Quick Note: Today’s Round Up

Today I delved deeper into the link between economy, capitalism and digital platforms considering how individuals or rather the differences between individuals are manifested upon digital platforms.

I read further into Milanovic’s paper on global inequality – in order to ground me in a social policy framework and vantage point. This is because I awoke to the need to really dive deeper into social policy, reform and advancement in the UK context. I wanted to combine and reflect upon this field of inquiry in relation to my own work so that I could combine the economic (or as it turned out the class) barriers that exist so  that I may question why they exist also. I then moved to re-reading Neil Selwy’s work on reconsideration of social policy creation and it’s dichotomous natures. I finish my afternoon reading Jodi Dean’s paper on ‘comunicative Capitalism’. I found the talk and the implications raised by  helped to refocus my work.

I shall provide more in-depth notes (and less banter) tomorrow evening.


Response to – B.Milanovic (2011) ‘Global Inequality: From Class to Location, from Proletarians to Migrants’

This is a short paper of twenty-one pages, so in the interest of fairness and transparency it should be noted that most papers raise more questions than they answer. So my response in large part is questioning and relating this paper to other fields of inquiry or practice, but this response is more experimental exercise in collating the notes that the reading raises within me and in relation to my larger intellectual interests. To clarify the following post and any future ones.

Milanovic structures the paper under four headings that provide an accessible and easy-to-follow rationale. Beginning with accessing the ‘Global inequality in the mid-19th century’, the reader is presented with the centrality of Marx and Engels’ text The Communist Manifesto. The main take-home point of this sections is that based upon economic and historical data, as well as Marx and Engels’ work inequality in the past was structured as being between classes and less in terms of belonging to certain countries.

The paper then moves to assessing ‘Global inequality in the early 21st century’. To maintain a comparative baseline with the preceding calculations from the mid-19th century, Milanovic uses price levels and PPPs¹ extrapoltaed from the 1990s, rather than the more recent versions of 2005. As the 2005 version gives an overall higher global inequality. To pause here, the talks of ‘Gini points’, or Gini co-efficients as some may know it, runs a little over my head reminding me of A Level Maths. But I do find it interesting that inequality within countries and between them has increased greatly in 15 years, though Milanovic provides transparency and his methodological framework I wonder why the 2005 numbers were not used? However, positively he does signpost the data from 2005 in a footnote and provide the Gini points that would have been presented had he used the 2005 data. There is also two further citations to papers by Milanovic in 2011 and 2012, that most likely expand on the more recent data figures judging by the titles. What is quantitatively presented, through a three graphs, a table and  a lot of global data is that inequality still persists and that the inequality is present within countries and between them also. But that the gap between the poorest members of the rich and poor global societies was the widest according to the data indications. This leads to Milanovic assessing that something other than simply, income or wage must be focused on. However, almost as a homage to Marx and Engels’ call, we are led towards Milanovic viewpoint that this focus away from merely an economic viewpoint into the “global poor”, to addressing other factors may help create a political economy based upon their commonality of interests.

The final two sections addresses the loss of a global class-based proletariat revolution as advocated by Marx and Engels. A brief, if a little basic presentation of Europe and America in relation to theme migration is presented, titled ‘From “permanent revolution” to “fortress Europe and America”‘. Though there is some historical contextualisation, mainly in terms of mid-19th and mid-20th century movements of workers, communism and “revolutions” there remains a huge gap as far as I am concerned. The gap being the arguably greater part of capital, labour and migration.. the role of Slavery, demarcation of difference, Euro-centric Empires and Imperialism, which continues even today in the 21st century through the cultural, technological and political imperialism impressed upon the world through the USA, UK and Euro-centricised global institutions (UN, IMF, Catholic church). The paper concludes with relating how Communism, as well as its global revolutionary power as championed by Marx and Engels, may have eroded due to the economic socio-cultural improvement of the poor in rich or “richer than most” countries. Milanovic then states that ‘Analogously, the problem of migration will disappear, or become manageable’ (2011; 18). This leads me to conclude that the paper pays undue emphasis on economic data, variations and power, with very little focus on connection, the mediation of difference and the webs of social significance upon which all future policy making is built upon, globally. Though I understand this is chiefly and primarily an economic paper, I am somewhat dismayed that a paper with such rich historical and political history contextualising does not bring into the fore the role of colonialism, imperialism and the ‘spectre of difference’ upon the global economy’s stage.

This response will now be highlighted through the quotes that I found interesting, under which I will have my typed up margin comments.


