Issue: №3 2014

Section: Situations

The State Without the State and its People: Precarity and the Constitution of New Forms of Life

The State Without the State and its People:  Precarity and the Constitution of New Forms of Life

The material is illustrated with stills from the Yakov Kazhdan film “Focus Groups”, 2010. Courtesy: Yakov Kazhdan

Maria Chehonadskih Born in Stary Oskol in 1985. Writer, activist and curator. “MAM” editorial board member. Currently lives in London.

The New Avant Garde of Stable Instability

The post-Soviet region still occupies a special place in the mental geography of the globalized world. If twenty years ago for those living on both sides of the former Berlin wall, the image of the post-Soviet world was one of "catching up" with the train of capitalist modernity, today, the imagination draws an absolutely opposite picture: the 'post-Soviet' is the passenger who is running ahead of the train which is about to crush him. The rhetoric of "catching-up capitalism" masked from the very beginning one simple and unattractive fact. Since the countries of the former Eastern Bloc became a part of global capitalism, they showed all the features of neoliberal modernity in advance. This was the advent of "precarious life"—uncertainty about the future, anxiety, the instability of social and economic situations, a future of “permanent catastrophe”.

These social conditions differ both from the idealized model of early Perestroika and from the liberal dreams of the long-awaited advent in Russia of social, political and cultural “standards” of the 'open societies' of Europe. Moreover, the gradual destruction of the social, political and cultural standards of the welfare state that brought these social conditions in its wake is in conflict with the democratic attitudes formed on the other side of the former Berlin Wall. And if in 1990 “permanent capitalist catastrophe" in the "East" was perceived as a personal failure of the "losers", within the financial crisis, this rhetoric has been replaced by a sense of anxiety and unconscious fear of another capitalism, "the capitalism with an Asian face," which knocks at every "Western" door.

Indeed, as we can see in today's world, though smouldering centres of "chaos" are to be found everywhere, they also flare up and then die out. That which was ideologically constructed as distant and alien, can now perceived as a diffusion of "post-Soviet" and other "post" conditions. Today, the question is not whether to seek every possible cultural difference, showing the failure of homogeneous models, but to reveal the ontological homogenization of modern capitalism. I believe that the measure of this ontological homogenization is precarity, understood as constructed by the political institutions of the neoliberal paradigm, which exploit and extend the instability and vulnerability of human existence. This results in different forms of subjectivation and their corresponding forms-of-life.

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The term 'form-of-life' is developed in the writing of the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben. For Agamben, this term invokes the potentiality, openness and plasticity of life constituted in or by a community. By the term “form of life” (without dashes) he means separation of life from its potentiality to become a constituted power (form). Agamben returned to antique division between biological life (zoe), which is the simple fact of life for all organisms, and political life (bios), which he understood as a form-of-life. In his genealogical analyses, separation of life from a context of a form of life happened in the paradigm of juridification and codification of life, which followed by the human rights discourse of 19 century. Since then, life was captured by the power apparatus and isolated from its political form. Agamben took Hobbesian sovereign power as an example of this shift from political life (understood as a Form-of-life) to biopower (discourse of bare life). In Hobbesian theory, life in a state of nature is defined only by the fact that it is exposed to the threat of death. And political life means life under the patronage of the Leviathan as the same life under the danger, but which is now only under the power of the sovereign. When the simple fact of life becomes the legislative basis of the right to life, which grants the power, then we are in a model of biopolitics.[1] In other words, sovereign power is isolating life from its political form: "Biological life, which is the secularized form of naked life and which shares its unutterability and impenetrability, thus constitutes the real forms of life literally as forms of survival: biological life remains inviolate in such forms as that obscure threat that can suddenly actualize itself in violence, in extraneity, in illnesses, in accidents".[2] In this regard, control in the biopolitical paradigm is not the form of care about the health and survival of the population, but much more a desire to control instability and chaos (nature), which ought to be in a permanent state of suspension (the chaos should not give rise to any new stable forms). This paradoxical game of stable instability is accompanied by the minimization of the state's social function (because the social plunges into the logic of nature and the chaos of singularities) and the strengthening of control (with regard to securing the safety of this chaos of singularities). There is no contradiction between these two multi-directional tendencies. Actually, one doesn't exist without another. As soon as the infinite train of accidents and social cataclysms is justified by vitalist ideas of normative instability, vulnerability and inequality appear to be the essence of nature, and the state of emergency becomes the legitimate norm. At this moment, the modern Leviathan in the form of Putin, Berlusconi or Sarkozy comes to protect the new Social Darwinist harmony of natural chaos from any social parasites or terrorists.

