Anton Jäger – Laboring Under an Illusion

Link to an edited transcript of an interview with Anton Jäger conducted by Doug Henwood:

“Laboring Under an Illusion”

It would have been nice to see a further elaboration on the issue of “status” with work and jobs — such as work to gain status or influence others — that is only mentioned in passing but otherwise this interview is informative and rebuts the silly autonomist, UBI, etc. arguments that have been floating around for the last few decades.

Matthew Stanley – Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant

Link to a review of Ron Chernow‘s book Grant (2017) by Matthew Stanley:

“Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant”

 

Selected quote: “To the extent that it overturns reactionary narratives and underscores the radical potential of the American past, Chernow’s Grant should be commended as a gain for truth. But his stress on the importance of political rights without discussion of how the market renders those political rights vulnerable (or even futile) is the primary shortcoming of liberal accounts of the Reconstruction era — and of liberal politics today.”

 

Bonus links: Democracy in America? and Golden Rule and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt and Review of Lenin

Ginger Jentzen – Minneapolis’ Housing Plan Rewards Developers, Punishes Working People

Link to an article by Ginger Jentzen:

“Minneapolis’ Housing Plan Rewards Developers, Punishes Working People”

 

Bonus links: “Residents an Afterthought in Public Housing Privatization Coverage” and “‘Poor Door’ Tenants of Luxury Tower Reveal the Financial Apartheid Within” and “The Corporate Steamroller of Gentrification is a Deliberate Process” and “Turning Libraries Into Condos” and “Capitalism Can’t Give Us Affordable Housing” and “Why Rent Control? An Interview with Kshama Sawant” and “MPHA Enlists Rep. Ilhan Omar for Its Privatization Campaign” and “We Can Have Beautiful Public Housing” and The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Bonus quote:

“This is the real estate state: a government . . .  fine-tuned to ensure that government actions are calibrated toward rising profits for developers, landlords, speculators, and flippers. Like other state assemblages (the welfare state, the carceral state, the warfare state, etc.) the real estate state is never totalizing, but its influence is particularly strong at the local level, where most US land use decisions take place.

Whatever problems planners attack, the solutions they propose are likely to include luxury development as a key component — even when that problem is a lack of affordable housing. Planners in the real estate state are tasked with stoking property values: either because they are low and investors want them higher, or because they are already high and . . . their deflation could bring down an entire budgetary house of cards. Working to curb speculation and develop public and decommodified housing seem like absurd propositions to a planning regime whose first assumption is that future public gains come first through real estate growth.

In this system, gentrification is a feature not a bug.”

“Gentrification Is a Feature, Not a Bug, of Capitalist Urban Planning” (for what it’s worth, this article makes a very confused reference to real estate developers et al. as “capitalists”)

Daniel Zamora – Should We Care About Inequality?

Link to an article by Daniel Zamora:

“Should We Care About Inequality?”

 

This is really an article about historical battles for ideological hegemony.

Bonus links: Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Trouble in Paradise and Making Money and The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

John Steppling – Before the Law

Link to an article by John Steppling:

“Before the Law”

 

While fairly detailed in its analysis and proffered support, the asserted parallels with fascist regimes of the past aren’t fully convincing.  Does the current moment not have neo-feudalist (or neo-Bonapartist) aspects?  Doesn’t the present moment have some unique features without complete historical precedent?

Bonus link: The Courts Are Political