endangered phoenix

The UK coalminers’ dispute, 1973-4

Miners picket a colliery in Doncaster, 1974

A short account of the national coal miners’ dispute in the winter of 1973-4 which led to the three-day week, the collapse of the Conservative government and a 35% pay increase for the miners.

"To delightful measures changed...": reflections on the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent

An analysis of a major 1970s highpoint of class struggle in the UK; its character, implications and consequences.

The welfare state isn’t now, and never was, a “genuine gain for the working class”.

Otto von Bismarck, great proletarian creator of the Welfare State

In the 1880s Bismarck's social insurance programs - old age pensions, accident insurance, medical care and unemployment insurance - were the first in the world and became the model for other countries and the basis of the modern welfare state. His aim was to undermine the appeal of the Socialists as well as the networks of working class solidarity, and to recuperate and pacify social contestation.

The Politics Of French Rap

Mr. R's album cover.

This is a small section of a far longer text about music, called "Some Musical Notes" which was originally published on the old endangered phoenix site. It was published at the beginning of 2006.

A Critique of Cynicism: Something from Nothing

Written by Isaac Cronin, this was taken from Implications, published in the USA in December 1975. It formed part of a critique of Vaneigem's 'The Revolution of Everyday Life', and was basically an extension of Vaneigem's chapter on nihilism, bringing in post-68 tendencies which still have relevance today. The whole of this text, some of which I will put out in the library, is a far better take on Vaneigem than the silly critiques by various ultra-leftists who superficially dismiss wholesale what he had to say, usually because some of it is implicitly a critique of them.

The Poverty of French Rock ‘n’ Roll by Larry Portis

Johnny Hallyday album cover from the early 60s

This is chapter 6 of Larry Portis' book French Frenzies.
Larry Portis died a week ago near Ales in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of the South West of France, and was buried just 2 days ago on Friday afternoon. He died suddenly of a totally unpredictable heart attack, at the tender age of 67, almost 68.
The following is an example of the originality of his research, which, despite its academic stance , is full of fascinating facts and insights, which can form the basis for a more proletarian critique of musical forms. Despite all its faults, it's a really good read. Enjoy!

L’occupation du territoire par l’art et la gentrification

the art of an artless life

« Rien que des chefs d’oeuvre ! La peinture, opérant à coup sûr, en enfante tellement qu’on se voit dans l’agréable nécessité de remuer les tableaux à la pelle, ce qui n’ôte rien à leur valeur.»
- Granville

Cette traduction de l’article « The Occupation of Art and Gentrification » a été effectuée au cours de l’automne 2007. Il fut publié pour la première fois en 1989 dans le recueil « No Reservations », édité à Londres.

Rebel violence vs. hierarchical violence, UK 1985-86

A chronology of anti-hierarchical violence in mainland UK, July 1985 - May 1986. A bit of nostalgia and/or a lesson in over-optimism? A text from that epoch that covers some of the contradictions of the social movements in the period after the miners strike.

The university, the car factory and the working class

A text on class conflict in Oxford and the Blackbird Leys riots of the early 90s.

AN (UN)FRESHER’S GUIDE TO OXFORD’S CLASS WAR

At its very outset Oxford University was established to tie together the hegemony that would run dear old Albion for ever more. In Oxford science, religion and the aristocracy pooled their resources to deepen, mystify and finance their power. The presence of the working people of Oxford was permitted essentially only in order to facilitate all this cerebral masturbation.

First published probably in autumn 1991.

Muzak to my ears - canned music and class struggle

Public space and muzak as policing.