Friday, 11 March 2011

'The Working Day' & Upcoming Events

1) Volume I Group: 'The Working Day'

The previous Volume I reading session introduced by Tony Phillips on 'Labour & Valorization - Constant Capital and Variable Capital' is available here:

Our next session will be on "The Working Day": the chapter in which Marx analyses the class struggle over the length of the working day and the process that gave rise to the factory acts.

The discussion will be intoduced by Simon Behrman (author of Shostakovich: Socialism, Stalin and Symphonies) - All welcome!

Monday 14th March
Room S2.31

Strand Building
King's College London

N.B. We will be reading Vol.I chapter 10 for this session.

"The capitalist has his own views of this ultima Thule [the outermost limit], the necessary limit of the working-day. As capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the soul of capital. But capital has one single life impulse, the tendency to create value and surplus-value, to make its constant factor, the means of production, absorb the greatest possible amount of surplus-labour."

"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him."

"We see then, that, apart from extremely elastic bounds, the nature of the exchange of commodities itself imposes no limit to the working-day, no limit to surplus-labour. The capitalist maintains his rights as a purchaser when he tries to make the working-day as long as possible, and to make, whenever possible, two working-days out of one. On the other hand, the peculiar nature of the commodity sold implies a limit to its consumption by the purchaser, and the labourer maintains his right as seller when he wishes to reduce the working-day to one of definite normal duration. There is here, therefore, an antinomy, right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchanges. Between equal rights force decides. Hence is it that in the history of capitalist production, the determination of what is a working-day, presents itself as the result of a struggle, a struggle between collective capital, i.e., the class of capitalists, and collective labour, i.e., the working-class."

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2) Volume II Group:

The Volume II group is moving on to read Part III on 'The Reproduction and Circulation of the Aggregate Social Capital'. We will not be holding fortnightly meetings for the time being, but hope to return with a special event later in the year.

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3) Upcoming events:


A special event on the Arab revolts with Gigi Ibrahim, Wassim Wagdy, Alex Callinicos, Peyman Jafari, Judith Orr & Mohamed Tonsi

Sunday 13 March
11am – 4pm

The Camden Centre, Judd Street, London WC1H 9LZ
Nearest tubes: King’s Cross & Euston
£10 waged / £5 unwaged
Hosted by the Socialist Workers Party in association with Marxism 2011

Plenary sessions:
· Eyewitnesses to the revolutions
· Revolution in the 21st Century

· Imperialism and the Arab states
· Permanent revolution
· Prospects for Iran
· Palestine and the Arab revolts

Gigi Ibrahim – Egyptian activist. She was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on the BBC’s Newsnight, leading to the memorably exchange: Paxman: “Do you have an ideology?” Gigi: “Of course. I'm a revolutionary socialist.” Watch the interview here:

Mohamed Tonsi – Eyewitness to both the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.

Wassim Wagdy – Egyptian activist. Wassim’s speeches on the Egyptian revolution have been widely circulated online.

Alex Callinicos – Professor of European Studies at Kings College London & editor of International Socialism Alex is the author of several books, including Imperialism and Global Political Economy, Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World, An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto and Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx.

Judith Orr – Editor of Socialist Worker who wrote eyewitness reports on the revolution from Tahrir Square. Judith is also the author of Sexism and the System: A Rebel’s Guide to Women’s Liberation.

- Taking Control Conference:

SOAS, University of London 12th March 2011
Keynote: Professor Jodi Dean
Other speakers include: Professor Peter Hallward, Dr Alberto Toscano,
Dr Paul Blackledge
For more information see

- Education Activist Network: TEACH-IN FOR THE RESISTANCE

Wednesday 16 March 4-8pm

After the increase in tuition fees and abolition of EMA, a mass demonstration on 26 March could reinvigorate the fight for education – as could a lecturers’ strike, and protests and student action on Budget Day. But our movement also faces new challenges.

Universities have accepted blood money from dictators and invested heavily in the arms trade - and a student occupation has forced the LSE to use the money it accepted from Saif Gaddafi into a scholarship fund for Libyan students Multiculturalism is under attack by those who would divide and undermine our movement, and students have been the target of horse charges, dawn raids, pepper spray and kettling for daring to protest for education.

Join students, education workers, academics, journalists and campaigners to debate the challenges facing our movement and the strategies to overcome them.

4pm The fight for Education – Learning from Wisconsin– LSE
Live video link-up with student and teacher from Wisconsin. Doors open 3:30pm

5pm Workshops – KCL
- Defending the Right to Protest
Hosted by Stop Kettling Our Kids and Defend the Right to Protest – includes Alfie Meadows and a speaker from Liberty
- The role of social media in the movement
Panel debate with Laurie Penny (journalist), Richard Seymour (blogger) and Aaron Peters (UK Uncut)
- Defending Multiculturalism
Don’t let David Cameron divide us! With Liz Fekete, Institute for Race Relations and Martin Smith, Love Music Hate Racism
- Building Universities of International Solidarity
With speakers from the LSE occupation in solidarity with Libya and the campaign for BDS in support of Palestine.

6:30pm Rally – KCL Lucas Theatre
- March 26th – Building for our Day of Anger
With Fightback author Guy Aitchinson, Egyptian revolution eyewitness Wassim Wagdy, activists from UCU and the Villiers School student strike and Billy Hayes, CWU General Secretary.

Download a poster and leaflet for the event that you can print, copy and distribute – and don’t forget to join the event on Facebook.