A new global recession is imminent. But this time it threatens to trigger a financial crisis and a debt crisis. And we know what “anti-crisis policies” for workers are all about.
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.
“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.
Yesterday the European Parliament held the State of the Union 2021 debate. In her speech, Ursula von der Leyen skipped central issues and tensions between countries in order to emphasize the constituent tone with which the Commission tries to curtail the memory of the many social disasters it drives and coordinates: from its infamous border and migration policy to the vaccination campaign via the impact of the Green Deal on the electricity bill.
A week after the publication of the law establishing the new vocational training, the public news media promise us that “for the first time in history vocational training will no longer be the poor relative” and the government hypocritically repeats that the new training will create jobs. This is not true. But they leave workers no other option. The new vocational training transforms the entire labor market and no worker is going to be able to stay out of it. That is why enrollment applications have grown by 51% and it is already clear that in many autonomous communities there will not be enough places this year. Not by miscalculation, but by design. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
There exist advertisements which condense an era with far greater economy than any novel or film. The ad for Ford’s F-150 Lightning, Ford’s iconic vehicle for the Biden’s Green Deal is, by the same token, a promotional ad for precarious living rather than a celebration of green comfort, a Nomadland to insert into big-league matches and Superbowls rather than a sales pitch. But Biden has gone a step further: the Green Deal’s pick-up is also the symbol of a looming new war economy.
Nomadland, directed by Chloe Zhao, won the this years’ Oscar for Best Picture. The novelty: it acknowledges the existence of workers and the precariousness they experience. The question: why did it win?
The EU’s Porto Social Summit unveils, decades later, its long-promised “social pillar” program. The “Porto Social Commitment” has been triumphantly presented as a shift towards employment and workers, a return to the welfare discourse that would definitively close the door to more precariousness and “austerity”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The commitment will be austerity’s banner.
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.
The Spanish government closes 2020 by charging head-on against the status of retirees and permanent workers. It is a warning of what is coming in 2021 and what they mean when they talk about reforms.
Biden’s “Green New Deal” is presented as the most important change that the new U.S. government will implement. Its consequences for workers will be enormous… and not good.
Capitalism mobilizes more and more resources into making us poorer in relative terms. But when crisis devalues capital, it impoverishes us in absolute terms in order to regain momentum. And since in every cycle capital finds it increasingly difficult to recover, we have been suffering from precarization and impoverishment for more than ten years without ever recovering. All the plans for the recovery of capital are plans to worsen the global situation of the workers.
Between now and the end of the year, the crisis is going to arise all over the world in all its harshness. The first signs are already here.
The low volume of the “recovery” funds turns them into a mere cover of the “austerity” promoted by the EU, with all that it means for the workers as a forced reduction of the general exploitation costs of the labor power: less healthcare services, education, social cohesion, etc. But this “austerity”would remain a mere appetizer for the general offensive against workers’ conditions implied by the “reforms” aimed at by this “recovery fund”.
Today, the Spanish Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, has published a document to convince large capital funds to invest in state debt. In other words, she explains why betting on the overall result of national capital is a good investment. The set allows to understand well the continuity of the “road map” of the Spanish bourgeoisie and what it considers its “achievements”. Achievements that, of course, the PSOE-IU-Podemos government makes its own and intends to carry “further”.
Statement of Emancipation for a mobilization of all workers together against precariousness and unemployment