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It is often said the world's next world war will be fought over water and there are few places as tense as the River Nile. A new dam on the Nile could trigger a war over water unless Ethiopia can agree a deal with Egypt and Sudan. Egypt and Ethiopia have a big disagreement, Sudan is in the middle, and a big geopolitical shift is being played out along the world's longest river.  Egypt is worried
3 hours 4 min ago
We say of the miner that he produces coal, of the baker that he or she produces bread, but such is not the case. They assist each other in the production of coal and bread and are at the same time dependent upon the balance of the workers for their equipment and materials. Before the miner goes down into the earth his fellow workers in every line of human endeavour have co-operatively labored to supply him with house, food, furniture, clothing, tools, powder, etc.; so that in the mining of coal all of the workers assist him. They do not go to the coal-face, but he could not go there without them. The mining of coal is, therefore, a social function in which all the workers participate. What the miner does is to perform the last social act necessary to transform the natural deposit into usable shape. But the coal is not yet produced—coal is not mined to be used by the miners, it is intended to warm some home or furnish power to some industry—other workers follow the miner to complete production of the coal. For no commodity is produced until it reaches the purchaser who consumes it. Only when this has happened is the objective which inspired its production attained—the satisfaction of an individual or social need. The miner has been used for illustration here, but you can substitute for him the farmer, office clerk, bricklayer, driver, etc., and no matter which of these you select a study of their activities will show that they work in conjunction with and cannot function without the balance of the working class. Capitalist industry has so organised the workers that their mutual inter-dependence is its outstanding feature. There is no independence for either the individual or the group. As a class they labour and produce; as a class, they are exploited, and as a class, they must organize, and through a class organization only will they be enabled to achieve any betterment in the present or emancipation finally.
If you are a wage-working man or woman, your life is conditioned upon having access to a job; you must establish yourself as an employee to some employer. To establish this relationship you must possess something which the employer requires in the business in which he is engaged. You have the power to produce wealth—labour power. It is the only thing you have, but it is an essential factor in industry. In fact, all capitalist industry is predicated upon the existence of men and women like you who have no other way to live, except by offering their life energy, labor power, for sale. The labour power of the workers in nearly all industrial occupations is used in connection with other expressions of power such as steam, electricity, gas, water, gasoline, and horses. Labour power differs from these other powers in that it not only expends itself but expends itself intelligently and directs, controls and uses these other power expressions. The brain of the worker, as well as his or her arms and legs, is a factor of his or her labour power. The other powers would as likely injure as serve without the guidance of labour power.
When you sell your labour power to the boss you agree to deliver to him the use of it for so many hours per day, usually ten, for which he, in turn, agrees to pay you a stipulated price (known as wages) of, say, $3.00 per day; or you agree to embody a certain amount of it into the raw materials he provides at a given price. The former is the time system of selling labor power, the latter is the piece work system. In either case, you sell your labor power to the boss, measured by the clock or incorporated in some article. The worker sells his labor power and receives in return a wage, out of which he must provide the means of life for himself and his dependents. The boss buys labor power because he needs it to operate his establishment, whether that be a factory, a mine, a railroad or a farm. The most up-to-date equipment is valueless as a means of producing wealth unless the magic influence of labor power sets it in operation. It is not a philanthropic motive that inspires the boss to employ the wage worker; it is because he must employ him, or fail in his enterprise. When he does employ the laborer he drives as hard a bargain as he can, which means that he will pay the laborer as little as the laborer will work for. But the least the laborer is inclined to accept, on the average, is a wage sufficient to maintain him and his family according to the standard of living obtaining among the workers. And this standard is what determines his wage. The labor time necessary to produce values equal to that required to maintain and reproduce the laborer sets the exchange value of his labor power, or the wage of the worker. As you will see later this is what determines the relation of all commodities to one another—the amount of socially necessary labor time contained in them—and, as labour power is a commodity, its exchange value is similarly determined. But labour power, unlike other commodities, besides being part of the worker is associated with the aspirations, hopes, ambitions, and will of the owner. That is, as well as being a commodity, it has human attributes, and being inseparable from the labourer has the effect of. reducing him to a commodity basis. In capitalist society he is not only a producer and seller of a commodity—labour power—but is himself practically a commodity—a package of labour power wrapped up in a human skin.

9 hours 7 min ago
Our blog previously posted on the health risks of the American meat industry here. In the UK Inspection figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reveal there were on average 16 major plant safety infractions every week between 2014-2017, according to a data analysis conducted this week by the Guardian and Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Almost two thirds of audited meat cutting
15 hours 12 min ago
A year-long study of more than 500 workers in Cambodia, India and Bangladesh found women often work overtime or borrow money from their husbands to feed their families and pay rent. The largely female workforce in South Asia is often underpaid, faces verbal and sexual harassment on a daily basis and is forced to work long hours, campaigners say. "I wouldn't have enough money if we ate a lot,"
21 hours 19 min ago