If we can put this model of biopolitical control in terms of stable instability, precarity can be seen as the very heart of permanent state of suspension: this is the becoming which cannot become and cannot be annulled, transformed and abolished. Precarity is a kind of perversion of the logic of disciplined chaos. All attempts to normalize and codify non-standard employment, streams of immigration and the residence of precarious subjects turn into new forms of chaos and uncontrollable resistance in the form of illegal border crossings, alternative forms of housing, and informal labour relations. Once this alternative form of life is normalized and corrupted by power, through its form emerging new precariousness (new informality, illegal work and mafia-like relationships). Since the power dynamics plays with contradictions between these two tendencies—comprehensive control of life by the State and minimization of its social functions—the methods of struggles against 'system errors' often take radically authoritarian form. To keep chaos in a condition of chaos (not to allow it to take on a form), it is necessary to work rigidly and methodically. In other words, precarity arises in the paradigm of The State without the State: authoritarian methods of control and the negative form of escaping from them based on reproduction of the precarious conditions.

To explain this form of life in terms of the subject, it would be useful to turn to Hannah Arendt’s concept of "stateless people". She describes the emergence of an enormous mass of people in the post-war years who were deprived of civil rights, a tendency which was expanding without regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Arendt associates such extreme cases of deprivation of rights with the position of refugees, migrants and ethnic minorities, that is, groups which have been placed beyond the law and policy in the period of world wars and decolonization.[3] However, today "stateless people" are no longer an exceptional category. Moreover, they are actively included in the economies of production and consumption, whereas theirs social, racial and class belonging is not so easy to define. Today, they are a substantial group in post-Soviet society as well. The post-Soviet megalopolis is occupied by people without any form of valid citizenship. They are constituted from thousands of migrants and provincial emigrants who live under the radar of residency and registration. Since they are out of official recognition and statistical data, they cannot vote, have a legal housing contract or demand any rights and social protection. They are post-Soviet artists, teachers, academics, whose humiliating situation is only underlined by participation in the international conferences, exhibitions and online citations. The more human rights organizations are established in the post-Soviet space, the more the production of "people without the state" accelerates.

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The state without the state and the new type of "stateless people" living in precarity depict for us a transient and expendable form of existence. People lead lives akin to 'human weeds': useless but uncontrollable plants, which power unsuccessfully tries to cultivate with various forms of pesticides and incentives. We can reinforce and continue this analysis, showing that precarity is the concern of those whose lives have no meaning. Robert Castel’s term “the useless of the world” might be very useful here. “The useless of the world” was the official category of disabled and “unsuitable for work” citizens in the 17th century. At that time in Europe the instability and vulnerability of existence mostly affected beggars and the nascent proletariat. Nowadays, according to Castel, this category refers to the unemployed, the unemployable, or those that find only precarious and intermittent employment. "The useless of the world", then as now, were characterized by mobility, rootlessness, marginality and detachment from established social structures, in a time of when those structures themselves were under attack.[4] Those forms of life that are situated on the roadside of capitalist production would automatically be located in a problematic zone of social uselessness. Those who neither belonged to the upper class nor worked with their hands, who had no property or permanent residence, were of no use to society, since they were an example of individuals who dropped out of the disciplinary order, building an alternative and illegitimate way of life. Therefore, creative professions (from artists to street musicians) historically are specimens of this “caste”. And today more and more people find themselves coercively situated in a bohemian consciousness and lifestyle, as they become creative and plastic in extremely non-creative and hard conditions.


