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24

Renewed Labour

John McDonnell's futurism

by Barnaby Raine

4
terms
2
notes

Raine, B. (2018). Renewed Labour. n+1, 33, pp. 24-38

(noun) a resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine / (noun) specious argument; rationalization

25

the first time I had a real chance not to be complicit with evil, I found I had a staggering gift for casuistry

—p.25 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

the first time I had a real chance not to be complicit with evil, I found I had a staggering gift for casuistry

—p.25 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) a eulogistic oration or writing / (noun) formal or elaborate praise

27

“More Roman than any Englishman had ever been,” went one panegyric from the 1920s

—p.27 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

“More Roman than any Englishman had ever been,” went one panegyric from the 1920s

—p.27 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

clear and obvious, in a stark or exaggerated form

27

According to Marx’s Capital, states secure the reproduction of capital writ large by sometimes setting themselves against individual bosses, who in their pursuit of accumulation and short-term returns fail to safeguard durable prosperity

—p.27 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

According to Marx’s Capital, states secure the reproduction of capital writ large by sometimes setting themselves against individual bosses, who in their pursuit of accumulation and short-term returns fail to safeguard durable prosperity

—p.27 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(adjective) dear treasured / (adjective) ; discreetly cautious; as / (adjective) hesitant and vigilant about dangers and risks / (adjective) slow to grant, accept, or expend

31

I’m chary of speaking too confidently about South Africa: my impression of things is pieced together from fragments of reportage and testimony.

—p.31 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

I’m chary of speaking too confidently about South Africa: my impression of things is pieced together from fragments of reportage and testimony.

—p.31 by Barnaby Raine
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
32

[...] Keynes then underscored the lack of democratic oversight of the future, as capitalists’ investment decisions instead shaped the world and led to the disastrous inequalities and wars of his age. Problems including underconsumption had their root in the uneven distribution of wealth and power synonymous with the existence of a permanent capitalist class of owners and rentiers, whose wealth derives (as Marx might have put it) from their ability to command labor power through their control over wealth-producing wealth. From ownership stems an ability to charge others for the conditions of their existence — to hold power over them by charging them long into the future.

nicely put

—p.32 by Barnaby Raine 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] Keynes then underscored the lack of democratic oversight of the future, as capitalists’ investment decisions instead shaped the world and led to the disastrous inequalities and wars of his age. Problems including underconsumption had their root in the uneven distribution of wealth and power synonymous with the existence of a permanent capitalist class of owners and rentiers, whose wealth derives (as Marx might have put it) from their ability to command labor power through their control over wealth-producing wealth. From ownership stems an ability to charge others for the conditions of their existence — to hold power over them by charging them long into the future.

nicely put

—p.32 by Barnaby Raine 2 years, 10 months ago
33

Keynes’s second anxiety was that scarce capital produces a class of rentiers who invest in ownership rather than productivity. McDonnell uses this insight to argue for rent controls and tenants’ rights to dramatically alter the balance of power in housing; he seeks limits on the debt that credit card companies can extract and the abolition of higher education fees. All this means abolishing Maurizio Lazzarato’s “indebted man” as a subject-position of our times: disempowered, afraid of the future, alien to the confidence of struggle. McDonnell ended 2017 with a warning about escalating personal debt. Household debt is first of all a symbol of the failure to secure rising productivity and pay, but it is also a class question, since it generates individual and corporate creditors whose accumulation relies not on producing use values, not even on producing exchange values, but only on perpetuating a generally deleterious status quo in which life’s goods — housing, education, money itself — are kept as scarce and pricey as possible. And so the futurist development of the productive forces and the achievement of abundance require confronting this social class. A focus on rents completes McDonnellism by locating its class politics. Rentiers are the enemy of the future, those who profit from present stagnation. Thus class is expressed in part as age, where older voters are more likely to be property owners and the young are burdened with debts, so that Britain’s new age-based political binaries do not represent the death of class politics as is sometimes supposed.

—p.33 by Barnaby Raine 2 years, 10 months ago

Keynes’s second anxiety was that scarce capital produces a class of rentiers who invest in ownership rather than productivity. McDonnell uses this insight to argue for rent controls and tenants’ rights to dramatically alter the balance of power in housing; he seeks limits on the debt that credit card companies can extract and the abolition of higher education fees. All this means abolishing Maurizio Lazzarato’s “indebted man” as a subject-position of our times: disempowered, afraid of the future, alien to the confidence of struggle. McDonnell ended 2017 with a warning about escalating personal debt. Household debt is first of all a symbol of the failure to secure rising productivity and pay, but it is also a class question, since it generates individual and corporate creditors whose accumulation relies not on producing use values, not even on producing exchange values, but only on perpetuating a generally deleterious status quo in which life’s goods — housing, education, money itself — are kept as scarce and pricey as possible. And so the futurist development of the productive forces and the achievement of abundance require confronting this social class. A focus on rents completes McDonnellism by locating its class politics. Rentiers are the enemy of the future, those who profit from present stagnation. Thus class is expressed in part as age, where older voters are more likely to be property owners and the young are burdened with debts, so that Britain’s new age-based political binaries do not represent the death of class politics as is sometimes supposed.

—p.33 by Barnaby Raine 2 years, 10 months ago