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Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market

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A devastating critique of free-market politics from distinguished sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.


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A devastating critique of free-market politics from distinguished sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.

30 review for Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market

  1. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    In the paper this morning a guy with a doctorate (probably in economics), in fact, the guy who is head of our Department of Treasury told The Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (Who are these people, exactly) that Australia will need to make some harsh choices, that we can’t have it all, that with a reducing tax base and an aging population certain popular government measures are simply no longer affordable. Is there a country in the world where such received wisdom could not be In the paper this morning a guy with a doctorate (probably in economics), in fact, the guy who is head of our Department of Treasury told The Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (Who are these people, exactly) that Australia will need to make some harsh choices, that we can’t have it all, that with a reducing tax base and an aging population certain popular government measures are simply no longer affordable. Is there a country in the world where such received wisdom could not be trotted out in this morning’s newspaper? This series of essays covers a very broad range of topics – but the most impressive group are those which take to task this form of received wisdom and plots ways to ‘change the game’ out of the ‘scientific’ sounding pronouncements of neoliberal extremist free market ideological revolutionary conservativism. I’m going straight to his solutions, rather than wallowing in the joy of endlessly restating the problem, a problem so obvious it hardly needs restating, anyone been watching Greece lately, or Spain, or Italy, or England? And that solution is, according to Bourdieu, an ending of the economic unity of Europe and the rushing forward of the political unity of Europe – and this in 1996... It is only through the political unity of Europe that the people of Europe will be able to protect themselves from the near infinite power of European banks and the irresistible logic of neoliberal ‘solutions’. It is only through effective political unity that there is any hope of defending our hard won rights and save them from being reframed as ‘privileges’ that need to be traded or simply taken away from us for our own good. The withering away of the state is no longer a Marxist fantasy, it is a neoliberal reality. Want a slogan for our times? End Flexploitation. We live in a world without fundamental security – ironic then that our masters are obsessed with symbolic security against a non-existent enemy – I think following a decade since 9/11 perhaps it is time to start looking at the real enemies to our collective security – our job security, our cultural security, our security of health provision, our security of information and our other essential democratic rights. That we are prepared to trade all this just because someone yells ‘Islam’ or ‘Jihad’ – oh dear God, just how pathetic are we? Marx called on workers of the world to unite – Bourdieu points out that such internationalism (the bread and butter of the new international ruling class to whom the nation state has long been dead in all but name save for its ability to distract entire populations with racist delusions) was killed off by Soviet imperialism seeking ways to justify itself. He hopes trade unions will provide the basis for a new internationalism. I worked in a trade union for nearly a decade – I have no such hopes and share no such illusions. But that some form of resistance is necessary is beyond question. That this resistance requires international unity is also blindingly obvious. I often find it amusing to hear people complain that Marx referred to his view as ‘scientific socialism’ – today it is neoliberal extremism that clothes its ideology in the garb of science. The dismal science of normative ‘rational economics’. We need to find ways of changing behaviour – of fundamentally changing the way we relate, economically as well as socially. In a week where it looks like Australia is to lose its only serious newspapers, in fact, in a week where it is clear we have already lost them, behaving in the same way is quickly no longer becoming an option. Unlike Bourdieu, I can propose no solutions – other than to say that acts of resistance should not be done alone or in private.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eli Za