The consolidating power of the routine

It is possible that the contradictions of controlled chaos can be sublated by the re-articulation of the oppositions in play. Let’s take the main old capitalist opposition of routine and flexibility. The sociologist Richard Sennett analyses attacks on routine, which arose at the time of the transition to the global market and became the strong weapon of a new type of capitalists who criticized bureaucracy and the inertia of industrial production.[5] Sennett refers to old discussions at the beginning of the era of industrial capitalism, when mechanical routine production was contrasted to the creative and vital power of the spontaneity discussed by Adam Smith. This spontaneity was defined as an ability to act differently during the working process, with the ability to invest feelings, personal character and soul into the work. Instead of the repetition of the primitive conveyer patterns of the industrial factory, which dull the sensitivity and intelligence of the workers, Smith thought about alternative modes of production, where plasticity and spontaneity of actions could replace routine. He found such spontaneity in street sellers, for example. In this discussion, Sennett discovers an unexpected supporter of the routine—Denis Diderot, who saw in the routine a form of mechanical learning. Just as the actors comprehend the role through learning, worker infinitely repeating the same operations, improves production process and own work. The taming of routine fosters the improvement of work rhythms, which in turn can develop cooperative and even creative abilities. Then, work should transform into the creative power of the particular community, or to put it in Agambenian terms, form-of-life. Despite the fact that Diderot is romanticizing and absolutely ignoring the position of workers at the first French factories, in Sennett’s opinion, he grasps the constitutive power of routine. The repeatability of a working rhythm gradually contributes to organize life into narrative. In other words, predictability combined with a rigid time discipline gives workers the chance to change the conditions of their lives since they have a stable position from which to start.[6]

Today capitalism opposes flexibility to routine, a flexibility understood as the elimination of bureaucracy. In practice, this often means the elimination of state restrictions on the market. If the "era of routine" was characterized by permanent jobs and often one life-long workplace, with its strong associations of factory labour, the collective body of the workers and neighbourhood relationships, freedom under "flexible capitalism" consist of switching from one job to another, the destruction of working collectives and territorially fixed social communication. According to Sennett, the earlier model of production characterized by an articulated class position, solidarity and long-term planning provided working people with a system of covering social risks, ensuring the stability and predictability of life. The model that supplanted it is typified by non-standard work, which, with its perpetual changes in employment and imperatives to retrain, can lead to individualism and rootlessness.[7] In other words, the second model describes precisely the processes of precarization of life and work, which Sennett terms the 'corrosion of character', leading to a disintegration of narrative of life.

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On the other hand, Angela Mitropoulos problematizes the opposition between work and leisure in Fordist routine and develops a critique of the gender, class and colonial divisions in the industrial factory paradigm. In this conveyor-belt paradigm, where time is measured by a salary, workdays and five-day week, leisure has a direct connection with work. This linear operating time is rewarded by the possibility of rest and is only maintained by this possibility. Here, Mitropoulos continues a classical critique of factory routine as mind-numbing physical activity in which the body and mind are split off from one another.[8] To continue this analysis, it is possible to assume that in order to block such splitting before it reaches its critical limits, the worker seeks constantly to expand zones of non-work. As Castel specifies, in the first conveyor-belt factories of the early 20th century access to consumption by higher wages held less interest for workers than a reduction in working hours. The tension in the Fordist order pivoted on struggle for time off, which was not simply a right to pursue an idle existence, but meant the right of freedom to "simply exist", to exist like many others: “the landlords, the 'bourgeois', the aristocrats, the owners, all those who, at least in the worker’s imagination, enjoy life for its own sake and for themselves, all the time”. Indeed, time off is the “official recognition of the humanity of the worker and of the human dignity of work”. Thus, the non-working time is won by the worker independently through such important steps as the introduction of days off, paid holiday and a reduction in working hours.[9]

