Suddhabrata Deb Roy
Suddhabrata Deb Roy is a PhD. Candidate in the Department of Sociology, University of Otago. He mainly works on Marxist theory, Political Economy, Feminism and Social Movements
This important discussion of the most recent developments in the commodification of media and culture goes beyond market-based analyses of relations of exchange and locates their central dynamic in the alienated forms of human relations that characterize contemporary forms of the capitalist mode of production.
—Peter Hudis, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Oakton Community College and author of Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism) and Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades.
A vital exploration of Marxist and critical theory in relation to the lived reality of a society permeated by social media; features a strong discussion of the Global South.
—Kevin B. Anderson, Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study, Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies, and Dialectics of revolution : Hegel, Marxism, and its critics through a lens of race, class, gender, and colonialism (Daraja Press, 2020)
Technology is one of the central elements of contemporary human life. The world as one knows it today is a space increasingly mediated by technological interventions, be it in the field of contemporary cultural expressions or political, organizational forms. Social media has played an important role in this transformation. Gone are the days when social media was merely a conduit for conversations. Today, it is a diverse field of operations spanning advertising mechanisms, branding processes and even direct commercial exchanges between users: the prime focus of this particular book. The book analyses real-world interactions, interviews and observations through the theoretical framework provided by Marxist political economy and social theory. It draws upon the theoretical scope provided by Marx’s dialectical methods of social analysis and uses it to unearth the effects that trading and commercial activities performed through virtual communities have on society and individuals.
Suddhabrata Deb Roy is a PhD. Candidate in the Department of Sociology, University of Otago. He mainly works on Marxist theory, Political Economy, Feminism and Social Movements
Technology is one of the central elements of contemporary human life. Today’s world is increasingly mediated by technological interventions, be it in the field of cultural expressions or political and organizational forms. Social media has played an important role in this transformation. Gone are the days when social media was merely a conduit for conversations. Today, it is a diverse field of operations spanning advertising mechanisms, branding processes and even direct commercial exchanges between users, the prime focus of this book.
Direct user-to-user trading through social media within an institutional form is a relatively new aspect of social media. Yet, just like every other innovation within market relations, social media commerce or trading has also changed how individuals interact with their socio-political fabric. This book analyses these alterations and critically investigates the role of capital in creating them.
The book analyses real-world interactions, interviews and observations through the theoretical framework provided by Marxist political economy and social theory. It draws upon the theoretical scope provided by Marx’s dialectical methods of social analysis and uses it to reveal the effects that trading and commercial activities performed through virtual communities have on society and individuals.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Social Media Commerce and the Marxist Mode of Analysis
Introducing social media commerce and the importance of a Marxist analysis focusing on the perennial relevance of Marx’s dialectical method.
Chapter 1: Capitalism’s Commodity
A descriptive analysis of commodities under capitalism – their role and importance in the capitalist socio-economic and cultural system.
Chapter 2: The Fetish of the Commodity
Commodity fetishism plays an overarching role in the continued sustenance of capitalism, its relations of production and accumulation strategies.
Chapter 3: The Commodity Society
The domination of commodities on human lives has altered the fundamental basis of contemporary human society where commodities, and not human beings, are the foundational elements.
Chapter 4: The Social Market
The market of social media and how it has affected individuals and the communities that these individuals form, especially on social media.
Chapter 5: The Consumer Society
Capitalism creates a society of consumers to suit its own needs. In this society, human needs and desires have been fused, creating newer avenues for capital to make profits.
Chapter 6: The Question of Technology, Communication and Culture
The centrality of technology to capitalist exploitation and oppression in contemporary society – its impact on communicative methods and socio-economic culture.
Chapter 7: Needs, Capital and Social Media Commerce
Human lives are alienated under capitalism to such an extent that even their own needs are not theirs anymore, especially in these times of social media proliferation.
Chapter 8: The ‘Fulfilling’ Life
The demystification of the capitalist propaganda of the possibility of a fulfilling life under capitalism.
Chapter 9: Commodity Circulation and Consumption
The relationship between the circulation of commodities and consumption and the overarching role that capitalist commodity production plays in the process.
Chapter 10: The Circulation of Capital
The circulation of capital and its relationship with commodity production creating accelerated capital accumulation and oppression.
Chapter 11: Commercial Capital and Social Media Commerce
Commercial capital’s role in social media commerce and its implications on society and the individual lives therein.
Chapter 12: The Society of Working-Customers
The creation of a society where individuals act as customers and work as customers being working customers.
