“I worked as an art director inadvertising for 29 years. First as a consultant and then for more than 10 years in Sennheiser. On my 10 years anniversary, they gave me candlesticks as a present. This was too much. I had saved a lot of holidays, so I used them to go study ice cream in Italy and then I quite and opened Favvo Glass. I used to have sleep problems and pain in my body in my back, arms. Now I’m on my feet all day, but the physical pain is gone.”
“We try to keep the distance between the customer and the workshop as short as possible…These are objects that I want to be used. And it should be used hard. That’s what they’re made for…Buying a table takes a long time. It takes months….Most of these people are buying the last table for their life…For me it would be a success if the grandchildren still like the table.
Interview with Stefan Schridde, founder of the Murks Center against planned obsolescence. Murks means “botch”, or “bad work”. “Products designed with planned obsolescence don’t meet the needs of the society.” He sees cheap consumer goods as “lonely” and the alternative is a “durable” future.
1. Why Street Protest
• a fundamental right and contribution to democracy is to express our dissent
• collective manifestation of dissent creates news, encourages others, threatens elites
• the way to win (reforms) is to raise the costs of the current way of doing things until it becomes in the interests of the elites to do it our way
• threat/promise to take over
“You have presented things I have never seen in the same chain of meanings.”
Lecture to the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 5 February 2015.
Historical evidence insists that oppression on its own does not produce social movement reaction. In places with little culture of resistance, there will be little social movement reaction to social problems, or occasional outbursts may not be sustained. San Francisco has had, regularly and recently over the last decades, a series of effective and sustained street manifestations, so there are people, organizations, networks, systems, etc. to make the next ones bigger and more robust.
So what is the cosmology of food sovereignty? Food is a community, not a commodity… But how do we turn this idea into culture? Alberto Melucci explains how it is that we create culture… through creating new spaces, identities, meanings, identities, commitments….
His explanation of his strategic capacities is “I am an electrician.” This reminds me of Matthew Crawford’s painstaking work on the “cognitive riches” of trade labour. (Summary here.) Crawford’s point is that trade work is satisfying. Wałȩsa’s point is that it is also a form of analytic training.
Bibliography with notes about readings mentioned in the lecture. Alternatives need to focus not just on innovating, but on decommodifying and building community.
“Composting and growing carrots is a nice start, but we need to get rid of the growth economy, make the global economic system work to meet needs, and replace capitalism with a different economic system that works for people. Most Green people are stuck at the level of compost heaps, which don’t have a chance of saving us. We don’t want to be a society full of compost heaps heading for disaster. Growing carrots locally is just the first step to changing the economy.”
Alana has studied one of the many vibrant alternatives to this juggernaut, the movement for food sovereignty, conceived and led by La Vía Campesina. Vía Campesina is typical of contemporary social movements in its recognition of the common interests of first and third world farmers, smallholders and laborers, producers and consumers and in its recognition of the centrality of women, indigenous people and culture to forming truly liberatory alternatives.
Today my beloved MacBook Pro fried its logic board…Why is there so much consumer choice but not what I want?…But my real question is why aren’t companies somebody refurbishing the beautiful, solid old hardware chasses of these classic designs. Convert those BMWs and Mercedes to electric systems? Design lightweight guts for those beautiful PowerBooks and Communicators. If corporate design can’t match vintage classics, then innovative small companies should be designing custom kits to keep these beauties on the road.
This is my second project for the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, with whom I’m just thrilled to be working. The piece is co-authored with Nick
“People see eggs and they ask ‘are these barn raised or free range raised?’ ‘Are they organic or not?’ It baffles me that wine is not the same. Where did it come from? How was it grown? Is it organic? People should be interested in the process and provenance of wine, the same way they are with food.”