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).

1

And adolescent boys who have good reason to fear attack, and that is an awful lot of them, have precious little protection. There's almost no one they can turn to. Adult authorities can present as dithering, indifferent, canting or downright callous: full of fire only after something disastrous happens, rather like the politicians who, as Gary Younge puts it, "respond to the coverage not the crime". They often think the same way as boys with knives do. The demand for more cops, more stop-and-search, tougher daddy figures, is a demand for bigger and better weapons: implicitly to protect the 'innocent' from the 'wicked'. It's what you get when working class lives only become visible at the point of catastrophe, as a pathology to be stamped out. It's fairy tale logic, magical thinking for adults, faced with their own helplessness.

the buildup to the last sentence is amazing

—p.1 Adolescents by Richard Seymour 6 days, 1 hour ago

And adolescent boys who have good reason to fear attack, and that is an awful lot of them, have precious little protection. There's almost no one they can turn to. Adult authorities can present as dithering, indifferent, canting or downright callous: full of fire only after something disastrous happens, rather like the politicians who, as Gary Younge puts it, "respond to the coverage not the crime". They often think the same way as boys with knives do. The demand for more cops, more stop-and-search, tougher daddy figures, is a demand for bigger and better weapons: implicitly to protect the 'innocent' from the 'wicked'. It's what you get when working class lives only become visible at the point of catastrophe, as a pathology to be stamped out. It's fairy tale logic, magical thinking for adults, faced with their own helplessness.

the buildup to the last sentence is amazing

—p.1 Adolescents by Richard Seymour 6 days, 1 hour ago
1

Adult authority is so knowing, so sanctimonious, so frequently full of it about youth violence. But it isn't an adult experience, most of the time, to be regularly chased, smacked in the head, kicked in the stomach, baited, spat on, challenged to a fight, ambushed, have a weapon waved in one's face. Adults aren't the ones that have to deal with this.

Adolescence, for boys, especially working-class boys, is a violent threshold. When you're a teenager, you live in the state of hyperbole: where every misery is singling you out, where each sleight and disappointment is unbearable, where all emotion is consuming, and where humiliation is ultimate. And if there's violence, you think it will never stop. You think there will always be bullies, big sticks, and boys wielding them. Ambushes, sadists, knuckledusters, and gangs. Knives, sucker-punches, broken noses, and boys put in hospital.

This is what it's like, and you don't need a special theory -- say, of 'gangs' -- to comprehend it. And you don't have to seek the violence; it will find you. I can't tell you how many times I had to block blows, improvise escape, contrive to hide, or just run and run and run, hurdling barbed wire fences, tearing skin and flesh, charging through back yards, bombing across busy roads. As a boy, I ran so blindly from a boy that I dashed straight in front of the school bus. It had just enough time to brake so that all I got out of the interaction was a small groove in the back of my skull.

And how badly I wanted to come back at them, with anything, anything at all. It doesn't surprise me at all that young people -- and they're getting younger -- want to carry weapons. I wanted to carry weapons. Weapons seemed intrinsically impressive, the unanswerable answer. They were magic wands that would transform any difficult situation. They were the techne of rage, glamorously lethal. [...]

—p.1 Adolescents by Richard Seymour 6 days, 1 hour ago

Adult authority is so knowing, so sanctimonious, so frequently full of it about youth violence. But it isn't an adult experience, most of the time, to be regularly chased, smacked in the head, kicked in the stomach, baited, spat on, challenged to a fight, ambushed, have a weapon waved in one's face. Adults aren't the ones that have to deal with this.

Adolescence, for boys, especially working-class boys, is a violent threshold. When you're a teenager, you live in the state of hyperbole: where every misery is singling you out, where each sleight and disappointment is unbearable, where all emotion is consuming, and where humiliation is ultimate. And if there's violence, you think it will never stop. You think there will always be bullies, big sticks, and boys wielding them. Ambushes, sadists, knuckledusters, and gangs. Knives, sucker-punches, broken noses, and boys put in hospital.