Chapter 13: The Regime of Private Property
Property relations under capitalism are the basis of capitalist oppression. Possession of individual property does nothing to change the terms of oppression.
Chapter 14: Personal Property, Social Media Commerce and Accumulation
Personal property in the day and age of social media commerce has become a means to further capital accumulation.
Conclusion: ‘Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets!’ said Karl Marx
Profit accumulation is the central doctrine of all capitalist societies. The only good capital is the capital that does not seek profits, and there is no such thing as Capital that does not seek profits. Hence, there cannot be a society that is both capitalist and human at the same time.
|Categories:||Civics & Citizenship, Development, Dialectics, Economic Conditions, Globalization, Leftism, Marx, Philosophy, Political Science, Social Science|
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This book, originally published by AwaaZ in Kenya, provides insights into journalists of Indian origin who wrote about the struggles of Kenyan people.
Given the growing interest in understanding the meaning, manifestations, analyses and implications of racism in North/South relations, White Saviorism in International Development seeks to remedy the shortcomings of the development studies literature on the prevalence of White Saviorism in Western development initiatives in the Global South. The volume comprises theoretical chapters, testimonies, stories and lived experiences from 19 contributors from across the Global South. With sensitivity and intelligence, these practitioners and academics create a tapestry that unveils the implicit and explicit forms of White Saviorism in international development.
Edited by: Themrise Khan, Kanakulya Dickson, Maïka Sondarjee
Combining praxis-informed theorization and accounts grounded in authors’ own experiences in the White Savior Industrial Complex, these succinct and accessible chapters bring the realities of racial capitalism in international development to life. I was both educated and enraged! — Alana Lentin, author of Why Race Still Matters
This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand how many people contribute to upholding an oppressive White supremacist global system. — Amiera Sawas, Researcher and Advocate
This is a terrific work of deep unmasking and engagement with the proverbial but the always invisible elephant in the room of international development, that of the White gaze—correctly rendered here as the “industrial-colonial-patriarchal-White savior complex.” Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, author of Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization
White Saviorism in International Development unveils the hypocrisies undergirding development projects led by the Global South for the Global South. … It examines the intimate linkages between coloniality, development, and White Saviorism.— Jairo I. Fúnez-Flores, Texas Tech University
White Saviorism in International Development is an important and timely book that should be read by all international development students and practitioners. — Dylan Mathews, CEO Peace Direct, Chairperson CIVICUS Alliance
Richard Pithouse’s extraordinary overview of the what is means to be human after 1492:
… On 9 August 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The movement that grew out of the rebellion that followed inaugurated a new sequence in the struggle against racism in the United States. As with previous sequences in that struggle it quickly acquired an international dimension, including here in South Africa. One aspect of this international moment has been an urgent confrontation with the reality that what Césaire called ‘abstract equality’ does not, on its own, mark an end to the racialization of life.
In the United States, and elsewhere, there is a sense that history is as present as it is past. Just over a decade ago, Baucom observed that “what-has-been is, cannot be undone, cannot cease to alter all the future-presents that flow out of it. Time does not pass or progress, it accumulates”. It is the sense that time accumulates into the present that has often led to the invocation of William Faulkner’s famous line from Requiem for a Nun in discussions about race: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The past does not merely haunt or shape the present via the enduring power of deep and impersonal structural forces. Across Europe, and in settler societies like Australia, Brazil and the United States, racism is an increasingly explicit and menacing presence at the centre of political and social life. White revanchism has rallied, often under demagogic leadership, to secure the racial order that emerged from the event of 1492. It has already resulted in Brexit in England, the impeachment of an elected President in Brazil and the election of a figure as grotesque as Trump in the United States.
We will not be able to transcend the epoch that began in 1492 without a politics that can confront and defeat this revanchism. And we will not have transcended this epoch until “things, in the most materialistic meaning of the word” are, as Fanon insists, “restored to their proper places”. But the catastrophe from which we are all derived is not solely a matter of material dispossession and accumulation. As Michael Monahan argues, in conversation with Wynter, “the history of colonialism is also the history of the emergence of the idea of Europe and of Europeans, and . . . it is such ideas and cultural practices that inevitably shape our consciousness, conditioning what counts as normal and, ultimately, as rational”.