Coming back to Sennett and his "narrative of life", we may add that in a rigid factory model of work there are more radical possibilities to change living conditions. Paradoxically, the routine - monotony and uniformity—promotes a constitutive power of creating a narrative of life thanks to a disciplinary working schedule and a strictly linear distribution of time. When the subject has time, a structured everyday life, attachment to the territory, a profession, a permanent work site (factory), these conditions promote the formation of a specific working class culture, and this can be part of a resistant politics. However, this persistent construction of your own narrative of life also led workers to sabotage the factory. In other words, behind the constitutive power of the routine was always image of possibility to work less or even not work at all, but all inside of capitalist production. The only wish (probably unconscious wish) of the subject of such sabotage was to reform the system, but not to overcome it, although of course exceptions to this image can be found.

Now we need to return to the contradictions of the stable instability model and we will see that routine doesn't disappear in the new precarious conditions. Flexibility isn't disposal from routine and doesn't increase time off. When neoliberalism borrowed old ideas of the free market and Adam Smith's invisible hand, of course it introduced into the modern system of labour relations something new. It reacted to demands to eliminate the routine and liquidate the mind/body dichotomy. However, neoliberalism does it in very peculiar way. First, work tends be spliced with life, and secondly, the usage of creativity in the capitalist economy leads to the inevitable routinization of creativity and its transformation into permanent work. The creative process doesn’t have days off, only breaks and delays.: “Schematically put: whereas Fordism sought to cretinise, to sever the brains of workers from their bodies so as to assign thought, knowledge, planning and control to management, post-Fordist capitalism might by contrast be characterisedin Foucault's termsas the imprisonment of the body by the soul. Hence the utility of desire, knowledge, and sociality in post-Fordism“.[10] To make creativity profitable, it is necessary to discipline it, and conversely, to transform disciplined industrial work into spontaneous plasticity of the working time. In both cases, it is necessary to install fake opportunities to become creative inside the working process. Thus, since the end of the 1980s there was a curious paradox: industrial production gets rid of routine thanks to specialization, outsourcing, and the growth of the third sector of economy, distant and seasonal jobs, whereas “artistic” professions are disciplined and start to parody Fordist routine. In both cases, the paradigm of flexible capitalism normalizes a condition of precarity.

The irrational, indeed hallucinatory nature of capitalist reality chewing and spitting out the bodies and lives of people becomes daily routine, which cannot surprise anybody by its brutality. But even in such conditions, the human ability to form social spaces and constitute forms of life is inalienable. The problem of today's moment is to realize this as a new type of routine: to create the possibility of using the rhythms of this new regime of precarity in order to invent new form-of-life, but on the basis of the already existing models of self-organization that accompanied the changes in the structure of exploitation under discussion so far. To outline the prospects of struggle and resistance to these new forms of controlled chaos, we need to address the vanguard of its reproduction—the post-Soviet region. Further I will try to develop connections between two levels: a historical genealogy of precarity and the attributes of precarious subjectivity. For this purpose, I suggest two categories—"informal relations" and "protection of proximity" and to look at their functional value as we reconsider the question of routine in contemporary capitalism.


Post-Soviet precarity and paradoxes of “communal” consciousness

Precarity as the norm for labour relations in Russia emerged in the nineties in connection with the transition to the market economy. Shock therapy and a sharp decrease in production led to massive unemployment that was in no way regulated by the state. The first forms of self-enterprise played an important role in forming the new system of non-standard employment: unemployed people united into groups and networks or operated independently, hiring others as “day” workers. As a system of labour relations, precarity emerged spontaneously and at the grassroots, via family ties and friendships, informal relations between former colleagues, and a broad network of mutual assistance and mutual dependence. Non-standard employment was not officially recognized for a long time because this kind of (self-)enterprise was a semi-legal form of private business, and so part of the shadow economy. The situation remained invisible, and the problems occasioned by it were long left unarticulated.

