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Labour Studies Podcasts

Labour Studies Podcasts

By Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit(NALSU)
Hosted by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) and the Departments of Sociology and Industrial Sociology, History, and Economics and Economic History at Rhodes University. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history, policy and political economy, unions and popular
struggles.
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NALSU Podcast Announcement | David Fryer: Can We Ever Stop Talking Left and Walking Right? Diagnosing the economic debate in the age of Radical Economic Transformation
In this Labour Studies Podcast, David Fryer, Rhodes University, discusses "Can We Ever Stop Talking Left and Walking Right? Diagnosing the economic debate in the age of Radical Economic Transformation" The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University, South Africa. Please follow the link for the podcast: https://anchor.fm/nalsu (You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store). THE PAPER: South Africa’s transition to democracy is a classic example of a conservative transition. Radical intentions to redistribute wealth and to alter the economic model were replaced by IMF and World Bank compliant policies. Not only this: pressures from below for a shift to a more radical dispensation have repeatedly been contained and defused. The piecemeal progressive reforms that characterise the post-apartheid period (including social grants, shifts in the funding of education, BEE) are by definition not radical: they have not changed but have often served to reinforce the core development model, which remains neo-liberal. This paper argues that one of the main causes of this pattern stems from the poor quality of the economic debate. Describing and diagnosing the ills of neoliberalism is one thing. Imagining alternative economic strategies is another. Perhaps the most important lesson to learn from the transition to democracy is that even if politicians have the will and power to redress social and political ills, they will not implement policies they believe will fail. In a world where revolutionary rupture appears utopian, the Left is often much stronger on critique than policy. Where it does offer plausible policy advice it tends to be centrist and reformist more often that it is radical.” This paper argues that the left should embrace rather than be embarrassed by Keynesian/social democratic economics, and tries to show how such an economics would work. THE SPEAKER: David Fryer a political economist at Rhodes University, where he teaches macroeconomics, microeconomics, and political economy and labour. He is part of the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), served on the steering committee of the Political Economic of Restructuring South Africa (PERSA) research programme. He is an editor of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies and has research linkages with the HSRC’s recently-formed BRICS Research Centre. His research interests include labour economics, global macroeconomics, development economics, and economic methodology. This talk was originally given on 17th April 2018. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles. NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
45:10
August 23, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast: Dr Luke Sinwell & Mr Siphiwe Mbatha: The Spirit of Marikana: The rise of insurgent unionism in South Africa
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Luke Sinwell, University of Johannesburg & Siphiwe Mbatha, Thembilihle Crisis Committee, discuss the working-class rebellion and power that shook the mines and withstood the Marikana massacre, with reference to their classic book, “The Spirit of Marikana: The Rise of Insurgent Unionism in South Africa.” TALK: On August 16, 2012, thirty-four black South African and immigrant mineworkers were shot by police working under the auspices of the African National Congress (ANC)-led government in what has become known as the Marikana massacre. An attempt to stop the rise of independent working-class power, the massacre was a major turning point in the history of South Africa and its politics. "The Spirit of Marikana" is the story of the struggle that shook the mines and the nation. It tells the story of the worker activists and leaders at the world's three largest platinum mining companies, who survived ongoing state-sponsored campaigns of violence, intimidation, torture, and murder to push forward a worker's rights agenda and begin the hard work of transforming their workplaces and their nation. A close-up ethnographic account, the book brings the seemingly ordinary people behind the movement to life through vivid interviews and oral histories, and examines what changed and what didn’t. From initial meetings to workers' committees to the mass strikes of 2012 and 2014, this is their story. SPEAKERS: Luke Sinwell, a Senior Researcher at the University of Johannesburg, spends a significant amount of time writing about grassroots militants, but believes that he is at his best while standing by their side in a common struggle for social and economic justice. He is co-author of "Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer," co-editor of "Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First-Century South Africa" and the author of numerous articles on participatory democracy and contentious politics in South Africa. Siphiwe Mbatha is a coordinator of the Thembelihle Crisis Committee (TCC), a socialist civic organisation in South Africa which fights for basic services for all. He first visited Marikana the day after the massacre to provide solidarity to the striking mineworkers. He is also a part-time researcher at the University of Johannesburg and Wits University and co-author of "The Spirit of Marikana: The Rise of Insurgent Trade Unionism in South Africa" (Wits University Press/ Pluto Press, 2016).  