1. 16:18 18th Jan 2013

    Notes: 3

    Wendy’s! Support Farmworkers’ Rights! Learn more at http://ciw-online.org/

    Wendy’s! Support Farmworkers’ Rights! Learn more at http://ciw-online.org/

     
  2. 11:34 4th Jan 2013

    Notes: 1

    image: Download

    silly, silly internet

    silly, silly internet

     
  3.  
  4. The most profound complaint, aside from non-recognition and the nature of the job, is “being spied on.” There’s the foreman at the plant, the supervisor listening in at Ma Bell’s, the checker who gives the bus driver a hard time, the “passenger” who gives the airline stewardess the gimlet eye . . The indignation of those being watched is no longer offered in muted tones. Despite the occasional laugh, voices rise. Such humiliations, like fools, are suffered less gladly than before.
    — This one goes out to IT departments everywhere.
     
  5. 12:11

    Notes: 57

    Reblogged from lowendtheory

    Nearly all of the administrative responses to the degree holder can already be understood as responses to waste: flush it, ship it to the provinces, recycle it through another industry, keep it away from the fresh meat. Unorganized graduate employees and contingent faculty have a tendency to grasp their circumstance incompletely—that is, they feel ‘treated like shit’—without grasping the systemic reality that they are waste. Insofar as graduate employes feel treated like waste, they can maintain the fantasy that they really exist elsewhere, in some place other than the overwhelmingly excremental testimony of their experience. This fantasy becomes an alibi for inaction, because in this construction agency lies elsewhere, with the administrative touch on the flush-chain. The effect of people who feel treated like waste is an appeal to some other agent: please stop treating us this way—which is to say to that outside agent, ‘please recognize that we are not waste,’ even when that benevolent recognition is contrary to the testimony of our understanding. (And, of course, it is only good management to tell the exploited and superexploited, ‘Yes, I recognize your dignity. You are special.’)

    By contrast, the organized graduate student employee and contingent faculty share the grasp of the totality of the system that proceeds from the understanding that they are indeed the waste of the system. They know they are not merely treated like waste but, in fact, are the actual shit of the system—being churned inexorably toward the outside: not merely ‘disposable’ labor (Walzer) but labor that must be disposed of for the system to work. These are persons who can perform acts of blockage. Without dispelling the degree holder, the system could not be what it is. Imagine what would happen to ‘graduate programs preparing future faculty’ if they were held responsible for degree-granting by a requirement to continue the employment of every person to whom they granted a Ph.D. but who was unable to find academic employment elsewhere. In many locations, the pipeline would jam in the first year!

    The difference in consciousness between feeling treated like waste and knowing one’s excremental condition is the difference between experiencing casualization as ‘local disorder’ (that authority will soon rectify) and having the grasp of one’s potential for transforming the systemic realities of an actually existing new order. Where the degree-holding waste product understands its capacity for blockage and refuses to be expelled, the system organizing the inside must rapidly succumb.

     
  6. My company just severed my daytime link to the outside world: tumblr. I can
    read posts, but I can only post via email, and that might be more
    cumbersome than it’s worth. So, here’s a lot to chew on about why the frack
    this is happening and why it means we need to overcome this stupid old
    capitalism already. From Marx’s Manuscripts of 1844:

    What, then, constitutes the alienation of labor?

    First, the fact that labor is *external* to the worker, i.e., it does not
    belong to his intrinsic nature; that in his work, therefore, he does not
    affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does
    not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body
    and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his
    work, and in his work feels outside himself. He feels at home when he is
    not working, and when he is working he does not feel at home. His labor is
    therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it is *forced labor*. It is therefore
    not the satisfaction of a need; it is merely a *means* to satisfy needs
    external to it. Its alien character emerges clearly in the fact that as
    soon as no physical or other compulsion exists, labor is shunned like the
    plague. External labor, labor in which man alienates himself, is a labor of
    self-sacrifice, of mortification. Lastly, the external character of labor
    for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own, but someone
    else’s, that it does not belong to him, that in it he belongs, not to
    himself, but to another. Just as in religion the spontaneous activity of
    the human imagination, of the human brain and the human heart, operates on
    the individual independently of him – that is, operates as an alien, divine
    or diabolical activity – so is the worker’s activity not his spontaneous
    activity. It belongs to another; it is the loss of his self.

