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Showing posts from April, 2014

Bourgeois Economists and "Economics" as Bourgeois Pseudo-science

Whenever capitalism is in a period of crisis there is an emergence of a particular type of bourgeois economist.  Unlike those economists who serve as the cheerleaders of capitalism during its "boom" periods, where the global centres do not experience the visceral facts of class contradiction, these particular economists are attentive to the reality of crisis capitalism.  Indeed, the Milton Friedmans of the economist world, who did little more than play the role reserved for a feudal court's charlatan astrologer (as Samir Amin once claimed), are not really convincing in a context that disproves all of their supposedly "mathematical" theories.  They don't vanish altogether, and of course remain popular in various faculties, but since their theories were predicated on justifying a temporary phase of capitalism that is no longer ascendent, they cannot help but seem somewhat antiquated.  Hence a discursive space is opened for economists who do not shy away from a

Some Thoughts on Intellectual Property

Years ago I ended up in an argument with a friend about the problems of "intellectual property" and whether or not radical engagements with this concept might be misunderstanding what was at stake. While he was arguing for a rejection of copyright, and I didn't disagree with the general contours of this position, my point was simply that an unqualified rejection of someone's personal intellectual property might end up valorizing private property in general.  That is, I was interested in making sense of how the labour of a writer or academic might be appropriated by others in an exploitative sense.  It is one thing to be opposed to bourgeois copyright laws, it is quite another to spend a significant amount of time producing a variety of ideas that could be plagiarized or commodified by others under the auspices of rejecting these laws. To be clear, the fact that I spend a significant amount of time blogging and producing articles and documents that are free should de

Reflections On Shifting Cultural Memory

The fact that the gap of cultural memory is growing each year between myself and my students was initially alarming.  Since pop-cultural references are becoming less and less salient, and humour based on such references falls flat, I have been forced to recognize that I am no longer the "young and hip" teacher that I used to see myself as––especially since I still find PowerPoint presentations annoying, prefer the chalkboard, and can't even be bothered to learn Prezi.  They also think I'm antiquated when they notice I don't use a smart phone, though some of them will admit that I dress in a "cooler" manner than some of their older professors. What I find interesting about this gap, though, is how it affects political memory.  Born in 1978, I spent the first decade of my life inundated with the last gasp of cold-war propaganda.  I remember living in a world where the Soviet Union existed and was considered "the evil empire".  This was a wo

Third Canadian Revolutionary Congress: documents of interest

As some of my readers may know, the 3rd Canadian Revolutionary Congress [CRC] will soon take place in Vancouver.  Seeing as how the 2nd CRC held in Toronto was a formative political experience for me , I hope that those who have an opportunity to attend the third CRC will have a similar experience.  For those readers who are interested in this event, I have decided to post links to documents that may confirm your desire to attend. 1.  Congress Document(s) Of course, it is best if I start with a link to the congress call-out, A Call for Revolutionary Unity .  The aim of the congress, as well as the contact information, is available in this call-out.   For background reading it is worth taking a look at the position paper that came out of the 2nd CRC, The Proletarian Movement We Need , which led almost immediately to the emergence of PCR-RCP connected organizations in Ottawa and Toronto. 2.  RSM Document(s) Since an RSM chapter recently appeared in Vancouver , its members w