‘Being proletarian was thus a global condition, they held, and being global, it presented an ideal basis on which international solidarity of the working class could be built. Proletarians were equally poor and exploited everywhere and they could liberate themselves and usher in classless societies only in a common effort that knew no national borders.’ (Milanovic, 2011; 2)

Seemed this feeling was present in the mass political and social movements of early 2000s (against Iraq War, G8 summits, Bankers Crisis, Occupy movements)
⇒The “Golden Age” of International Networked Global Solidarity
⇒So what is changing now?
⇒Seems hard to do (common effort/no national borders) considering turn to provinciality and nationalisms.

↔These are borne out of Demarcation of Difference
SO – How is Difference manifested in the Digital now? (also on Digital and through the Digital)
→ with respect to the contemporary UK context

‘The similarity in economic conditions would, in turn, lead to the concordance of economic interests and to the emergence of solidarity among workers of different countries. Ultimately, it would culminate in a worldwide revolution’ (p.3)

They [Engels and Marx, by extension Milanovic too, due to his omission] did not factor in Differences between countries
& the
.. of these types of differences it seems.

‘We can reach the same conclusion that the main income cleavage was the one between classes, and not between countries…’ (p.5)

But does this not erode/take away the contemporary change to income and inequality cultures. As globally these are more important, these factors of economic, inequality and difference are centralised and visible due to a move away from free movement. Across Empires old and new, through a marking/etching out of difference onto our Bodies?
One is no-longer caught between class – country (or the wider Empire as it was then) But marked.trapped within a spider web matrix.

‘To fix the ideas, we can call the between-country inequality “locational” because it depends on the differences of mean incomes between various places (countries), and the within-inequality, “class” inequality because it depends on different individuals, living in the same country, having different incomes and belonging to different social groups. (p.5)

“locational” differences
-Figure that these are entrenched deeper that “class” inequalities in contemp. societies, perhaps because allure of class is still there?
– But a good framework / term to begin to move and compare the mediation of differences between countries.
In both terms/terrains “Difference” is still there *and* forms a major part of this.

‘Not only is the overall inequality between world citizens greater in the early 21st century than it was more than a century and a half ago, but its composition has entirely changed; from being an inequality determined in equal measure by class and location, it has become preponderantly an inequality determined by location only. This fact is of great political and economic significance.’ (p.7)

Exactly what I just said overleaf.
How is it of political and economic significance?
How can we change the factors that determine inequalities?

‘…the ratio between wheat wages of English and Indian unskilled laborers around 1850 (Broadberry and Gupta, 2006, quoted above)… the UK/India unskilled wage gap has increased from around 3.3 to 1 in 1850 to more than 9 to 1 today… it keeps the level of skills constant across time, and focuses on the very low skills representative of those who are at the bottom of the income pyramid.’ (p.14)

Where did data from 1850 come from? Did it include EVERYONE? Does not take into consideration the expansion of neo-liberal globalisation and the burgeoning structure of world economy – in which key national players effectively “working” their national poliy for another international government. i.e. Indian as service status and centers for UK

‘…in terms of political economy, the commonality of interests between the poor and unskilled workers in the rich world and the poor and unskilled workers in the poor world is hard to detect if we focus on their economic conditions only. This is of course a major departure from a situation which existed a century and a half ago.’ (p.14)

⇒ Small diagram – looking at economy and money only – tells nothing. Basically.
⇒ So what else should we have to look at now?
Difference & How Difference is Done? through the following:
› Education
› Media
› Socio-cultural Informing / Education
› Governing
› Policies Affecting all these

‘…it must be a world of huge migratory pressures because people can increase their incomes severalfold if they migrate from a low mean-income location to a high mean-income location’

‘Only if knowledge of these income difference could be somehow hidden, and not widely-shared, could we expect that people would not want to migrate. But this is most patently not so in the era of globalization, instant communication, and broad access to TV, movies and Internet.’ (p.16)

Why hidden? Why hide it?
Surely the rich who are able to + are migrating should stay and focus on goal for all / or else allow those affected to form part of the conversation.

‘ [the conflict between] capital and labor was the main political issue that influenced several generations of thinkers, politicians, social activists, and ordinary people, this is no longer the case today. Globally, the issue has receded in importance as the objective conditions that gave rise to it have changed.’ (p.16)

Would agree capital and labour still v. important, now for people. Especially “poor” people even in  rich countries like UK.
But mostly a question of difference me thinks, is coming to the fore. Why is there difference? How are we different? When should this difference by acknowledged and when not? How does this difference affect them personally?

