Month: October 2021

The changing discourse on work

29 October, 2021 · Critique of ideology

Labor shortages lead to hospitality chains in the US offering employment... but never at more than the legal minimum wage in each state.
Labor shortages lead to hospitality chains in the US offering employment... but never at more than the legal minimum wage in each state.

First it was truck drivers and cutting workers in Britain and not long after they were joined by healthcare workers. Then, alarms about the cost of “extreme turnover” and the lack of sufficient workers in hospitality and services were raised from the US. The EU, country by country, reported similar headlines. Now news of “labor shortages” is coming even from South Korea. The talking heads of capitalism and the opinion machinery, from Krugman to Fintan O’Toole, respond with a change in their discourse on labor.

The antivaccine movement and the trade unions

17 October, 2021 · Global situation

antivaccine movement

Since last Monday in Italy one can only work with a “Covid passport” (“green pass”). Although 85% of the population is vaccinated there remain some pockets of workers yet to be vaccinated victims of the anti-vax discourse. The “combative” unions like Cobas took a position similar to the one rehearsed by the Sud union and some branches of CGT in France, pitting workers against each other and against everyone’s needs in the name of a supposed “individual freedom” to put co-workers at risk. Unsuccessfully, for this time. But… How do we confront the anti-social alliance of the antivax and the trade unions

An anti-human parenting model

15 October, 2021 · Critique of ideology

parenting

In France, the media are shaking their heads at the views, some of them frankly anti-human, reflected in polls taken among high school students. In Germany, meanwhile, the current models of upbringing, generalized from the basic school in the last decades, are being called into question. Not just the educational and school model, but the whole ideology of upbringing is proving to be socially and humanly destructive.

Soaring gas prices: a consequence of the Green Deal

14 October, 2021 · Global situation

soaring gas prices

Underlying the steady rise in electricity prices there is a structural element: the speculative emissions markets created by the Green Deal. What European governments seemed not to have counted on is that this would be compounded by a steep rise in the gas prices. But in fact the latter is only a consequence of the general framework created by the Green Deal and its impact on the various imperialist strategies.

Is the US willing to start a war in Taiwan?

13 October, 2021 · China

Taiwan's military rehearses defensive ground maneuvers in the event of an invasion from the mainland.
Taiwan's military rehearses defensive ground maneuvers in the event of an invasion from the mainland.

Tension between the U.S., Britain and China in the Taiwan Strait has been at its highest point since the 1950s. A formal declaration of independence, which the ruling party in Formosa is threatening to make at any moment, would be enough to trigger a war in Taiwan directly pitting the two great imperialist powers against each other with disastrous consequences. It sounds crazy, but nevertheless, there are underlying reasons that could push the U.S. to take a step with no turning back.

October 12: two complementary packages of impostures and nationalism

12 October, 2021 · Critique of ideology

October 12
Columbus statue. Caracas, October 12, 2004

October 12 again. And back again with the barbarities and outbursts of the Spanish right wing, López Obrador’s cynicism and the moralizing and “decolonizing” delusions of the identitarian university left. Each one with its own agenda but, however noisy it may be, their confrontation is only apparent. All are in fact selling us the same outdated product: a terminal nationalism which is as anti-historical as the system feeding it.

Tiny houses, decadence and nationalism

10 October, 2021 · TV

Tiny House Nation, La Fortuna, Foundation
Tiny House Nation, La Fortuna, Foundation

The entertainment content on TV is scarce and not very comforting this season. We discuss a close-up look at the USA of precarity (Tiny House Nation, Netflix); Alejandro Amenábar’s first series (La Fortuna, Movistar); and the most incompetent reading imaginable of Asimov’s “The Foundation” (Foundation, Apple TV).

Poland and the EU’s Future: Questions and Answers

9 October, 2021 · European Union

Poland and EU

What is the problem between the EU and Poland? Is the authoritarian drift of Hungary and Poland real or just an excuse? Do the Polish arguments have any basis? Does the PiS (Polish ruling party) want a “Polexit”? Why is this battle so important and why is the European Commission being so blunt now?

Industrial shortages and the workers

8 October, 2021 · Global situation

Industrial shortages. Yesterday in Spain.
Industrial shortages. Yesterday in Spain.

Industrial shortages are not just a British problem. In Spain they cut industrial output and weigh down the “recovery” despite rising demand. In Germany, the entire industrial production is being disrupted. Chaos reaches such a point that US industrialists call for a truce in the trade war against China and China is unblocking Australian coal imports. But make no mistake, all of these are part of what the EU calls “a war-like effort”. The world’s supply chains are on the verge of collapse.

Reduction of working hours and salaries: What is going on?

8 October, 2021 · Global situation

Desigual workers vote a reduction in working hours with inferior wages at Desigual
Desigual workers vote a reduction in working hours with inferior wages at Desigual

Yesterday in Spain all TV news programs devoted an unusual amount of space to the “referendum” at Desigual regarding the reduction of working hours. They insisted that “the reduction in salary is shared equally between the workers and the company”. Yes, they are peddling a model and yes, there is a catch. From Japan to the U.S. via Ireland, France and Great Britain, the so-called “recovery” is being accompanied by a reduction in workers’ incomes dressed up in different ways. Reduced working hours is just one of them.

The decline of Facebook

5 October, 2021 · Global situation

facebook instagram whatsapp

Practically all the US and European press broke out yesterday with Facebook on the front page. The six-hour outage of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp affecting thousands of companies further amplified the media and political offensive against the monopolist. Why has speculative capital’s favorite “unicorn” become a “public enemy”? What’s behind the change in discourse and pressure from governments?

Fully Automated Luxury Communism

3 October, 2021 · Critique of ideology

fully automated luxury communism

After the first five installments of our series “Under Communism”, several readers have asked us our opinion on “Fully Automated Luxury Communism”, the title of a book by Aaron Bastani which, although it has had few translations and media coverage outside of the English-speaking world, seems to have succeeded in coining the term.