“Under capitalism, the only thing worse than being exploited is not being exploited. Since the beginnings of the wage-labour economy, wageless life has been a calamity for those dispossessed of land, tools and means of subsistence.”
Following on from our last reading group in January, we’re pleased to announce our next session will be from 2-4 pm on the 8th of March at the Pack Horse Pub on Woodhouse Lane. This month’s text is Wageless Life by Michael Denning, as published in the New Left Review in December 2010. You can read the article online here (scroll down to the bottom of the page for a link to a pdf version), or paper copies will be available on the day – just make sure you turn up a few minutes early so you have a chance to read through it before we start.
Unemployment is a big deal in the political world we live in today – from the remote world of party politics where our elected representatives strive to outdo each other in pledging to harass, bully and sanction benefits claimants into finding work; to day to day conversations in pubs, offices and elsewhere where people pick apart the latest news stories about scheming benefits cheats gaming the system; to the reality of grinding poverty and bureaucratic callousness that dominates the lives of those forced to survive on the dole. But unemployment is not a new thing. It’s been around for a long, long time. In the current situation, we need to be able to look at economic and political narratives that underlie discussions about unemployment and try and uncover the real causes of work and worklessness.
The Red and Black Reading Group aims to be a place to explore and discuss revolutionary theory with like minded people in a relaxed setting. We want to develop our ideas through discussion and debate, with an eye to applying them in practice. Anyone interested in taking part in the discussion is welcome – no previous experience or expertise on the subject is required. We only ask that attendees respect of each other’s ideas and experiences during the discussion, whilst leaving room for debate and disagreement.
We aim to make these discussions as open and accessible as possible, so please get in touch if you have any concerns or need any help from us in order to attend.