‘To quote Engels again – but now ten years after The Communist Manifesto: “…the English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois.” (p.16)

“comparatively” were they really bourgeois or performing class in order to gain access to places still yet closed to them?

‘…it is the problem of uneven development between the countries and, associated with it, the pressure of migration emanating from poor countries.‘ (p.17)

Really emanating from there? – From poor countries?
⇒Not from the Empire?
⇒OR the historical – political – cultural valuation of migration and Empires and the movement of these.

‘These issues have been exacerbated by the current economic crisis and the unexpected great difficulties that many European countries have had in “absorbing” migrants, particularly those with Islamic background. Thus, in a close succession, both British and German Prime Ministers have declared the “multiculaturalist” model, which was supposed to be Europe’s answer to migration, to have failed. Angel Merkel, moreover, pronounced such a model unambiguously “dead”. (p.20)

“absorbing” know its in scare quotes BUT cant help feeling uneasy and excited.
Milanovic finally talking of socio-cultural and post-colonial thinking.

‘Europe is surrounded by countries whose demographic profiles are exactly the opposite of the European’ (p.21)

That’s not a scary phrase at all (!)
Particularly as older – more politically active people in Europe are scared of being overun or their legacies being taken from them.
⇒No wonder technology & economic is what is used to dominate the poorer countries or world as well as the “migrant” / different / deviant people within “their” Borders.

‘It will be driven by the self-interest of individuals but its ultimate result would be a reduction in global inequality and global poverty Aid and migration ought to be regarded as two complementary means for achieving these goals.’ (p.21)

Agree BUT –
– How is Aid:
›accessed – promoted? reported?
– ALSO –
– How is Migration:


¹The PPP Knowledge Lab defines a PPP as “a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance



Quick Note: Today’s roundup

So today’s readings have taken me from reading through 2011 working paper titled ‘Global Inequality: from Class to Location, from Proletarians to Migrants’ by Branko Milanovic (2011). A different formatted version can be found here, there may be some discrepancies. I then moved onto looking at the question of inequality in terms of mediation, visibility, and the issues of diversity/inclusion in a UK sense. I turned to watching video recordings of talks given to the UK Parliament, the world’s media stage, along side exploring diversity charters, policy documents and reports by the think tank Runnymede Trust.

I aim to provide a more in-depth note on the various reports and papers I read and media in due course. But suffice to say, in terms of my interest and research project I am alternating between the arena as being worth as one of global interest and one of individual structuring and construction. I see my domain of exploration as the later, but still find it hard to fully verbalise in a written manner what I am trying to etch out. However, in pushing myself to follow the unravelled thread to a neater package in the form of a more manageable project and location-specific data, I aim to combine a wider appreciation for the terrain, as well as using the populist methodological tendency to look at and the continuation a truly diverse and better serving community





FutureLearn Course – Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism

This morning I signed up to an 6 week online course, which starts on the 16th of January 2017. The course is run on the Future Learn platform, is completely free and entitled ‘Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism‘. It should take only 3 hours a week, so I’m hoping to fit it in without too much bother.

The course seems interesting as it explores the British Empire through 6 themes;

  1. money
  2. violence
  3. race
  4. religion
  5. gender and sex
  6. propaganda

Having read the lead educator, Richard Toye’s blog post, ‘Why is the British Empire still so controversial?’ , highlighted as a taster for the course, I was hooked in by the focus on both the historical and documented Empire, it’s continuing colonial legacies (which extends longer than you may think) but most of all by the notion of ‘informal empire’.

For too long as a British-born, Muslim woman of South Asian descent,the ability to label, structure and vocalise all the stories, histories and continuing ripples that I see as a large messy uneven web has been so damn hard. The connection to web technologies has in part helped, but also made it a little difficult. Though I now definitely know more, and I’m able to connect to more data and refer to more anecdotal evidence and narratives, lets face it the colonial capitalistic patriarchal carnival just continues. As I sit a little overwhelmed and unsure of how best to attack the many problems I see before me. While simultaneously forging my way through contemporary society and it’s many messed up unfolding scenarios that I can trace back to historical legacies that allowed some to hold power of others. Then justify this power through questionable systems. Systems that allowed people, lands and traits to be classified, homogenised for the purposes of promotion/defamation and then this new “logics” to be legitimised as “rationales”, interwoven with the scientific, cultural, political and social advancements of the world in a great many directions. Some directions brought great worth to some of the Empire’s subjects and some directions a great deal of pain.

