In ancient Greek philosophy, kairos signifies the right time or the “moment of transition.” We believe that we live in such a transitional period. The most important task of social science in time of transformation is to transform itself into a force of liberation.
Kairos, an editorial imprint of the Anthropology and Social Change department housed in the California Institute of Integral Studies, publishes groundbreaking works in critical social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, geography, theory of education, political ecology, political theory, and history.
Series editor: Andrej Grubačić
1. In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism: The San Francisco Lectures by John Holloway
2. Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism edited by Jason W. Moore
3. Birth Work as Care Work: Stories from Activist Birth Communities by Alana Apfel
4. Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers, Israeli Ultranationalism, and Bureaucratic Torture by Smadar Lavie
5. We Are the Crisis of Capital: A John Holloway Reader by John Holloway
In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism: The San Francisco Lectures
Author: John Holloway • Preface by Andrej Grubačić
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 112
In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism is based on three recent lectures delivered by John Holloway at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. The lectures focus on what anticapitalist revolution can mean today—after the historic failure of the idea that the conquest of state power was the key to radical change—and offer a brilliant and engaging introduction to the central themes of Holloway’s work.
The lectures take as their central challenge the idea that “We Are the Crisis of Capital and Proud of It.” This runs counter to many leftist assumptions that the capitalists are to blame for the crisis, or that crisis is simply the expression of the bankruptcy of the system. The only way to see crisis as the possible threshold to a better world is to understand the failure of capitalism as the face of the push of our creative force. This poses a theoretical challenge. The first lecture focuses on the meaning of “We,” the second on the understanding of capital as a system of social cohesion that systematically frustrates our creative force, and the third on the proposal that we are the crisis of this system of cohesion.
“His Marxism is premised on another form of logic, one that affirms movement, instability, and struggle. This is a movement of thought that affirms the richness of life, particularity (non-identity) and ‘walking in the opposite direction’; walking, that is, away from exploitation, domination, and classification. Without contradictory thinking in, against, and beyond the capitalist society, capital once again becomes a reified object, a thing, and not a social relation that signifies transformation of a useful and creative activity (doing) into (abstract) labor. Only open dialectics, a right kind of thinking for the wrong kind of world, non-unitary thinking without guarantees, is able to assist us in our contradictory struggle for a world free of contradiction.” —Andrej Grubačić, from his Preface
“Holloway’s work is infectiously optimistic.”
—Steven Poole, Guardian (UK)
“Holloway’s thesis is indeed important and worthy of notice”
—Richard J.F. Day, Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies
Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism
Editor: Jason W. Moore
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 304
Subjects: Political Theory/Nature-Environment
The Earth has reached a tipping point. Runaway climate change, the sixth great extinction of planetary life, the acidification of the oceans—all point toward an era of unprecedented turbulence in humanity’s relationship within the web of life. But just what is that relationship, and how do we make sense of this extraordinary transition?Anthropocene or Capitalocene? offers answers to these questions from a dynamic group of leading critical scholars. They challenge the theory and history offered by the most significant environmental concept of our times: the Anthropocene. But are we living in the Anthropocene, literally the “Age of Man”? Is a different response more compelling, and better suited to the strange—and often terrifying—times in which we live? The contributors to this book diagnose the problems of Anthropocene thinking and propose an alternative: the global crises of the twenty-first century are rooted in the Capitalocene, the Age of Capital.
Anthropocene or Capitalocene? offers a series of provocative essays on nature and power, humanity, and capitalism. Including both well-established voices and younger scholars, the book challenges the conventional practice of dividing historical change and contemporary reality into “Nature” and “Society,” demonstrating the possibilities offered by a more nuanced and connective view of human environment-making, joined at every step with and within the biosphere. In distinct registers, the authors frame their discussions within a politics of hope that signal the possibilities for transcending capitalism, broadly understood as a “world-ecology” that joins nature, capital, and power as a historically evolving whole.
Contributors include Jason W. Moore, Eileen Crist, Donna J. Haraway, Justin McBrien, Elmar Altvater, Daniel Hartley, and Christian Parenti.