    کتاب شامل مجموعه مقالات عمدتا کوتاهی است که هر کدام به نوعی به بنیادگرایی بازار و راه‌های مقاومت در برابر آن بازمی‌گردد. از میان همه مقالات مقاله Job insecurity is everywhere now چنان مرا به وجد آورد که صفحه تلگرامم پر از اسم کسانی شد که بخش‌هایی از این مقاله را برای آن‌ها فرستادم. بوردیو در این مقاله از تبعات موقتی شدن قراردادهای کار در اقتصادهای نولیبرال سخن می‌گوید. در شرایطی که قراردادهای کار موقتی شده‌اند و بواسطه افزایش اقشار تحصیلکرده بیکار، ارتش ذخیره کار نه فقط در مشاغل مربوط به کارگردان کتاب شامل مجموعه مقالات عمدتا کوتاهی است که هر کدام به نوعی به بنیادگرایی بازار و راه‌های مقاومت در برابر آن بازمی‌گردد. از میان همه مقالات مقاله Job insecurity is everywhere now چنان مرا به وجد آورد که صفحه تلگرامم پر از اسم کسانی شد که بخش‌هایی از این مقاله را برای آن‌ها فرستادم. بوردیو در این مقاله از تبعات موقتی شدن قراردادهای کار در اقتصادهای نولیبرال سخن می‌گوید. در شرایطی که قراردادهای کار موقتی شده‌اند و بواسطه افزایش اقشار تحصیلکرده بیکار، ارتش ذخیره کار نه فقط در مشاغل مربوط به کارگردان یدی، بلکه در همه مشاغل افزایش یافته است، عدم امنیت شغلی جغد شومی است که بالای سر همه ما آواز می‌خواند. چنین عدم امنیتی نفس اشتغال را فارغ از شرایط آن به یک امتیاز مبدل می‌کند. امتیاز شاغلان، در برابر بیکاران. این وضعیت سد راه مطالبه برای بهبود شرایط کار می‌شود و امکان بیشترین بهره‌کشی از جانب کارفرما را فراهم می‌کند. در نتیجه ما با شکاف میان شاغلینی مواجهیم که بیش از حد کار می‌کنند و استثمار می‌شوند و بیکارانی که در انتظار به دست آوردن موقعیت شغلی همان استثمارشدگان هستند. وضعیتی که همراه با غلبه منفعت‌طلبی، محاسبه‌گری اقتصادی و به حداکثر رساندن سود شخصی، با ایجاد شکاف میان کارگران از تشکیل جمع و مطالبه جمعی، جلوگیری می‌کند. وضعیت جنگ همه، علیه همه! سویه دیگر ماجرا این است که با آزادسازی تجارت در ابعاد بین‌المللی و رفع موانع دولتی در برابر ورود و خروج سرمایه به کشورها، صنایع و شرکت‌های بزرگ می‌توانند در زمان احساس خطر از جانب اتحادیه‌های کارگری و نیروی کار، کارخانه‌های خود را به کشورهایی با نیروی کار ارزان‌تر، درصد بیکاری بیشتر و موانع قانونی کمتر، انتقال دهند. در نتیجه رقابت نه تنها میان کارگران درون مرزهای یک کشور، برای کسب فرصت شغلی است، بلکه امروزه بواسطه جهانی شدن اقتصاد، کارگران هر کشور باید با کارگران سایر کشورها نیز رقابت کنند. همین امر لزوم ایجاد همبستگی فراتر از مرزهای یک کشور میان نیروهای مبارز علیه استبداد بازار را نشان می‌دهد. نکته جالب دیگری که بوردیو در این مقاله به آن اشاره می‌کند، این است که عدم امنیت شغلی امکان پیش‌بینی آینده بر مبنای معادلات منطقی و عقلانی را سلب می‌کند. این ابهام در وضعیت، باور و امید فرد به آینده را که پایه هرگونه آرمان‌خواهی و شورش علیه وضع موجود است، نابود می‌کند. به تعبیر بوردیو، هر فرد برای تصور آینده‌ باید چیزی برای چنگ زدن در زمان حال داشته باشد. حتی کارگرانی که در شرایط سخت کار می‌کنند، کار خود را و بهبود شرایط کار را دستمایه مطالبه برای تغییر قرار می‌دهند. اما خیل عظیم بیکاران طبقه پایین‌تر از پرولتاریا که شغل و عزت نفس خود را از دست داده‌اند، از چُنان دستاویزی برای به تصور درآوردن آینده بهتر و مبارزه برای آن بی‌بهره‌اند. از جمله راه‌حل‌های بوردیو برای مقابله با این وضعیت فعالیت خیریه است. اینکه با کمک به یکدیگر نه تنها در برابر غلبه ارزش‌های فردگرایانه نظام اقتصادی و به حداکثر رساندن منفعت شخصی مقابله کنیم و ارزش‌های جمع گرایانه و در نتیجه امکان مطالبه جمعی را احیا کنیم، بلکه با ایجاد نهادهایی برای کمک مالی به بیکاران و کارگران، جلوی بهره‌کشی کارفرما از آن‌ها را بگیریم و اجازه ندهیم که شکاف میان شاغلان و افراد بیکار امکان استثمار هرچه بیشتر کارگران را فراهم کند. از این راه و با ایجاد اتحاد میان شاغلان در وضعیت عدم امنیت شغلی و بیکاران، طبقات تحت سلطه خواهند توانست نیروی مقاومت خود را بازیابی کنند. از نظر بوردیو، مطالبه در این شرایط، نباید فقط حول مطالبه سنتی بهبود شرایط کار و افزایش دستمزد شکل گیرد، بلکه مطالبه بازتوزیع فرصت‌های شغلی و نیز کاهش ساعات کار باید در فهرست مطالبات جای گیرد. تصور کار به عنوان یک «ضرورت» غیرقابل پرسش، افسانه دیگری است که به تعبیر بوردیو، نظام اقتصادی برای افزایش بهره‌وری خود به ما القا کرده است! کاهش ساعات کار، باید یکی از مطالبات نیروهای پیشرو باشد.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I like Bourdieu, and only gave this a three because it is a slim volume with short essays that, thought provoking as they might be, don't really have space to develop any ideas in depth...this is much better as a companion volume to everything else written by him, I would certainly say it can't stand on its own. That said, the pieces on job insecurity and Ne-liberalism were fascinating I thought...it's rare to find someone who rolls so much that I agree with together with so much I object to, I r I like Bourdieu, and only gave this a three because it is a slim volume with short essays that, thought provoking as they might be, don't really have space to develop any ideas in depth...this is much better as a companion volume to everything else written by him, I would certainly say it can't stand on its own. That said, the pieces on job insecurity and Ne-liberalism were fascinating I thought...it's rare to find someone who rolls so much that I agree with together with so much I object to, I rather like that...though I violently disagree that minor state nobility might ever play a role in the creation of any new world I'd like to live in.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tarmo Jüristo