Critically engaging Ato Sekyi-Otu’s notion of partisan universalism, this timely volume of essays speaks directly to the onto-metaphysical issues that will give Africana thought the new foundations that will enable it to move beyond the lin- guistic turn, brush aside the ashes of Afro-pessimism, engage Badiou’s new mathematical universalism, and to launch new projects of liberation on decolonized grounds of greater epistemic independence. A must read for all concerned with the future of Africana theory and praxis. — Paget Henry, author of Caliban’s Reason.
Responding to the invitation ‘to re-member severed but shareable things’, these lovers of truth, freedom, and dignity celebrate the searing intellect, generosity, wit, and compassion of the person and the scholar Ato Sekyi-Otu. … Combined with Sekyi-Otu’s autobiographical reflections of learning to be Black in the United States and insistence that Afropessimism turns the perverse ontology of the antiblack world into a Black ontology, this is a precious contribution. Not to be missed! —Jane Anna Gordon, author of Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement and co-editor (with Drucilla Cornell) of Creolizing Rosa Luxemburg
Ato Sekyi-Otu’s thought is one of the most important and exciting in Africa today. The texts compiled in this volume celebrate and engage with the work of Sekyi-Otu … They bear eloquent witness to Sekyi-Otu’s stature as a thinker and to his consistent commitment to the universalization of humanity in both theory and practice. Deeply anchored in African cultures and modes of life, Sekyi-Otu has shown how ideas of human universality are ingrained in African popular sayings and proverbs and are regularly reflected in artistic creations. — Michael Neocosmos, Emeritus Professor in the Humanities, Rhodes University, South Africa
This anthology in honour of Ato Sekyi-Otu is indispensable for those concerned with Frantz Fanon’s ideas of ‘ false’ and ‘ true ‘ decolonisation and about social humanist critique of post-structuralism’ s truncated version of anti-colonialism. Sekyi-Otu accomplishes precisely such a critique in his Fanon’s Dialectic of Experience and in Left Universalism, Africacentric Essays. The essays here are exemplars of such a critique which, together with Fanon and Sekyi -Otu, build a legacy for envisioning a post-imperialist world. The authors of this volume rescue post-colonial studies from a stale and unfruitful post-structuralist reading of anti-colonialism by positing an apparent paradox of ‘left ‘ or ‘ partisan’ universalism which can then be dialectically resolved. Intellectually and politically active at once, this anthology shows how Sekyi-Otu and his co- authors can help the reader to move beyond a binary and solipsistic stance towards a project of a real emancipation, a ‘ true ‘ decolonisation. In this neither the living experience individual nor the collectivity implied in the notion of the human lose their specificity and universality. — Himani Bannerji, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Department of Sociology, York University
This collection of essays celebrates the work of Ato Sekyi-Otu as a scholar, teacher and friend, marking his extraordinary contribution to the philosophy, politics and praxis of liberation. As Ato Sekyi-Otu has argued in his most recent book, Left Universalism, Africacentric Essays (Routlege 2019), universalism is an ‘inescapable presupposition of ethical judgment in general and critique in particular, especially indispensable for radical criticism of conditions of existence in postcolonial society and for vindicating visions of social regeneration’. Universalism must and can only be partisan. Edited by Gamal Abdel-Shehid and Sofia Noori, the collection includes essays by Stefan Kipfler, Patrick Taylor, Sophie Mcall, Gamal Abdel-Shehid, Jeremy M. Glick, Nigel C. Gibson, Jeff Noonan, Esteve Morera, Tyler Gasteiger, Olúfeṃ́i Táíẃò, Susan Dianne Brophy, Nergis Canefe, Chistoher Balcom, Lewis Gordon, and by Ato Sekyi-Otu himself.
A wave of mass protest movements has spread across North Africa and West Asia, including Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon and Iran. The mass protests have much in common, from opposing authoritarian regimes and worsening economic situations to demanding radical changes in social relations. Despite their similarities, each protest movement operates under different conditions that cannot be ignored. The specific historic, political and economic contexts of each country have determined who the key actors of the uprisings are and their location across old and new divides. This book elaborates on these similarities and differences to paint a clearer picture of these movements and draw out lessons to inform future struggles.
Sam Salour summarizes A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia, edited by Jade Saab. A collection of essays that provides a comprehensive review of the 2018-2019 wave of struggle in the region. In the third part of this multi-part series, Salour provides an introduction to the book and then outlines the essay “The Revolutionizing Nature of the Lebanese Uprising” by Jade Saab and Joey Ayoub.
