SYRIZA took power through elections—not so much on the basis of a movement that could embolden or depose it. Now it is back to fighting power for many Greeks. But beyond the taking and fighting of power, there is the question of building power.How do we build lasting relations and infrastructures for struggle and change? How can can we think of building power—in social networks, in the everyday, in organizations, in institutions—in the midst of the ongoing European debt crisis? It starts with the question of social reproduction, of how to gather forces and generate resistance constructively and sustainably.The context of crisis and generalized vulnerability opens onto a myriad of struggles around social rights, resources and survival, all of which put life at their center. Everyday life, bodily survival, collective life: the problem of human needs touches most in the crisis, and colors any form of engagement—and not just the employed workers who can still go on strike.All of this goes to the heart not only of the crisis, but of the long-term tendencies towards precarity, welfare retrenchment, structural unemployment and surplus population. The politics of reproduction addresses this issue and makes it a site for the construction of collective power.To build social or collective power sustainably and concretely, we must clear some pathways for thinking approaches and strategies within this domain. And we must ask: how do struggles around reproduction relate to the politics of representation, particularly in view to contemporary electoral openings within the crisis?Social reproduction in the crisisThe viewpoint of social reproduction is central to the question of building power today. Social reproduction is a broad term for the domain where lives are sustained and reproduced. It relates to the ways we satisfy our needs and to the often hidden material basis for pursuing our desires.Now the problem of reproduction touches the lives of millions with urgency. The breakdown of the integrating mechanisms of welfare and neoliberal management has opened the way for new approaches to thinking about how we sustain our lives, individually and collectively. It involves the crisis of certain institutions and structures—state, market, family, waged labour—as well as singular modes of community and relations of interdependence.
Source: ROAR Magazine