Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

10

At a high level of abstraction, the current period of globalisation is defined by a trilogy of ideal-typical economies: superindustrial (coastal East Asia), financial/tertiary (North Atlantic), and hyperurbanizing/extractive (West Africa). "Jobless growth" is incipient in the first, chronic in the second, and absolute in the third. We might add a fourth ideal-type of disintegrating society whose chief trend is the export of refugees and migrant labor. [...]

Old Gods, New Enigmas (7) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

At a high level of abstraction, the current period of globalisation is defined by a trilogy of ideal-typical economies: superindustrial (coastal East Asia), financial/tertiary (North Atlantic), and hyperurbanizing/extractive (West Africa). "Jobless growth" is incipient in the first, chronic in the second, and absolute in the third. We might add a fourth ideal-type of disintegrating society whose chief trend is the export of refugees and migrant labor. [...]

—p.10 Old Gods, New Enigmas (7) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
45

[...] for most of the postwar era, US capital was mainly focused on extracting “relative surplus value” — i.e., generating profits by relying on increased productivity. The key inflection points for us are in the late 1960s through the 1970s, a period of intense industrial conflict in the United States, largely in resistance to capital’s enormous speedup of production. This was the era of rank-and-file rebellion, in which blue-collar workers went on the offensive against their bosses (and often their union leaders as well) in a fight against deteriorating working conditions, while millions of public-sector workers joined unions for the first time. Partly as a result of these high levels of conflict, productivity growth during the late 1970s virtually collapsed, leading to a decline in profit rates. The rebellion came to an end with the recession induced by Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker’s sudden increase in interest rates in 1979, which announced the start of the neoliberal era.

The New Terrain of Class Struggle in the United States (41) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] for most of the postwar era, US capital was mainly focused on extracting “relative surplus value” — i.e., generating profits by relying on increased productivity. The key inflection points for us are in the late 1960s through the 1970s, a period of intense industrial conflict in the United States, largely in resistance to capital’s enormous speedup of production. This was the era of rank-and-file rebellion, in which blue-collar workers went on the offensive against their bosses (and often their union leaders as well) in a fight against deteriorating working conditions, while millions of public-sector workers joined unions for the first time. Partly as a result of these high levels of conflict, productivity growth during the late 1970s virtually collapsed, leading to a decline in profit rates. The rebellion came to an end with the recession induced by Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker’s sudden increase in interest rates in 1979, which announced the start of the neoliberal era.

—p.45 The New Terrain of Class Struggle in the United States (41) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
49

Looking at those private-sector “services” most likely to employ workingclass people (excluding FI R E and professional services), service jobs grew by 14.2 million from 1990 to 2010. Some 8 million of those jobs, or 57 percent of growth, were in employment associated with the labor of social reproduction, such as health and social care and food services. This is due in large part to the increased participation of women in wage labor, including women with children, beginning in the 1950s. As the economy expanded following World War II, capital drew on those engaged in social reproduction in the home, vastly increasing the number of hours they worked for wages — from a median of 925 hours per year in 1979 to 1,664 in 2012. For women with children the increase was even greater, more than doubling from 600 hours per year to 1,560 over this period. 16 The resulting relative shortage of unpaid female reproductive labor in the home opened the door to the commodification of such labor outside of family, in the market.

in the US. just sucking more and more people into the market without any real net gain

The New Terrain of Class Struggle in the United States (41) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Looking at those private-sector “services” most likely to employ workingclass people (excluding FI R E and professional services), service jobs grew by 14.2 million from 1990 to 2010. Some 8 million of those jobs, or 57 percent of growth, were in employment associated with the labor of social reproduction, such as health and social care and food services. This is due in large part to the increased participation of women in wage labor, including women with children, beginning in the 1950s. As the economy expanded following World War II, capital drew on those engaged in social reproduction in the home, vastly increasing the number of hours they worked for wages — from a median of 925 hours per year in 1979 to 1,664 in 2012. For women with children the increase was even greater, more than doubling from 600 hours per year to 1,560 over this period. 16 The resulting relative shortage of unpaid female reproductive labor in the home opened the door to the commodification of such labor outside of family, in the market.

in the US. just sucking more and more people into the market without any real net gain

—p.49 The New Terrain of Class Struggle in the United States (41) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
61

There are also clear downsides for workers in consolidation through M& A s. For one, merged companies typically close some plants or facilities, which can lead to workforce reductions. In addition, experience shows that the new owners will try to undermine existing conditions and pay and to squeeze even more work out of the remaining workforce. Industry consolidation is not a free ride for labor. Nevertheless, the outcome is necessarily an industry in which fewer but larger firms compete, the combined workforce of more and more firms is relatively larger, and the new production methods and links are more vulnerable. In the long run, this is a situation that makes the industry more susceptible to unionization, as was the case in the 1930s after the 1916–29 merger wave that produced corporate giants such as General Motors, John Deere, and Union Carbide.

