This pathbreaking book offers a radical analysis of how people play, produce, and profit from video games, and the major role the industry plays in contemporary capitalism.
In Marx at the Arcade, acclaimed researcher Jamie Woodcock delves into the hidden abode of the gaming industry. In an account that will appeal to hardcore gamers, digital skeptics, and the joystick-curious, Woodcock unravels the vast networks of artists, software developers, and factory and logistics workers whose seen and unseen labor flows into the products we consume on a gargantuan scale. Along the way, he analyzes the increasingly important role the gaming industry plays in contemporary capitalism and the broader transformations of work and the economy that it embodies.
Jamie Woodcockis a sociologist of work, focusing on digital labor, the gig economy, and resistance. He is currently a fellow at the London School of Economics and is the author of the award-winning Working the Phones(2016). He is on the editorial board of Historical Materialism and an editor of Notes from Below, an online journal of workers’ inquiry.
Despite clear (and important!) differences, as well as notable exceptions, the bulk of our two party system is in profound agreement on maintaining a racialized status quo, a carceral state, and American imperialism. Democrats and Republicans largely share a bipartisan commitment to the military-industrial complex and US empire. Together, they inspired and shaped the bipartisan commitment to mass incarceration. Conservatives and liberals have shared a commitment to markets and private property that has allowed and fostered persistent racial segregation and inequality—even in the absence of any formal or explicit codification of that inequality, except as guided by longstanding ideologies of paternalism. Jumping off from the new book Shaped by the State, this panel will explore the deep affinities for warmaking, racism, and incarceration at the heart of official US politics, and chart a course towards alternatives.
Queer trivia is postponed until next month, but we thought we'd get the ball rolling with some queer bar programming in the meantime! Swing by to celebrate spring, relax on the patio, enjoy drink specials (alcoholic and non-alcoholic!) and make some new friends!
In Occult Features of Anarchism, Erica Lagalisse sets straight the history of the Left, illustrating the actual relationship between modern revolutionism, occult philosophy, and the clandestine fraternity: Questions of class respectability may lead Leftists to ignore “conspiracy theory”, yet in doing so neo-fascist theories of history gain ground. Inspired by research within today’s anarchist movements, Lagalisse's latest work also serves to challenge contemporary anarchist “atheism”, which poses practical challenges for coalition politics in the 21st century. Finally, by studying the history of anarchism, Lagalisse also shows how the development of Leftist theory and practice within clandestine masculine “public” spheres continues to inform 21st century anarchist understandings of the ‘political’, in which men’s oppression by the state becomes the prototype for power in general.
From one of the most prominent voices on the American Left, a galvanizing argument for why we need socialism in the United States today
Cosponsored by Baltimore DSA!
The success of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign revived a political idea many had thought dead. But what, exactly, is socialism? And what would a socialist system in America look like?
In The Socialist Manifesto, Bhaskar Sunkara explores socialism’s history since the mid-1800s and presents a realistic vision for its future. The editor of Jacobinmagazine, Sunkara shows that socialism, though often seen primarily as an economic system, in fact offers the means to fight all forms of oppression, including racism and sexism. The ultimate goal is not Soviet-style planning, but to win rights to healthcare, education, and housing, and to create new democratic institutions in workplaces and communities. A primer on socialism for the 21st century, this is a book for anyone seeking an end to the vast inequities of our age.
Spring! It’s a
time of hope, renewal and blooming—but not everything is coming up
roses in our world. We need poetry to help weed out the evil and
ignorance! Join us for an open mic of justice, conscious thought,
spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village! In the
tradition of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine, come drop
some rad “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and
energy. Our theme is “Peace, Justice, Poetry!” By the way: it’s
a non-erotic venue, so rather than a love & erotica evening, we
focus this night on justice and other matters of life. And, almost
needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary
Joining us from
Connecticut for the evening is Baub Bidon! Baub (pronounced “Bawb”)
is a Haitian/African American poet, actor, writer, and playwright.
He has worked on sets with artists ranging from Busta Rhyme, Black
Rob, and Pharaoh Monch to Missy Elliot, Nas, Eve and Mary J Blige, to
name a few. Inspired by poets such as Ngoma, James Baldwin, Gil Scot
Heron, and Saul Williams and playwright August Wilson, Baub
chronicles urban life. He writes to tell stories often cultivated from ghettos and jails throughout the United States. His poetry
speaks of injustice and poverty, and he hopes that his work uplifts
and empowers those who are, and have been, victims of oppression.
Baub has worked in prisons alongside Lyrics on Lockdown, in schools
and after-school programs, and more. Delivered with Hip Hop and Jazz
fused with Blues, Baub’s work conceptualizes the idea of a better
tomorrow, and a brighter day. He is a member of the National
Association for Campus Activities (NACA), and was a member of the
2012 Connecticut slam team, Verbal Slap.
Baub is the author
of A Glimpse: Spoken Word In Back Pockets (Collected Poems), and has
produced a CD by the same name. As a member of the Blackout Arts
Collective, he was a writer for the production of What It Iz: the
Spoken Wordical, a Hip Hop/Spoken Word adaptation of the 1970s
musical and film, The Wiz. He has appeared in various film and
theater projects, and has contributed to written anthologies. Baub
Bidon is the founder and Host of FREE 2 SPIT
(www.facebook.com/free2spit), a poetry open mic and potluck which
takes place every first Friday of the month (except for January) at
the New Haven Peoples Center.
it down for the evening is Analysis—poet/spoken word artist,
bookseller, educator, minister, justice & human rights
theoretician… Y’all know what’s up!
