminar which we are preparing at Mess Hall in Chicago for the Fall, as one activity of the Slow-Motion Research/Action Collective. It is an outgrowth of Four Pathways through Chaos and the Technopolitics projects, as well as the Public School events around the UC strikes. Hopefully in this seminar we can develop and share a precise but also useful analysis of the current crisis, and lay some foundations for autonomous research and education practices in this city and in collaboration with other groups. Get in touch if you are interested!

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GOALS: The seminar program seeks to develop a framework for understanding the present political-economic crisis and for acting against and beyond it.…

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FAULT LINES & SUBDUCTION ZONES: The Slow-Motion Crisis of Global Capital

The housing-price collapse of 2008, the credit crunch, the bank failures, the downswing of the world economy, the fiscal crisis of the sovereign states, all have been expressed as wild gyrations in the global circulation of information, attention, emotion. Everything undergoes tremendous acceleration at the crucial moments, before the wave recedes into a blur. We are sure that beneath the surface agitation, something has really changed. Yet people find their surrounding environments exactly the same; while world leaders call for just one thing, a return to normal.

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COME ON, COGNITARIANS: One more effort if you want some equality

Amid the bewildering complexity of the predatory knowledge economy, what's missing is an active egalitarian and ecological critique of the owning and managing classes, a critique that does not remain locked away in the university but reaches out to the rest of society. That's what we can build in the wake of the budgetary crisis, now that the new lines of inclusion and exclusion have been drawn and the writing on the wall is legible to practically everyone.
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Report Back: The US Social Forum Detroit 2010

It was June 22 in the hot afternoon and there were thousands of people in the streets, people singing, people joyful, people angry, people with signs, with banners, with costumes, people giving you fliers and newspapers and petitions, people who cared enough to go out and let everyone know that we still have the right to assemble in public. But where, I kept wondering, were the usual wall-to-wall cops with their truncheons and tear gas and sound guns and dozens of less-lethal weapons?
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