This talk was originally given on 23rd August 2017. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015.   We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles. NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/  
35:17
July 15, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast (also available as a YouTube Video), Pat Horn speaks on "Organised Workers in the Informal Economy"
In this Labour Studies Podcast (also available as a YouTube Video), Pat Horn speaks on "Organised Workers in the Informal Economy"  The podcast and video are provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University, South Africa.   (You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store).    Please follow the link to the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) YouTube Channel for the video:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhxCDqcwK1W7f-vro947FQ  This recorded webinar, available as both podcast and video, is from our series on "COVID-19 and the Working-Class Movement in South Africa." Veteran labour activist and feminist Pat Horn will speak about how organised workers in the informal economy successfully fought for the ILO's 2014 rights-based Recommendation 204: the need for transitions from the informal to the formal economy. Since then, the battle has been to get states to actually implement Recommendation 204. While some sections have been fast-tracked during the COVID-19 pandemic, new forms of work such as platform work have grown during the pandemic. This has provided organising opportunities, giving rise to new formations, such as a new São Paulo -based union: recently established by the CUT in Brazil, it caters for workers in the informal economy and new forms of work.   SPEAKER: Pat Horn is coordinator of the Collective Bargaining in the Informal Sector Project at Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), in Durban, South Africa. A veteran trade unionist, she is a founder (now Senior Advisor) of StreetNet International, with affiliated organisations from 57 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Eastern Europe.  She is also part of the South African National Task Team responsible for implementation of ILO Recommendation 204 on transitions from the informal to formal economy, representing the NEDLAC Community Constituency.   This talk was originally given on 28 October 2020.   The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
51:11
May 11, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast | Leroy Maisiri: "After Zuma: A Workers' Party for South Africa?"
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Leroy Maisiri discusses "After Zuma: A Workers' Party for South Africa?" The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University. (You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store). Does South Africa need a socialist or a workers' party to move forward, as political scandals, inequality, mass unemployment and struggles sweep the country? The African National Congress (ANC) retains a clear majority, but faces growing challenges. The Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) and the SA Communist Party have come out against the Zuma-era ANC's entanglement in "state capture." COSATU has split, the 340,000-strong National Union of Metalworkers of SA leaving to set up a Movement towards Socialism and foster a rival SA Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU). Major strike victories in the 2010s, struggles at universities, township-based rebellions, the rise of the populist Economic Freedom Fighters and efforts at a United Front and Working-Class Summits are signs of the appetite for serious change. And the stark injustices in post-apartheid society call out for alternatives. But where to next? This paper examines the arguments on the independent left for -- and against -- the founding of a new socialist or workers' party. Engaging local Marxists, anarchists / syndicalists and radical trade unionists, it uncovers a rich set of intellectual traditions, and debates: Can elections make a difference? Or should they be boycotted? Does a better future lie in new political parties? Or in struggle outside and against the state? Can a party unite different sectors are in struggle? Or is a united front of movements the answer? And if socialism needs to be put back on the agenda, how can it be achieved and what does it mean? SPEAKER: Leroy Maisiri, PhD candidate, Rhodes University, hails from Zimbabwe. He has written for the "South African Labour Bulletin," "Workers World News" and "Zabalaza," and researched deindustrialisation in Bulawayo, and the politics of the independent left in South Africa. His PhD focuses on the "people's power" movement in 1980s South Africa. This talk was originally given on 4 May 2016 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
