Predictably, xenophobia is growing with the war and is now also affecting Ukrainian refugees themselves. What is fueling the fear and rejection of refugees?
Critique of ideology
The differences in social roles between men and women are fundamentally due to the impositions of the social organization of work. That is to say, they are neither based on “essential” differences nor can they be overcome through ideological and cultural campaigns. For this reason, ending discrimination requires transforming the relations of production.
Hundreds of thousands of young people from working families live the fantasy of a “crypto revolt”. They hope that the autonomy and personal development denied to them on the labor market will be brought to them by a speculative game.
The aftermath of the Will Smith affair in the USA and the Nobel Peace Prize proposal for “Katiba des Narvalos” in France enlighten us on the role and limits of humor and its relationship with the state.
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.
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.
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.
Is an increase in the minimum wage necessarily good for workers? Under what conditions can it generate an improvement? Under what conditions does it reduce the wage volume paid to workers as a whole and render working conditions even more precarious?
The veil has long since fallen on cryptocurrencies: the essential thing about them is the fact that they are not money but speculative financial assets. To understand their success within the thousand speculative investment possibilities offered by today’s financial markets, we need to understand briefly what the technology on which they are based is like and what things it allows beyond the usual possibilities in “normal” speculative assets.
The topic of the day in Spain is the approval yesterday of the Labor Reform in Congress thanks to the blunder of a PP member of parliament who was not allowed by the Presidency to change his electronic vote once it had been cast. The representative insists that it was a “computer error” but in the same day he had made a mistake in at least three votes. What at first glance seems just an anecdote of parliamentary formalism actually reveals the historical moment of the society in which we live.
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?
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.
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.
Environmentalism is beginning to be refined and distilled as a state ideology beyond the pressing need to impose the Green Deal. This trend goes beyond propaganda. It constrains scientific development and paves the way for a brutal acceleration of poverty imposed on the working class.
Infections are on the rise again and the impact of new variants is feared. But European governments are encountering increasingly violent resistance to the “Covid passport” requirement. The old feminist slogan “My body, my choice,” accepted as the moral dogma of the vaccination campaign by the governments themselves now undermining public health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In France the demonstrations against the Covid Passport have consolidated an initially heterogeneous social base around a discourse that amalgamates, from the antivaxx, reactionary libertarianists, pseudoscience, feminism, conspiracy-mongering, nationalism and anti-Semitism. No neo-fascist aesthetics or Gaullist fogeys. Quite the opposite: lots of social workers, islands of yellow vests and anarchists and lots of “France Insoumise” followers. They are many, but they are still an eccentric minority, ideal as a cohesive enemy for Macronism, which can thus garb itself in rationalist garb. And yet it is a movement highly significant of the historical moment and the culture it exudes.
This week, in Spain, the ruling against two parents who murdered their two children in Valencia was heard; in the Canary Islands, the corpse, more than 1km deep in the sea of one of the girls who had been kidnapped by her own father was discovered; and in Catalonia a woman confessed to the murder of her own daughter out of spite for her ex-partner and father of the girl. We must ask ourselves why these heinous crimes keep occurring, what produces them and why 20 years of laws and public policies against gender violence have apparently been to no avail.
Vegetarianism, veganism or soylent are not only supermarket choices, they are ideologies fueling a dietary policy. This is not a historical novelty: the ideological apparatuses of antiquity and feudalism already used dietary politics as a tool of power and political domination.
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.
Andreas Malm’s Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency has become the reference book of environmentalism during the pandemic. It includes quotes galore from Rosa Luxemburg, invocations of ecological Leninism, the call to expropriate the oil companies and long arguments in favor of a type of tactical catastrophism that would be a tailwind for revolutionaries. But for what revolution? Who and for what purpose would make it?
Feminism is not a movement fighting for equality, but an identity-based movement that for almost a century and a half has been committed to the framing of working women in favor of the expectations of social advancement of a part of the female petty bourgeoisie. Since its origins, it has been linked to the militaristic framing of the working class and to the most destructive mercantilizing morality.
If the political game were simply honest, no matter how class-slanted it were, a confusing indicator which makes invisible the most elementary social divisions, such as the gender gap, would have an extremely limited use. However, such an indicator lies at the heart of the Spanish government’s program and is one of the main banners of IWD (March 8th). The gender gap discourse has served to hide what was happening in the labor market and to “storm the heavens” of management boards by a part of the female petty bourgeoisie. Now it is beginning to mutate… into something even worse.
Riots and democracy are the buzz on all the front pages and television news these days in Spain. Politicians and protesters oppose these two concepts while remaining within the same ideological universe: some say riots occur because there is no democracy, while others say there is no place for riots in a democracy. If we already discussed the counterproductive nature of riots ariots as a tactic, today we will critique the reactionary ideology peddled to us by one or the other side during this empty debate.
The transition from a demonstration to a confrontation with the police can occur for a thousand causes. In Linares we have seen one, in the recent demonstrations in Russia we have seen a different one. However, it turns out to be very different when riots, physical confrontations against the police are the form and goal of the demonstration, the form of expression chosen to vindicate instead of a development or byproduct of the original goals.
In many books, in educational institutions and in the media we are told that technology created the industrial revolution and other great social changes. But it is not true, it is not enough to suggest or invent new technologies to solve our needs, which are universal, it is necessary to change social relations. And that starts here and now, it is not a task for a hypothetical tomorrow.
A new article in response to what our readers are asking about different forms of discrimination and how to fight them.
We answer some questions about “indigenism” that were agreed upon by several readers after the publication of “To Understand Bolivia”.
The culture of a decadent society sterilizes, idiotizes and kills. And this, at this point, is a true rampaging meat grinder leaving only desolation in its wake.
Empiricism and mechanicism served as the basis for the great political and social apparatuses of capitalism, today completely obsolete, rigid and incapable of guaranteeing a future for workers and humanity. No vertical machinery led by an exploiting class will guarantee the satisfaction of human needs, however techno-futurist it may present itself.
Why are racialism and feminism replacing movements for «equality of rights» There is a certain pattern in the way these movements expanded globally in the last four years. Feminism and Anglo-Saxon-style racialism share identical arguments and tools in their structure. However, while feminism has been adopted as a state ideology in several continental European countries, racialism is receiving, especially in France, a head-on response from the state itself and its left wing.
Feudalism and capitalism generated their own ideological and knowledge systems in response to the interests and activities of their ruling classes. Both the aristocratic liberal arts and the mechanical arts of workshops, doctors and merchants, pushed the knowledge of Humanity during their respective rising periods. And in the same way, the monopoly of both put brakes on the development of the [[productive forces]] during their respective [[decadence|periods of decline]]. Both were and are partial visions of the maximum possibilities offered to Humanity… possibilities that can only begin to take shape by bringing together a Humanity divided into classes.
The insistence on “neoliberalism” was in fact the insistence on the validity of an “alternative capitalism”, reformed and allegedly possible. In other words, it was not even reformist, because reformism intended the possibility of overcoming capitalism through reforms, and these only aspired to make it livable… without managing to be less utopian and therefore reactionary.