27. Multitudes 27 : Winter 2006

Multitudes : Winter

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Jérôme Ceccaldi. Revenu garanti et puissance d’agir
The theoretical foundation supporting the establishment of a basic (universal, guaranteed and unconditional) income scheme is not a matter to be dealt only by scholars specializing in capitalism or in the crisis of the welfare State. Spinoza’s philosophy, with its emphasis on agency and empowerment, helps us understand the wider stakes of this issue : it allows us to promote basic guaranteed income as an adaptation to the most recent social transformations (« post-fordism »), and as a remuneration of forms of activity that go beyond the usual narrow definitions of productivity.

Christian Marazzi. Amortissement du corps-machine
The dematerialization of the productive process tends to transform capital into a « living » form of human capital, mobilized into the production of men by men. Basic income thus becomes a form of « bio-income », geared towards guaranteeing the autonomy of the living within a historically determined mode of production.

Christian Marazzi, Antonella Corsani. Biorevenu et resocialisation de la monnaie. Conversation
In the interview that follows his article, Christian Marazzi discusses the question of a « bio-income » generated « ex-nihilo », i.e., financed by sheer monetary creation. Isn’t basic income necessarily to be seen as « capital », insofar as it consists in money ? Can it retain its monetary nature : money as a form of escape ?

Antonella Corsani. Quelles sont les conditions nécessaires pour l’émergence de multiples récits du monde ? Penser le revenu garanti à travers l’histoire des luttes des femmes et de la théorie féministe
This article situates « basic income » within a critical perspective, and considers it as a « problem », as a source of questioning. By crossing disciplinary borders (and by looking outside of political economy and its critique), it finds its inspiration in feminist theory, where basic income appears as a necessary condition (even though not a sufficient one). Basic income provides a way of displacing the binary categories that govern us (working vs. jobless ; active vs. inactive ; employable vs. unemployable). Basic income appears as a necessary (if not sufficient) condition for new narratives and new forms of life to emerge.

Valérie Marange. L’Intermittent et l’immuable
The forms of subjectivity imposed by neo-liberalism, by promoting risk and private entrepreneurship, generate insecurity, dereliction, and withdrawal among those who feel exposed. In his courses devoted to neo-liberalism, Foucault linked material security with ethical autonomy, paving the way for the understanding of new relationships between health and social services, relationship which are emerge now explicitly in the movement of the “intermittents”.

Évelyne Perrin, Jérôme Tisserand. Entretien avec Antonella Corsani et Carlo Vercellone
How to provide for an income for all considering the very different forms precarity takes in real life ? Our discussion mostly focuses on three formats : a guaranteed income equal to the minimum wage, as demanded associations of unemployed people ; « professional social security », which is the CGT Union’s (France’s largest) call ; and the proposal towards a « New Model » as put forward by the Co-ordination des intermittents et des précaires, the social movement of French ‘precarious people’.

Carlo Vercellone, Jean-Marie Monnier. Fondements et faisabilité du revenu social garanti
The hypothesis of cognitive capitalism and the re-examination of the notion of productive labor lead to a radical reform of the distribution of wealth. A Guaranteed Social Income (GSI) scheme is the keystone of such reform, which is why it is often criticized, especially in terms of its financial feasibility. Because there are close links between feasibility and the economic foundations of the GSI (i.e., its grounding in a new definition of productive labor), the establishment of GSI requires a profound reform of the system of transfers and taxation.

Andrea Fumagalli, Stefano Lucarelli. Marché du travail, bio-économie et revenu d’existence
By treating labor like any other tradable good, orthodox economic models ignore various features that define the specificity of the labor market (disponibility, solvability, alienation). Taking into account such features, as the new situation generated by the emergence of cognitive capitalism forces us to do, requires a major change in paradigm. In the new “bio-economic” paradigm, classical distinctions between production and reproduction, consumption and production, leisure and work tend to vanish, while labor increasingly appears as a common good. The most important input being life itself, a just retribution of productive forces must now include a retribution for living, i.e., a universal, unconditional and guaranteed basic income.

Yann Moulier Boutang. Le revenu garanti ou salariat affaibli, condition structurelle d’un régime vivable de capitalisme cognitif
The current transformations that simultaneously affect work, the substance and the form of value all lead to a profound instability which brings capitalism back to a pre-Keynesian situation. The emergence of a stable regime of cognitive capitalism faces a major contradiction : on the one hand, the new forms of employment promoted by cognitive capitalism tend to make a guaranteed income scheme the only form of retribution suitable to the new regime of production ; at the same time, this form of retribution undermines the relationship of command and domination which capitalism must impose in order to perpetuate itself. In fact, one observes, within cognitive capitalism, a perpetual oscillation between its openness to the emancipatory forces it unleashes and the repressive moves through which it attempts to re-codify the capture of working hours and the production of knowledge.

Jean Zin. Revenu garanti, coopératives municipales et monnaies locales
A guaranteed Income scheme is inescapable in this age of information, autonomous labor and human development, but it is also the only possible ecological response to bail out from the productivist consequences of waged labor. Yet, in order to develop an alternative mode of production, one needs to look not only at incomes, but also into production itself, that is of the means of productions as well as of the monetary and commercial flows. In a new, environmentally sound approach towards re-localising the economy, a guaranteed income, municipal co-operatives, and local currency set-ups are necessarily concurrent features towards a new system of production, and new forms of social relations not based on wage labor, in this era of immaterial labor and commercial globalisation.

Ariel Kyrou. Émeutes : chronique d’une politique-spectacle
The suburban riots of November 2005 retrospectively appear as a testimony of an urge to express oneself without words : this movement of revolt was voiceless, within a society affected by a crisis of language. The opposition does not stand between institutions which talk and youth who do not speak. If there is indeed a breakdown, it is to be located at the level of transmission, not at the level of speech.

Marc Hatzfeld. Des babils et de la langue chez les parias des cités
Within and against a French language perceived as compulsory and dominant, always under threat of punishments, linguistic escapes take countless shapes within the suburbs. This is to be seen as a valuable form of resistance, since an over-regulated language forbids mistakes, misunderstandings, strangeness, thus impoverishing human relations.

Monique Selim. Une anthropologue entre banlieues et monde
« An anthropologist from the suburbs to the world. » I had never been to the suburbs and had never had any contact with a working-class population. I was in a position of total discovery, both social and imaginary. I was 25 years old and the women I was interviewing were 35 to 40. It was a kind of social relation I had never experienced. That was still the late 60s/70s, when there was this immense desire for the unknown, when the other was everything.

Peter Weibel. Birgit Jürgenssen, ou le body art contre la sémiotique du Capital
Birgit Jürgenssen has introduced feminism within the artistic field since the 1970s. She methodically deconstructs the positions assigned to women, in particular that of housewife. Inspired by surrealism and ethnography, she sheds light upon the intersection between class, race and gender. The female body becomes unknown territory in her drawings and photographs.

Edith Futscher. Danses de Birgit Jürgenssen
Two directions are analysed within Birgit Jürgenssen’s series of photographs entitled Totentanz mit Mädchen through the use of masks and the intertwining of colliding genres, this burlesque work of 1979-1980 provides a Bakhtinian laughter and mockery of dominant culture.