39:25
April 28, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast: Mametlwe Sebei: "Losing or Using the Crisis? Critical Reflections on South African Labour in the Great Lockdown”
In this Labour Studies Podcast (also available as a YouTube Video), Mametlwe Sebei speaks on "Losing or Using the Crisis? Critical Reflections on South African Labour in the Great Lockdown” The podcast and video are provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University, South Africa. (You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store). Please follow the link to the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) YouTube Channel for the video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhxCDqcwK1W7f-vro947FQ This recorded webinar, available as both podcast and video, is from our series on "COVID-19 and the Working-Class Movement in South Africa." The IMF called 2020's "Great Lockdown" the greatest economic calamity in a century. But this is not a traditional capitalist depression, nor the start of the crisis situation:  South Africa’s unemployment had topped an unprecedented 10 million in 2019, amidst economic turmoil and a looming fiscal crisis. Lockdown shone pitiless light on existing inequalities of power and wealth. Parliament closed for months, largely unnoticed; big business and politicians sat out lockdown in rich neighbourhoods. Those most affected were already knee-deep in poverty, low wages and precarious work. Faced with the risk of social explosions, the state provided emergency social assistance on a scale unmatched in the African continent -- but this stumbled with corruption, maladministration and funding gaps. How have workers’ movements, including unions, responded to the situation facing the broad working-class? Unions represent almost 30% of the workforce, one of the highest densities worldwide, but can they cope? What new opportunities have emerged? What has been done, and what needs doing, if we are to move forward? SPEAKER: Mametlwe Sebei is President of the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), member of the National Executive Committee of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), and the Workers and Socialist Party. Active in the working-class movement for decades, he was formerly the National President of the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA), and Deputy President of the SRC at the University of Pretoria This talk was originally given on 23 September 2020. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles. NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
52:12
April 01, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast, Peter Cole discusses "Against Apartheid, For Civil Rights: Dockworkers and Social Justice Movements in Durban & San Francisco"
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Peter Cole presents "Against Apartheid, For Civil Rights: Dockworkers and Social Justice Movements in Durban & San Francisco." The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University, South Africa. Please follow the link: https://anchor.fm/nalsu (You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store). Dockworkers have enormous structural power, as they can disrupt the ports so vital to capitalist economies in their respective cities and countries -- and militant dockworkers have often exerted this power for overtly political ends. This talk explores how dockworkers in Durban (South Africa) and the San Francisco Bay Area (United States) have built working class and anti-racist solidarity and committed themselves to struggles well beyond their narrow workplace interests. Durban dockworkers repeatedly went on strike from the 1940s through the 1970s, for example, contributing to the antiapartheid struggle, and the revival of black unions from the 1970s. In San Francisco, dockworkers played a key role in US movements for racial equality. Workers in both ports also engaged in many transnational solidarity actions. Durban dockworkers refused to unload military supplies for the Mugabe regime, in solidarity with the Zimbabwean labour movement and opposition. In San Francisco, dockworkers helped the global fight against apartheid, flatly refusing to unload cargo from South Africa. Given that dockworkers and their unions have been decimated in many places by changes in technology and the economy, can they still preserve some of their power, and remain a potent force for change? SPEAKER: Peter Cole is a professor of history at Western Illinois University (USA) and Research Associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand. He also writes on contemporary politics, especially labour, race, and social movements. Author of “Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia” (2013) and the multiple award-winning “Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area (2018), and editor of “Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly” (2021, revised) and “Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW” (2017, with David Struthers and Kenyon Zimmer). This talk was originally given on 24 February 2016 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles. NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
42:41
March 11, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast: Andrew Lawrence: "Found in Translation: Understanding South Africa's Union Power."