    As a result, therefore, man (the worker) only feels himself freely active
    in his animal functions – eating, drinking, procreating, or at most in his
    dwelling and in dressing-up, etc.; and in his human functions he no longer
    feels himself to be anything but an animal. What is animal becomes human
    and what is human becomes animal.

    Certainly eating, drinking, procreating, etc., are also genuinely human
    functions. But taken abstractly, separated from the sphere of all other
    human activity and turned into sole and ultimate ends, they are animal
    functions.

    We have considered the act of estranging practical human activity, labor,
    in two of its aspects. (1) The relation of the worker to the *product of
    labor *as an alien object* *exercising* *power over him*. *This relation is
    at the same time the relation to the sensuous external world, to the
    objects of nature, as an alien world inimically opposed to him. (2) The
    relation of labor to the *act of production *within the *labor *process.
    This relation is the relation of the worker to his own activity as an alien
    activity not belonging to him; it is activity as suffering, strength as
    weakness, begetting as emasculating, the worker’s *own *physical and mental
    energy, his personal life – for what is life but activity? – as an activity
    which is turned against him, independent of him and not belonging to him.
    Here we have *self-estrangement, *as previously we had the estrangement of
    the *thing.*

    ||XXIV| We have still a third aspect of *estranged labor* to deduce from
    the two already considered.

    Man is a species-being
    [20],
    not only because in practice and in theory he adopts the species (his own
    as well as those of other things) as his object, but – and this is only
    another way of expressing it – also because he treats himself as the
    actual, living species; because he treats himself as a *universal* and
    therefore a free being.

    The life of the species, both in man and in animals, consists physically in
    the fact that man (like the animal) lives on organic nature; and the more
    universal man (or the animal) is, the more universal is the sphere of
    inorganic nature on which he lives. Just as plants, animals, stones, air,
    light, etc., constitute theoretically a part of human consciousness, partly
    as objects of natural science, partly as objects of art – his spiritual
    inorganic nature, spiritual nourishment which he must first prepare to make
    palatable and digestible – so also in the realm of practice they constitute
    a part of human life and human activity. Physically man lives only on these
    products of nature, whether they appear in the form of food, heating,
    clothes, a dwelling, etc. The universality of man appears in practice
    precisely in the universality which makes all nature his *inorganic* body –
    both inasmuch as nature is (1) his direct means of life, and (2) the
    material, the object, and the instrument of his life activity. Nature is
    man’s *inorganic *body – nature, that is, insofar as it is not itself human
    body. Man *lives* on nature – means that nature is his body, with which he
    must remain in continuous interchange if he is not to die. That man’s
    physical and spiritual life is linked to nature means simply that nature is
    linked to itself, for man is a part of nature.

    In estranging from man (1) nature, and (2) himself, his own active
    functions, his life activity, estranged labor estranges the *species* from
    man. It changes for him the *life of the species* into a means of
    individual life. First it estranges the life of the species and individual
    life, and secondly it makes individual life in its abstract form the
    purpose of the life of the species, likewise in its abstract and estranged
    form.

    For labor, *life activity*, *productive life* itself, appears to man in the
    first place merely as a means of satisfying a need – the need to maintain
    physical existence. Yet the productive life is the life of the species. It
    is life-engendering life. The whole character of a species, its
    species-character, is contained in the character of its life activity; and
    free, conscious activity is man’s species-character. Life itself appears
    only as a *means to life*.

    The animal is immediately one with its life activity. It does not
    distinguish itself from it. It is *its life activity*. Man makes his life
    activity itself the object of his will and of his consciousness. He has
    conscious life activity. It is not a determination with which he directly
    merges. Conscious life activity distinguishes man immediately from animal
    life activity. It is just because of this that he is a species-being. Or it
    is only because he is a species-being that he is a conscious being, i.e.,
    that his own life is an object for him. Only because of that is his
    activity free activity. Estranged labor reverses the relationship, so that
    it is just because man is a conscious being that he makes his life
    activity, his *essential being, *a mere means to his *existence*.

    In creating a *world of objects* by his personal activity, in his *work
    upon *inorganic nature, man proves himself a conscious species-being, i.e.,
    as a being that treats the species as his own essential being, or that
    treats itself as a species-being. Admittedly animals also produce. They
    build themselves nests, dwellings, like the bees, beavers, ants, etc. But
    an animal only produces what it immediately needs for itself or its young.
    It produces one-sidedly, whilst man produces universally. It produces only
    under the dominion of immediate physical need, whilst man produces even
    when he is free from physical need and only truly produces in freedom
    therefrom. An animal produces only itself, whilst man reproduces the whole
    of nature. An animal’s product belongs immediately to its physical body,
    whilst man freely confronts his product. An animal forms only in accordance
    with the standard and the need of the species to which it belongs, whilst
    man knows how to produce in accordance with the standard of every species,
    and knows how to apply everywhere the inherent standard to the object. Man
    therefore also forms objects in accordance with the laws of beauty.

