This morning, Paul Mason appeared on Democracy Now! for a long discussion about the Eurozone, austerity, and the protests that are about to sweep Greece as they await another massive bailout. Drawing from his recent journalism for the BBC and his new book Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions, Mason highlights the deeper unrest that is the source of these protests, and points toward the often ignored human costs that underlie the riots that otherwise dominate our mainstream news-cycles.
What doesn't make so many headlines is what is happening to real people. We're living in a time where the world has, in the last couple of years, erupted in a way many people thought they would never see again since the 1960s. The underpinnings of this new global unrest are, from Cairo to Greece to NYC to Albuquerque, people are sick of seeing the rich get richer during a crisis- that's what they're sick of."
Visit Democracy Now! to listen in full and for a complete transcript of the interview.
Earlier this week, Fredric Jameson was interviewed by Rabble.ca, one of Canada's most progressive media outlets, to discuss his recent book Representing Capital and to remind readers of the continued relevance of Marx in the 21st century. He explains the urgency of Marx not so much in terms of nostalgic affirmations of a pastoral communist vision, but as a tremendous resource for understanding the deeper nature of crisis, unemployment and globalization, which, needless to say, are among the most defining political and economic issues of the present. In the interview, Jameson emphasizes the indispensability of Marx's magnum opus and its value in finding alternative ways of thinking through the structural effects of this "infernal machine that is capitalism." Also, clarifying some of the prevailing misconceptions and obfuscations made by others over Marx's original thoughts, he points to the possibilities for today's readers of being nourished by the surprising timeliness and force of much of Capital's analyses. For instance, he is particularly hopeful about the book's ability to guide readers to overcome much of the "self-defeating conservatism" currently hobbling today's Left.
He mentions, for example, that:
Exciting news! Paul Mason, the Orwell-prize nominated journalist and economics editor of BBC's Newsnight, is embarking on a mini North American tour next week to promote his new book Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions. As part of his visit, he will be giving readings and discussions, weighing in on the past year's global revolutions from London to Cairo and Wisconsin to Tripoli.
Taking an especially close look at the resurgence of activism and political energy around the globe, Mason will be elaborating on Why It's Kicking Off's incisive account of both the rediscovered power of individual agency and the historically new forms of collective action at the disposal of younger activists. With his critical eye and thorough on-the-ground reportage, his appearances promise a clear-sighted look at the revolutionary movements, bringing into sharp relief the urges for political alternatives and democratic change being felt everywhere.
Please click below for his tour dates.
Last Tuesday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Simon Critchley and Cornel West sat down to a lively evening of conversation and philosophical reflection. Orbiting around the main themes of Critchley's new book, The Faith of the Faithless, the two touched on everything from the constitutive role of love and belief in forming political bonds of solidarity to, yes, the power of soul and funk music. To paraphrase the incomparable Brother West, the two also did not shy away from "smelling the funk" over the course of the evening. Together with their theoretical reflections on spirituality, religion and radical democracy, each addressed New York's controversial "Stop and Frisk" program, the "prison-industrial complex" of the United States and the Left and Right wing media's joint complicity in ignoring and reproducing the underlying structures of an increasingly oligarchic society.
BAM has uploaded full audio of the discussion as well as several video clips on their blog, accompanied by Critchley's running commentary and his suggestion--which Verso will be do its best to help carry out!--- that West will join him again for
a serious philosophical rumination at BAM about music, about poetry, about the great Otis Redding, James Brown, Al Green, Bootsy Collins, Parliament and Funkadelic and the sacred and true President Clinton, George not Bill, and greatest of them all, the poet and activist Curtis Mayfield.
Visit the BAM's blog to watch the clips and listen to the debate in full.
This Saturday afternoon, the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, together with the New School will be co-hosting a public symposium on the Occupy movement and the current state of the Left in the United States. Billed under the banner of "The Winter of our Discontent," it will hold lengthy sessions touching on the wider interlocking themes of long-term goals, short-term tactics and the possible means of social change. Among the participants are Verso authors Marina Sitrin and Rebecca Solnit, both of whom contributed to Occupy! Scenes from an Occupied America, Verso and n+1's in-depth coverage and analysis of the Occupy movements. They will be appearing on Saturday alongside a number of other activists, political organizers and academics who have been deeply engaged in the Occupy movements and other projects helping promote democratic and social change. Included among the speakers are Todd Gitlin, James Miller and Jonathan Schell, as well as David Graeber and Lawrence Weschler.
Promising a sympathetic, though importantly self-critical approach to the current state of the Left and where it should be headed "given the game-changing forces unleashed by Occupy Wall Street," it should prove to be an exciting and thought-provoking afternoon.
Click below for the details.