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Andrew Lawrence discusses "Found in Translation: Understanding South Africa's Union Power." The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University. (You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store). The history and politics of the working-class cannot be understood in merely national terms: global perspectives yield essential insights. Drawing on comparative work on Germany, South Africa and the United States, the speaker examines the bases of labour movements’ power. Large movements often lack power, small movements sometimes wield great power, while many apparent victories by labour ultimately weaken it. To understand these paradoxes, it is essential to look at how unions express power, both in a “dispositional” manner i.e. wielding capabilities, and in a “relational” manner i.e. in relation to the power of employers. Labour movements’ power flows, like electric current, when it moves from one situation, institution, or context to another. But unless this power is effectively “translated” into new relations, based on mobilisation and contestation, it can be discharged without gains. Symbols, alliances, vision and translating gains into other arenas play a decisive role. This talk provides an overview of these arguments, and how they can help analyse, and interpret, South Africa's current conjuncture. SPEAKER: Andrew Lawrence teaches at the Vienna School of International Studies, and taught previously at the University of Edinburgh, UK and the University of Virginia, USA. He has a PhD in political science from CUNY Graduate Center in New York, and has researched and worked with labour movements on three continents for over two decades, including with SADWU and SADTU in South Africa, UCU in the UK and SEIU/1199 and AFT Local 2334 in the USA. He is presently working on the role of labour movements in contesting and transforming climate policies and politics. This talk was originally given on 2 March 2016 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
01:00:34
February 24, 2021
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast: Mzwanele Mayekiso: Launch of "Ndivhuwo: Journal for Intellectual Engagement".
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Mzwanele Mayekiso launches his journal "Ndivhuwo: Journal for Intellectual Engagement". The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University.   You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store. NALSU was proud to host a launch of “Ndivhuwo: Journal for Intellectual Engagement," published by Mzwanele Mayekiso. "Ndivhuwo" is geared to attract thought leaders in South Africa, from key policy-makers in government and industry, to leaders in civil society and intellectuals in academia and society. It aims to preserve our heritage and build our democracy. The launch event partnered NALSU and the iKwezi Institute for Research and Development, set up to enhance intellectual engagement on South Africa’s democracy and development. The first issue includes articles by Ross Anthony, Nicacias Achu Check, George Bizos, John Gribble, Shawn Hattingh, Paul Hendler, Brian Kantor, Garth Klein, David Makhura, Nobantu Mayekiso, Lumkile Mondi, Philani Mthembu, Tebogo Phadu, Mzukisi Qobo, Arumugam Pillay, John Stremlau, Tseliso Thipanyane, and Lucien van der Walt.   A prolific writer and leading black intellectual, Mayekiso was a leading anti-apartheid activist and treason trialist from Alexandra township, and is author of “Township Politics: Civic Struggles for a New South Africa” (Monthly Review Press, 1996), and co-editor of “Confronting Fragmentation: Housing and Urban Development in a Democratising Society” (with Philip Harrison and Marie Hutchzermeyer, UCT Press, 2004). He has contributed papers and think-pieces for academic journals and newspapers, both locally and internationally. He is the owner and publisher of "Ndivhuwo" and CEO of the iKwezi Institute for Research and Development, Johannesburg. The event was originally held on 17 February 2016 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
21:45
November 06, 2020
NALSU Labour Studies Podcast: Sian Byrne: "Red, Black and Gold: FOSATU, South African 'Workerism,' 'Syndicalism' and the Nation."