This is what it's like, and you don't need a special theory -- say, of 'gangs' -- to comprehend it. And you don't have to seek the violence; it will find you. I can't tell you how many times I had to block blows, improvise escape, contrive to hide, or just run and run and run, hurdling barbed wire fences, tearing skin and flesh, charging through back yards, bombing across busy roads. As a boy, I ran so blindly from a boy that I dashed straight in front of the school bus. It had just enough time to brake so that all I got out of the interaction was a small groove in the back of my skull.

And how badly I wanted to come back at them, with anything, anything at all. It doesn't surprise me at all that young people -- and they're getting younger -- want to carry weapons. I wanted to carry weapons. Weapons seemed intrinsically impressive, the unanswerable answer. They were magic wands that would transform any difficult situation. They were the techne of rage, glamorously lethal. [...]

—p.1 Adolescents by Richard Seymour 6 days, 1 hour ago
1

But these technologies are designed to fit existing social and cultural ideas. They represent themselves as a sort of magical solution to social problems, but their magical effect depends on the way they lubricate way-finding within an existing neoliberal framework. Whatever the problem, there’s an app for that, one weird trick to solve the erectile dysfunctions of neoliberalism.

Where communities break down, the network substitutes. Where news is no longer trustworthy, citizen journalism can bring the news to you direct and unfiltered (that’s pure ideology). Where politicians are no longer trustworthy, online communities can hold them to account (that, too, is ideology; the platforms facilitate online punishment beatings of individuals who breach mores). If you’re depressed, you can get cognitive behavioural therapy through an app on your phone. If you’re poor or underemployed, you can bid for jobs on taskrabbit, or use your car to make money through Uber or spend a few hours working for Deliveroo. If you’ve got a room you’re not using, post it on airbnb. If you think you’re not valued enough in your life, you can bid for a share in an increasingly diffuse online celebrity (again, pure ideology — celebrities are notoriously miserable). In other words, it administers users on the basis of the radical extension of market relations, and commodification.

This is not a hegemonic practice. It doesn’t seek to persuade anyone of the virtues of markets and neoliberal behaviour. It simply builds it into your practical experience. It's the persuasion of reality-shaping: what I might call a sub-hegemonic practice, since it works on the infrastructures rather than through the ideological and political superstructures. This is what neoliberal administrations have been doing for the last few decades, but far less efficiently. Tech treats us as behaviourist experimental subjects, to be hooked and then manipulated in real time for the advertisers. Now they’re under pressure by politicians to use this power for social good, which is terrifying. And in the new smart cities such as the one Google is building in Toronto they will try just that. But it’s neatly congruent with the post-democratic, beyond-hegemonic practice of neoliberal capitalism. It is the ideal model of what Gilles Deleuze called the ‘control society’. No one tells you what to do, what to believe in, what’s right or wrong: on the new technologies, whether it’s gaming or platforms, you are just given a series of stimuli, a set of options within an acceptable bandwidth, and get on with it.

!!!

—p.1 What has happened to Britain's ruling class? by Richard Seymour 1 month, 2 weeks ago

But these technologies are designed to fit existing social and cultural ideas. They represent themselves as a sort of magical solution to social problems, but their magical effect depends on the way they lubricate way-finding within an existing neoliberal framework. Whatever the problem, there’s an app for that, one weird trick to solve the erectile dysfunctions of neoliberalism.

Where communities break down, the network substitutes. Where news is no longer trustworthy, citizen journalism can bring the news to you direct and unfiltered (that’s pure ideology). Where politicians are no longer trustworthy, online communities can hold them to account (that, too, is ideology; the platforms facilitate online punishment beatings of individuals who breach mores). If you’re depressed, you can get cognitive behavioural therapy through an app on your phone. If you’re poor or underemployed, you can bid for jobs on taskrabbit, or use your car to make money through Uber or spend a few hours working for Deliveroo. If you’ve got a room you’re not using, post it on airbnb. If you think you’re not valued enough in your life, you can bid for a share in an increasingly diffuse online celebrity (again, pure ideology — celebrities are notoriously miserable). In other words, it administers users on the basis of the radical extension of market relations, and commodification.