I know for a experiential fact I am not alone in what I perceive. In my feelings that I live in a society unequal towards too many and in so many ways. That I am both part of a global village, a global identity, a great big society but also shut out from it. A society that refuses to acknowledge the many doors it shuts in our faces, the many anxieties and insecurities it induces and the many hoops it lines up for everyone to always jump through. Whilst continually measuring our progresses, putting us under increased surveillance, gathering so much data about us that we tend to see and project ourselves in terms of narrow descriptions. This feeling is felt across many, many fault lines of ‘diversity’, many tribes constructed through ‘data classification’ and throughout the length and breadth of this country (as well as in various parts of our historically colonised world).

You could argue that these tools extends to out online environments.  Online platforms could be fooling us into thinking we are both a consumer and a producer, a spectating observer as well as a fundamental cultural constructer, however is it not just another type of social carnival? A virtual one that looks to be a revolution but only projects and protects the very people served historically by colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism?


what of my brother?

What of my Brother?

Whose life has moved along many different lines…
Whose experiences could use up all of England’s inkwells,
Whose linguistics could have surpassed even the Bard’s lines,
What of him the large precariat Lion, strong but inwardly howling..

What now? What of his life? What then?
Where should he hide? Why?

Whose only conceivable crime was to be different to the gingerbread cutout for me and my kind.
Who struck out so lonesome a visionary vanguard, misunderstood from every side.
Who wasn’t able to traverse the systems that push him, kick him down and kill his mind, his spirit his chance at life..
Melting and moulding, stuffing it all inbetween and amongst the camps of the lower classes, of the “people-like-me’s” and our kinds.
Whose ambition comes like a seasonally treated windup clockwork, buffed up to a new shine,  But like every internal working it brings attention to itself again, sure as an apple falls from a tree.
Here it is, it stretches out, is hacked at, splutters and withers, congeals and dies.
Every year whenever the sun shines.
The end heralded by a ticking of the clock and an addition of a ‘1’ to the numerical understanding of his life.


A Pause… Gratitude to the cosmos heals

Getting such a sense of weird deja vu. All about rise of nationalism, Brexit, overwhelming sadness and feeling a bit paralysed as I delve into reading about contemporary climate for my project…
So instead I am going to stop – breathe and do a “What I’m happy/thankful for..”
1- I’m thankful for my faith and belief in a higher power, Allah SWT/God, God-Allah, The Cosmos, Destiny.. label it what you will but even when I feel stuck in a deep well of rust and unhinged limbs I remain humble and keep going. I am thankful for this resolve that comes from a belief in something bigger than myself. My pain is but temporary.
2- My family. Though they are so far from me, physically, mentally and spiritually.. they are close-by me in another great way and I them. Unchosen, yes, but together we are in and will escape this mess. They’ve done and been through stuff that can’t even be vocalised or known.. they are my greatest and most forgotten heroes. They help re-centre me, when I fly off. They got me going on a trajectory to sort this world in some way before I shuffle of it’s coil. They are stronger than even they know and an inspiration to me always.
3- My friends. Loyal, beautiful, honest, open and my mental, spiritual and physical mates through this life. For always giving me unconditional support, their non-judgmental, constructive criticism and giving me a home when I needed it most. Got nothing but love for them.

4- That I can still think, work, play and plan. #”Keep you’re head up.. ” #


Year 2021.. Or so it begins


Year 2021

The world is a different place. A place of Cultural creators. Cultural tasters. Cultural dictators. Where it is your link to belief that assigns where you reside. Where birth-right is the only thing that is certain and right. No more mobility. No more integrating. No trust. No hope. In short the world of status quo and neo-colonial control.. Or rather the struggle for control.

The green, green lands of Blightly have been touched severely by years of tension, civil unrest and unsound policy making. Until the landmark year of 2020, August 2020 to be precise.

But most of all a place where culture has ripped away at all that could be, could ever have been and is now used to discourage any integration, mixing or appropriation.. Unless a case is made and upheld in the secular centres of the British Isles.
In the midst of it all. The laptop chimes, beh-beh-buehmm .. those Skype ringtones are old and classic. Though Zaika makes a mental note for the millionth time this month about changing it after this call, she already knows she most likely, probably, most definitely won’t. She can’t seem to pin down what it is, familiarity, nostalgia, laziness or what, but that sound.. That silly old-school bubbley logo, she patched in 18 months ago, that animates round and round.. Buzzing over that S. All of it. Everything. Makes her entire body beam with delight, her life for one brief moment seems light. Lighter than the beams of golden speckled beams shining through the french dormer windows.. Catching all sorts of hazy transient bits of fluff in their nurturing rays. Enveloping her cold pert breast, warming her nipples into some form of biological submission. Making her feel at one and at a loss, simultaneously. Her life is not her own. Her life is not a whole.