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Sian Byrne discusses "Red, Black and Gold: FOSATU, South African 'Workerism,' 'Syndicalism' and the Nation." The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University.  You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store. With a mass black worker base, the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU, 1979-1985) was the country's largest, most radical independent union and working class movement. This paper is a partial recovery of its radical, distinctive politics of "workerism," which has been widely misunderstood. "Workerism" rejected nationalism, both ANC and BC, as a multi-class bourgeois ideology that subordinated the working class; it rejected Marxism-Leninism as undemocratic; and was denounced by both ANC and SACP. FOSATU sought a radical new South Africa, with a massive redistribution of power and wealth, extensive "workers' control," and an end to racial/ national oppression, driven by an autonomous, bottom-up, left, non-racial "working class movement." Why, then, did "workerism" get defeated by the (initially) relatively weak formations representing African nationalism, and lost in COSATU? Sian Byrne previously worked at COSATU's National Labour & Economic Development Institute (NALEDI). Her current research is a comparative historical study of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) in South Africa, and Solidarność in Poland in the early 1980s, using a global labour history perspective. Her research interests include anarchism and syndicalism, revolutionary workers' movements, global and transnational labour history, and the national question in the colonial and postcolonial world. Sian Byrne was awarded a Ruth First Scholarship at Rhodes, named after the assassinated South African communist and anti-apartheid activist. This talk was originally given on 16 September 2015 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
32:33
October 07, 2020
NALSU Podcast: Allison Drew: Looking Comparatively at Communism in Twentieth-century Algeria and South Africa
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Prof Allison Drew discusses "Looking Comparatively at Communism in Twentieth-century Algeria and South Africa." The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University. The link is anchor.fm/nalsu You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store. The radical left and the working class have played a major role in popular struggles, including anti-colonial movements. The settler societies of Algeria and South Africa both had substantial, rooted Marxist communist traditions in the twentieth-century. These traditions shared common values, but their political trajectories varied profoundly. This paper considers how factors like differences in patterns of working-class formation, the socialist tradition of each country, the role of the Communist International, the level of repression, and links to the nationalist FLN and ANC, respectively, help explain divergent patterns. Allison Drew’s books include South Africa's Radical Tradition: A Documentary History (2 volumes); Discordant Comrades: Identities and Loyalties on the South African Left; We are No Longer in France: Communists in Colonial Algeria; and Between Empire and Revolution: A Life of Sidney Bunting, 1873-1936. Her work focuses on the relationship between socialism and nationalism, and intellectuals and political movements, and individual rights and collective social justice. She has worked or studied at universities on three continents. This talk was originally given on 5 August 2015 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
47:11
September 09, 2020
NALSU Podcast: Peter Linebaugh, "Magna Carta Anniversary Lecture 'Liberties and Commons for All!' Reclaiming the Magna Carta from below 800 years later."
In this Labour Studies Podcast, Prof Peter Linebaugh discusses "Magna Carta Anniversary Lecture 'Liberties and Commons for All!' Reclaiming the Magna Carta from below 800 years later." The podcast is provided by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University. The link is anchor.fm/nalsu. or search for us on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/1OXQEJnqPZxcbCCSJJCNhU.  You can also download the Anchor FM app for your phone at the Google Play Store. Linebaugh's work is also part of an active, public, progressive profile. His recent books - 'The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All' (2008) and 'Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance' (2014) - engage the history of commons, which he relates to contemporary, popular articulations of equality, freedom and practices of mutual aid, and class struggles, against the destruction of commons through capitalist and imperial enclosure that continues until this day. He will speak on why we should reclaim the Magna Carta, one of the two Great Charters of English Liberty that recognised political freedoms along with social and economic rights, and why we need to reclaim these Charters from the neo-liberal offensive today Prof Peter Linebaugh is widely recognised "as one of the most innovative, radical  social historians of a generation". He is best known for authoring (with Marcus Rediker) the multi-award winning 'The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic' (2000) and 'The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century' (1991). According to Robin D.G. Kelley, there is "not a more important historian living today. Period." This talk was originally given on 29 July 2015 at Rhodes University, Makhanda. The Labour Studies Podcasts are from our popular Labour Studies Seminar Series, launched in 2015. We cover "labour studies" in the broadest sense: labour and left history,  policy and political economy, unions and popular struggles.  NALSU, based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is engaged in policy, research and workers' education. Built around a vibrant team from disciplines including Economics, History and Sociology,  it has active partnerships and relations with a range of advocacy, labour and research organisations. It draws strength from its location in a province where the legacy of apartheid and the cheap labour system, and the contradictions of the post-apartheid state, are keenly felt. We are named in honour of Dr Neil Hudson Aggett, a union organiser and medical doctor who died in 1982 in an apartheid jail after enduring brutality and torture. https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/
45:03
July 08, 2020