This is not a hegemonic practice. It doesn’t seek to persuade anyone of the virtues of markets and neoliberal behaviour. It simply builds it into your practical experience. It's the persuasion of reality-shaping: what I might call a sub-hegemonic practice, since it works on the infrastructures rather than through the ideological and political superstructures. This is what neoliberal administrations have been doing for the last few decades, but far less efficiently. Tech treats us as behaviourist experimental subjects, to be hooked and then manipulated in real time for the advertisers. Now they’re under pressure by politicians to use this power for social good, which is terrifying. And in the new smart cities such as the one Google is building in Toronto they will try just that. But it’s neatly congruent with the post-democratic, beyond-hegemonic practice of neoliberal capitalism. It is the ideal model of what Gilles Deleuze called the ‘control society’. No one tells you what to do, what to believe in, what’s right or wrong: on the new technologies, whether it’s gaming or platforms, you are just given a series of stimuli, a set of options within an acceptable bandwidth, and get on with it.

!!!

—p.1 What has happened to Britain's ruling class? by Richard Seymour 1 month, 2 weeks ago
1

So what is it? Neoliberalism isn’t about ‘free markets’. That’s the populist soft sell, which claims that everyone is just a self-maximiser, out for maximum utility — whatever the fuck that is — yearning to be freed from moralist hypocrisies like ‘public service’. That was the classically liberal creed; just let everyone be as selfish as they really are, and it will all work out! What St Augustine called ‘cruel optimism’. But what posed as description was prescription. The mandarin sell, for policymakers, was different. People were too fucking stupid and socialistic to be self-maximisers. (I paraphrase). The power of the state and law had to be used to make them behave as such.

The issue was never the volume of regulations or spending, but their character. Financialisation, intrinsic to the neoliberal model, necessitated an explosion of regulations. The point was to reform economic and government activity so that everything operated like a market, construed as a kind of Darwinian mechanism for selecting efficiency through competition. That could mean things like Compulsory Competitive Tendering, internal markets, spending caps, workfare, the short-lived nudge unit etc.

It also entailed a counterrevolution against democracy. [...] in most states, it was sufficient to redistribute state power to unelected bodies, quangos, or centralise more of it in the executive, or outsource it to SERCO or similar bodies.

This diagrams a mode of power. One which transferred class power to corporations, linked to a new set of hegemonic practices governing people as ‘entrepreneurs’. For a while, combined with dynamite growth in south-east Asia, a boom in speculative capital, a series of Wall Street bubbles, the concomitant reduction in bargaining power and sharp decrease in share of incomes going to labour, increased profitability and thus investment.

But most people didn’t become neoliberal ideologues. Bits of the new dispensation were popularised and sedimented into more traditional ideologies — social democracy, socialism, authoritarian conservatism, classical liberalism, etc. There has never been a pure capitalist discourse. Ruling class parties had to operate on those traditional beliefs too, though they had trouble substantiating those commitments. Anyway, they were seen, especially on the social-liberal end of neoliberalism, as residual, being gradually supplanted by the new competitive individualism. That wasn’t entirely wrong; it just wasn’t the whole story.

god i love his writing

—p.1 What has happened to Britain's ruling class? by Richard Seymour 1 month, 2 weeks ago

So what is it? Neoliberalism isn’t about ‘free markets’. That’s the populist soft sell, which claims that everyone is just a self-maximiser, out for maximum utility — whatever the fuck that is — yearning to be freed from moralist hypocrisies like ‘public service’. That was the classically liberal creed; just let everyone be as selfish as they really are, and it will all work out! What St Augustine called ‘cruel optimism’. But what posed as description was prescription. The mandarin sell, for policymakers, was different. People were too fucking stupid and socialistic to be self-maximisers. (I paraphrase). The power of the state and law had to be used to make them behave as such.

