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What the fuck is precarity anyway?

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madashell's picture
madashell
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Jul 22 2005 14:50
What the fuck is precarity anyway?

No, really, what?

the button's picture
the button
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Jul 22 2005 14:53

I think it's what happens when you put "casualisation" into babelfish, & translate it back & forth into 5 or 6 different languages. wink

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 22 2005 15:08

but casualisation of labour is a real issue and although the practicalities of it are awkward i think some sort of organistion through temp agencies would be beneficial if problematic

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 22 2005 15:09

shit eek that site isnt actually a parody is it?!

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Spartacus
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Jul 22 2005 15:19

yeah, it must come from the italian version of the spanish word "precariedad", which is a fairly common word in spain (and preseumably its equivalent in italian is in italy), so does not need much explanation and makes sense to use it when campaigning against casualisation. unfortunately some activists have an even greater fetish for all things southern european than us anarcho-syndicalists, but without the huge worldwide movement to yield up people with more than a basic grasp of translation, so they come up with daft words like that.

i say unfortunately, perhaps its fortunate, as those who decide to work with more boring but commonly understood words like casualisation won't get associated with fire poi.

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the button
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Jul 22 2005 15:21
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
but casualisation of labour is a real issue and although the practicalities of it are awkward i think some sort of organistion through temp agencies would be beneficial if problematic

There's a guy in our SolFed group who came over from Spain after a promise of work from these cunts http://www.ewep.com/ . They're using a loophole in the law, which forbids agencies from charging a fee, by saying that they only charge for accommodation. Our guy ended up being lodged with a copper -- an interesting experience for a CNT member (and one who's pretty fucking black bloc to boot grin )

It's actually been easier to mobilise the CNT around this than it has been to do stuff in the UK. They did a spot of direct action (*ahem*) on the company's office in Majorca, and taped some phonecalls with them to establish whether or not they were breaking Spanish law. As well as alerting other young Spanish workers what these rip-off merchants were up to.

the button's picture
the button
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Jul 22 2005 15:22
Jack wrote:

When working in agencies, I usually find it's only the fire poi that gets me through the day.

Careful you don't singe your "beard."

I burnt all my hair off doing fire poi, and now look at me. sad

sovietpop
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Jul 22 2005 15:51

Precarity isn't just about casualisation of work/job insecurity. Even those in permenant positions sense that their jobs are insecure (when they may not be). It is also about the breaking down of the boundaries between work and non-work, and to a growing sense of insecurity within society.

sovietpop
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Jul 22 2005 16:10

You know jack, I REALLY don't understand you. What is the purpose of this website anyway? Is it about political debate or is it just some where you can get your kicks taking the piss out of people. Do you want people to contribute or are you happy if it becomes a little clique for a couple of your mates?

Finally, if someone asks a question, I try to answer it. If there is something I write that you find disagree with or that hasn't been clear, why not just ask for further explanation?

sovietpop
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Jul 22 2005 16:46
Jack wrote:
There was nothing unclear about what you said. It was, however, ridiculous. You effectivly said "Preacrity isn't just about job security man, it's a STATE OF MIND". It read like something I'd write mocking the precarity project. Just like how the precarity website looks like a mock up one I'd make when drunk.

Where to start

1. I have nothing to do with the website, and don't know what you were talking about poi rubbish.

2. I am involved, as an anarchist, in a precarity-type campaign 'stand up for your rights'. Do you think this is a waste of time or not? Why?

http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69665

3. I'm not sure I buy the precarity arguement that people increasingly feel insecure, but I do think it is an interesting discussion, that is worth looking at by trying to access the empirical evidence one way or the other, and trying to work out the implications of that evidence. Don't you think it is quite curious that people in secure permenant positions also express a sense of insecurity? (as seen in responses to the European Social Attitude Survey). Why do you think this is? What are the implications for us revolutionaries?

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 17:10

Has insecurity not been the material condition of the working class for a very long time? Why make up a new word for it?

As Jack points out, the only thing new about precarity is the rebranding. But to a large extent that rebranding places it outside the historical attack on the working class, and again, it puts the emphasis on a particular thing wrong with capitalism, not capitalism itself.

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 17:19

It's also connected with loads of overblown crap like this (from the Middlesex declaration on EuroMayDay):

Quote:

We call onto all our European sisters and brothers, be they autonomous marxists, postindustrial anarchists, syndicalists, feminists, antifas, queers, anarchogreens, hacktivists, cognitive workers, casualized laborers, outsourced and/or subcontracted employees and the like, to network and organize for a common social and political action in Europe. We are eurogeneration insurgent: our idea of Europe is a radical, libertarian, transnationalist, antidystopian, open democratic space able to counter global bushism and oppressive, exploitative, powermad, planetwrecking, warmongering neoliberalism in Europe and elsewhere.

anti-bush, anti-warmongering neo-liberalism - not anti-capitalist then?