All this and more she thinks in the 1 minute and 45 seconds she can bear the ringing sound coming from her comically tall looming white Ikea desk. With the fluid movement of someone who has performed this task a million times, Zaika pushes her slender, naked form off the floor. Her knees and toes taking most of force as they act like fulcrums, while her rough fingers reach out to the soft black shawl, on top of which she had been sat in absorbed contemplation. As her body turns the 65 degree angle needed to silence the monotonous ringing that has faded into the patchwork of her life sounds, Zaika has managed to drape the shawl loosely but competently around herself. Managing to even pin the ends tightly around her face, to build the illusion of constant observance to protocol. Just in time to answer the call to her young overseas nephew.

“Bore da, Yayah”
“Asa’laam walaykum Khala”
“Walaykum Asa’laam Yayah, how are you doing?”

Oh this call is not going to go well she thinks, already her young 11 year old nephew’s eye have narrowed with the intensity of her mother’s. She wonders what sermon will be filtered to her in today’s conversation, she has already dissected the 15 seconds of interaction and found herself to be be seen as wanting. If only she’d just smiled happy and allowed him to begin the conversation. She mutters a hurried prayer to God Allah that her constant interaction down at the centre will at least carry her pakistani and arabic verbal skills through the next 25 minutes. Perhaps for once she can bring some pride to them, and leave a call feeling loved. Her eyes swell a little with tear.. As a flash-forward of herself looms large in her mind’s eye. Zaika is laing naked on the flower, curled up against a hot water bottle and teddy.. Crying like a broken water-works doll.

Oh sickening spirit.. Leave me.. I beseech thee.

I see a spirit so independent and true,Fighting within fortunes so similar

A life path through the challenging bush,

But dissimilar too, the essence of our awkward roots,

a legacy that we inhabit,

yet to given

To be seen to take fruit.
This wandering mind,

anguishing in hells your imagination could barely reside in,

Your powerful strides strapped to an ever-questioning mind, dissatisfied by seemingly having nothing good to find.

Our certainties gone, withered and lost, the day we forsook thankfulness, gave up the greatest gift given by God, this here our deep love.

That now flows ever-present, causing doubtfulness and depression,
As we work, in wakefulness without the others presence.

Incapable to come to terms with our shattered brittle spirits.

To you your road and me my own.
One should have learned by now,

There can never be a companion on this sickeningly septic journey, in which even an 11-year old me has been,

But whose horrors you have neither heard of nor seen.

Goodbye my love. Goodbye my dream.

As I always said you must leave me.

An ode to a lost love

I cannot seem to escape thee

Your majesty compels me

My root fixated in being with you,

Fibre-optic news of your being blowing upon every breeze,

I remain forever frozen unsure of what to do,

Head down, fangs snarled, head pumping,

running for eternal coverings,

picky as I sit confused in quagmires, unwilling to accept willingly shared offerings,

Undaring to dream of countless substitute hauntings,

Uncaring as I spend unknown hours inflicting slow suffering,

Undoing the work of these past months faring,

As my head turns and yearns in a direction I lost,

I’m broken and alone,

With no chance of igniting you to bring me home,

You’ve moved on like a bejewelled whore,

Words and sweet love were never your goal,

I am cast ashore,

Head bursting from this great fall,

I await patiently my next opened door,

Crippled with unproductive, unusable hope,

awaiting to be turned onto passion-filled lifetimes,

Heady lifelines,

anxiously enticing my spent imagination,

As I wonder who you go a-courting,

My love surrounded by owners of a thousand shirt-tails.

Late Night MA Woes

Putting the Social ‘Bleaurgh-ness’ out there so it’s not in me mind as I sleep:
So still have the actual proposal bit of my research proposal to do. (1000 words to go!) This is gonna be killer. But heck at least it’ll be very much grounded and God-willing on point in terms of word count and understanding.
Heck they gotta appreciate me making my idea so fecking clear despite battling illness, actual physically dying (ageing), numerous time and people constraints and the fact that my biggest issue is I don’t like to adhere to deconstructionism but want a more interpretative stance to my research and essays.
p.s. I love writing! Words rule. Wish I could do and feel like this allllll the time. It;s so productive and fun listening to your voice as you type.. I should sleep. ‘nite!
p.p.s. My body hate me. Battling some form of 2 month long illness is really starting to take it’s toll. Cannot wait to sort all this out come Tuesday and the week after. Maybe I just need the gym? That’s the cure to everything right??