Southern Insurgency

Author: Immanuel Ness
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
ISBN: 9780745335995
Format: PDF, Docs
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The site of industrial struggle is shifting. The West needs to look further if it wants to understand how workers' self-organisation is developing in countries it too often ignores. Across the Global South, peasant communities are forced off the land to live and work in harsh and impoverished conditions. Inevitably, new methods of combating the spread of industrial capitalism are evolving in ambitious, militant and creative ways. Southern Insurgency will lead the way in examining these organisations in the contemporary era.Immanuel Ness looks at three key countries: China, India and South Africa. In each case he considers the broader historical forces at play - the effects of imperialism, the decline of the trade union movement, the class struggle and the effects of the growing reserve army of labour. For each case study, he narrows his focus to reveal the specifics of each grassroots insurgency: the militancy of the miners in South Africa, the new labour organisations in India and export promotion and the rise of worker insurgency in China.A result of intensive, dedicated firsthand research, at the heart of Southern Insurgency is a study of the nature of the new industrial proletariat in the Global South - a terrifying, precarious existence - but also one of experimentation, solidarity and struggle.

New Forms of Worker Organization

Author: Immanuel Ness
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 1604869933
Format: PDF, Docs
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As bureaucratic labor unions are currently under assault throughout the world, most have surrendered the achievements of the mid-20th century, when the working class was a militant force for change. As unions implode and weaken, workers are independently forming their own unions, rooted in the tradition of syndicalism and autonomism—and unions rooted in the tradition of self-directed action are auguring a new period of class struggle throughout the world. In Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, workers are rejecting leaders and forming authentic class-struggle unions rooted in sabotage, direct action, and striking to achieve concrete gains. This is the first book to compile workers struggles on a global basis, examining the formation and expansion of radical unions in the Global South and Global North. The tangible evidence marshaled in this book serves as a handbook for understanding the formidable obstacles and concrete opportunities for workers challenging neoliberal capitalism, even as the unions of the old decline and disappear. Contributors include Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue, Arup K. Sen, Shawn Hattingh, Piotr Bizyukov and Irina Olimpieva, Genese M. Sodikoff, Aviva Chomsky, Dario Bursztyn, Gabriel Kuhn, Erik Forman, Steven Manicastri, and Jack Kirkpatrick.

We Are the Poors

Author: Ashwin Desai
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1583670505
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"We Are the Poors follows the growth of the most unexpected of these community movements, beginning in one township of Durban, linking up with community and labor struggles in other parts of the country, and coming together in massive anti-government protests at the time of the UN World Conference Against Racism in 2001. It describes from the inside how the downtrodden regain their dignity and create hope for a better future in the face of a neoliberal onslaught, and shows the human faces of the struggle against the corporate model of globalization in a Third World country."--Jacket.

Global Unions Local Power

Author: Jamie K. McCallum
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801469481
Format: PDF, Mobi
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News about labor unions is usually pessimistic, focusing on declining membership and failed campaigns. But there are encouraging signs that the labor movement is evolving its strategies to benefit workers in rapidly changing global economic conditions. Global Unions, Local Power tells the story of the most successful and aggressive campaign ever waged by workers across national borders. It begins in the United States in 2007 as SEIU struggled to organize private security guards at G4S, a global security services company that is the second largest employer in the world. Failing in its bid, SEIU changed course and sought allies in other countries in which G4S operated. Its efforts resulted in wage gains, benefits increases, new union formations, and an end to management reprisals in many countries throughout the Global South, though close attention is focused on developments in South Africa and India. In this book, Jamie K. McCallum looks beyond these achievements to probe the meaning of some of the less visible aspects of the campaign. Based on more than two years of fieldwork in nine countries and historical research into labor movement trends since the late 1960s, McCallum’s findings reveal several paradoxes. Although global unionism is typically concerned with creating parity and universal standards across borders, local context can both undermine and empower the intentions of global actors, creating varied and uneven results. At the same time, despite being generally regarded as weaker than their European counterparts, U.S. unions are in the process of remaking the global labor movement in their own image. McCallum suggests that changes in political economy have encouraged unions to develop new ways to organize workers. He calls these “governance struggles,” strategies that seek not to win worker rights but to make new rules of engagement with capital in order to establish a different terrain on which to organize.

Urban Revolt

Author: Trevor Ngwane
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608467147
Format: PDF, Docs
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How do individuals and organizations move beyond the boundaries of constitutional or legal constructs to challenge neoliberalism and capitalism? As major urban areas have become the principal sites of poor and working-class social upheaval in the early twenty-first century, the chapters in this book explore key cities in the Global South. Through detailed cases studies, Urban Revolt unravels the potential and limitations of urban social movements on an international level.