And why just post-industrial anarchists and anarchogreens - no other kinds of anarchists allowed?

Sorry I'll stop now. I've done this in depth on Urban anyway.

edit:

Here it is, one of my very favourite spats ever:

http://www.urban75.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=110873&highlight=euromayday

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madashell
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Jul 22 2005 22:31
Jack wrote:
Theoretically in means people on benefits / part timers / temp workers.

w00t! I'm precarious! Do I get a free circus skills workshop? smile

wld_rvn
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Jul 24 2005 20:50
madashell wrote:
No, really, what?

Basically, precarity means casualisation of labour, which is nothing new for the working class. For the ‘anti-capitalists’ - such as the WOMBLES - precarity is a product of something else, something new: neo-liberalism and globalisation.

Have you learnt anything about 'precarity' since this thread began? Have your thoughts about it changed at all?

For the ICC,

World Revolution.

BTW, we've done an FAQ on precarity here, and a couple of articles here and here.

raw
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Sep 16 2005 13:49

Sovietpop, don't bother wasting your time with these people, Jack and the libcom doctrinites have all the answers, they've read all the right books and you don't speak like them so don't have a chance in any actual debates.

Now the useful bit:

Precarity has been defined as insecure life and work conditions. Its focus is on researching, learning and acting on how work and the nature of work relates to our living. So in that relation it is a class analysis on the form of the work relationship which exist now. It Recognises the process of industrialisation, de-industrialisation and informatisation of the capitalist economy over the past 40 years and it's consequent effect on class organisations and struggle, indeed the effect of those class struggles on changing industries within the economy. I am obviously talking about western european, North american capitalists ecomonies.

Struggles against precarity have emmerged across europe over the pass years, not neccesarily by political movements but by workers organising against change in contracts, temporary working patterns, conditions of pay, rights to paid maternity leave, aswell as struggles for housing, universal income, rights of migrants to stay, freedom of movement, free public transport...

In the UK Libcom speak (which no doubt we all have to follow to communicate on this board) the struggles centred around precarity are based in, out and around work. They deal with this division in part between "working people" and "non-working people", it also incorporates certain ideas around production/reproduction and the notion that all social life is part of the capitalist productive process.

Anyway, some of these ideas have interested us in London and elsewhere so, SHOCK HORROR, we organised a meeting so that we can discuss it, then, SHOCK HORROR, we organised another one to continue discussions.

This lead to associating ourselves with the EUROMAYDAY mobilisations and so we organised an action as TESCO, it was to be a symbollic action as it is a symbollic place and also an attempt to commuinicate and SHOCK HORROR to experiment. The report of the action is at www. precarity.info.

Because of how the action turned out, we went back a week letter and leafletted but most importantly spoke to people face to face, explaining what we did and why. The response was very good from people.

The same tesco was visited for a solidarity demo (ohh how activisty!) for two polish workers who were sacked at the dublin tesco depot.

regards

RAW - wasting his time on useless discussion boards

www.wombles.org.uk

meanoldman
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Sep 19 2005 22:07

I get no sick pay so I reckon I qualify as precarious. Ace. All the euro-communists will come to my parties now.

IrrationallyAngry
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Sep 19 2005 23:06

Unfortunately that precarity.info site seems to be down at the moment which means that I am denied the opportunity to marvel at its full glory. It sounds like I'm missing out on something very special.

IrrationallyAngry
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Sep 19 2005 23:21
Jack wrote:
Put it this way - the intro flash movie is of someone doing fire poi. A fine representation of precarious conditions if I ever saw one.

What is fire poi? Does it have something to do with spicy food?

IrrationallyAngry
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Sep 20 2005 00:00

Oh sweet Jesus, those twirly fire things!

I've always wondered if the practice started when some crusty's dog on a string got set on fire.

raw
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Sep 20 2005 00:20

Hi Revol68,

Ignoring the childish abuse, I will try answer some of your points. And don't worry I'm not gonna argue who's read and understood more books, I leave that to the experts like yourself...

1) You say that precarity is "shite politics" but give no explaination. The discussion on precarity (again what has been defined as precarity as it is not a word used in the english language) are far from being "shite" but conceptualises alot of the form of capitalist exploitation in the last decades. I think it is important that activity around insecurity within life and work, especially related to such levels of structural insecurities, (i.e. that of casualisation and just-in-time labour) and it's subsequent effect of how people organise against them is really important as it allows us to understand certain struggles and we can help/support and circulate those struggles when they happen.

2)

Quote from Revol 68:

"As if anyone needed to add the term precarity to their vocabulary to grasp an understanding of the blurred boundary between work and "free time", as if making links between immigrants, unemployed, temps and full time workers is anything new, well I suppose it might be to a bunch of reconstructed euro leninists who wank over Negri. "

No people don't need complicated terms but terminology helps us when we discuss and communicate. I doubt that most people in the UK will understand your's or jack's posts on here.

