Who’s exploited?June 5, 2023
UK children’s charity Barnado’s says that a record number of children are in danger of online ‘exploitation’ as parents struggle with the cost of living and can’t afford summer break activities or holidays (Guardian).
By ‘exploitation’ they mean specifically criminal activity (drug dealing) or sexual abuse via online grooming. The treatment of children in capitalism is often appalling, especially when there’s money to be made out of them. But the term ‘exploitation’ should not be confined to cases of extreme abuse. In fact, all workers are exploited. Otherwise there can never be any profit for employers. Ever. Exploitation isn’t just a cruel and unusual feature of ‘bad’ capitalism, it’s built in.
What is ‘cultural’ Marxism?June 1, 2023
It’s a dog-whistle phrase that right-wingers use to discredit any ‘woke’ notions they dislike, and it’s a joke. Most ‘woke’ activists have probably never read Marx. ‘…paleoconservatives […] point out that Marxists traditionally had no interest in things like rights for gays or transgenderism, and that these are manifestations of the individualist streak in liberalism, not Marxism’ (https://tinyurl.com/muvtjx6).
Does that mean that Marxists don’t care about gay or transgender rights, or feminism, or even (gasp) culture? Of course they do. But, ask yourself, would you be oppressed or discriminated against as gay, or a black woman, if you were rich? Hell no! It’s your class position that makes sure you suffer, by weaponising your ‘identity’ against you.
The reality of ‘greedflation’May 26, 2023
Critics have accused the Sainsbury supermarket chain of ‘profiting from high prices’. Oh really, you don’t say!
This BBC article is typical of many media reports about price-gouging or ‘greedflation’ at the moment. It reflects a widespread impression that there is a ‘reasonable capitalism’ where companies pay reasonable wages and make a reasonable profit, and an ‘unreasonable capitalism’ where there are price-gougers, snake-oil charmers and rip-off merchants who are just out for profit, any way they can get it.
Capitalism is not ‘reasonable’ in this way. Reasonable firms go bust. Only the most ruthless survive, and to survive, they have to keep maximising profits, regardless of the human or environmental cost.
Too many people?May 22, 2023
Lots of people think that global population is too high and that, therefore, a global system of sharing resources (socialism) is impossible. But a new study by War on Want finds that the world currently produces 2.6 times more than the average person needs. That’s a global overproduction of food.
But instead of this making everyone on the planet fat, 2.3 billion people – 1 in 7 – actually go hungry. Why? Because food production is monopolised by a few agribusinesses that continually restrict supply in order to keep prices and profits high. Capitalism can only sustain itself by imposing artificial scarcity.
Meanwhile, populations are actually stable or falling in most countries. So world population is no barrier to socialism.
What your bills are paying forMay 16, 2023
This is the $400m Serene, more of a palace than a yacht, featuring a giant indoor swimming pool, a snow room, children’s playrooms, two helipads, an underwater viewing room and a $450m Leonardo painting.
It’s owned by the Saudi royal family, who drive gold-plated Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis, have gigantic palaces and Louix XIV chateaux, throw $50m parties, and are 5 times richer than Elon Musk and Bill Gates put together. Oh, and they’re 16 times richer than the British royals. Had enough yet? Here’s more.
When you vote for capitalism, this is what you’re voting for.
21st—23rd July 2023
This weekend of talks and discussion looks at different aspects of work, and what they tell us about the society we live in. Book here ➤
Socialism – it may not be what you think…
Meeting on now? Zoom link here
Loads of talks, debates, other audio stuff here
Want to chat, discuss, ask a question, disagree? Yes, this is the right room for an argument…