THE PAPER | APRIL 2011
Letters and news from down the road and across thewater made its way to us this month. Find The Paperonline at www.wearethepaper.org
I don’t know who this Dave Riddle characterthinks he is, but he seems blissfully unawareof his reproduction of neo-liberal ideologyin his naive defense of post-Keynesian‘workfare’ social policy. Is this supposed tobe a radical left-wing paper? Perhaps youshould pass on a copy of Michel Foucault’s‘Birth Of Biopolitics’ to Mr Riddle beforeallowing him to put pen to paper again.In this text, Foucault updates the critiqueof capitalist ideology for the era of latecapitalism, an era in which the concept (andsubject) of ‘human capital’ is invented to to
allow the organisers of labour efciency (i.e.
the ruling class) to extend their control intothe whole of human life. In this way, thevolunteer becomes the ‘self-entrepreneur’ -the worker who must work on themselvesto create value for potential employers -and succumbs to late capitalist ideology (i.e.neo-liberalism) in their enthusiasm for freelabour, in order to invest speculatively in thediminishing possibilities for a future career.
/ K Rdl - Gldsmths Urst
Since the start of February 2011 the followingorganisations have signed up to the pledge,
“W th udrsgd mmt t rfusg t
participate in compulsory work-for-benets
plamts. W wat lutrg t rmajust that!”
. Unite LE/524 Branch / HackneyCity Farm /Shiny Ideas / Unite LE/785Branch, / Staff Shop (Unite), Friends ofthe Earth – England, Wales and NorthernIreland / Campaign Against Arms Trade /Kilburn Boycott Workfare / Arts AgainstCuts / Precarious Workers Brigade. Pleasecontact wwww.boycottworkfare.org if yourorganisation or union branch will signthe pledge, or for more information onthe campaign.
Statement by the 300 migranthunger strikers.
The struggle is complete. With thedocuments in hand and our heads up high,we return to our homes and our workvindicated, after 44 days on hunger strike.The struggle continues. The announcementsfor an 8-year limit and the increase ofwork credit as prerequisites for the issuingand renewal of residence permits mustbecome law immediately. The struggle isthe only option. The struggle against thedaily exploitation and racism’s walls, thestruggles for the legalisation of all migrantswith no prerequisites, for equal rightsbetween local and foreign workers, for alife with values and dignity, these are ournext steps. Together with the anti-racistand migrant movement we will walk along
this difcult path, the path of struggle. The
struggle unites us. With the documents inhand and the head up high we salute andwish farewell to everyone who supports us.To the people in solidarity in Greece and allother countries in the world, the doctorsand their colleagues, all who stood by ourside in these days of the hunger strike, inall days when our lives and our deathsdemanded vindication and freedom. Seeyou at the struggles!I just wanted to let The Paper know that ithas taken hold across the channel. I took itinto a French prison with me as part of myEnglish tutoring and it was well receivedby my Algerian student who thought it wasa great English teaching tool! In solidarity.
/ A - Pars
e follow rules, we obey laws,we adhere to social codes. Atother moments we disobeythe law, we break and bendthe rules, we act outside of norms. In orderto know when to obey and when to dissentand how to do these things together, weneed to talk about our fears and about thethings that scare us, the things that keep usapart and paralyse our ability to act. Theintention is not to dwell in the comfortsof fear, but instead to see what alliancesand ideas emerge when we politicise theexperience of fear. It is from here that wecan confront fear with disobedience.‘Certain words are like battlegrounds: theirmeaning, revolutionary or reactionary, is avictory, to be torn from the jaws of struggle’(The Invisible Committee). Words whichused to be ours have been stolen andstripped of their meaning... peace, safety,freedom... to the point where they havecome to mean their exact opposite. Theyare used, along with their twin opposites -extremism, terror, tyranny - like switches toturn on and off our fears: are our universalsunder threat, is our safety at risk? Somewords are to be relinquished, somedestroyed, some remain to be reclaimed.Hijacking meanings has been a successfulstrategy of queer movements the worldover; queer, fag, tranny have successfullyand joyfully been co-opted.The production of this edition (as with theprevious ones) has not been smooth. Fromthe struggles in Wisconsin, we found theslogan ‘screw us and we multiply.’ Someof us like the words on the cover, while itmade others cringe and argue: what aboutthe rape implications or the reproductivejustice irony? We will have no choice butto multiply as abortion rights come underattack. ‘Screw us and we multiply’ is fullof latent fears, it reeks of domination andcontrol. Yet on the cover, in the context we
nd ourselves in, it is being turned against
itself, as an expression of power, courage, a‘we dare you’ in unlikely circumstances. Byexploring fear and desire we are remindedthat all is performance, and that the act ofconscious performance reveals that whichhas come to be naturalised. Screw us andwe multiply can be read as the disobedientre-capturing of meanings acted out as adangerous play.Unsurprisingly, the language superimposed
on our movements nds resonance with the
(neo)-liberal buzzwords used to appeaseor worry the ‘public’. The movement
is strictly ‘anti-cuts’ (we’re ghting fora strictly dened piece of ground), it is
composed of (a minority of) ‘students’(young and idealistic, who will one daylearn the meaning of a balanced budget)and, of course, who have been the causeof much ‘violence’. Violence, perhapswith its antonym ‘peaceful’, are the mostfraught with hypocrisy of all these trigger-words. With that carefully crafted story, theboundaries of our political imaginaries are
xed, and crossing the frontier will result
in punishment. It is made crystal-clear:step out of the authorised march route,break a window, take over the roof of anexus of power, and we will make you pay.Apparatuses of fear, from kettles to horsecharges to the methodical judicial huntingdown of ‘dangerous elements’ are there tokeep the fear alive and the story straight.Disobedience begins with hijacking thatstory, the space between here and our futureis the battleground.In the next edition (Edition Two) weexamine ‘numbers’ and consider valueand measure; what counts, who countsand how we count. Numbers are usedto mystify and to distance us from theworkings of power. We are interested invalue, its measure and understanding howand when (our) values differ.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgSend your letters, drawings, reports, articlesor photos for the next edition by 13 April
Abu Atris, Les Back, Camille Barbagallo, MarkBergfeld, Vittorio Bini, Nic Beuret, GeorgeCaffentzis, Alice Corble, Eros, Mara Ferreri,Saskia Fischer, The Free Association, Bue RübnerHansen, Kate Hardy, Georgia Harrison, JohnHutnyk, Jeanne Kay, Chris Jones, Rashne Limki,Eddie Molloy, Francesco Silvini, Laura Schwartz,Alice Spencer
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