The issue was never the volume of regulations or spending, but their character. Financialisation, intrinsic to the neoliberal model, necessitated an explosion of regulations. The point was to reform economic and government activity so that everything operated like a market, construed as a kind of Darwinian mechanism for selecting efficiency through competition. That could mean things like Compulsory Competitive Tendering, internal markets, spending caps, workfare, the short-lived nudge unit etc.

It also entailed a counterrevolution against democracy. [...] in most states, it was sufficient to redistribute state power to unelected bodies, quangos, or centralise more of it in the executive, or outsource it to SERCO or similar bodies.

This diagrams a mode of power. One which transferred class power to corporations, linked to a new set of hegemonic practices governing people as ‘entrepreneurs’. For a while, combined with dynamite growth in south-east Asia, a boom in speculative capital, a series of Wall Street bubbles, the concomitant reduction in bargaining power and sharp decrease in share of incomes going to labour, increased profitability and thus investment.

But most people didn’t become neoliberal ideologues. Bits of the new dispensation were popularised and sedimented into more traditional ideologies — social democracy, socialism, authoritarian conservatism, classical liberalism, etc. There has never been a pure capitalist discourse. Ruling class parties had to operate on those traditional beliefs too, though they had trouble substantiating those commitments. Anyway, they were seen, especially on the social-liberal end of neoliberalism, as residual, being gradually supplanted by the new competitive individualism. That wasn’t entirely wrong; it just wasn’t the whole story.

god i love his writing

—p.1 What has happened to Britain's ruling class? by Richard Seymour 1 month, 2 weeks ago
1

This is a strangely paranoid discourse. It’s true that the centre has often found its nemesis in candidates, of the right and left, who succeeded in using online networks to outflank the traditional dominance of the centre in the print and broadcast media. But the ruling class, by definition, is the class that rules. And it is the richest ruling class in history, with the most complex and subtle instruments of domination. It has had more opportunity than any other group of people on the planet, ever, to shape politics, culture, and society. Could they really be upended by online mobs so easily?

[...]

In the background to this is a crisis in an older regime, an older way of practicing hegemony. The ruling class never rule by themselves; they never do anything by themselves. They are too divided to have a single interest. They require networks of institutions, think-tanks, lobbies, banks, media outlets and political parties to develop class-wide perspectives and strategies, and win public support. This is hegemonic in the sense that it seeks to build broad, cross-class consent for a social mission, a project for development, which in the last analysis is shaped by and for ruling class interests. It seeks to persuade people intellectually and morally, as well as chastising and disciplining them.

—p.1 What has happened to Britain's ruling class? by Richard Seymour 1 month, 2 weeks ago

This is a strangely paranoid discourse. It’s true that the centre has often found its nemesis in candidates, of the right and left, who succeeded in using online networks to outflank the traditional dominance of the centre in the print and broadcast media. But the ruling class, by definition, is the class that rules. And it is the richest ruling class in history, with the most complex and subtle instruments of domination. It has had more opportunity than any other group of people on the planet, ever, to shape politics, culture, and society. Could they really be upended by online mobs so easily?

[...]

In the background to this is a crisis in an older regime, an older way of practicing hegemony. The ruling class never rule by themselves; they never do anything by themselves. They are too divided to have a single interest. They require networks of institutions, think-tanks, lobbies, banks, media outlets and political parties to develop class-wide perspectives and strategies, and win public support. This is hegemonic in the sense that it seeks to build broad, cross-class consent for a social mission, a project for development, which in the last analysis is shaped by and for ruling class interests. It seeks to persuade people intellectually and morally, as well as chastising and disciplining them.

—p.1 What has happened to Britain's ruling class? by Richard Seymour 1 month, 2 weeks ago
1

Nor has it softened opinion on Israel-Palestine. Quite the opposite. I suspect many activists who had never considered what they thought of the foundation of Israel have, in recent weeks, been getting a crash course.