    I wish there was a way to award half-stars, as I was really thorn between three and four. The fact that I finally settled for three is mostly due to the brevity rather than the intrinsic quality of the argument that Bourdieu puts forth in the book. Most of it comes across as a journalism (not at all bad at that), or perhaps a manifesto. Perfectly good at what it is - an expression of personal rage, as Bourdieu puts it in his introduction - but not much that you could really sink your teeth into. I wish there was a way to award half-stars, as I was really thorn between three and four. The fact that I finally settled for three is mostly due to the brevity rather than the intrinsic quality of the argument that Bourdieu puts forth in the book. Most of it comes across as a journalism (not at all bad at that), or perhaps a manifesto. Perfectly good at what it is - an expression of personal rage, as Bourdieu puts it in his introduction - but not much that you could really sink your teeth into. In short - certainly worth a read, but unlikely to blow your socks off.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Ensign

    A nice and compact collection of essays and a good introduction to the work of Bourdieu. My favorite essays are "The Status of Foreigners: Shibboleth," "The Myth of 'Globalization' and the European Welfare State," and "Job Insecurity is Everywhere Now."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gabe Steinman Dalpiaz

    Bourdieu hits the nail on the head again and again in this collection of essays.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dean Jorgensen

    A clearly written exposure of the neo-liberal mess that many of us find ourselves in today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Zoals ik in m'n recensie van Sur la télévision, suivi de L'emprise du journalisme schreef (zie hier), heeft Pierre Bourdieu een niet zo toegankelijke schrijfstijl door z'n woordenschat, maar ook het veelvuldig gebruik van bijzinnen. Dit is hier niet anders. 'Contre-feux I' is een compilatie van interviews, columns, uittreksels van speeches (op bepaalde congressen, betogingen, ...), e.d. meer van de periode december 1991 t.e.m. januari 1998. Ook bevat dit boekje het nawoord van de Engelstalige edi Zoals ik in m'n recensie van Sur la télévision, suivi de L'emprise du journalisme schreef (zie hier), heeft Pierre Bourdieu een niet zo toegankelijke schrijfstijl door z'n woordenschat, maar ook het veelvuldig gebruik van bijzinnen. Dit is hier niet anders. 'Contre-feux I' is een compilatie van interviews, columns, uittreksels van speeches (op bepaalde congressen, betogingen, ...), e.d. meer van de periode december 1991 t.e.m. januari 1998. Ook bevat dit boekje het nawoord van de Engelstalige editie van 'Sur la télévision' en daarop volgend een interview over dit werk. Vreemd dat Raisons d'agir dit niet heeft mee afgedrukt bij de heruitgave die ik gelezen heb. Reeds in de jaren '90 waarschuwde Bourdieu voor de gevaren van het neo-liberalisme dat beetje bij beetje z'n intrede aan het doen was. Hij verwees ook naar het Engeland onder Tatcher, bijvoorbeeld, alsook de periode van de Wereldoorlogen. Hij was ook sceptisch t.o.v. de euro, kaartte de nationale verschillen aan inzake sociale zekerheid en vangnetten en hoe Europa zich dat niet echt aantrok en de focus legde op de eenheidsmunt. Bourdieu was een linkse denker en socioloog. Dat zie je ook in deze teksten, waarin hij oproept voor