Stayin Alive

Author: Jefferson R. Cowie
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459604237
Format: PDF
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An epic account of how working-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the '70s, Stayin' Alive is a wide-ranging cultural and political history that presents the decade in a whole new light. Jefferson Cowie's edgy and incisive book - part political intrigue, part labor history, with large doses of American music, film, and TV lore - makes new sense of the '70s as a crucial and poorly understood transition from the optimism of New Deal America to the widening economic inequalities and dampened expectations of the present. Stayin' Alive takes us from the factory floors of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit to the Washington of Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Cowie connects politics to culture, showing how the big screen and the jukebox can help us understand how America turned away from the radicalism of the '60s and toward the patriotic promise of Ronald Reagan. He also makes unexpected connections between the secrets of the Nixon White House and the failings of the George McGovern campaign, between radicalism and the blue-collar backlash, and between the earthy twang of Merle Haggard's country music and the falsetto highs of Saturday Night Fever. Cowie captures nothing less than the defining characteristics of a new era. Stayin' Alive is a book that will forever define a misunderstood decade.

Confronting Injustice

Author: Umair Muhammad
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608465713
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A new generation of activists working for economic and environmental justice, and against war and poverty, confronts critical questions. Why is the world so unjust and crisis-prone? What kind of world should we fight for? How can we win? In this panoramic yet accessible book, Umair Muhammad engages with these and other urgent debates. He argues that individual solutions like “buying green” are dead ends and that hope for the future lies in a radical expansion of democracy and the transformation of the economy from one based on profit to one that can meet human needs

Rupturing the Dialectic

Author: Harry Cleaver
Publisher: AK Press
ISBN: 1849352712
Format: PDF, Docs
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A central figure for anti-authoritarian Marxists and radicals who see the working class as an autonomous force, capable of acting independently and not simply reacting to the depredations of capitalism, Harry Cleaver brings this vision up to date, interpreting capitalism’s latest crises and demonstrating how ordinary people can, and do, rupture the smooth functioning of the system that exploits them.

East Asia Pacific at Work

Author: World Bank Group
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 1464800049
Format: PDF
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The unprecedented progress of East Asia Pacific is a triumph of working people. Countries that were low-income a generation ago successfully integrated into the global value chain, exploiting their labor-cost advantage. In 1990, the region held about a third of the world’s labor force. Leveraging this comparative advantage, the share of global GDP of emerging economies in East Asia Pacific grew from 7 percent in 1992 to 17 percent in 2011. Yet, the region now finds itself at a critical juncture. Work and its contribution to growth and well-being can no longer be taken for granted. The challenges range from high youth inactivity and rising inequality to binding skills shortages. A key underlying issue is economic informality, which constrains innovation and productivity, limits the tax base, and increases household vulnerability to shocks. Informality is both a consequence of stringent labor regulations and limited enforcement capacity. In several countries, de jure employment regulations are more stringent than in many parts of Europe. Even labor regulations set at reasonable levels but poorly implemented can aggravate the market failures they were designed to overcome. This report argues that the appropriate policy responses are to ensure macroeconomic stability, and in particular, a regulatory framework that encourages small- and medium-sized enterprises where most people in the region work. Mainly agrarian countries should focus on raising agricultural productivity. In urbanizing countries, good urban planning becomes critical. Pacific island countries will need to provide youth with human capital needed to succeed abroad as migrant workers. And, across the region, it is critical to ‘formalize’ more work, to increase the coverage of essential social protection, and to sustain productivity. To this end, policies should encourage mobility of labor and human capital, and not favor some forms of employment - for instance, full-time wage employment in manufacturing - over others, either implicitly or explicitly. Policies to increase growth and well-being from employment should instead reflect and support the dynamism and diversity of work forms across the region.

Goodbye Mr Socialism

Author: Antonio Negri
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 1583229957
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Goodbye Mr. Socialism offers a gripping encounter with one of today’s leading leftists, presenting his most up-to-date analysis of global events and insight into the prospects for the Left in an age of neoliberalism. In his most accessible work yet, philosopher Antonio Negri discusses the state of the global Left since the end of the Cold War and suggests a new politics in a series of rousing conversations with Raf Valvola Scelsi. Scelsi prompts Negri to critique the episodes in the post–Cold War period that have afforded the Left opportunities to rethink its strategies and objectives. Addressing the twilight of social democracy, Negri offers a compelling defense of the prospects for social transformation.