Category Archives: power

Critchley: Occupy’s task is to create a location for politics

From Simon Critchley, “Occupy and the Arab spring will continue to revitalise political protest”:

If the nation state or the supra-national sphere is not a location for politics, then the task is to create a location. This is the logic of occupation. The Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park taught us that much. Otherwise, we are doomed to the abstraction of demonstration and protest. The other thing it taught us is the unpredictable character of location.

It is unclear how the different elements of the Occupy movement will develop. But they certainly will – this genie of popular protest cannot be put back in its bottle. But what it requires is a location or, better, a network of interconnected sites.

So what is the next location? Where to occupy next?

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Labor’s Location and Power in Finance

From Bryan and Rafferty, “Deriving Capital’s (and Labour’s) Future” in Socialist Register 2011: 215-218.

“[L]abour itself is being incorporated into capital in new ways, not just via workplace discipline but via the process of securitization. Some have sensed this new development, but have cast it in terms of growing household debt, with the appropriation of interest payments out of labour’s income being treated as a further ‘take’ on surplus value. But this is not the critical aspect of the development, and it is certainly not new…. The critical development is the recasting of labour as the provider of income streams for securities, to facilitate asset diversification and the search for yield. The rapid growth of mortgage, auto, credit card and student loans, as well as contracts on telephones, energy and healthcare, all provide the raw materials on which securities are built to meet the demands of global investors. Continue reading

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