The New Terrain of Class Struggle in the United States (41) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

There are also clear downsides for workers in consolidation through M& A s. For one, merged companies typically close some plants or facilities, which can lead to workforce reductions. In addition, experience shows that the new owners will try to undermine existing conditions and pay and to squeeze even more work out of the remaining workforce. Industry consolidation is not a free ride for labor. Nevertheless, the outcome is necessarily an industry in which fewer but larger firms compete, the combined workforce of more and more firms is relatively larger, and the new production methods and links are more vulnerable. In the long run, this is a situation that makes the industry more susceptible to unionization, as was the case in the 1930s after the 1916–29 merger wave that produced corporate giants such as General Motors, John Deere, and Union Carbide.

—p.61 The New Terrain of Class Struggle in the United States (41) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
120

[...] Given the obvious inequalities and injustices of contemporary capitalism, how is it possible that such societies can stably reproduce themselves over time? Bourdieu’s answer to this undeniably real puzzle is symbolic power, which can be best grasped as, in Mara Loveman’s words, “the ability to make appear as natural, inevitable, and thus apolitical that which is a product of historical struggle.” Bourdieu’s account of symbolic power closely parallels the French Marxist Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology. Bourdieu, like Althusser, claims that the misrecognition of the social world is a precondition for action; therefore, a false, imaginary, or incorrect understanding of the social world is the universal default condition of actors in capitalist society. Furthermore, like Althusser, he emphasizes that this condition of universal misrecognition is reinforced through the education system. Therefore, the school is the central institutional mechanism of social reproduction under capitalism. [...]

Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Given the obvious inequalities and injustices of contemporary capitalism, how is it possible that such societies can stably reproduce themselves over time? Bourdieu’s answer to this undeniably real puzzle is symbolic power, which can be best grasped as, in Mara Loveman’s words, “the ability to make appear as natural, inevitable, and thus apolitical that which is a product of historical struggle.” Bourdieu’s account of symbolic power closely parallels the French Marxist Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology. Bourdieu, like Althusser, claims that the misrecognition of the social world is a precondition for action; therefore, a false, imaginary, or incorrect understanding of the social world is the universal default condition of actors in capitalist society. Furthermore, like Althusser, he emphasizes that this condition of universal misrecognition is reinforced through the education system. Therefore, the school is the central institutional mechanism of social reproduction under capitalism. [...]

—p.120 Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
123

[...] Bourdieu and Passeron put the argument:

Nothing is better designed than the examination to inspire universal recognition of the legitimacy of academic verdicts and of the social hierarchies they legitimate, since it leads the self-eliminated to count themselves among those who fail, while enabling those elected from among a small number of eligible candidates to see in their election the proof of a merit or “gift” which would have caused them to be preferred to all comers in any circumstances.

Schooling and examinations thus translate class inequalities into inequalities of merit legitimating these inequalities both in the eyes of the dominant and subordinate classes. According to Bourdieu, to a large extent the dominant class of contemporary is a credentialed elite. To recall, this is also Althusser’s argument: that the school ISA is the key institution in reproducing capitalism.

quote from Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. relevant to my theory of meritocracy (retroactive legitimation)

Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Bourdieu and Passeron put the argument:

Nothing is better designed than the examination to inspire universal recognition of the legitimacy of academic verdicts and of the social hierarchies they legitimate, since it leads the self-eliminated to count themselves among those who fail, while enabling those elected from among a small number of eligible candidates to see in their election the proof of a merit or “gift” which would have caused them to be preferred to all comers in any circumstances.

Schooling and examinations thus translate class inequalities into inequalities of merit legitimating these inequalities both in the eyes of the dominant and subordinate classes. According to Bourdieu, to a large extent the dominant class of contemporary is a credentialed elite. To recall, this is also Althusser’s argument: that the school ISA is the key institution in reproducing capitalism.

quote from Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. relevant to my theory of meritocracy (retroactive legitimation)

—p.123 Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
134

[...] One hypothesis to explain the attraction of Bourdieu’s work is that it turns the potentially radical energy of social critique inward, thereby creating a form of political engagement that promises the attainable goal of accumulating “symbolic power” in lieu of confronting real exploitation and domination. The appeal is best indicated, again, by Brubaker’s gloss: the point of Bourdieu’s texts “is not simply to interpret the world; it is to change the world, by changing the way in which we — in the first instance, other social scientists — see it.” This pale recapitulation of Marx’s (uncited, naturally) eleventh thesis on Feuerbach is an effective summation of Bourdieu’s appeal. In him we have a thinker who mobilizes vast intellectual resources in the pursuit of a militant project to transform sociological consciousness in place of transforming society.

Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] One hypothesis to explain the attraction of Bourdieu’s work is that it turns the potentially radical energy of social critique inward, thereby creating a form of political engagement that promises the attainable goal of accumulating “symbolic power” in lieu of confronting real exploitation and domination. The appeal is best indicated, again, by Brubaker’s gloss: the point of Bourdieu’s texts “is not simply to interpret the world; it is to change the world, by changing the way in which we — in the first instance, other social scientists — see it.” This pale recapitulation of Marx’s (uncited, naturally) eleventh thesis on Feuerbach is an effective summation of Bourdieu’s appeal. In him we have a thinker who mobilizes vast intellectual resources in the pursuit of a militant project to transform sociological consciousness in place of transforming society.