Palestinian rights have been a growing concern in the British Left since 1982, and Sabra and Shatila. But historical awareness of the issue of Zionism and its complexities was something that was kept to the fringes. The broader pro-Palestine movement focused on concrete and immediate wrongs, human rights injustices, campaigning for peace. Now an otherwise recondite and difficult history is being driven up the agenda. And an historically informed, internationalist, anti-racist opposition to Zionism is being legitimised not despite but by means of the media furore against it. You could call it consciousness-raising-from-above.

And by whom? Who chose that terrain? And what an odd moment to force that conversation, when Israel has just, by the verdict of many of its supporters, defined itself as a racist state. How do you think it would look if a Palestinian speaker was to point that out at Labour conference this year?

—p.1 The Labour Right's pyrrhic victory by Richard Seymour 2 months ago

Nor has it softened opinion on Israel-Palestine. Quite the opposite. I suspect many activists who had never considered what they thought of the foundation of Israel have, in recent weeks, been getting a crash course.

Palestinian rights have been a growing concern in the British Left since 1982, and Sabra and Shatila. But historical awareness of the issue of Zionism and its complexities was something that was kept to the fringes. The broader pro-Palestine movement focused on concrete and immediate wrongs, human rights injustices, campaigning for peace. Now an otherwise recondite and difficult history is being driven up the agenda. And an historically informed, internationalist, anti-racist opposition to Zionism is being legitimised not despite but by means of the media furore against it. You could call it consciousness-raising-from-above.

And by whom? Who chose that terrain? And what an odd moment to force that conversation, when Israel has just, by the verdict of many of its supporters, defined itself as a racist state. How do you think it would look if a Palestinian speaker was to point that out at Labour conference this year?

—p.1 The Labour Right's pyrrhic victory by Richard Seymour 2 months ago
1

What, you might reasonably sputter at this point, has any of that got to do with politics? But if you've got this far, you've patiently waded through relatively ordinary observations about the anthropocene, guilt and genocide. So stick with it. We're almost there. The point I'm making is that, in political discussions it is increasingly the worst thing in the world to be wrong. Indeed, it's often hard to separate being wrong from being a loser, thick, malevolent, or bigoted.

There's something about social media, in particular, but also the wider culture, that favours zero-sum, win-lose arguments. I often find myself responding to this pressure on social media, but you can also see it in television 'debates'. Not to be precious about this, some arguments are actually win-lose in their essence; sometimes those are the stakes. But it is in the nature of such arguments that we can't encounter other people being wrong without gleefully strutting and clucking over the grave of their rectitude, the tattered remains of their dignity. Logically, that also entails that we can't stand to be wrong about anything ourselves. Which means, we can't stand to learn anything, because in any conversation like that, pedagogy is only ever one-way and takes the form of a punishment beating.

This gleeful grave-dancing of the victors in argument, moreover, looks uncomfortably close to the kind of prideful cock-walking that you might expect from some of the victors of the neoliberal game. At times, dare I say, this form of communication looks a little fascistic, as through difference could be settled through group humiliation. Which brings me back to what I was saying earlier. “Humanity rocks” usually, in practice, means that “humans like me rock hardest”.

If, however, we start from the premise that humanity isn't all that neat, that it doesn't always 'rock', that there is a lot to be wary and frightened of in ourselves, that there are things to be guilty about, that there are failures that are understandable but not okay, that we don't and can't know it all, then we might find the gleeful grave-dancing of the victors (in whatever domain) far more ridiculous and repulsive than the losers. Indeed, we might acknowledge the losers, whether or not we personally like them or their politics, with a certain rueful solidarity, a certain recognition of their predicament. It’s the egalitarianism of universal failure. That’s the sort of pessimism I’m talking about.

fuckkkk

—p.1 When humanity doesn't rock by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago

What, you might reasonably sputter at this point, has any of that got to do with politics? But if you've got this far, you've patiently waded through relatively ordinary observations about the anthropocene, guilt and genocide. So stick with it. We're almost there. The point I'm making is that, in political discussions it is increasingly the worst thing in the world to be wrong. Indeed, it's often hard to separate being wrong from being a loser, thick, malevolent, or bigoted.