Edited by Jade Saab, a Lebanese/Canadian researcher at the University of Glasgow, the contributors include Azza Mustafa and Sara Abbas (on Sudan); Hamza Hamouchene and Selma Oumari (on Algeria); Zeidon Alkinani (on Iraq); Jade Saab and Joey Ayoub (on Lebanon); and Frieda Afary (on Iran).
Insightful, timely analysis of the uprisings in Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. The book … demonstrates that the uprisings…carry the unyielding spirit of people’s resistance and struggle against both imperialism and local oppressive regimes.— Haifa Zangana, Iraqi novelist, author, artist, and political activist and author of Dreaming of Baghdad.
Whereas there is a plethora of books on the 2011 [Arab Spring] upsurge, this book is the only comprehensive overview of the second wave of revolt, which is here analysed from the standpoint of the popular struggle. — Gilbert Achcar, Professor at SOAS, University of London, author of The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising
A rich and informed account of the popular uprisings that have emerged across the Middle East in recent years. … [T]his book is a powerful testament to the new generation of activists who continue to seek long-term revolutionary change in the region. – Adam Hanieh, author of Money, Markets, and Monarchies: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Political Economy of the Contemporary Middle East (CUP 2018).
Last year a wave of militant protests spread across North Africa and West Asia, in a sustained, historic series of popular struggles. Emma Wilde Botta reviews A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia edited by Jade Saab. A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia edited by Jade Saab is the first and, to my knowledge, only comprehensive review of the uprisings that took place in Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. Each chapter is written by activist-scholars from the respective country who provide an overview of each country’s specific political and economic conditions. They show that, far from being ahistoric spontaneous events, the 2019 uprisings built upon past struggles, by tracing the legacies of resistance in each country and showing how they have impacted the newly emerged movements.
A Region in Revolt captures all of the hope and inspiration of the 2019 uprisings. One of the most significant achievements of these movements is that, in the words of Hamouchene and Oumari, ‘people discovered their political will and realised they are in control of their own destiny.’ These were undeniably class revolts, fueled by anger over poverty, unemployment, austerity, and corruption. Yet, the people in the streets largely imagined themselves as citizens. The challenges of how to bring people into motion as workers, how to develop independent working-class organizations, and how to develop a political alternative to capitalism continue to be pressing. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown another obstacle in the way. But there is no doubt that future struggles are on the horizon. A Region in Revolt helps us answer the question of what we can do now to prepare for them. – Emma Wilde Botta is a socialist activist and writer based in Oakland, California. She has written extensively on the Arab Spring, the Gulf States, Iran, and US imperialism. Her writing has appeared in TruthOut, the International Socialist Review, roape.net and Socialist Worker.
United we stand: anatomy of five revolutions: Mike Phipps reviews A Region in revolt: Mapping the recent uprisings in North Africa and West Asia, edited by Jade Saab, published by Daraja Press (Ottawa) & TNI (Amsterdam): We are nearly ten years on from the Arab Spring, a series of uprisings across the Middle East. When it began, argues Jade Saab in this important new book, it “was presented to the world through an orientalist lens… the awakening of the backwards Arab world.” For the west, it provided retroactive justification for the invasion of Iraq: “All democracy in the region needed was a nudge in the form of an illegal invasion and a million dead civilians.” This narrative allowed reactionary regimes in the region to paint the uprisings as western plots to destabilise their countries. Both these interpretations were bolstered by military interventions in Libya, Syria and Yemen. These military interventions upped the stakes considerably for any nascent popular uprising. If movements called for the fall of the regime, the regime could respond: “Do you want to become another Syria?” Yet the uprisings continued, and it is not too hyperbolic to refer to the last couple of years as a Second Arab Spring. This second wave is the focus of this book. The demands raised by these uprisings go beyond a change of political leadership: they call for a fundamental restructuring of society. The countries in question share similar political economies with an emphasis on extractivism and speculative investment. The spoils of these activities bypass ordinary people, fuelling the migration of skilled labour out of the region and massive rates of unemployment, especially among young people. They also share a common problem: “Debilitating national debt means that foreign finance has a vested interest in maintaining ‘stability’ in the region.” So unlike during the 2011 Arab Spring, “Western nations have refused to withdraw support from the various ruling classes in the region even though the intensity of protests has reached similar levels.” …
A Region in Revolt Edited by Jade Saab, Daraja Press If you’ve enjoyed [RED PEPPER’s] analysis of the ‘second wave’ of uprisings across some of North Africa and West Asia, then this book is a timely exploration of ground uncovered. Looking across Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, this collection of essays draws out the similarities and differences of the movements that are demanding radical social change under authoritarian regimes. One of the few books to explore the second wave of revolt, it is a fitting testament to a new generation of activists and their ongoing struggle for revolutionary change. RED PEPPER Winter 2020.
