[3.21.14] Politics of Work: A Platypus Panel Event
Friday, March 21, 2014
Federico Campagna (author of 'The Last Night - anti-work, atheism, adventure', Zero Books, 2013)
Jack Conrad, Communist Party of Great Britain.
Rachael Maskell, Unite National Officer; and South London People's Assembly.
We generally assume that Marxists and other Leftists have the political responsibility to support reforms for the improvement of the welfare of workers. Yet, leading figures from the Marxist tradition– such as Lenin, Luxemburg and Trotsky– also understood that such reforms would broaden the crisis of capitalism and potentially intensify contradictions that could adversely impact the immediate conditions of workers. For instance, full employment, while being a natural demand from the standpoint of all workers’ interests, also threatens the conditions of capitalist production (which rely on a surplus of available labour), thereby potentially jeopardizing the current system of employment altogether. In light of such apparent paradoxes, this panel seeks to investigate the politics of work from Leftist perspectives. It will attempt to provoke reflection on and discussion of the ambiguities and dilemmas of the politics of work by including speakers from divergent perspectives, some of whom seek after the immediate abolition of labour and others of whom seek to increase the availability of employment opportunities. We hope that this conversation will deepen the understanding of the contemporary problems faced by the Left in its struggles to construct a politics adequate to the self-emancipation of the working class.
Events in this series have also been held at:
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA: with Stanley Aronowitz (Graduate Center of the City University of New York); Robert Pollin (Political Economy Research Institute and University of Massachusetts, Amherst); and Jason Wright (International Bolshevik Tendency) (audiohttp://platypus1917.org/
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia:with George Caffentzis (Midnight Notes Collective); Shay Enxuga (Baristas Rise Up); Larry Haiven (Solidarity Halifax / Saint Mary’s University) (audio http://platypus1917.org/
School of the Art Institute, Chicago, Bill Barclay (Democratic Socialists of America/Chicago Political Economy Group); Lenny Brody (Justice Party/Network for Revolutionary Change); Leon Fink (Professor of Labour history, University of Illinois at Chicago) (audio http://platypus1917.org/