—p.134 Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
172

To the extent that Republicans cut the benefits their base relies upon, they do risk legislative consequences — presuming those benefits are sufficiently obvious. Not every fight is going to play out like the aborted effort at AC A repeal, however. Much of our welfare state is “submerged,” as Suzanne Mettler describes it, so it is often hard for Americans to perceive the ways they benefit from government — for instance, via tax benefits rather than direct spending. [...]

this is a really good term. from The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy by Suzanne Mettler

The Tea Party in Retrospect (167) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

To the extent that Republicans cut the benefits their base relies upon, they do risk legislative consequences — presuming those benefits are sufficiently obvious. Not every fight is going to play out like the aborted effort at AC A repeal, however. Much of our welfare state is “submerged,” as Suzanne Mettler describes it, so it is often hard for Americans to perceive the ways they benefit from government — for instance, via tax benefits rather than direct spending. [...]

this is a really good term. from The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy by Suzanne Mettler

—p.172 The Tea Party in Retrospect (167) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
174

[...] starting in the 1940s, the US auto industry gave up on the system of “flexible production,” originally installed by Henry Ford, in order to implement a new production system that aimed to defeat the unions and assure management’s dictatorship over the labor process. Flexible production had not ceased to deliver record rates of profit and increases in productivity, but it had become unbearable to the Big Three employers because of the leverage it provided workers. It depended for an important part of its productive efficiency on locating factories close to one another in order to facilitate coordination between them, relied on a single source (“mother plant”) to provide key components for the whole system, and employed just-in-time methods of delivering inventories, all of which made for pressure points that workers could attack in order to disrupt production.

The new system of “dispersed production,” according to Murray and Schwartz, sought to shift the balance of power by depriving workers of precisely these pressure points, opening the way for managers to step up class struggle to intensify labor and hold down wages. The Big Three accomplished this by dispersing factories over wide geographical areas, building redundant plants that duplicated one another’s output, and dismantling just-in-time delivery. They therefore chose to step up control over the labor process and directly assault workers rather than enhance labor-management collaboration to create a faster-growing “pie” that could simultaneously support higher profits and better compensation to workers.

he challenges their portrayal of the Toyotism alternative as "collaborative" later on (he says it's really more about extracting more surplus value) but this is a useful summary

Management-By-Stress (173) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] starting in the 1940s, the US auto industry gave up on the system of “flexible production,” originally installed by Henry Ford, in order to implement a new production system that aimed to defeat the unions and assure management’s dictatorship over the labor process. Flexible production had not ceased to deliver record rates of profit and increases in productivity, but it had become unbearable to the Big Three employers because of the leverage it provided workers. It depended for an important part of its productive efficiency on locating factories close to one another in order to facilitate coordination between them, relied on a single source (“mother plant”) to provide key components for the whole system, and employed just-in-time methods of delivering inventories, all of which made for pressure points that workers could attack in order to disrupt production.

The new system of “dispersed production,” according to Murray and Schwartz, sought to shift the balance of power by depriving workers of precisely these pressure points, opening the way for managers to step up class struggle to intensify labor and hold down wages. The Big Three accomplished this by dispersing factories over wide geographical areas, building redundant plants that duplicated one another’s output, and dismantling just-in-time delivery. They therefore chose to step up control over the labor process and directly assault workers rather than enhance labor-management collaboration to create a faster-growing “pie” that could simultaneously support higher profits and better compensation to workers.

he challenges their portrayal of the Toyotism alternative as "collaborative" later on (he says it's really more about extracting more surplus value) but this is a useful summary

—p.174 Management-By-Stress (173) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
193

[...] Management has long understood that using the iron fist is best only as a last resort. It is far cheaper to try to induce workers to cooperate through manipulating their fears and dreams. This is done through programs to foster identification with the company, as against other companies and the world; programs to reward individual contributions (even if they result in others losing their jobs); fostering competition between workers; and keeping open hopes for advancement. In order to fight unionization and maintain workforce stability, the model flexible plants do pay near the top of the industry scale, which is usually more than the average wage in the surrounding area because the companies locate in lowwage areas. But these plants also rely on speed-ups, outsourcing, automation, and extensive use of temporary workers to limit the total number of their higher-paid workers and keep up hopes among the lower-paid workers that they will be selected to move into the higher-paid group.

Management-By-Stress (173) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Management has long understood that using the iron fist is best only as a last resort. It is far cheaper to try to induce workers to cooperate through manipulating their fears and dreams. This is done through programs to foster identification with the company, as against other companies and the world; programs to reward individual contributions (even if they result in others losing their jobs); fostering competition between workers; and keeping open hopes for advancement. In order to fight unionization and maintain workforce stability, the model flexible plants do pay near the top of the industry scale, which is usually more than the average wage in the surrounding area because the companies locate in lowwage areas. But these plants also rely on speed-ups, outsourcing, automation, and extensive use of temporary workers to limit the total number of their higher-paid workers and keep up hopes among the lower-paid workers that they will be selected to move into the higher-paid group.

—p.193 Management-By-Stress (173) default author 4 months, 3 weeks ago