Africa Matters: Cultural politics, political economies, & grammars of protest provides a sampling of insightful articles from the first five issues of Nokoko, journal of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. It brings together pieces that the journal’s editorial board felt were particularly perspicacious in their analysis and resonant in their crafting. Uniting them in this book permits a new dialogue to emerge around the key themes of cultural politics, political economies and grammars of protest. Their intersection here sheds light on important issues for Africans in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Introduction: On the matter of African matters—Blair Rutherford and Pius Adesanmi
Two cities: Guangzhou / Lagos—Wendy Thompson Taiwo
Catherine Acholonu (1951- 2014): The female writer as a goddess—Nduka Otiono
Filming home, plurality of identity, belonging and homing in transnational African cinema—Suvi Lensu
‘Spare Tires’, ‘Second Fiddle’ and ‘Prostitutes’? Interrogating discourses about women and politics in
The South African Reserve Bank and the telling of monetary stories—Elizabeth Cobbett
The neoliberal turn in the SADC: Regional integration and disintegration—Jessica Evans
Indian hair, the after-temple-life: Class, gender and 137 race representations of the African American woman in the human hair industry—Nadège Compaore
The role of radio and mobile phones in conflict situations: The case of the 2008 Zimbabwe elections and xenophobic attacks in Cape Town—Wallace Chuma
The story of Cape Town’s two marches: Personal reflections on going home—Stephanie Urdang
Beyond an epistemology of bread, butter, culture and power: Mapping the African feminist movement—Sinmi Akin-Aina
Setting the agenda for our leaders from under a tree: The People’s Parliament in Nairobi—Wangui Kimari and Jacob Rasmussen
Politics across boundaries: Pan-Africanism: Seeds for African unity—Gacheke Gachihi
Afterword: Incorporeal words: The tragic passing of Pius Adesanmi—Blair Rutherford
About the contributors
About the Institute of African Studies
We are pleased to announce that your book Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context has been nominated for the Rik Davidson / Studies in Political Economy Book Prize in Political Economy.
À rebours des thèses soutenant que la migration contribue au développement ou que l’in- vestissement dans le développement réduit la croissance de la migration « irrégulière », ce livre marque une rupture tonifiante avec les idées communes abondamment véhiculées dans la littérature sur les liens entre migration, mobilités et développement en Afrique. Il accorde un intérêt manifeste pour la plus grande part des mobilités africaines, lesquelles se situent à l’intérieur du continent, et à la formation des diasporas en dehors des fron- tières nationales et continentales. Cette considération conjointe des mobilités « Sud-Sud » et « Sud-Nord » permet de remettre en cause l’hypothèse selon laquelle il existe des diffé- rences fondamentales entre elles.
Cet ouvrage examine les fluctuations ordinaires des mouvements de populations – à travers l’Afrique, comme dans le reste du monde –, qui étendent les familles, génèrent de nouvelles relations, reconfigurent les connexions économiques et politiques, et sont intégrées dans l’expérience quotidienne des millions de personnes qui y prennent part.
The in-depth knowledge of the mostly African authors adds to the quality of a research field, which was for long far too Eurocentric. – Ilke ADAM, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Il était temps de mettre en lumière ce que migration et mobilité représentent en Afrique. L’ouvrage offre une perspective originale et décoloniale sur le sujet. – Eric HAHONOU, Roskilde Universitet (Denmark)
Christian Bouquet, « Quelques éclairages nouveaux sur les migrations africaines », EspacesTemps.net [En ligne], Books, 2020 | Mis en ligne le 20 November 2020, consulté le 20.11.2020. URL : https://www.espacestemps.net/en/articles/quelques-eclairages-nouveaux-sur-les-migrations-africaines/ ; DOI : 10.26151/esapcestemps.net-jc2a-6b03
Avec la participation de John O. IGUE, Saydou KOUDOUGOU, Pierre-Joseph LAURENT, Bassirou MALAM SOULEY, Hamidou MANOU NABARA, Marème NIANG NDIAYE, Amadou SARR DIOP, Sadio SOUKOUNA , Eric Stève TAMO MBOUYOU et Astadjam YAOUBA.