    It is just in his work upon the objective world, therefore, that man really
    proves himself to be a *species-being*. This production is his active
    species-life. Through this production, nature appears as *his* work and his
    reality. The object of labor is, therefore, the *objectification of man’s
    species-life*: for he duplicates himself not only, as in consciousness,
    intellectually, but also actively, in reality, and therefore he sees
    himself in a world that he has created. In tearing away from man the object
    of his production, therefore, estranged labor tears from him his *
    species-life*, his real objectivity as a member of the species and
    transforms his advantage over animals into the disadvantage that his
    inorganic body, nature, is taken from him.

    Similarly, in degrading spontaneous, free activity to a means, estranged
    labor makes man’s species-life a means to his physical existence.

    The consciousness which man has of his species is thus transformed by
    estrangement in such a way that species[-life] becomes for him a means.

    Estranged labor turns thus:

    *(3)* *Man’s species-being,* both nature and his spiritual
    species-property, into a being *alien* to him, into a *means* of his
    *individual
    existence*. It estranges from man his own body, as well as external nature
    and his spiritual aspect, his *human* aspect.

    *(4)* An immediate consequence of the fact that man is estranged from the
    product of his labor, from his life activity, from his species-being, is
    the *estrangement of man *from* man*. When man confronts himself, he
    confronts the *other* man. What applies to a man’s relation to his work, to
    the product of his labor and to himself, also holds of a man’s relation to
    the other man, and to the other man’s labor and object of labor.

    In fact, the proposition that man’s species-nature is estranged from him
    means that one man is estranged from the other, as each of them is from
    man’s essential nature.

    The estrangement of man, and in fact every relationship in which man
    [stands] to himself, is realized and expressed only in the relationship in
    which a man stands to other men.

    Hence within the relationship of estranged labor each man views the other
    in accordance with the standard and the relationship in which he finds
    himself as a worker.

    ||XXV| We took our departure from a fact of political economy – the
    estrangement of the worker and his production. We have formulated this fact
    in conceptual terms as *estranged, alienated* labor. We have analyzed this
    concept – hence analyzing merely a fact of political economy.

    Let us now see, further, how the concept of estranged, alienated labor must
    express and present itself in real life.

    If the product of labor is alien to me, if it confronts me as an alien
    power, to whom, then, does it belong?

    To a being *other* than myself.

    Who is this being?

    The *gods*? To be sure, in the earliest times the principal production (for
    example, the building of temples, etc., in Egypt, India and Mexico) appears
    to be in the service of the gods, and the product belongs to the gods.
    However, the gods on their own were never the lords of labor. No more was *
    nature.* And what a contradiction it would be if, the more man subjugated
    nature by his labor and the more the miracles of the gods were rendered
    superfluous by the miracles of industry, the more man were to renounce the
    joy of production and the enjoyment of the product to please these powers.

    The *alien* being, to whom labor and the product of labor belongs, in whose
    service labor is done and for whose benefit the product of labor is
    provided, can only be *man* himself.

    If the product of labor does not belong to the worker, if it confronts him
    as an alien power, then this can only be because it belongs to some *other
    man than the worker*. If the worker’s activity is a torment to him, to
    another it must give *satisfaction *and pleasure. Not the gods, not nature,
    but only man himself can be this alien power over man.

    We must bear in mind the previous proposition that man’s relation to
    himself becomes for him *objective* and *actual* through his relation to
    the other man. Thus, if the product of his labor, his labor objectified, is
    for him an *alien*, *hostile*, powerful object independent of him, then his
    position towards it is such that someone else is master of this object,
    someone who is alien, hostile, powerful, and independent of him. If he
    treats his own activity as an unfree activity, then he treats it as an
    activity performed in the service, under the dominion, the coercion, and
    the yoke of another man.

