As @daspitzberg says on Twitter, this is a labor of love. 💗 🛠️
Here is a bit more about who we are, and how we see this newsletter: https://news.techworkerscoalition.org/about/
A few of us are working to restart the Tech Workers Coalition newsletter. We published our first issue yesterday: https://news.techworkerscoalition.org/2020/05/01/issue-1/
As the issue says: "Learning about how we’re all connected and building relationships to make positive change across the industry is a slow but necessary process."
If you're wondering if there are hospital beds or ventilators available, they have the deets!
I'm pleasantly surprised by @SMCHealth@twitter.com 's Covid data transparency: https://www.smchealth.org/post/san-mateo-county-covid-19-data-1
Being barefaced as evolutionary survival advantage. 🐑
Prickles the sheep comes home after 7 years with 'glorious' unsheared fleece
USPol / COVID
Speaking as someone working in healthcare, married to someone working in grocery
We don't want you to congratulate us or call us heroes
We want you to punish the government that allowed all this to happen
They put you, your friends, and your family at risk
We were gonna have to work, pandemic or not. Our politicians have a job to do, I understand it's easy to forget that because they never do it, but please
Hold them accountable. I don't want a pat on the back.
He closes the chapter, and the book, with a statement of hope that these strategies and project are feasible.
"The potential for constructing a broad social base for a new era of progressive politics exists. The contingencies of historical events and the creative agency of activists and collective actors will determine whether this potential is realized."
He advises that the discussion of values be at the center of progressive politics. We should emphasize how these values relate to concrete policies.
The value of democracy should be given particular emphasis at this time, because deepening democracy is an unifying project for people are maybe not as sympathetic to an anticapitalist agenda.
He points out in this section that certain aspects of identities can get reinforced by politics. In particular, he claims that, while racism and nationalism are always there in the population, it is right-wing populist politics that have brought it to the fore, and not the other way around.
(It's an interesting claim. I hope he's right.)
Event though anticapitalism "is, at its heart, a class project", class is so complex and fragmented that values are a better basis to unify folks across diverse identities and "contradictory class location" around a shared anticapitalist project.
The final chapter, titled "Agents of Transformation", talks about the need for political action to gain some power within the state, so that the strategies suggested in this book can be put in play.
This political action needs the power of collective actors, which Olin Wright says can be based on an overlap of identities, interests and values.
One interesting point he makes is that deepening true democracy will dilute the capitalist character of the state, since it will decrease the representation of the capitalist class.
A second prong of the strategy should be deepening democracy at all levels, with new institutions for representation, more meaningful popular participation (especially at the local level, where it is easier to accomplish), and, of course, democratizing electoral politics by ensuring the the core funding is public and not private.
An example of one such "symbiotic" reform is UBI: it erodes capitalism by "reuniting workers with the means of subsistence", but it also will help capitalists by e.g. subsidizing gig work and other shitty jobs.
UBI, thus, according to this book, would not be attacked by capitalists, who benefit from it. And yet this policy would "expand the space for sustainable socially empowered economic relations".
Chapter 5, "Anticapitalism and The State", opens by acknowledging the skeptical view: why would the state, which is designed to reproduce capitalism, allow anything that threatened capitalism?
Olin Wright's response to this is that the state itself is filled with contradictions, and has to serve contradictory demands.
He suggests we seek "symbiotic" reforms that help erode capitalism, but also help it in some way. These reforms won't be threatened by the right, since they benefit capital.
I am surprised I don't see more criticism of Andreesen's "the founder's are gonna save us" fluff piece. Brandon points out some pretty obvious flaws in the rethoric.
This piece by Andreesen Horowitz has some resonance with me, since I do favor building and infrastructure.
But it's full of stuff like this:
It's that kind of #caturday.
He makes some interesting points about these building blocks, but to my taste the treatment feels fairly superficial.
The chapter closes with a reflection on how it won't be possible to create and expand the reach of these "building blocks" without creating the conditions in which sustained democratic experimentation with these new economic forms is possible.
i see you | builder of things I 💗 people and cats | she/her | trying to be a better human every day | hugs offered | http://anaulin.org
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