Transcript of plenary by Guy Standing at the BSA Annual Conference 2015.
The Magna Carta was the first class-based set of demands made against the state for rights of citizenship. The
original Charter of Liberties of 1215 only became the Magna Carta when the Charter of the Forest was accepted in 1217. Together they advanced the rights of the commons.
New classes have emerged at various times in history, and each new class has had to struggle to attain rights suited to its realities. Today’s rapidly growing mass class is the precariat, consisting of millions of people who are experiencing diverse forms of insecurity, without occupational identity and reduced to being little more than supplicants.
Sadly, neo-liberal and utilitarian political interests have whittled away at the precariat’s civil, political, cultural, social and economic rights. It is the first time in history when a large mass of people have been, in effect, converted from citizens into denizens.
This lecture will define the precariat, show how all forms of rights have been taken away, draw out some historical comparisons and present the outlines of a Precariat Charter that would revive, restore and enhance rights of citizenship for what is today’s dangerous class. It draws on a book with the same name.
guy standing, plenary, 2015, transcript, precariat, citizens, denizens, citizenship, rights