Aidan Rowe

The Politics of Voices: Notes on Gender, Race & Class

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As class-struggle anarchists dealing with the relations between gender, race and class, we must, in theory and practice, pick a path between two pitfalls. On one side is economic reductionism – the reduction of all political questions to the social relations of production – which erases the perspectives and struggles of women, queers and people of colour; submerges their voices within an overly generalised class narrative, in which the idealised Worker is implicitly white heterosexual and male; or consigns their struggles to a secondary importance compared to the “real struggle” of (economic) class against class.  On the other is a stultifying and inward-looking liberal-idealist identity politics, concerned fetishistically with the identification of privilege and the self-regulation of individual oppressive behaviour to the (near) exclusion of organised struggle, which, while amplifying the voices of the marginalised, consigns them to an echo chamber where they can resonate harmlessly.

London burns - causes & consequences of the riots - an anarchist perspective

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The police killing of Mark Duggan resulted in four nights of rioting across England. The immediate trigger was the killing itself, and the disrespect shown by the police to Mark’s family and friends. But the riots rapidly broadened to expressions of a more general anger and alienation; an anger that was all too often unfocused and striking out at the nearest target of opportunity. This resulted in widespread destruction of resources in already deprived neighborhoods and some anti-social attacks on bystanders. Despite this, the roots of the riots lie in the economic and political conditions of these districts, and not in ‘poor parenting’ or ‘mindless criminality’. These conditions were created by the very politicians and business elite who now call for a return to normality and repression. [French translation]

(Image: By SkyFireXII via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0)

Marriage Equality - I'm Voting Yes, but I'm Not Happy About It.

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“Marriage equality” represents a victory for conservatives within the LGBT movement in nrrowing and limiting the horizons of ur politics, and for conservative and homophobic social forces in diffusing and recuperating the potential for radical transformative change opened up by the gay liberation movement.

Labour Pinkwashing is Cynical Seat-Saving Measure

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In a desperate attempt to save a few liberal seats the Labour Party have been engaged in trying to suggest the water charge movement is some sort of homophobic mob. It's an argument based on the worst Dublin 4 prejudice and snobbery. Joan started the slander after Jobstown, Aodhan continued it in the Irish Times in a piece whose only outcome if believed would be to win election votes at the cost of equality votes.

Aidan writes "As a queer and a participant in the anti-water charges movement, I regard Aodhán Ó Ríordáin's comments as a rather cynical and desperate attempt to paint one of the most promising movements for progress in this state as somehow regressive, and to staple together some progressive credentials for himself by co-opting LGBT demands and organising.

Futurism or the Future: Review of the Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics

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The proliferation of computerised surveillance and security systems across workplaces has had the effect that now, in offices across the world, workers’ toilet usage is continuously monitored. You swipe your ID card to get in and out, producing a data event with a time and duration, which is quietly recorded by some computer.
 
Upstairs, some horrendous bureaucrat ponders over all this data: How long does a shit take? How many shits is too many? Does she have a medical condition, or is she just slacking? Copropolitics: a new technology of discipline and a fresh form of indignity that was inconceivable as anything other than a cyberpunk nightmare (and a dull one at that) a couple of decades ago; the kind of technological revolution that no-one wanted, and nobody is particularly excited about, but which nonetheless happens.
 

Disaster Communism, catastrophe & environmentalism

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Extermination or communism is the choice - but this communism must be more than just the sharing of wealth (who wants all this shit?) - it must inaugurate a whole new way of working together. — Felix Guattari & Toni Negrii
 
As I sat down to begin writing this piece, an article appeared in the Guardian titled 'Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?'ii, whose central claim was that “global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution”. 
 

Questioning Queer Politics: Is "Marriage Equality" Enough?

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“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us. Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.” ― David Cameron
 

Student Loans = Student Debt

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This college year has seen a large increase in the number of students taking out loans in order to go to college. As part of an aggressive advance into the student debt market, Bank of Ireland has already agreed schemes to provide “discounted loans” to students in DCU and Trinity, and to postgraduate students across the country (in this case the scheme was negotiated directly with theState) .BofI is also said to be in “advanced discussions” with over 10 other 3rd-level institutions.

The Crises of Multi-culturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age - review

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In November 2011, the Fine Gael mayor of Naas, Darren Scully sparked controversy when he announced on national radio that he would no longer represent “Black Africans”, due to their “aggressiveness and bad manners” and their tendency to “play the race card”. Ultimately, the controversy caused by Scully’s blatant and unambiguous racism forced his resignation as mayor.

Politics averted: thoughts on the 'Occupy X' movement

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Occupy Dame StreetWhat are we to make of the global 'Occupy X' movement which has exploded onto the streets of cities across the world, turning public spaces into campsites of opposition? Certain things are obvious: Firstly, the fact that there are thousands of people across the world taking over public spaces to express their anger at the financial system is undeniably a good thing. Having camped out outside the Central Bank on Dame Street on Saturday night, I can also say that these protests exude a positivity and hopefulness that is so often lacking from the ritualistic parades of anger that make up most protest marches. But there are also, in my view, serious political problems that prevent the movement from moving beyond a 'radical sleepover' and becoming a genuine anti-austerity grassroots resistance movement.

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