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Ben - 23:04 Máirt Samh 18, 2014

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Ben - 08:47 Luan Samh 17, 2014

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Ben - 07:56 Luan Samh 17, 2014
Hadn’t heard of this Irish fracking company before. San Leon Energy. Run by this chirpy chappy, Oisín Fanning, who has history with Anglo Irish Bank (Full article here -

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Hadn’t heard of this Irish fracking company before. San Leon Energy. Run by this chirpy chappy, Oisín Fanning, who has history with Anglo Irish Bank (Full article here -

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Ben - 22:24 Aoine Samh 14, 2014
Playing around with slides for a workshop i’m giving at the Betty Sinclair Winter School in Lustybeg next week, the topic of which is the importance of education in building a genuine progressive working class movement. The main argument I’m making here is that in the absence of the type of robust conceptual frameworks needed [...]

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Playing around with slides for a workshop i’m giving at the Betty Sinclair Winter School in Lustybeg next week, the topic of which is the importance of education in building a genuine progressive working class movement. The main argument I’m making here is that in the absence of the type of robust conceptual frameworks needed to help us make sense of the world, we’re in danger of leaving our analysis in the tepid hands of “plot” - that is, good guys and bad guys and motivation powered by personal failings.

Theory/ideology/conceptual frameworks still allow us to tell what happened and why, but they give us greater scope to explore the type of structural class power relations at play which are glossed over by the demands of plot and tragedy.

In other words, the bank crisis seen through the lens of power and class is a different story to one seen through the lens of greed-driven motivation.

The difference is that the former brings clarity to the task of changing the world, while the latter brings shrugs and sighs.

This has been on my mind a lot these days. I’ve been telling stories about the banks crisis, about Ireland and Irish society, for a good number of years at this stage, as part of a deeper education and consciousness-raising activity, and our need to make sense of the world through narrative seems to fit uneasily with the structural dynamics of issues such as power and class.

Indeed, the tensions that exist between narration and theory-informed structural analysis - trying to avoid personifying the structural dynamics through plots framed by stories of personal failings - is something that takes up a lot of my mental energies.

We have to make sense of the world through stories. I firmly believe that is an innate human need. The trick is to tell the story of class and power as a story, when the architectures of each (class and power on one side and plot-framed narration on the other) are not the same.

The reason why it is important is in terms of class consciousness.

Genuine class consciousness, I believe, happens when people stop asking “what class am I?” and start asking “what class are we?”

And stories of class and power help us to do that. The hard part is to tell those stories without finding yourself wrapped in the strait-jacket of “plot”.

Anyway, you can see that what I’m still playing around with. Hopefully it’ll make more sense next Friday.

Ben - 18:46 Aoine Samh 07, 2014
Irish Labour movement, 1889-1924 - Lecture Seven: Civil War and Retreat. from Conor McCabe

Ben - 09:37 Déar Samh 06, 2014
Global Finance Money and Power - Lecture Eight: Futures and Options from Conor McCabe

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Ben - 21:08 Máirt Samh 04, 2014

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Ben - 12:03 Céad DFómh 29, 2014

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Ben - 09:02 Aoine DFómh 24, 2014
Irish Labour Movement 1889-1924: Lecture Six - Syndicalism in Ireland from Conor McCabe

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