een meer links politiek beleid of in ieder geval een beleid waarin de verworven rechten behouden blijven, waarbij de verzorgingsstaat behouden blijft en niet uitgehold wordt ten voordele van de markten, van de werkgevers, van de globale economie. Bourdieu kaart ook het gegeven aan waarbij "globalisatie" en "individualisering" (elk voor zich, geen cao's, geen collectieve [hoe dan ook] zaken meer, ...) de nieuwe kerngedachte wordt, waarbij plots de (West-)Europese werknemer zich dient aan te passen aan de minder gegoede Oost-Europese of zelfs Aziatische werknemer, omdat daar geen (of minder) sociale vangnetten zijn en de werkgevers minder belastingen moeten betalen, de werknemers lagere lonen krijgen, enz. Daardoor voeren nationale regeringen aanpassingen door (zoals minder belastingen voor bedrijven), zodat die (grote, al dan niet internationale) bedrijven in dit of dat land blijven investeren. M.a.w., deze concurrentie tussen werknemers heeft vooral een impact op de werknemers zelf (vrees voor jobverlies, minder koopkracht, stress, ...) dan op de werkgevers (die door het minder belasting betalen dat geld voor andere doeleinden kunnen gebruiken, waaronder eigen zakken, aandeelhouders, ...). In deze context zijn, volgens Bourdieu, de vakbonden te laks en te laat geweest om hun standpunten kracht bij te zetten, om de zaken waarvoor men indertijd gevochten heeft, te behouden en zo een tegengewicht te bieden aan het neo-liberalisme. Want voor dit laatste zijn de economie en de markten dé te volgen goden en leiders. Met alle gevolgen van dien, waaronder de overheid uithollen, zoveel mogelijk privatiseren, onafhankelijke banken, en meer. En we weten allemaal waartoe dat al heeft geleid, zoals te lezen is in, onder andere, Martin Vissers De eurocrisis (zie m'n recensie hier) en Joris Luyendijks Dit kan niet waar zijn (zie m'n recensie hier). En zo zijn er nog een hoop andere boeken. In de teksten m.b.t. zijn eerder werk 'Sur la télévision' duidt Bourdieu er nog eens op dat journalisten op zich wellicht wel integer (kunnen) zijn, maar dat het systeem dat niet (meer) toelaat. Kijkcijfers en winst tellen. Feiten onderzoeken, duiding en achtergrond geven is van minder belang, als het maar kijkers lokt en de mensen laat meeleven. Al duurt dat meeleven vaak niet lang. Tot de volgende crisis. Ook zijn bepaalde onderwerpen gemakkelijk voor televisie: oorlog, natuurrampen, ... waardoor men minder moeite moet doen om dit te onderzoeken. Als je dan kijkt naar vandaag: de situatie met de vluchtelingen (Calais, Hongarije, en elders) blijft men inderdaad dat in beeld brengen, maar degelijke achtergrond krijg je niet. Wel oppervlakkige details als dat ze van Syrië komen, van Afghanistan, van Tunesië, Algerije (Bourdieu was een Algerije-expert), ... Maar waarom en hoe en wat er gedaan wordt om de eventueel de problematiek lokaal aan te pakken? Nada. Ik ben het niet met alles eens wat Bourdieu te vertellen had, want soms is hij te extreem in z'n gedachten of zelfs te vaag (met moeilijke woordenschat kan je soms intelligent overkomen, maar wat je vertelt kan de luisteraar/lezer dan nog niks wijzer maken). Op het einde staat een lijstje met de werken waarop Bourdieu zich baseerde voor z'n betogen in deze eerste 'Contre-feux'. Kortweg: Duidelijk geen voer voor de liberaal-ingestelden, eerder een trap onder de kont van de linkse partijen om terug wakker te worden.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Derek James Baldwin

