1. What we have been emphasizing is that the socialist sees no special magic in the “worker” as an atomized individual. The special “advantage” of the working class springs from inherent drives of its class position in society, its ineradicable interests as a group, its conditions of life; and its “advantage” comes into play only insofar as this class organizes itself (as it is inevitably driven to do) and transforms the thinking of its individual components in the course of class experiences.

    — Hal Draper

    (Source: socialistworker.org)

  2. As the output of the economy recovers to its pre-recession levels, continued attempts to make the labour market more flexible – a business-friendly weakening of workers’ rights and power – has created a quality vs. quantity trade-off. These new symptoms of high employment but low wages and productivity growth actually pre-date the recession. Prior to 2008 we were already seeing a declining wage share, a stagnating median wage and growing numbers on zero hour contracts. These trends have been propelled further and faster in the aftermath of the financial crash with governments placing even less pressure on employers to provide decent wages and employment conditions.

    — http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/latest-labour-market-stats-works-still-not-paying

  3. But for all that, is the elimination of debt the solution, as Graeber writes? I have nothing against this, but I am more favorable to a progressive tax on inherited wealth along with high tax rates for the upper brackets. Why? The question is: What about the day after? What do we do once debt has been eliminated? What is the plan? Eliminating debt implies treating the last creditor, the ultimate holder of debt, as the responsible party. But the system of financial transactions as it actually operates allows the most important players to dispose of letters of credit well before debt is forgiven. The ultimate creditor, thanks to the system of intermediaries, may not be especially rich. Thus canceling debt does not necessarily mean that the richest will lose money in the process.

    — ibid

    (Source: thebaffler.com)

  4. That is an interesting question. I loved your book, by the way. The only criticism I would have is that capital cannot be reduced to debt. It is true that more debt for some, public or private, is bound to increase the resources of others. But you do not directly address possible differences between debt and capital. You argue as if the history of capital were indistinguishable from that of debt. I think you are right to say that debt plays a much more significant historical part than has been assumed—especially when you dismiss the fairy tales retailed by economists concerning capital accumulation, barter, the invention of money, or monetary exchange. The way you redirect our attention by stressing the relationships of power and domination that underlie relationships of indebtedness is admirable. The fact remains that capital is useful in itself. The inequalities associated with it are problematic, but not capital per se. And there is much more capital today than formerly.

    — Piketty laying the smack down on Graeber.

    (Source: thebaffler.com)

  5. The drug does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key — it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures.

    — Timothy Leary

  6. The psychedelics are a red-hot social issue, ethical issue, whatever the term for it is, and it is precisely because they are a deconditioning agents: they will cast doubt in you if you are a Hasidic rabbi, a Marxist anthropologist, or an altar boy, because their business is to dissolve belief systems, and they do this very well and then they leave you with the raw datum of experience, what William James called in infants ‘the blooming, buzzing experience.’ And out of that you reconstruct the world, and you need to understand that it is a dialog where your decisions, the projection of your grammar onto the intellectual space in front of you, is going to gel into the mode of being. We actually create our own universe because we are all operating with our own private languages.

    — Terence McKenna

  7. This organic unity of party and masses does not consist in the rigid application of a highly mechanical schema. It is not a power imposed on the proletariat from outside. No, it is a life that pours out of the masses themselves…Life and activity flow in a rich alternating current from below out of the masses to the party and through a thousand visible and invisible channels back from the Party to the masses.

    — Zetkin.

    (Source: isreview.org)

  8. Precisely because we wish to struggle for proletarian revolution, we must take part in every strike, leading the way and fighting for every partial demand. We are revolutionaries. That does not mean that we are ignorant of the need to better working class conditions, be it only to the extent of a drop of milk for the children. We are against reformism, but not against bettering the lives of the working class

    — Zinoviev.

    (Source: isreview.org)

  9. No Parallel Sacrifice →

  10. We talk about a north/south gap but the biggest gulf is between earners in Northern Ireland and those in London. The median hourly earnings in the capital are £15.84 an hour, compared to £10.19 in Northern Ireland. It doesn’t stop the region being the happiest place in the UK though - not everything is about the money in your pocket.

    — http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/jul/03/seven-ways-uk-wages-changed-over-four-decades