The [students´] agitating makes me think of something that was invented one day, if I recall correctly, by my good, late friend Marcel Duchamp, ‘A bachelor prepares his own chocolate’. Take care that the agitator is not preparing his own chocolate. Jacques Lacan in 1969 [Lacan, 2007: 199]
At a time when in the UK the government is undertaking a fundamental reform of social security, this book should be made compulsory reading by everyone involved in designing and delivering welfare payments systems, from Ministers to frontline staff. The book explores the dynamics of the lives of people who ‘churn’ between low-pay jobs and social welfare.
Paul Mason’s book is an attempt to explore and understand the global domino of uprisings around the world in 2009-2011. Why it’s kicking off everywhere brings together some of the many localities of the world that gained global attention from the media and filled people with hope for another, better future. Protests, demonstrations, and revolutions in Egypt, Greece, Britain, and the US are closely followed by Mason who, as a virtuoso reporter, communicates vividly both the feeling of those moments and the stories of the people:
The University of Culture, instituted by Humboldt, draws its legitimacy from culture, which names the synthesis of teaching and research, process and product, history and reason, philology and criticism, historical scholarship and aesthetic experience, the institution and the individual. (Readings, 1996: 65)