“We had best start thinking in revolutionary terms about the forces turning the world upside down if we are to put brakes on the madness. A good place to begin is this book, whose remarkable authors bring together history and theory, politics and ecology, economy and culture, to force a deep look at the origins of global transformation.”
—Richard Walker, professor emeritus of geography, UC Berkeley, and author of The Capitalist Imperative, The New Social Economy, The Conquest of Bread, and The Country in the City
“We live in the Capitalocene, the contributors to this volume argue, and the urgent, frightening and hopeful consequences of this reality-check become apparent in chapters that force the reader to think. In a time when there is generally no time or space to think . . . we need a book like this more than ever.”
—Bram Büscher, professor of sociology, Wageningen University, and author of Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa
“In this pioneering volume, leading critics call for a different conceptual framework, which places global change in a new, ecologically-oriented, history of capitalism—the Capitalocene. No scholar or activist interested in the debate about the Anthropocene will want to miss this volume.”
—Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, associate professor of history, University of Chicago, and author of Enlightenment’s Frontier: The Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism
“Jason W. Moore’s scope is vast, and few could pull off so ambitious an analytical achievement. . . . There’s enough scholarship, wit and insight . . . for a lifetime.”
—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing
“Jason W. Moore’s radical and rigorous work is, and richly deserves to be, agenda-setting.”
—China Miéville, author of The City & the City
Birth Work as Care Work: Stories from Activist Birth Communities
Author: Alana Apfel • Foreword: Loretta J. Ross • Preface: Victoria Law • Introduction: Silvia Federici
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 128
Birth Work as Care Work presents a vibrant collection of stories and insights from the front lines of birth activist communities. The personal has once more become political, and birth workers, supporters, and doulas now find themselves at the fore of collective struggles for freedom and dignity.
The author, herself a scholar and birth justice organiser, provides a unique platform to explore the political dynamics of birth work; drawing connections between birth, reproductive labor, and the struggles of caregiving communities today. Articulating a politics of care work in and through the reproductive process, the book brings diverse voices into conversation to explore multiple possibilities and avenues for change.
At a moment when agency over our childbirth experiences is increasingly centralized in the hands of professional elites, Birth Work as Care Work presents creative new ways to reimagine the trajectory of our reproductive processes. Most importantly, the contributors present new ways of thinking about the entire life cycle, providing a unique and creative entry point into the essence of all human struggle—the struggle over the reproduction of life itself.
“I love this book, all of it. The polished essays and the interviews with birth workers dare to take on the deepest questions of human existence.”
—Carol Downer, cofounder of the Feminist Women’s Heath Centers of California and author of A Woman’s Book of Choices
“This volume provides theoretically rich, practical tools for birth and other care workers to collectively and effectively fight capitalism and the many intersecting processes of oppression that accompany it. Birth Work as Care Work forcefully and joyfully reminds us that the personal is political, a lesson we need now more than ever.”
—Adrienne Pine, author of Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras
“All we are doing in this world is living and dying, creating and destroying. We generate new life in our children and in our ideas. Becoming a birth supporter, getting to be an attendant to the miracle of childbirth, has transformed my social justice work. Our visions for justice are what we are birthing in this world. Learning to listen, learning to trust the body and the people, and learning to breath will transform our movement work. Birth Work as Care Work demonstrates these lessons through showing us ways we can learn together to support the birth of new worlds.”
—Adrienne Brown, coeditor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements
“This book places the doula—as a caring birth activist—at the heart of reproductive care work in our modern society. Doula, a new name for an ancient traditional role, reappears today as women daring to reclaim their power through birthing and caring for their children.”
—Valérie Dupin cofounder and cochair of the Association Doulas de France
“Alana Apfel is an artist and a robust one. Weaving the logic behind birth, care, and reproduction together, Birth Work as Care Work documents how caregivers and communities are marginalised in society on a daily basis whilst working to sustain themselves and ironically, to sustain life itself. Her thesis seeks to put the human back into being.”