Broad-based creativity as a means of surviving under new conditions also affected the field of cultural production, which had to be renewed and provided with new institutional foundations. The absence of state protectionism in the cultural field has likewise turned cultural production into self-enterprise based on a system of informal relations. Moscow-based sociologist and activist Carine Clément has located the germs of these relations in late-Soviet industrial production.[11] Informal relations are a unique system of interaction between management and workers in which personal communication serves as the basis for generating a more flexible labour system. The positive surmounting of the Soviet bureaucracy’s disciplinary forms snowballed into something that fissured work collectives and annulled official and legal statutes.[12]

To understand the informal relations among actors in the field of cultural production and the processes of institutionalization, we should turn to the notion of the tusovka, which was introduced in the late nineties by Viktor Misiano. The tusovka is a particular type of community that has emerged in the wake of the collapse of official culture and the disciplinary Soviet society. The tusovka does not operate on the principle of a “common cause” or “ideological unanimity,” consolidating instead around the prospect of commercial commissions and official recognition. In a situation where previous forms of hierarchy and status have been destroyed, a dispersed and individualized community is formed. This extreme individualism is matched by a quasi-institutional form—the “one-person museum,” the “one-person gallery,” the “one-person editorial team.”[13] When she founds a publishing house or gallery, the individual aspires to realize herself not only as an entrepreneur, but also as an enterprise: the gallerist simultaneously becomes a curator, PR agent, journalist, and manager, and sometimes she even functions as an artist. A person who works for this one-person gallery never understands what position he has been hired to fill. Individual entrepreneurial creativity excludes concrete goals, overall strategies, and artistic programs, as well as the division of responsibilities and professional ethics. It thus follows that the economy of all such new establishments is based on an ethics of relationships and unwritten laws. The primitive accumulation of both symbolic and real capital by certain members of the tusovka was likewise made possible by the archaization of labour relations—for example, it was possible to easily, quickly and cheaply assemble a private art collection through the practice of barter (as when a painting was exchanged for studio space).

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This phase of primitive accumulation has ended, however, and now these quasi-institutions have become the dominant model for museums, cultural centres, and publishing houses. The mafia-like stranglehold exercised by cultural veterans of the nineties makes it difficult to realize alternative forms of institutional politics. During a period marked by Putin’s “stabilization” and the business elite’s long-awaited recognition of art, the old “I am my own director” scheme and the face-to-face model of interacting with hired workers, artists, curators, and critics have continued to develop. The tusovka has given rise to a new art bourgeoisie that includes huge numbers of gallerists, art dealers, managers, artists, and functionaries. The rhetorics of friendship and informal relations are reproduced in all production situations.

If the boom in informal relations in the 90s was a species of retreat from the normalization exemplified by inert scientific, educational and art institutions, in the 2000s this system of relationships became also a site of compensatory mechanisms of social protection. In the rigid system of hierarchies which has developed today, the flexible system of labour relations is a response to it. For a long time it was not mechanisms of state regulation that defended people from social risks, but networks of mutual aid and support between friends, colleagues, and relatives. With the transformations these networks have undergone since then, we can see this patterns as a response to intensified conditions of precarization. The new art community survives and continues its own reproduction due to the "protection of proximity".

Given this highly developed system of informal ties and practices, we can start to recognize the feudalism characterizing the means of social protection operative in the art community today. A homeless artist lives with an art critic buried under rush jobs. The critic seeks new work for himself and the artist, while the person who commissioned one of the articles from the art critic is interested in obtaining an editor’s position from him. This circle can be multiplied to infinity: the editor that the art critic hired is now himself looking for assistants to work on a new commission and he recruits the homeless artist, who is now interested in finding new lodgings. More people in need of something plunge into this chain of work-and-lodging in the search for a landlord from within “their own” milieu. Working without a contract, wage delays, and non-payment of fees are standard outcomes in such ventures. Relations of this sort, in which everyone is bound by a thick ring of obligations and responsibilities, sometimes leads to the fact that the real employer remains unknown to the majority of people participating in a particular chain. This mechanism is foolproof: it never malfunctions. Moreover, the dialectic of “feast today and fast tomorrow” makes it possible for the participants in the chain to agree to any wage conditions.

