Month: March 2022

Argentina and the IMF: worse than you may think

31 March, 2022 · Argentina

Protest by the agro-export sector against the increase in withholding taxes approved to finance the state at the same time as the deployment of the agreement between Argentina and the IMF was being finalized.
Protest by the agro-export sector against the increase in withholding taxes approved to finance the state at the same time as the deployment of the agreement between Argentina and the IMF was being finalized.

The implementation of the agreement between Argentina and the IMF, which is now being defined, is getting closer and closer to becoming a real rescue plan for national capital… on account of draconian measures that will reduce the purchasing power of wages by no less than 30%. All this in a country where, already nowadays, almost a third of the workers cannot buy the basic basket of goods with the income provided by their work.

Social morality and the propaganda machine

30 March, 2022 · Morality

Social morality and the propaganda machine
Social morality and the propaganda machine

Social morality and the propaganda machine combine and feed each other in a game of hypocrisy and barbarism. This week the media reaction to a slap at the Oscars, the silences of feminism over Ukraine, the claims of European farmers or the drifts of the anti-war movement in Russia, made it clear to us: nothing but inhumanity and decadence can be expected from the ruling class nor the petty bourgeoisie.

War in Ukraine, Globalization’s Apocalypse

28 March, 2022 · Global situation

BlackRock headquarters
BlackRock headquarters

The CEOs of two of the largest US funds, BlackRock and Oaktree, have issued open letters to their shareholders on the occasion of the war in Ukraine in which they pronounced the end of “globalization” and set out broad guidelines for the world’s corporate giants. These encyclicals have enormous prescriptive power among the corporate bourgeoisie. The global turn to the War Economy is happening too fast and the “Gospel of post-globalization” can hardly wait.

The Batman 2022

27 March, 2022 · Movies

The Batman 2022

“The Batman” extends “Joker’s” gallery of grotesque horrors by taking its morally abhorrent simplism even further. It’s only recommended in case you’ve ever wondered how far the most over-the-top reactionary individualism could go.

From “energy island” to the insularization of the European bourgeoisies

26 March, 2022 · European Union

Sánchez and Costa at this weekend's European summit which recognized Spain and Portugal as an "energy island"
Sánchez and Costa at this weekend's European summit which recognized Spain and Portugal as an "energy island"

The European summit and its declaration of Spain and Portugal as an “energy island”, clearly expresses the kind of contradictions stirred up among the imperialist interests of its members by the development of the EU. Contradictions that are fueled both by the growing role of Brussels in the booming war economy, and by the ever greater and more explicit weight of the U.S. in defining its policies. For the bourgeoisies of the European South, a stage of vindication of their “exceptionalities” and the hope of an insularization which will multiply rather than palliate their attack on the basic conditions of the workers is opening up.

The end of the “start-up” era

24 March, 2022 · Critique of ideology · TV

Scene from "Super Pumped". A sour tale about the start up world based on Uber's story.
Scene from "Super Pumped". A sour tale about the start up world based on Uber's story.

In TV series, Silicon Valley “entrepreneurs” and their startups are no longer heroes but villains. The same media that created the ideology of “changing the world” and the myth of “good” technology monopolies, now rebukes and satirizes it. Underneath the ideological turn is, unsurprisingly, the reorientation of capital towards militarism and the Green Deal.

Inflation varies by neighborhoods

21 March, 2022 · Global situation

Inflation hits basic goods such as food and fuel.
Inflation hits basic goods such as food and fuel.

There is no truth in the claim that inflation affects everyone in the same way. Economic data show that the current inflation hides, all over the world, a real transfer of income from labor to capital and from the weakest capitals to the most concentrated ones. However, the reaction among the workers and the weakest capitals, those of the agrarian petty bourgeoisie or the hauliers, is the opposite. The workers demand universal access to basic necessities, the small landowners to be able to reduce wages and conditions of their wage earners.

Spain changes its policy on the Sahara and fuels the war in the Maghreb

19 March, 2022 · Spain · Magreb

Moroccan military transports in the Sahara
Moroccan military transports in the Sahara

Overnight, Spain has made a U-turn on the Sahara. Sánchez has committed to Spanish support for the Moroccan occupation of the former Spanish colony. A new impossible balance of Spanish imperialism in the Maghreb dangerously inflaming the tensions which keep Algeria and Morocco permanently on the brink of war.

Economic emergency

18 March, 2022 · Spain

Today's demonstration of haulers in Seville
Today's demonstration of haulers in Seville

The economic emergency situation we are experiencing -general price inflation, escalating energy and basic food prices, reduction of real wages and purchasing power- is an accelerated version of what the government and the Spanish ruling class expected from the Green Deal. What is coming now is the fall of economic activity and an “income pact” that, in order to stop inflation -which was not caused by wages but by the exaggerated margins of the electricity companies, the Ukrainian disaster and the blockade of Russia- is going to consume almost 20% of the purchasing power of a typical wage.

Refugees from Ukraine and the logic of asylum in the EU

15 March, 2022 · European Union

A group of refugees from Western Ukraine enters the European Union.
A group of refugees from Western Ukraine enters the European Union.

The press welcomes the “radical change” brought about by the invasion of Ukraine in the treatment of refugees by the European Union. Even the most xenophobic governments are giving refugee status and facilities of all kinds. But has anything more than outward appearances really changed?

Food security and war economy

14 March, 2022 · European Union · Global situation

The sunflower oil crisis has raised the alarm about European food security and opened the door to an agri-food war economy.
The sunflower oil crisis has raised the alarm about European food security and opened the door to an agri-food war economy.

