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Looking for books on cyclical nature of revolt and change

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yoda's walking stick
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Joined: 6-04-11
Jul 19 2011 00:51
Looking for books on cyclical nature of revolt and change

I need something that will tell me this neoliberal shit will end. I need some hope.

I'm reading Jon Anderson's biography of Che (yeah, I know the Argentine was a Stalinist....nobody's perfect laugh out loud ) and I'm just blown away by the number of radical, radical people all around the world challenging the system and coming together. Reading about Malcolm X approvingly reading a message from Che in Harlem was almost too much for me too bear. I practically busted a nut.

I mean I know the 60s were a time of great social change. But I wish they'd spread the wealth around. Just give us a Malcolm X, a Hampton, a Che, a somebody. (I'm mostly kidding—I don't believe in any great man theory; I know people like that are created by wider movements — but still. Damn, I'm jealous)

RedHughs
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Joined: 25-11-06
Jul 19 2011 03:43

I can understand the feeling, however...

David Harvey has an argument about how neoliberalism is bad for capitalists too in "A Brief History Of Neoliberalism...". You could try and believe that if you wanted to adopt the slogan "false hope is better than no hope at all"

But such "analyses" certainly fail in reality. Neoliberalism will never end ... without capitalism ending.

Neoliberalism expresses the permanently desperate for profits condition that modern capitalism is faced with. That's an "inevitable" result of the advance of the technological system. Entities like Apple, Walmart, Intel and Sony are world-scale integrated machines exploiting every resource and wage differential available to them and thus undermining any nation-level reform. Capital couldn't put these "Genies" back in the bottle and wouldn't want to anyway. The world-competitive arena not going away unless the social relationship of wage labor ends.

Notice, blame for the 2008 financial crisis could arguably be put square on the shoulders of neoliberal policy. But was there an effort to end this policy by anyone with "pull"? Well, Paul Krugman might classed as the only influential bourgeois economist who visibly pushed for anything different. But basically, for the bulk of capitalist policy makers, the solution to problems letting markets wild is to ... let markets run wild even more.

The point is, there's no half-assed way out today. We're fucking going down unless there's a serious revolt. Capitalist society is way past the "tipping point" here.

Anyway, the time of the Egyptian Revolt was a time of great hope and that was only a few months back (Years in Internet Time, I know). Why not hark to that instead?

Also, the energetic but confused revolts of the sixties expressed the fact that the wealth had been spread around by semi-social-democratic measures from the 1930s to the 1960s. The revolts never the power to decide any wealth division in any case but they were likely one factor in the ruling classes later squeezing of the working class.

Have to toe the line, I've got to make the most
Spent all the years going, from pillar to post
Now I'm standing on the outside and I'm waitin' in the rain
Tell me why must I always explain

Ed's picture
Ed
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Jul 19 2011 08:35

Yoda, if want a book about the cyclical nature of revolt and something that will give you hope, I'd recommend Beverly Silver's Forces of Labour: Workers' Movements and Globalisation since 1870.. basically, it will change your life.. wink

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 19 2011 10:51

Thanks for the background info RedHughs. And thanks for the book recommendation, Ed! I'll have to check it out. laugh out loud

snipfool
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Jul 19 2011 12:32

You may find Charting the class struggle interesting, as the cyclical nature of struggle and the end of neoliberalism are both discussed.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Jul 19 2011 13:20

Daniel Bensaid wrote some stuff about it

batswill
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Joined: 8-07-11
Jul 19 2011 18:48

Damn it gently. Haven't you grasped the economic dynamics of "Boom/ Bust" ? It is a capitalist tactic. I myself would get off the recuperative merry-go-round and approach the problem in a linear fashion, to forge new paradigms.

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jura
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Jul 19 2011 19:04

I couldn't do more than merely second Ed's recommendation of Beverly Silver's fantastic book. For us here in Eastern Europe in a period of very low class struggle but with the car industry booming, it's like the Book of Revelation smile.

Okay, I can do more: get it here (you'll need a DJVu viewer to view it). wink

Angelus Novus
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Joined: 27-07-06
Jul 19 2011 19:12
Entdinglichung wrote:
Daniel Bensaid wrote some stuff about it

Haha, Enty, you obviously have a USFI background (psst! Me too!).

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 21 2011 08:45
Angelus Novus wrote:
Entdinglichung wrote:
Daniel Bensaid wrote some stuff about it

Haha, Enty, you obviously have a USFI background (psst! Me too!).

btw., an interesting piece by Alan Wald: A Winter's Tale Told in Memoirs (about the SWP/USA)