It is common to ascribe a labor theory of value to Das Kapital. But this is incorrect. In fact the opposite is the case. And the difference matters, and very much so, for understanding what capitalism really is and how to fight against it under today’s conditions.
Month: April 2021
France and Germany jointly unveiled their recovery plans yesterday. Italy and Spain did not join the ceremony but had agreed on the date with Berlin and Paris and presented them on their own. They were in a hurry.
The US has acknowledged the Armenian genocide. From Bosnia to Azerbaijan via Turkey and Armenia, the declaration seems to have opened the cesspool of nationalist narratives, myths and delusions. But what was the Armenian Genocide? Who were the perpetrators? Why has the mere acknowledgement of its existence generated an international political earthquake? What does the Biden administration intend to do now?
Derek Chauvin’s trial will not put an end to the racist/racialist logic of state ideology in the US. Black Lives Matter will have the full support of the state at its disposal to ideologically frame us and send us to war if necessary… in order to defend democracy and its achievements.
The situation in Argentina in recent years has become a laundry list of union and left-wing resorts to divert and prevent the extension of struggles. We saw a first large-scale example in 2019 in Chubut. Then the convergence of struggles in the province around teachers and health workers was neutralized with national union strike calls cutting across the movement. Now in Neuquén we are seeing an alternative -yet no less damaging- strategy. We workers in Argentina and the rest of the world have much to learn from the experience in order to be able to effectively confront the unions and find our own terrain of struggle.
Yesterday, the EU reached a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law. In case there were any doubts, the objectives are explicit: To provide predictability to investors and to ensure that the transformations generated by the Green Deal in industries and capital markets are irreversible. Moreover, in concrete terms, the European Climate Law represents an acceleration in the speed of change. No one is unaware of the reason behind the rush: U.S. and China at odds for virtually everything else, are about to turn the Biden summit into the staging of a two-way split of the capital markets they hope to revive.
HBO kicked off the broadcast yesterday of Mare of Easttown, a crime series starring Kate Winslet which promises to be the best of the season but is splitting US critics into two camps.
Yesterday, 12 major soccer clubs released a statement announcing the Super League, a new European club competition backed by JP Morgan. The Super League would likely kill UEFA’s European competitions, depriving FIFA’s European structure of a good chunk of revenue. Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and even the European Commission immediately took a stand against it. Meanwhile, the clubs involved – and some candidates to participate, such as Borussia Dortmund – soared on the stock market. Underneath the battle for the Super League lie deep-rooted contradictions between states and financial capital.
Russia mobilizes its troops on the Ukrainian border and launches with the US and EU a new exchange of armed threats. Meanwhile, strikes break out in the Donbass on both sides of the front. The only real alternative to a new slaughter will not come from a Putin-Biden deal to share out plunder, but from extending and uniting struggles across borders and armed fronts. Strikes in the Donbass lead the the way.
Raúl Castro has announced his upcoming retirement at the age of 89, 62 years after the M26J guerrillas entered Havana and 60 years after Fidel Castro proclaimed Cuba’s entry into the Russian bloc. The retirement of the last active commander of Sierra Maestra from the political leadership of the Cuban ruling class occurs in the midst of the latest acceleration of the agonizing and perennial crisis of a national capital in ruins.
At the height of the Russian Revolution, as the working class wielded political power for the first time and hundreds of thousands of workers were experimenting with new forms of collective labor, Taylorism and the scientific organization of labor raised debates that were only partly resolved historically: Are the techniques of scientific organization of labor necessarily alienating and do they necessarily increase exploitation? Is their scientific foundation correct? Is there anything rescuable in them?
The map of world conflict is turned on its head. The US leaves Afghanistan to confront “new challenges”. The first: Russia… but also the EU’s “strategic sovereignty” aspirations. Meanwhile, the US military encirclement of China generates fears of war in Taiwan and configures the Falklands/Malvinas and the Magellan Passage as a new hot spot in the midst of an unprecedented naval deployment since the 81 war and with a surprising official announcement: Beijing and the Casa Rosada are preparing the first exercises of the Chinese army in South America.
In the second entry in our series on feminism and war, we will study interwar feminism in the USA in order to understand why during World War II it will be thoroughly used to recruit women workers for imperialist slaughter and war production.
The typical profile of today’s large-scale chemical plants.
The global minimum corporate tax rate on corporate profits, defended by the US, the IMF and under discussion at the G20, in addition to responding to the internal needs of US capital to stay ahead in the competition with China and to be instrumental in the formation of a new Western bloc, points to an internal reorganization of each national bourgeoisie after 12 years of crisis of accumulation
The Argentinean disaster consists of a ruling class leading us towards health care collapse by prioritizing an unviable national capital which condemns workers to poverty and is oriented towards an increasingly difficult imperialist game which makes the development of militarism inevitable.
The crisis of religion in Europe is becoming glaringly obvious despite aggressive proselytizing by Protestant churches in neighborhoods. Belief surveys show a consistent long-term trend that even this year’ s pandemic and precarization angst seems unlikely to change. However, the atomization and loneliness on which these religions have always thrived keeps on rising more than ever, so it is time to ask ourselves whether we are really facing a crisis of religion or just a crisis of its most atavistic forms, replaced by something perhaps even worse.
The success of Science of Well-Being, a course taught by Yale University on the Internet to nearly three and a half million students, has become one of the cultural phenomena of the pandemic.
World War III is a forthright and conscious scenario that is already in the plans of the great powers. The horizon dates for which these powers are preparing their armies are official and vary between 2027 and 2034. In any case, outlines of military blocs and coordinated strategies are beginning to take shape, rendering the imperialist balance increasingly volatile and violent.
The main entertainment platforms have anticipated it well and with their spring 2021 releases they offer us a good dose of escapism. Of course, well seasoned with the most rancid and reactionary elements of their ideological arsenal.