AbstractIn History and Revolution, a group of respected historians confronts the conservative, revisionist trends in historical enquiry that have been dominant in the last twenty years. Ranging from an exploration of the English, French, and Russian revolutions and their treatment by revisionist historiography, to the debates and themes arising from attempts to downplay revolution’s role in history, History and Revolution also engages with several prominent revisionist historians, including Orlando Figes, Conrad Russell and Simon Schama. (Verso)
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Who makes revolution in the age of speculative design?Chukhrov, Keti (European University at Saint-Petersburg, 2018-12-28)Contemporary theories of social emancipation contend that it is time to dispense with the concept of revolution and leave it merely as the legacy of political struggles belonging to the age of industrial economy. Today’s globalization, semio-capital, speculative design, crypto-economy, and artificial intelligence would engage epistemologically different emancipatory lexicons and techniques of resistance. All new futurisms posit technological solutions for hitherto political stakes. What remains unheeded in them is the existential need for cognitive equality and social continuity with the masses in constructing the collective subject of emancipation. Recent election results in the U.S., U.K., Eastern Europe, and Russia diagnose an immense cognitive rupture between the producers of emancipatory lexicons and disadvantaged workers. Such a split between mind and body was already made apparent in Hegel’s dialectics of lord and bondsman. In order to surpass this split, it is of utmost importance to reconsider the conditions in which the premature construction of the proletariat took place in the context of the October revolution. The proletariat was posited in this case not only as revolutionary subject, but as the principal subject of Enlightenment as well.
Anticipating a 4th Industrial revolution and the futures of learning: a discussion paper for Wolverhampton Learning City RegionConnor, Stuart; Mahoney, Mary; Lewis, Natalie (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-04-23)What learning is needed for the 21st Century and what changes can be made for learners today and for tomorrow? What skills, knowledge and experience are needed for jobs that do not exist yet? What institutions and relations and practices will be needed to support the school leavers, apprentices and graduates of 2020 and 2040? In a world that it is projected to change rapidly and unevenly, what role will learning have in helping anticipate and shape the future? Public sector, market, third sector leaders are faced with some critical challenges and choices. Exponential advances in genetic engineering, nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, graphene and additive manufacturing (3D printing) are set to constitute a 4th industrial revolution. A 4th industrial revolution is not just characterised by particular technologies but the fusions between these technologies, the capacity to redraw the lines between physical, digital, and biological domains and the potential scale, speed and spread of these changes. The breadth of skills and functions afforded by new technologies will not only have an impact on the number and type of jobs available across all sections of the job market, but also have the potential to challenge existing divisions of labour and the nature, value and meaning of work and learning. Of course, one of the major challenges and contradictions when anticipating futures, is how can one prepare for the unknown? This is a major challenge. There is no consensus as to the number of jobs that will be lost or created as a result of a 4th industrial revolution, but it is anticipated there will be no more routine jobs in the future. Investment in the development of knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) subjects is self-evident, but social, creative and critical thinking skills will be vital as they not only prove resistant to automation, but are essential to efforts to anticipate and engage with the disruption and challenges of a 4th industrial revolution. By anticipating the changes on the horizon, there is an opportunity to review and redefine the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s learners. Due to the scale of change that is anticipated it is argued that no one agency will be in a position to meet the grand challenges of a 4th industrial revolution. The level, scale and pace of change require both long-term thinking and cross-sector action. Subsequently a potential role for a nascent learning region will be to help to surface, assess and develop the future readiness of all those who live and work in the region.
Deflowered Revolution: An Ethical Examination of Neo-Liberal Tactics of PacificationAltintzoglou, Evripidis; Altintzoglou, Evripides (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016)During the last two decades we have become familiar with new forms of protest. These new types of protest direct their discontent towards the system in ways that involve the general public, trying to affect change by spreading the feeling of discontent so that governments succumb to wider pressure. These forms of protest are radically different from a strike at a factory or a mine in that they do not affect only those immediately involved – e.g. the owner of a business or multinational companies and government bodies. To a certain extent radical forms of protest such as rioting and looting share this principle. More recently, the Tottenham riots (London, UK) led to widespread looting of retail stores and were heavily criticized for being driven by consumerist desire. This was the view propagated by the media, government officials and surprisingly by leading voices of the left (Bauman, Žižek, Hall). Although we should not be hasty in dismissing looting, we should question the nature of the tactics of any forms of protest that allow themselves to become suspiciously linked with consumerist desire. This is so, because the claim that a desire for goods is the overriding determining factor here aims precisely at deflating the political significance of these riots. By employing Alain Badiou’s model of Ethics we are in a position to deal with the root of the problem: what allows for riots that involve looting to be susceptible to the Evils (privations) posed by the accusations of being associated with consumerist desire? What does a public unrest of this nature need in order to avoid ideological demeaning (accusations of consumerist desire) and sustain their fidelity to revolutionary Truth?