Now that we have your attention - any good?

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R Totale
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Nov 3 2019 14:43
Now that we have your attention - any good?

Maybe this should go in the "what are you reading thread", but it's not called "Books R Totale hasn't read"... Anyone, has anyone read this? http://www.jackshenker.net/special-features/now-we-have-your-attention-n...

"After decades of institutional stasis, our politics is in flux. Shock election results, constitutional chaos, new parties, new leaders and new governments fill the airwaves, while the pundits we traditionally rely upon to navigate the political terrain on our behalf are throwing up their hands in confusion. Most commentators continue to fixate on the personalities and parlour-games at Westminster - the earthquakes and volcanoes on the surface - rather than asking how and why the tectonic plates beneath are shifting so dramatically. To understand the roots of our current chaos, and the fierce struggles over what will emerge from it, a different approach is urgently needed.

'Now We Have Your Attention: The New Politics Of The People' is an alternative map of the tumult. From Essex to Newcastle and Kensington to Manchester, from a dank club night in Brighton to a shabby shop-front in Glasgow, almost four hundred miles north, it travels deep into the lived experiences of individuals and communities right across the country to uncover the ways in which the old politics is falling apart, and the spaces in which rival futures are being fought for. With exceptional access to some of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic new political movements, it reveals how the collapse of a paradigm that has structured our world for forty years fuelling political engagement of a completely different sort: local, personal, effective and utterly fearless."

You can read some of his reporting on class struggle in the gig economy here. From what I've seen, it sounds like it's probably ultimately coming from a kind of left-Corbynist perspective, but might still have some interesting things to say, and/or be the sort of thing that's still worth critically engaging with... anyway, anyone read it, or have any plans to read or review it?

AngryWorkersWorld
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Joined: 30-04-13
Nov 3 2019 17:01

Started reading it, got through the first two chapters. Pretty smooth journalistic style, shifting from very personal stories to facts about local history of austerity to wider social questions. First chapter is on homelessness in Manchester, but actually more on "Demand the Impossible", an educational project in activism / politics. I don't know much about this project, looks a bit like 'left social work'. Second chapter on Tilbury, some interesting facts (process of closure of local industries, mechanisation of port, shifting of homeless people from London, tension with families of African background arriving etc.), but in the end it is not a really deep analysis of how the class lives, works and struggles. It's more a snap-shot of 'the people' and how they suffer and sometimes try to fight back. Next chapter is on 'Work', looking at the various independent unions. Novara invited him for a talk, perhaps I should not have listened to it - now I find the whole thing a bit icky and pretentious, but perhaps I shouldn't. We might review it, depends on content and our time...

zugzwang
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Joined: 25-11-16
Nov 3 2019 17:53
Quote:
You can read some of his reporting on class struggle in the gig economy here. From what I've seen, it sounds like it's probably ultimately coming from a kind of left-Corbynist perspective, but might still have some interesting things to say, and/or be the sort of thing that's still worth critically engaging with... anyway, anyone read it, or have any plans to read or review it?

That would be my guess judging from his re-tweets of novara staff and the owen jones and chomsky book praise, not to say it's not worth reading. Coverage of workers' struggles is always welcome (it's workers' activity and consciousness that's ultimately needed in moving toward a communist society), but not advancing any sort of deeper analysis about what should replace the capital-labor relation, if he thinks it even should be, and what types actions should be taken to go beyond demands for better working conditions and wages, again if he thinks we should go beyond this, is a bit inadequate imo. If his answer is just to vote for Sanders or Corbyn then that's obviously no solution to workers' issues or the problems we face.