Globalization and social re-composition, I: What has become of the working class? Antonio.

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Global Justice School 2008

Report What has happened to the Working Class? Day II

I Globalisation and Labour II Treatment of the Working Class in the Global Justice Movement III Strategies for the Working Class


I Globalisation and Labour A. In order to understand the condition of the working class, as something that has essentially experienced change throughout the last few decades, we must first look to the structures of the global political economy, which have also changed. Most of all, we must look at this thing called globalisation, that supposedly and according to many who call themselves "radicals" have made the working class obsolete. B. What do we call globalisation? -Three theories on globalisation: Something New, Nothing New and Synthesis C. Neo-liberal globalisation -The move from a Fordist/Keynesian model of capitalist production to post-Fordist models -Essential characteristics: 1-Privatisation of the state corporations: 2-Fiscal reform: 4-The opening of financial markets: 5-Labour flexibility: -Gramsci, Hegemony, Counter -hegemony

II Treatment of the Working Class in the Global Justice Movement

  1. Classical Marxist definition of the working Class
  2. Uneven Development and global characteristics of the working class
  3. Diversity: migration, women, temp workers
  4. Hardt and Negri: Empire
  5. Manuel Castelles
  6. Identity, Culture, Living standards


III Strategies for the Working Class

    1. Revisiting Marx
    2. The Nations –State is still a point of struggle
    3. Empire
    4. Manuel Castells: networks
    5. Trade Unions
    6. Eco-socialism: workers and their organisation can get involved in building alternatives
    7. Party building: The European and Brazilian Experience


Central points: Capitalist production has changed from a Fordist/Keynesian to a post-Fordist regime; working conditions have been made flexible, precarious, decentralised; working class consciousness, culture and identity has changed; de-industrialisation of the world economy is a myth; the working class continues to grow and is much more diverse; migrants (continue to) play an essential role in production and the global economy; the Nation-state is still a point of struggle; alternative forms of worker organisation need to be developed; the organised working class can contribute to the development of alternatives for development; (new kinds of-) party building is needed.