The link between full-time workers, immigrants and unemployed as well as temps ISN'T anything knew thats no reason to stress about it in political propaganda to the other 99% of the population who might think different! If you are arguing that capitalism 50 years ago is experienced in the same form as capitalism in the 21st century then I would like to here about it because I strongly disagree.

3)

"The sad thing is that I think now is a time when those boundaries are so blurred that we can really make inroads to develop such a unity, but it has been usurped by a load of activist muppets who completely misunderstand that this unity cannot be imposed from outside by a load of gobshites organising a secret MayDay commando action but rather has to be built from the bottom up through actual struggles as engaged in by the various groups. So that means instead of organising Italian autonomist tribute actions perhaps youse should have attempted to grasp the desires and priorities of the "retail workers" instead of just hoping the cannon fodder would just show up and solidarity created from standing around penned in by peelers outside a Tescos. "

So those boundaries are blurred and yes some of were heaviliy involved in the "Freedom of Movement" demonstration in London on April 2nd this year. Why do you seem so threatened by us "fucking things up", if thats the case why don't you join the fucking police!?! The Tesco's action wasn't about recruiting tesco workers, if that was the only aim then yes the action would have been different but the action was more than that and we don't operate in your sterile, old century left political form of action (indeed most of society doesn't either!). If you say that thats all we do and will do then again I will disagree with that. You haven't seriously or comradely presented your ideas around precarity with us but prefer (as fucking usual) to throw personal insults, and interpretations on people. I feel sorry if any interested person wanting to get involved in political activity were to meet you first. Jesus!

4)

"And I'm sorry to break this to you but Tescos is not a symbolic place, if you could get your fucking head out of your arse or at least stop reading books too advanced for you, you might come to see that there are real people in Tescos, and these people are actually exploited."

Again, I'm not competing with your advanced knowledge of books, you ARE an expert. Indeed it is obvious that someone 8 years younger than me, with a few years experience talking to wanky left-wing politicos on a bulletin board is my superior.

Anyway, as an exploited, alienated worker who thinks outside the box I am your worst enemy.

RAW

red n black star

raw
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Sep 20 2005 11:00

What are you now some sort of libcom police inspector?!

Raw

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 20 2005 11:02
raw wrote:
What are you now some sort of libcom police inspector?

Surely more of a continuity supervisor?

raw
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Sep 20 2005 11:16

Yes and I see no reason to be brought up on it. I agree with what I said then to now. It's amazing that some one so well read and intelligently superior to people can't see that. tongue

it's interesting to note that the only thing that has been picked up from my original post is one comic sentence!

RAW - just a local community guy who's a Libertarian Communist

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 20 2005 13:08
Jack wrote:
No, you really aren't.

Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.

Better choose a new jargon name for your strand uf purity! The anti-socialis are upon you! Mr. T

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 20 2005 13:16
Jack wrote:
I'm safe and secure with Libertarian Marxist, for now...

<googles for a kiddy-fiddling US Lib-Marxist group>

BB
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Sep 20 2005 13:20
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
raw wrote:
What are you now some sort of libcom police inspector?

Surely more of a continuity supervisor?

Apologies, i'm trolling as usual, but. ROFLMAO!!! Mr. T

raw
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Sep 20 2005 14:45

waits for a translation into english roll eyes

raw
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Sep 20 2005 15:06

Yes that article is in very bad english, I have read that somehow you think I wrote that. In fact i didn't I merely posted it on the thought forum. Shows you how much you know. typically webjockey research on your part me thinks, get in the real world and find out who people are and what they think before assuming to much.

And I'll correct myself, I am 4 years not 8 years older.

RAW - for Libertarian Communism

www.wombles.org.uk

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 20 2005 15:31
revol68 wrote:
it has been stolen off the back of the chicago railway tracks, from the IWW hobos as they lay sleeping under stars, it has been harvested from Andulasian fields whilst the seasonal labourers of the CNT danced in the ruins of theologian whorehouses.

Maybe the IWW hoboes and CNT dancers should form an army of dreamers, and maybe join hands and break fences?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 20 2005 15:50
revol68 wrote:
I spent a good 20 quid on multitude thinking it would further explain what it was

<Points, laughs>

OK, so I bought Empire, I may be stupid, but at least I'm not fucking stupid Mr. T

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I must be a pseudo intellectual twat grin star green black

raw
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Sep 20 2005 15:54

"anti-socials" he he roll eyes Is this the new term for lumpenproletariat, yes and I will be happy in that definition. And no I haven't read empire, as I have no academic training like your superior self, multitude is much easiar and I got more out of it.

RAW

p.s. is it a self-esteem thing that you have to continously show your superioroity all the time? I find that people who have studied politics usually know less about the actual reality they live under than people who don't.