The protection of proximity can be compared to the mechanisms of overcoming the instability of daily existence that obtained e.g. in the middle ages. Such mechanisms existed in the past in form of cooperation between peasants on the territorial and regional level.[14] The art community replaces the family for many cultural workers uprooted from their places of birth. Their condition is thus wholly comparable with the condition of immigrants. Hence the art workers recognize themselves in these forms of “family business” and in the model of medieval peasants communities which pre-date formalized labour relations: their basis is not class identification, but communal identification.

This communal consciousness can limit the social world to the physical level of togetherness, and outside of this world flourish even more radical and anxious scenes of instability and precarization. This art community (Gemeinschaft) thus renders itself indifferent to the outside world, for its territory is limited both mentally and geographically (the center of Moscow, making the rounds of exhibition openings). That is why members of the art community cannot recognize themselves as precarious workers and cannot refer their conditions to the conditions of other social groups.

We already discussed how the logic of controlled or governed chaos plays with all possible contradictions: the strengthening of the state and its minimization, stability and instability, control and unlimited freedom. In fact, the same happens with precarious workers who are getting stuck in a trap of community (Gemeinschaft) which appears at the same time informal and disciplinary (conservative, patriarchal and imposing restrictions). Thus, precarity plays a double role: on the one hand, this weak and inconvenient element of the biopolitical regime calls into question the viability of administrated and controlled society by its very existence. What sense is there to erect improbable bureaucratic and police superstructures if they can be bypassed or outplayed? On the other hand, it reveals the plasticity and performativity of human nature, as it evades rational codifications and operators, able to mimic any classifications and system requirements. This then opens up infinite opportunities to reproduce the current order. Precarious subjectivity thus finds itself in a very problematic political status. If the answer to the routine of precarious life would be exodus to communal forms of life, the possibility of an articulation of such forms of life can become the question about what new types of political organization would be needed.

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The development of new movements against precarity can begin with the alternative principles of self-organization pursued by the members of various communities through a process of political identification. In this way the informal relations and network structures of these communities can become a new force for movement development. The small groups of artists and activists who take up the problems of precarity sporadically manifest in different cities and contexts, but experience shows that they always begin with a quasi-therapeutic approach, with participants 'coming out' and discussing the ordeals of precarity together. Such examples from personal experience might help to articulate the implicit political content of these meetings, although such practices often result in collective case studies, essays, manifestos and collective petitions. The main goal and strategy of these groups should be articulation of complaint to the level of a political problem.

There is no doubt that this variant of "communal complain" fits the pattern of a 'coming out' process This is also an important effect, when the suppressed problem of precarity at last finds an affective release. The first public actions of the Mayday Congress of Cultural Workers and the Union of Cultural Workers in Moscow began with similar practices.[15] For example, during the congress, participants collected stories of actual labour experiences from various artists and intellectuals. In the Moscow protest actions of winter 2012, the core group of the Union for Cultural Workers arranged sessions of 'people’s mic'. All who came to protest against unfair elections could tell his/her own story of discontent and share it with the others through repetition of the speech by all the participants of people’s microphone. Such practices created a force field of solidarity. However, this force field broke up as soon as the demo came to an end and could arise again only in following actions, in the thick of the protest movement. Practices which have arisen in the milieu of informal and familiar relations (communality) can be effective instruments of mobilization, but only if we recognize the necessity of defamiliarization, which is possible to reach with the constitution of the political sphere — real protest action, involvements in day-to-day political process.

Could it be possible to unite workers and artists in common struggle? Alternative ways of protection against risks extend widely in society, and localize various social groups in the topological limits of "community". Of course, the art community in Moscow is not the only example. Wherever the mechanisms of neoliberal deregulation of work and life become stronger, similar forms of informal relations arise. Today we can speak about the developing process of de-politicization of communities through ethnic, regional or professional dispositifs. Do constructions such as "family" and “the protection of proximity" signal the triumph of neoliberal politics, as illustrated by Margaret Thatcher's well-known thesis "society doesn't exist"? Thus, the question now is how to open up such communities to their outside and how informal relations can promote the elaboration of new types of solidarity actions.