    Every self-estrangement of man, from himself and from nature, appears in
    the relation in which he places himself and nature to men other than and
    differentiated from himself. For this reason religious self-estrangement
    necessarily appears in the relationship of the layman to the priest, or
    again to a mediator, etc., since we are here dealing with the intellectual
    world. In the real practical world self-estrangement can only become
    manifest through the real practical relationship to other men. The medium
    through which estrangement takes place is itself *practical. *Thus through
    estranged labor man not only creates his relationship to the object and to
    the act of production as to powers [in the manuscript *Menschen* (men)
    instead of *Mächte* (powers). – Ed.] that are alien and hostile to him; he
    also creates the relationship in which other men stand to his production
    and to his product, and the relationship in which he stands to these other
    men. Just as he creates his own production as the loss of his reality, as
    his punishment; his own product as a loss, as a product not belonging to
    him; so he creates the domination of the person who does not produce over
    production and over the product. Just as he estranges his own activity from
    himself, so he confers upon the stranger an activity which is not his own.

    We have until now considered this relationship only from the standpoint of
    the worker and later on we shall be considering it also from the standpoint
    of the non-worker.

    Through *estranged, alienated labor*, then, the worker produces the
    relationship to this labor of a man alien to labor and standing outside it.
    The relationship of the worker to labor creates the relation to it of the
    capitalist (or whatever one chooses to call the master of labor). *Private
    property* is thus the product, the result, the necessary consequence,
    of *alienated
    labor*, of the external relation of the worker to nature and to himself.

    *Private property* thus results by analysis from the concept of *alienated
    labor, *i.e., of *alienated man*, of estranged labor, of estranged life, of
    *estranged* man.

    True, it is as a result of the *movement of private property *that we have
    obtained the concept of *alienated labor* (*of alienated life*) in
    political economy. But on analysis of this concept it becomes clear that
    though private property appears to be the reason, the cause of alienated
    labor, it is rather its consequence, just as the gods are *originally* not
    the cause but the effect of man’s intellectual confusion. Later this
    relationship becomes reciprocal.

    Only at the culmination of the development of private property does this,
    its secret, appear again, namely, that on the one hand it is the *product *of
    alienated labor, and that on the other it is the *means *by which* *labor
    alienates* *itself*, the realization of this alienation*.

     
  7. image: Download

     
  8. 16:16 11th Dec 2012

    Notes: 3

    image: Download

    The internet does this thing sometimes where it creates a montage that is perfect but also creepy but also true.

    The internet does this thing sometimes where it creates a montage that is perfect but also creepy but also true.

     
  9. 16:08

    Notes: 1179774

    Reblogged from imigrantkapank-deactivated20140

    image: Download

    a-ustralasia:

lmfao this is literally my favorite picture

    a-ustralasia:

    lmfao this is literally my favorite picture

    (Source: blazeberg)

     
  10. Working

    sucks.

    I have a huge to-do list at work. I just want to write and edit some stuff that I’ve been thinking about. Like I have this idea for a critique of the comedy industry, as seen from its foundations in unpaid labor and uncompensated production of affect. But I just don’t have enough time in the day. I stay up late dreading going to sleep because the thing that comes after going to sleep is going to work. It reminds me of this quote from Studs Terkel’s interview with Mike LeFevre, a steel worker who reads history:

    The twenty-hour week is a possibility today. The intellectuals, they always say there are potential Lord Byrons, Walt Whitmans, Roosevelts, Picassos working in construction or steel mills or factories. But I don’t think they believe it. I think what they’re afraid of is the potential Hitlers and Stalins that are there too. The people in power fear the leisure man. Not just the United States. Russia’s the same way.

    What do you think would happen in this country if, for one year, they experimented and gave everybody a twenty-hour week? How do they know that the guy who digs Wallace today doesn’t try to resurrect Hitler tomorrow? Or the guy who is mildly disturbed at pollution doesn’t decide to go to General Motors and shit on the guy’s desk? You can become a fanatic if you had the time. The whole thing is time. That is, I think, one reason rich kids tend to be fanatic about politics: they have time. Time, that’s the important thing.

    I remember thinking a lot about the last bit of that quote when I first read it a year or two ago, mainly because of how it lined up with Marx’s analysis of capitalist society as ultimately created out of the way we use (or lease) our time in a day. But I didn’t remember or really internalize the first parts of that quote, the way it darts and weaves between two really strong currents, running in opposite directions. It’s an organic intellectual saying he’s not an intellectual, calling out and calling for the danger of “common people,” making political statements about what keeps him from making political statements. But that knottiness is the difference between uneasy and difficult.

    When I used to eat cream of wheat as a kid, my favorite parts were the chewy patches that were hidden uncooked within the solution. But I’ve got to eat a lot of mush today.