—Chitra Subramaniam, Editor-in Chief of The News Minute
Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers, Israeli Ultranationalism, and Bureaucratic Torture, Second Edition
Author: Smadar Lavie
Publisher: PM Press/Kairos
Page count: 240
Subjects: Anthropology/Women’s Studies/Middle Eastern Studies
What is the relationship between social protest movements in the State of Israel, violence in Gaza, and the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran? Why did the 2011 mass social protests in the State of Israel ultimately fail? Wrapped in the Flag of Israel discusses social protest movements from the 2003 Single Mothers’ March led by Mizrahi Vicky Knafo, to the “Tahrir is here” Israeli mass protests of summer 2011. Equating bureaucratic entanglements with pain—what, arguably, can be seen as torture, Smadar Lavie explores the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that repeatedly inflicts pain on its non-European Jewish women citizens through its bureaucratic system. The book presents a model of bureaucracy as divine cosmology and posits that Israeli State bureaucracy is based on a theological essence that fuses the categories of religion, gender, and race into the foundation of citizenship.
"Defying conventional academic styles, Lavie skillfully weaves her moving personal story as a single mother fighting to regain legal custody of her son with a thought-provoking analysis of social protest movements in Israel. The book examines critically the politics of NGO funding as well as conflicts of power and privilege between academics and activists, and within the feminist movement in Israel. . . . Most insightful is Lavie’s analysis of the dilemmas facing Mizrahi feminists, who are discriminated against both as women and as a racial minority but often feel alienated in the Israeli feminist movement and academy where racism is overlooked."
—Simona Sharoni, Journal of Palestine Studies
"Lavie's unflinching exposure of intra-Jewish racism and its political consequences is unmatched."
—Sally Bland, Jordan Times
“This is a remarkable book by a remarkable woman. Lavie moves quick as lightning from anthropological analysis, to sharp dissections of the political landscape, to highly personal and moving anecdotes, to cutting absurdist humour. Accompanying the writer on this journey is like sharing on a long, bumpy bus ride with a person of great intellect, tough life experience, a cheeky sense of humour, and personal warmth. It is a worthwhile journey. Above all, her book provides a vivid sense of what life is like for the majority of Israeli Jews, how they think, what really concerns them, and what constrains them. That is essential knowledge for anyone interested in the Israel-Palestine conflict.”
—Malcolm Levitt, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine Newsletter
“Lavie offers an unflinching political analysis and cultural critique of the struggles of Mizrahi single mothers and their relationship with the domestic policies of the state of Israel and the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . . . The Award Committee recognizes Lavie’s innovative approach to academic writing that combines critical theory, auto-ethnography, and memoirs to animate the lives of women in a community that has long been disenfranchised, particularly in light of limited scholarship on the topic.”
—Judges for the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies 2015 Book Award Competition, Honorable Mention for Outstanding Scholarship in the Field of Middle East Gender Studies
"Lavie's work marks the first English-language ethnography on single motherhood outside North America. As well, it is the first ethnography to explore the complex interplay between gender, race, and bureaucracy in the Middle East. . . . A must read for scholars of the state, race, gender, class, religion, the Middle East."
—Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis, former president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America
Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Smadar Lavie's Page
We Are the Crisis of Capital: A John Holloway Reader
Author: John Holloway
Publisher: PM Press/Kairos
Page count: 320
Subjects: Political Theory
We Are the Crisis of Capital collects articles and excerpts written by radical academic, theorist, and activist John Holloway over a period of forty years.
Different times, different places, and the same anguish persists throughout our societies. This collection asks, “Is there a way out?” How do we break capital, a form of social organisation that dehumanises us and threatens to annihilate us completely? How do we create a world based on the mutual recognition of human dignity?
Holloway’s work answers loudly, “By screaming NO!” By thinking from our own anger and from our own creativity. By trying to recover the “We” who are buried under the categories of capitalist thought. By opening the categories and discovering the antagonism they conceal, by discovering that behind the concepts of money, state, capital, crisis, and so on, there moves our resistance and rebellion.
An approach sometimes referred to as Open Marxism, it is an attempt to rethink Marxism as daily struggle. The articles move forward, influenced by the German state derivation debates of the seventies, by the CSE debates in Britain, and the group around the Edinburgh journal Common Sense, and then moving on to Mexico and the wonderful stimulus of the Zapatista uprising, and now the continuing whirl of discussion with colleagues and students in the Posgrado de Sociología of the Benemérita Universidad Autùnoma de Puebla.
Buy book now | Download e-Book now | John Holloway's Page