“Food security” is moving to the forefront of the priorities of European states. The agrarian war economy that shaped the EU in the Cold War is back on the immediate agenda. Far beyond sunflower and grains, globally there will come a famine and a new international division of agri-food production; and in Europe a regression of social relations in the countryside and a new push towards the most harmful elements of the agri-food industry. Agri-food production is on the way to becoming war production.

The “John Deere brigade” war meme: from romanticism to class reality

13 March, 2022 · Ukraine · Critique of ideology

John Deere, a symbol of war propaganda
John Deere, a symbol of war propaganda

The media continue to broadcast patriotic scenes of the war in Ukraine. One of the latest is the “John Deere Brigade”, a supposedly heartwarming scene where Ukrainian farmers are resisting the invasion by towing abandoned Russian armored vehicles towards Ukrainian forces. All of this while turning the brand new green John Deere tractors into a patriotic “symbol” garnished with light blue-yellow backgrounds and flags. But the war does not mean the same thing to the different social classes.

War and revolutionary defeatism

11 March, 2022 · Publications · History

Continuing with the recovery of texts of our current, we digitized (in Spanish) three articles published in the French editions of FOR between 1980 and 1986 on war and revolutionary defeatism. They have always been fundamental, but now they are even more urgent.

War Economy and the “Income Pact”

10 March, 2022 · Europe

EU Ukraine. War Economy

The tsunami brought about by the emergence of militarism and the evolution from economic war to a war economy is not going to stop. Least of all with regard to the workers in all the states of Europe, from the Azores to Yakutia. We are at the first moment of a massive impoverishment which will inevitably be accompanied by a strengthening of state totalitarianism. And only struggles, strikes and an increasingly frank confrontation with the ruling militarism will be able to stop and reverse it.

From economic war to a war economy

9 March, 2022 · Europe

"No to war". Sign above a house in Russia.
"No to war". Sign above a house in Russia.

The ban on purchases of Russian hydrocarbons by the USA and Great Britain, the plan to reduce by 2/3 the consumption of Russian gas by the EU and the imminent response from Moscow, are leading to the immediate and general transformation of the economic war into a war economy in the whole of Europe, from Yakutia to the Azores. Already in sight is an impoverishment of the whole continent’s workers of a speed and violence not seen since the last imperialist world war.

The economic consequences of the war will not be temporary

8 March, 2022 · Global situation

Moncloa yesterday. Meeting between employers, unions and government to talk about an "Income Pact" to face the "economic consequences of the war".
Moncloa yesterday. Meeting between employers, unions and government to talk about an "Income Pact" to face the "economic consequences of the war".

That which today is presented to us as the economic consequences of war will not be temporary, nor will they end with the laying down of arms. Neither are the new economic conditions a temporary effect of the conflict and sanctions, nor will they disappear with “peace”. The “Income Pact” proposed by different governments as a way of “sharing” the economic impact of the war in Ukraine will not be either a parenthesis or a “temporary sacrifice”.

Does the war in Ukraine have anything to do with “defending democracy and our values”?

7 March, 2022 · Critique of ideology

Pedro Sánchez addresses the Federal Committee of the PSOE decked out in the colors of the national flag of Ukraine.
Pedro Sánchez addresses the Federal Committee of the PSOE decked out in the colors of the national flag of Ukraine.

The permanent azure-yellow exaltation and the most shameless war propaganda set the media tone in all European states and the USA. This has nothing to do with “democracy” and “our values”, no matter what Biden, Macron or Sanchez may say, but with the political necessity to enforce acceptance of the “sacrifices” demanded by the rising militarism. The result is the first advance of a new ideology of framing for war which turns a blind eye to the excesses of a nationalism which until yesterday was condemned as the great danger of the century.

Can Russian anti-militarism end the war in Ukraine?

6 March, 2022 · Russia

Police detain a Yandex rider at an anti-war rally in Petersburg
Police detain a Yandex rider at an anti-war rally in Petersburg

The anti-militarist movement in Russia is proving capable of mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Its adherents are showing true heroism in the face of an increasingly brutal repression. But its citizenist approaches condemn Russian anti-militarism, as it is today, to political impotence. And yet…

The false “internationalism” of the ruling classes and their media

4 March, 2022 · Ukraine · Russia

Russian soldiers captured by a Ukrainian paramilitary group.
Russian soldiers captured by a Ukrainian paramilitary group.

The invisibilization of resistance against war and militarism on both sides of the front, as well as the media support for the Ukrainian “international legion”, clearly shows what the “internationalism” of the ruling classes and their spokesmen all over the world is all about.

War, a circular industry

3 March, 2022 · Ukraine · Russia

The capitalist war is, on the ground, an industrial competition whose primary product is the mass production of corpses from the same workers it employs. A “circular industry” indeed.

The “Culture and sports” industries of preparation for war retreat to their bases

3 March, 2022 · Arts and enterteinment

Gergiev conducting in Palmyra, after Syrian and Russian forces recaptured the ancient city in 2016.
Gergiev conducting in Palmyra, after Syrian and Russian forces recaptured the ancient city in 2016.

When imperialist tensions grow high enough, the cultural press suddenly “realizes” that the great performers and conductors are – oh surprise – more or less discreet propagandists for the governments that support them. The demand for boycott becomes immediate and the usual nonsense about “culture as a bridge between peoples”, “culture for peace”, etc. comes to an end.