First a personal note: As CPress heads into its 19th year it continues to be my main source of camaraderie with like-minded and interesting people. We have all been affected differently by the current crises, but CPress continues to be a stable and engaging network. I am very grateful to my CPress comrades who add so much to this project as we build social and political solidarity and provide some light in the darkness. I feel very lucky to know you all.
CPress has now officially moved from the old Slack channel to the new Signal Group(s). Through the trial it has significantly simplified communication – for better or worse. Signal's latest changes for "groups" – including the desktop app, pinning the group to the top of this chat lists, muting, invites, document sharing, and group video chats – have made this possible. If you are still on the slack and missed the notice and would like to join the CPress group, send us a request on Signal. The two groups are the main channel and random.
CPress.org and Leftnews.org continue to be actively updated and are receiving thousands of visits a day. We stopped detailed analytics and all tracking with the previous upgrade, but we still are able to see rough page load activity on the server and through Cloudflare's CDN. It is no surprise, but after five years the Arts and Culture section is now on par with the political analysis in terms of net new visits.
CPress Black Boxes
The CPress Black Boxes (and the GNU/Linux education that goes with it) continue to be updated and new ones distributed. What started as a small pandemic project has become a full ongoing hobby. The boxes are now being used as video conferencing (with Jitsi Meet, Signal, Mumble, Skype, and Zoom all working), smart TV boxes for streaming, Linux development and education (Emacs, git, command-line tools, GNU/Linux introduction, web tech, and learning Git), home security devices, weather station development, backup solutions, gaming platforms, and video and music media servers/players. If you are interested in the project please reach out on the CPress group or to the editors.
(Note, that chat on the development does not take place on Signal. Instead we use Libera IRC and the official #cpress channel. Please contact me on Signal if you are on the chat as I have no notifications set-up for activity in that IRC channel.)
Concepts: past and future needs
It is obvious that the previous two years have been challenging for the world. The simultaneous political, health, climate, economic, demographic, and money/value crises have created a situation that is unrecognizable, stressful, and confusing. Through this, CPress has attempted to outline concepts, analysis, and tools to help build alternatives to those offered-up by Capital and liberals. Those who engage with CPress have also been actively organizing around some of these issues in an attempt to build actual working models of organizing. This has been no easy task given the cultural moment we are in with State and self-imposed restrictions on movement and in-person activity as well as the ever present burnout experienced by all.
Organizing – union organizing in particular – has been a challenge. Large organizing campaigns require some stability to implement strategic plans. But, the only stability to be found is with the ever growing list of issues we face providing a stable foundation for consciousness raising and empowerment. To this end, CPress associated activists have been building and trialing new digital tools, outreach, and organizing structures.
We will be outlining lessons learned in the previous two years, successful application of new models of outreach (and failures), new tools implemented, and the necessary integration of these in future activities. Also, the need for comprehensive and concrete sector-based bargaining frameworks and how to achieve them seems necessary to outline.
Concepts for political economy that will be essential learning for the future are listed below. We have debated and written publicly about some of these already and privately on some of the more contentious issues. This year will we will continue the development of the application side of these and what they mean for our common struggle.
The analysis of where we are is important before (or as) we recommend alternatives. Without correct and scientific foundations of these topics we may cause more harm instead of solve the problems we are all facing. To this end, we will restart the very serious business of organizing CPress Dinners to Solve All Historical Problems. These will (hopefully) highlight each of these issues in turn with special invites to new and old comrades to present on the topic. Events will be organized on the main CPress Signal channel.
I look forward to seeing all of you in the new year – in one medium or another.
List of issues
- Technological change
- Organic Composition of Capital
- Time and how it is not properly accounted for.
- Climate change economics
- Pandemic/health crisis economics (with culture and social changes)
- Debt and growth
- Money, value, and inflation
- Profit on transfer
- Alternatives to the financialization narratives.
- Relation to capital of pension funds.
- New forms of organizing and bargaining
- Surveillance and the pandemic in the workplace.
- Remote working, "hybrid" situation, and management.