    Measured but uncompromising resistance to the world's scummiest science, and least admirable scientists, economics and economists. Which in this day and age means simply bean counters and neoliberals, and other lackeys of the 1%.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    Versuch, die Theorie praktisch zu machen. Bleibt zeitgeschichtlich.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Juliet

    Shocking that this was written in 1998 clearly warning of the perils of neo - liberalism and also of its non-inevitability. The deliberate destruction of collective organisations leaving only weakened individuals to (not) oppose the rush to consolidating power and money in the hands of the few. Some of this is developed in Naomi Klein's brilliant book This Changes Everything'. On the downside there are parts that were hard to understand partly because I lacked the necessary contextual background Shocking that this was written in 1998 clearly warning of the perils of neo - liberalism and also of its non-inevitability. The deliberate destruction of collective organisations leaving only weakened individuals to (not) oppose the rush to consolidating power and money in the hands of the few. Some of this is developed in Naomi Klein's brilliant book This Changes Everything'. On the downside there are parts that were hard to understand partly because I lacked the necessary contextual background and partly due to the language used though whether this is due to the translation or present in the original I cannot tell. Perhaps both.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Alix

    Very well written, although you need to read this more than once to understand Bourdieu's message. French author's have this aspect within themselves to make their books hard to understand. Although, I think it's a good way to weed out those who aren't interested in politics and economics. His book is one of the reason's why I am a socialist. A good read for those who want to see what's wrong with society.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I do love Pierre Bourdieu dearly, but there isn't much that's new in this slender volume. It's all the same stuff I've been hearing: the need to unify the left, the flexibilization of the economy, the increasing tendency to legitimize neoliberal capitalism as a "natural" ideology. I found myself going "yeah!" every few pages, and it got my blood all angered up, but in the end, nothing original.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris Beiser

    Maybe Bourdieu has written other good books. This one is not one of them. Other people have written of the problems with Thatcherism much more eloquently and cleverly; this is instead, the pinnacle of franco-boomerism.

  15. 4 out of 5

    pplofgod

    While Bourdieu does provide us with an absolutely superb definition of neo-liberalism, his solution (a supranational organization which would regulate global capital) is absolutely utopian, and to put it frankly, dangerous. Nonetheless, this is still a very interesting book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Otto Adi Yulianto

    Buku 1. Kumpulan tulisan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sanne van der Gaag

    Zitten een paar scherpe stukken tussen, de moeite van het lezen waard!

  18. 4 out of 5

    الهام ربیعی

    ترجمه ش یک قدم آن طرف تر از افتضاح است..

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julieta Cisneros

    Easy reading. A great analysis of neoliberalism.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ifé

  22. 5 out of 5

    Princess

  23. 4 out of 5

    T

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael Bourgeois

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sebran Köşkeroğlu

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kasha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Russi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kehana

  29. 5 out of 5

    mahatmanto

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jordi Revert

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