What unites Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb? Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are transforming themselves into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on.
What exactly is political education, and what is it for? Is it a relic of old-fashioned, top-down socialism? Or could it be a tool to help us overcome seemingly eternal problems getting the politically dis-engaged to take up the task of building a better, fairer society? Does education - that is, truth - ultimately have anything to do with politics, or are we really living in a ‘post-truth’ world?
In October, we'll be discussing Simon Hannah's sweeping history of the "Labour left" - that loose federation of groups who, since the Party's founding, have sought to put a more radical stamp on its politics.
In the first meeting of the London Fabians Reading Group, we'll be reading "On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs", by Goldsmiths' based anthropologist David Graeber. In it, he argues that the promises made by early socialists that technology would progressively liberate human beings from drudgery have not been realised, due to the proliferation of what he calls "bullshit jobs".