There's something about social media, in particular, but also the wider culture, that favours zero-sum, win-lose arguments. I often find myself responding to this pressure on social media, but you can also see it in television 'debates'. Not to be precious about this, some arguments are actually win-lose in their essence; sometimes those are the stakes. But it is in the nature of such arguments that we can't encounter other people being wrong without gleefully strutting and clucking over the grave of their rectitude, the tattered remains of their dignity. Logically, that also entails that we can't stand to be wrong about anything ourselves. Which means, we can't stand to learn anything, because in any conversation like that, pedagogy is only ever one-way and takes the form of a punishment beating.

This gleeful grave-dancing of the victors in argument, moreover, looks uncomfortably close to the kind of prideful cock-walking that you might expect from some of the victors of the neoliberal game. At times, dare I say, this form of communication looks a little fascistic, as through difference could be settled through group humiliation. Which brings me back to what I was saying earlier. “Humanity rocks” usually, in practice, means that “humans like me rock hardest”.

If, however, we start from the premise that humanity isn't all that neat, that it doesn't always 'rock', that there is a lot to be wary and frightened of in ourselves, that there are things to be guilty about, that there are failures that are understandable but not okay, that we don't and can't know it all, then we might find the gleeful grave-dancing of the victors (in whatever domain) far more ridiculous and repulsive than the losers. Indeed, we might acknowledge the losers, whether or not we personally like them or their politics, with a certain rueful solidarity, a certain recognition of their predicament. It’s the egalitarianism of universal failure. That’s the sort of pessimism I’m talking about.

fuckkkk

—p.1 When humanity doesn't rock by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago
1

[...] the smaller, everyday cruelties and stupidities for which we are on-goingly available, and which form part of the normal run of human experience. The moments when you get so obsessed with your own shit that you forget the effects you're having on other people. When you get so paralysed by rage at some petty injustice while blithely ignoring those you may be inadvertently committing yourself. When, on a low-level, you manipulate and instrumentalise others in a way that you would find humiliating if it was done to you. When your righteousness is so absolute that you can only imagine the worst of anyone who disagrees with you, and so set out to 'destroy' them. When you feel so threatened by someone's beliefs that you actually believe they are in some way oppressing you, and act accordingly. [...]

These are ordinary failings. Yet it would be extremely difficult to look at the texture of political life, be it in party meetings, public events, or online discussions, where they don't have some bearing on the run of things. We can all see this when it's other people who are doing it. The term "political discipline" is in disrepute because of its association with sectarian politics and top-down cults. And if it means suppressing disagreements or keeping secrets, it probably isn't a good idea. But if it means acting on the knowledge that none of us are squeaky-clean, that all of us can be stupid or cruel, that we are often most self-deceiving when we think we're right, and that we often (always) fall short of our own ideals, then it would lead to a far kinder and less volatile discourse. It would not stop people from trying to 'destroy', humiliate or exploit their comrades, or putting their own issues ahead of 'the struggle', but it might put a check on it.

—p.1 When humanity doesn't rock by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] the smaller, everyday cruelties and stupidities for which we are on-goingly available, and which form part of the normal run of human experience. The moments when you get so obsessed with your own shit that you forget the effects you're having on other people. When you get so paralysed by rage at some petty injustice while blithely ignoring those you may be inadvertently committing yourself. When, on a low-level, you manipulate and instrumentalise others in a way that you would find humiliating if it was done to you. When your righteousness is so absolute that you can only imagine the worst of anyone who disagrees with you, and so set out to 'destroy' them. When you feel so threatened by someone's beliefs that you actually believe they are in some way oppressing you, and act accordingly. [...]

