Got a lot on my mind these days. I’m thinking about Troy Davis, about what it means to be a militant, about what it takes to stay strong & human through the ups and downs of struggle. Hopefully I can get some thoughts written up soon. Til then…
I’m reading this interesting piece put out in the latest Gurgaon Workers Newsletter (which, by the way, puts out some really good writing and analysis with a focus on workers’ self-activity and from-below struggle). I’ve copied below a section they wrote on developing trends among call centers globally. It’s worth reading for what it raises about the changing contours of the economic crisis and aspects of the recomposition happening among the global working class.
According to Plan – General information on the development of the region or on certain company policies
*** Shifts in the Call Centre Industry: Gurgaon Tata Workers’ Report and Global Re-Locations ***
Call centres can be seen as ‘the industry of globalisation’. The came up in the 1990s as a product of Taylorisation of office work: information technology enabled to undermine the ‘individual skills’ of accountants, bank and other office workers. Contrary to what a lot of lefty ideologist thought the technological restructuring lead to a massification and concentration of work-force. By the end of the 1990s call centres went global, jumped the English speaking global wage scales from the global north to south. The patriotic populism of most of the trade unions proved helpless facing global relocations. India became the global back-office and call centre. Call centres combined ‘excess capital’ (finance, dubious personal services etc.) with an excess educated working class (students, graduates etc.). Unemployed post-graduates in Tunisia phoned for French Telecom, their Indian work-mates did the same for British Telecom. With the crisis one of the main pillars of call centre industry – the finance sector and personal services – came under pressure, so did wages in the global north. Currently we can witness rapid changes and shifts within global call centre work. In the following we give a sketchy overview on recent trends. Gurgaon is probably still the biggest call centre hub world-wide, so we are glad to document a short letter by a worker at Tata Consultancy Services based in Gurgaon.
So Sarahtopz put me on to the world of tumblr. I’m still figuring it out but I’m starting to find some interesting stuff, especially on the photography tip.
Like this, Ensayos Queer. NSFW. A tumblr of queer photo essays, the author describes it as:
“Trabajo fotográfico ajeno a la normatividad de una sociedad chilena opresora que esconde, se avergüenza y no visibiliza. No soy una teórica queer o de género, menos una filósofa en estas cuestiones, ni pretendo serlo…solo un par de sentimientos, un deseo y la cámara buscando interpretar; sin maquillar ni decorar. La honestidad como canon de belleza. Mi cámara y mi cuerpo; espacios de libertad.”
My very rough translation:
“Photographic work outside the norms of an oppressive Chilean society that hides, ashamed and invisible. I am not a queer or gender theorist, less a philosopher of these questions, nor do I pretend to be one…just a couple of feelings, a desire and the camera searching to interpret; without makeup or decoration. Honesty as the canon of beauty. My camera and my body; spaces of freedom.”
Next up. Look at this dope photo of Frida Kahlo from hermanaresist! She looks like either she just got done whooping someone’s ass, or she’s fixing to whoop someone’s ass right after she finishes that smoke…
Also found this picture which gave me a good laugh. I saw it on the street one day but didn’t snap a pic when I had the chance. Someone else did though!
The call center I work at has a very highly organized management structure and philosophy that saturates all aspects of the center and our daily work experience. This is a first for me. All the other call centers I have worked at have generally been poorly organized, usually operations that are facing cutbacks & layoffs, which increases the friction between management and workers and makes it difficult for management to hide the fact that the pursuit of profit at the expense of workers is priority #1 for the company.
At the center I’m at now, management pushes this positive “team” philosophy where workers and managers are all part of one big happy family. They back it up with lots of “perks” to show just how much they appreciate the workers. I jokingly call it “call center socialism.” They wanna make it seem like free, unalienated labor but it’s still a fucking call center. Run by them.
“[The] assumption that the slave was a total victim is at its heart elitist and untenable. What flows from it is the view that the slave could not help himself because he had no culture, history, community, or opportunity for change and development and that, consequently, he had to be liberated by those whose history had fortunately left them intact and thus in human terms better equipped to help him.
But if the slave had a history, then his behavior changed over time as he learned from the past and met new experiences. Men, however, do not move in their own behalf or make revolutions for light and transient reasons. Only when they no longer can stand the contradictions in their own personalities do they move in a sharp and decisive fashion. The victim is always in the process of becoming the rebel, because the contradictions demand this resolution.
As the German philosopher Hegel understood in the famous passage on master and slave in The Phenomenology of Mind, the slave fights against the master by wrestling with his own internal conflicts. The will of the master and the will of teh slave both appear as a contradiction within the slave.”
~George Rawick, taken from From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community
…Thinking about this quote in relationship to this interesting post over at Lenin’s Tomb that discusses the contemporary debate about self-liberation vs external liberation, or in other words why fighting for our damn selves is so essential rather than asking someone else to fight (or in the case of this post, not fight) for us…