The tenser the situation with Russia, as the US tries to mark its hegemony over Europe, the more France and Germany respond against the US… and the more the seams within the EU itself between the Franco-German core and the countries closer to Washington are coming apart. The real battlefield in the “phantom war” of these weeks is the EU, subjected to Putin’s and Biden’s double attack.
Month: January 2022
The end of last year and the beginning of 2022 are seeing the emergence of a wide offer with utopia and utopianism as its banner: large exhibitions of corporate foundations, university lectures, debates and seminars in major cultural centers. But there is no innocent utopia… so, what course are they setting out on?
Russia is tdeploying troops, fighter planes and S-400 missiles to Belarus and bringing amphibious units to the Baltic. The German press is pushing its government to organize conscription if war breaks out. And while a new meeting of US and Russian foreign ministers is being prepared for Friday in Geneva, US discourse insists on presenting the invasion of Ukraine as imminent. Are we just a few days away from a new imperialist war in Europe?
The European bourgeoisie has been testing a new discourse on the working class for some years now. The simple denial of its existence, overwhelming since the 1990s, was already becoming insufficient before the pandemic. A new message was needed. The broadcasting of “Le temps des ouvriers”, a documentary originally commissioned by the Franco-German channel Arte, throughout last year in practically the whole EU, provides us with a clue as to the shape of the new discourse we will be bombarded with in the coming years.
A huge teaching strike has been going on in France since yesterday. It covers elementary schools and middle plus high schools, with both teaching and service staffs taking part together.
The League of Communists and its Manifesto of 1848 were a fundamental moment in the process of the constitution of the workers as a class. However, the League was not, and could hardly have been, the first nor the most extensive of the political expressions of a proletariat that was taking shape. “Icarian communism”, with all its political weaknesses, was in reality the first great workers’ party and its experience -which goes far beyond that of the colonies in the United States- can still teach us some things.
The World Economic Forum, Davos, regularly presents its global risk report. If last year’s was a true confession of the incompetence of the ruling class, this year’s one marks a leap in the concerns of the cloud of experts who, around the world, advise the top of the corporate bourgeoisie and governments. In focus: the acceleration of workers’ mass impoverishment and imperialist tensions between states.
For the past few months NATO has been denouncing a Russian build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border. The US went so far as to state that it expected a Russian invasion earlier this year, to which it nevertheless promised to respond exclusively with sanctions. Now representatives of both powers are meeting in Geneva to “de-escalate” the tension and prevent the invasion supposedly underway. But is all this really about Ukraine? What are Russia’s and the US’s objectives? Is there a real danger of war? And if so, to what extent?
In many parts of the world, restaurant work encapsulates the worst of precarization with the general meaninglessness of capitalist production. From “Michelin star” restaurants to fast food joints, every apparent advance in the art of cooking or the way of producing seems to be made at the expense of the workers, so our readers ask us if it is possible for restaurants – or something like them – to exist under communism.
After a year of intense inter-country political battles and between industrial lobbyists and environmentalists, leaked documents from the European Commission now reveal that the proposed “taxonomy of sustainable investments” will include gas and nuclear power as “green energies”. At once Germany, Austria and Spain take a stand against nuclear power – while dodging the gas issue – while France and the 10 countries of the “nuclear bloc” rejoice. What is the real battle underneath all this? What is at stake and how will the outcome affect workers all over Europe?
Could Omicron be the end of the pandemic? Governments are increasingly open about leaving the current wave of Omicron unchecked as a way of achieving “herd immunity”. There are only three problems: there is no evidence of persistent immunity from Omicron infection, all signs suggest that it will not be the last variant and, for the moment, it is leaving a new slaughter in its wake as it breaks infection records day after day.
The crackdown on protests in Kazakhstan has become internationalized: Russian paratroopers and Armenian, Tajik and Kyrgyz troops under CSTO mandate have entered the country to tackle demonstrators. Russian agencies speak of a joint action to confront “terrorists” and “bandits”, American ones of an attempt by Putin to “expand his influence”. Both render invisible the reality: from last Sunday to today, the Kazakh state has collapsed in the face of a mass strike that spread throughout the country, but which nevertheless is far from the level of workers’ self-organization that we have seen in Iran.
Consumerism is the ideology which claims that consumption is the center and driving force of social life and that the individual’s consumption choices are what define his or her position in the world. The backbone of the ideology of capitalism during its decadence, consumerism strongly permeates the morality that the system and its propaganda exude, aggravating the mercantile degradation of human relations and… neutering any frustration expressed through it.
“Boiling Point”, released last December 29th by Filmin and Apple TV, is undoubtedly and by far the best film of 2021. A rare gem which combines a rounded script with a perfect casting direction, a prodigious photography and a fast-paced rhythm, but above all, it is a testimony of an era, ours, and the daily reality of working in it.