What is democracy really? What do we mean when we use the term? And can it ever truly exist?
There is no shortage of democracy, at least in name, and yet it is in crisis everywhere we look. From a cabal of thieving plutocrats in the White House to rising inequality and xenophobia worldwide, it is clear that democracy—specifically the principle of government by and for the people—is not living up to its promise.
In Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone, Astra Taylor shows that real democracy—fully inclusive and completely egalitarian—has in fact never existed. In a tone that is both philosophical and anecdotal, weaving together history, theory, the stories of individuals, and conversations with such leading thinkers as Cornel West, Danielle Allen, and Wendy Brown, Taylor invites us to reexamine the term. Is democracy a means or an end, a process or a set of desired outcomes? What if the those outcomes, whatever they may be—peace, prosperity, equality, liberty, an engaged citizenry—can be achieved by non-democratic means? Or if an election leads to a terrible outcome? If democracy means rule by the people, what does it mean to rule and who counts as the people?
The inherent paradoxes are too often unnamed and unrecognized. By teasing them out, Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone offers a better understanding of what is possible, what we want, and why democracy is so hard to realize.
The image of the anarchist assassin haunted the corridors of power and the popular imagination in the late nineteenth century. Fear spawned a gross but persistent stereotype: a swarthy "Italian" armed with a bloody knife or revolver and bred to violence by a combination of radical politics, madness, innate criminality, and poor genes. That Italian anarchists targeted--and even killed--high-profile figures added to their exaggerated, demonic image.
Nunzio Pernicone and Fraser M. Ottanelli dig into the transnational experiences and the historical, social, cultural, and political conditions behind the phenomenon of anarchist violence in Italy. Looking at political assassinations in the 1890s, they illuminate the public effort to equate anarchy's goals with violent overthrow. Throughout, Pernicone and Ottanelli combine a cutting-edge synthesis of the intellectual origins, milieu, and nature of Italian anarchist violence with vivid portraits of its major players and their still-misunderstood movement.
A bold challenge to conventional thinking, Assassins against the Old Order demolishes a century of myths surrounding anarchist violence and its practitioners.
Baltimore's Shawna Potter, singer for the band War On Women, has tackled sexism and harassment in lyrics and on stage for years. Taking the battle to music venues themselves, she has trained night clubs and community spaces in how to create safer environments for marginalized people. Now she’s turned decades of experience into a clear and concise guide for public spaces of all sorts—from art galleries to bagel shops to concert halls—that want to shut down harassers wherever they show up. The steps she outlines are realistic, practical, and actionable. With the addition of personal stories, case studies, sample policies, and no-nonsense advice like “How to Flirt without Being a Creep,” she shows why safer spaces are important, while making it easier to achieve them. Punk passion, candor, and anger get the job done!
A masterful narrative—with echoes of Evicted and The Color of Law—that brings to life the structures, policies, and beliefs that divide us.
Mark Lange and Nicole Smith have never met, but if they make the moves they are contemplating—Mark, a white suburbanite, to West Baltimore, and Nicole, a black woman from a poor city neighborhood, to a prosperous suburb—it will defy the way the Baltimore region has been programmed for a century. It is one region, but separate worlds. And it was designed to be that way.
In this deeply reported, revelatory story, duPont Award–winning journalist Lawrence Lanahan chronicles how the region became so highly segregated and why its fault lines persist today. Mark and Nicole personify the enormous disparities in access to safe housing, educational opportunities, and decent jobs. As they eventually pack up their lives and change places, bold advocates and activists—in the courts and in the streets—struggle to figure out what it will take to save our cities and communities: Put money into poor, segregated neighborhoods? Make it possible for families to move into areas with more opportunity?
The Lines Between Us is a riveting narrative that compels reflection on America’s entrenched inequality—and on where the rubber meets the road not in the abstract, but in our own backyards. Taking readers from church sermons to community meetings to public hearings to protests to the Supreme Court to the death of Freddie Gray, Lanahan deftly exposes the intricacy of Baltimore’s hypersegregation through the stories of ordinary people living it, shaping it, and fighting it, day in and day out.
This eye-opening account of how a city creates its black and white places, its rich and poor spaces, reveals that these problems are not intractable; but they are designed to endure until each of us—despite living in separate worlds—understands we have something at stake.
After centuries of colonial domination and a twentieth century riddled with dictatorships, indigenous peoples in Bolivia embarked upon a social and political struggle that would change the country forever. As part of that project activists took control of their own history, starting in the 1960s by reaching back to oral traditions and then forward to new forms of print and broadcast media. This book tells the fascinating story of how indigenous Bolivians recovered and popularized histories of past rebellions, political models, and leaders, using them to build movements for rights, land, autonomy, and political power. Drawing from rich archival sources and the author’s lively interviews with indigenous leaders and activist-historians, The Five Hundred Year Rebellion describes how movements tapped into centuries-old veins of oral history and memory to produce manifestos, booklets, and radio programs on histories of resistance, wielding them as tools to expand their struggles and radically transform society.
Benjamin Dangl has a PhD in Latin American history from McGill University and has worked as a journalist throughout Latin America for over fifteen years, covering politics and protest movements for outlets such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Nation, Salon, Vice, and NACLA Report on the Americas. He is the author ofThe Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia and Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America, both published by AK Press. Dangl edits TowardFreedom.org, a progressive perspective on world events, and teaches at Champlain College.