What if Diderot’s routine would create not only a possibility of non-working zones, but also the transformation of the working process into a new form-of-life? Then, work shouldn’t simply be playing into the mode of “artistic creation”, but also finding a way to stay open to new and experimental forms of social imagination and politics. We should speak about the procedure of de-familiarization in this sense. The de-familiarization of communities can be reached if we try to transform them to a form of a new sociality. If the logic of controlled chaos is based on reproduction of the precarious life conditions by constructing illusions of becoming the creative and independent unit of the community, capable to lead all the others (head of a commune, the father of family, the leader of a clan, the successful artist), finally to become top manager of controlled chaos, de-familiarization instead has to liberate members of this or that community from the idea of that the chaos an be tamed in this way, i.e. individually. However, so long as we continuing to imagine the ways of rescue from the permanent catastrophe of current capitalism in the form of taming, isolation or blocking of its effects, we will constantly be facing new rounds of precarization and destruction of social structures. The positive sense of Diderot’s ideas still consists in that he suggests the influence of 'design' on the routine new form-of-life. It seems necessary to reflect on the ways the protection of proximity could possibly be formalized, if that is understood as a procedure of de-familiarization, allowing the subjects of these communities to view themselves from the outside. With a certain distance, the problems of art community and ways of their permission can find a different perspective.

This text based is on the article published in MAM in 2011 and presented as a talk given by the author at the "WINTER — Poetics & Politics" conference in a framework of the Central Asian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia in 2013.


  1. ^ Agamben G. Means without End. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. P. 3–11.
  2. ^ Ibid. P. 7. 
  3. ^ Arendt H. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1973. P. 267–304. 
  4. ^ Castel R. From Manual Workers to Wage Laborers: Transformation of the Social Question. New Brunswick, London: 2003. P. 63–74, 394–408. 
  5. ^ Sennett R. The Corrosion of Character. The Personal Consequences of Work in The New Capitalism. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. P. 32. 
  6. ^ Ibid. P. 33–57, 55. 
  7. ^ Ibid. P. 33–156 
  8. ^ Mitropoulos A. Precari-Us? //
  9. ^ Castel R. Op. cit. P. 317. 
  10. ^ Mitropoulos A. Op. cit.
  11. ^ Clément C. “‘Fleksibil’nost’ po-russki’: sgibaemye i nesgibaemye rabotniki” [‘Flexibility à la russe’: bendable and unbendable workers] // 
  12. ^ Ibid.
  13. ^ See:  Misiano V. The Cultural Contradictions of the Tusovka //
  14. ^ Robert Castel’s genealogical analysis of wage labor has revealed the principles of “communal” insurance against risks that was practiced in medieval society. Here, Christianity, with its doctrine of brotherly love for one’s neighbor, played a vital role. Thus, before a system of patronage and charity for the poor emerged, there existed a broad network of mutual aid and solidarity among peasants within particular villages. These forms of cooperation also extended to large village families. Castel R. Op. cit. P. 9–46.
  15. ^ Idea of the May Congress of the cultural workers was in close relation with the entire spectrum of grassroots initiatives appeared in 2000s in Russia. They worked on analyses of the new type of employment and political mobilization of workers. Theoretical discussions of atypical forms of labor, of precaritization, on the one hand, and the practical experience of activists in trade union work, especially the campaign against temporary employment, on the other, were meant to encourage an exchange between the various initiative groups. May Congress was to be run as an uninterrupted marathon, part of which involved not only preparations for a May Day demonstration, but also sleeping together at the venue and common meals. This nonstop commune-laboratory was accompanied by artistic actions, poetry readings, and film screenings. The common demands articulated by congress attendees can be boiled down to the need to legitimate the labor of cultural workers and for practitioners of traditional creative professions (philosophers, artists, poets, writers) to show solidarity with workers engaged in nonstandard forms of employment and with other workers involved in cultural production (journalists, critics, designers, publishers). The participation by congress members in the May Day demonstration was to have been a first step towards overcoming this gap by creating a common field of solidarity and political struggle. See:

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