These are ordinary failings. Yet it would be extremely difficult to look at the texture of political life, be it in party meetings, public events, or online discussions, where they don't have some bearing on the run of things. We can all see this when it's other people who are doing it. The term "political discipline" is in disrepute because of its association with sectarian politics and top-down cults. And if it means suppressing disagreements or keeping secrets, it probably isn't a good idea. But if it means acting on the knowledge that none of us are squeaky-clean, that all of us can be stupid or cruel, that we are often most self-deceiving when we think we're right, and that we often (always) fall short of our own ideals, then it would lead to a far kinder and less volatile discourse. It would not stop people from trying to 'destroy', humiliate or exploit their comrades, or putting their own issues ahead of 'the struggle', but it might put a check on it.

—p.1 When humanity doesn't rock by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago
1

[...] the loaded concept of the 'anthropocene'. On one level, it is a political evasion, diluting the necessarily focused discussion of capitalism and its restless accumulation. On another level, capitalism is something that human beings, and no other species, do. We're all doing it now, even if we don't all have the same level of power or responsibility. It clearly is not the only thing we could be doing, but it does have some relationship to specifically human propensities and capacities. It does something with the cumulative, collective cultural intelligence that make us the number one predator on the planet. It has survived in part through brute force, in part through disciplinary mechanisms. But it also survived because of the promise (for some) of ever-increasing abundance. Why worry about having a smaller slice of the pie? The pie will keep growing. Or, if not, you can steal someone else's slice.

how is he such a good writer

—p.1 When humanity doesn't rock by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] the loaded concept of the 'anthropocene'. On one level, it is a political evasion, diluting the necessarily focused discussion of capitalism and its restless accumulation. On another level, capitalism is something that human beings, and no other species, do. We're all doing it now, even if we don't all have the same level of power or responsibility. It clearly is not the only thing we could be doing, but it does have some relationship to specifically human propensities and capacities. It does something with the cumulative, collective cultural intelligence that make us the number one predator on the planet. It has survived in part through brute force, in part through disciplinary mechanisms. But it also survived because of the promise (for some) of ever-increasing abundance. Why worry about having a smaller slice of the pie? The pie will keep growing. Or, if not, you can steal someone else's slice.

how is he such a good writer

—p.1 When humanity doesn't rock by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago
1

[...] one could try to position the universal basic income as a 'transitional' demand. Its aim would be, not to stop at a certain moderate limit, but to expand the social wage to the point where it crowds out the market wage. It's not equal pay for equal work; it's just equal pay. After all, 'equal pay for equal work' only applies to work that is remunerated on the market. The point about a social wage is that it doesn't respect the boundaries of the capitalist market.

And it would be no good talking about 'affordability' in response to that. 'Affordability' is, up to a point, always a political and not a technical question, decided by gambit not by research paper. The language of universal basic income gains traction because it works on an aspect of contemporary experience. In doing so models a legitimate desire. That experience, whatever the analytical problems with the concept, is precarity. Precarity is a complex, compound notion. Ideologically, it touches on precarious work, shaky mortgages, atomisation, the disintegration of social solidarity. It gives form to a certain jitteriness about the once grandiosely extolled 'risk society', and the wish that the clamours of this life would be contained a little.

—p.1 Plenty in an age of scarcity by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] one could try to position the universal basic income as a 'transitional' demand. Its aim would be, not to stop at a certain moderate limit, but to expand the social wage to the point where it crowds out the market wage. It's not equal pay for equal work; it's just equal pay. After all, 'equal pay for equal work' only applies to work that is remunerated on the market. The point about a social wage is that it doesn't respect the boundaries of the capitalist market.

And it would be no good talking about 'affordability' in response to that. 'Affordability' is, up to a point, always a political and not a technical question, decided by gambit not by research paper. The language of universal basic income gains traction because it works on an aspect of contemporary experience. In doing so models a legitimate desire. That experience, whatever the analytical problems with the concept, is precarity. Precarity is a complex, compound notion. Ideologically, it touches on precarious work, shaky mortgages, atomisation, the disintegration of social solidarity. It gives form to a certain jitteriness about the once grandiosely extolled 'risk society', and the wish that the clamours of this life would be contained a little.

—p.1 Plenty in an age of scarcity by Richard Seymour 2 months, 2 weeks ago