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Notes on the Worker Elite

In the month since the publication of Bromma’s The Worker Elite: Notes on the “Labour Artistocracy”, the book has been met with a lot of interest, including several reviews which raise a number of questions related to the text that folks may be interested in. So here’s a roundup of what i am aware of so far:

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On Mass Struggles in the Metropole: Thoughts Inspired by Quebec

By Way of Introduction

In many neighbourhoods and cities and towns across Quebec, there is a new phenomenon of people going into the streets every night and banging pots and pans together to signal their opposition to the government’s new repressive legislation, Law 78. This is in the context of an upsurge of mass struggle and rapidly escalating tactics within a student strike that has been going on here for months. It is an unprecedented situation, and the struggle here seems to be transforming itself at what seems like breakneck speed.

On one of the first of these “pots and ...........READ MORE

I’ve Learned to Dissimulate: Michael Ryan’s Introduction to Clenched Fists, Empty Pockets

Clenched Fists, Empty Pockets is a pamphlet recently published by Kersplebedeb, comprised of texts by Swedish working-class activists detailing their experiences in their country’s middle-class left. This edition also includes an introduction by Michael Ryan, presenting his own experiences in the North American left.

I’ve Learned to Dissimulate
Introduction to the North American Edition of Clenched Fists, Empty Pockets, by Michael Ryan

What interest could a pamphlet cataloguing the personal experiences of a series of Swedish working-class activists with the middle-class left of their country have for a North American public? In his introduction to the German-language edition, Gabriel Kuhn ...........READ MORE

Clenched Fists, Empty Pockets: true life experiences of working-class activists in the middle class left

Hot off the copy machine, Clenched Fists Empty Pockets is a pamphlet just released by Kersplebedeb, examining the true life experiences of working-class activists in the middle class left.

In Clenched Fists Empty Pockets six working-class activists from Sweden discuss their experiences with class and middle-class hegemony in a variety of left-wing scenes and organizations. In doing so they flesh out the complexities and limits of what in Sweden is referred to as a “class journey.” Dealing with more than economic realities, the authors grapple with the full gamut of cultural and social class hierarchies that are embedded in the ...........READ MORE

Class, Nation, and Health: with some thoughts about H1N1, and building movement capacity

What follows is a rough version of a talk i gave at Montreal’s Native Friendship Center, at the Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving organized by Frigo Vert last night. Many of the articles and documents referenced here are also referenced on the new Kersplebedeb H1N1 page.

I’m here to say just a few words about health inequalities, with particular attention to this new flu, the H1N1 or swine flu, and some concerns around it.

The flu is something I became interested in earlier this year, when my husband caught it and became very sick. He spent two months in the hospital, most of ...........READ MORE

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When Race Burns Class: Settlers Revisited (An Interview with J. Sakai)

EC: Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat is a book which had a major impact on many North American anti-imperialists. How did this book come about, and what was so new about its way of looking at things?

JS: Settlers  completely came about by accident, not design. And what was so “new” about it was that it wasn’t “inspiring” propaganda, but took up the experience of colonial workers to question how class really worked. It wasn’t about race, but about class. Although people still have a hard time getting used to that – it isn’t race or sex that’s the ...........READ MORE