‘Communist’ China – you’re kidding, right?March 27, 2023
Just in case you believe President Xi and co, who like to refer to China as ‘communist’, their online mouthpiece, Global Times, can put you straight.
Here’s their recent editorial, no doubt a response to US government attempts to ‘decouple’ US capital from China: ‘Private enterprises and foreign companies in China can be at ease, explore and develop the Chinese market without any concerns. And the rewards will be generous.’
What are these generous rewards? The profit extracted from the unpaid labour of Chinese workers, of course. There is no other source.
More info on how the profit system works here.
How to motivate the workforceMarch 24, 2023
‘Hunger has great positive value to many people. Indeed, it is fundamental to the working of the world’s economy.’
Think that’s a joke? Nope, it’s from a 2008 essay by Professor George Kent of the University of Hawaii.
He goes on to say:
‘Hungry people are the most productive people, especially where there is a need for manual labour… How many of us would sell our services if it were not for the threat of hunger?… More importantly, how many of us would sell our services so cheaply if it were not for the threat of hunger?’
This essay was published in the UN Chronicle, which bills itself as ‘the magazine of the United Nations, since 1946’.
Law and ordureMarch 21, 2023
Is capitalism institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic? In theory, it shouldn’t be. The cultural, ethnic and gender identity of the workers it exploits shouldn’t make any difference, it’s their ability to work and make profits for their bosses that ultimately counts.
But capitalism isn’t a context-free algorithm, it’s composed of humans with messy cultural legacies. One way to get the measure of your friendly local capitalism is to look at the people it employs to protect itself from the likes of you.
Now, in ‘one of the darkest days in the 200-year history of the force’, a new report has branded London’s Metropolitan Police as ‘institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic,’ with ‘discrimination baked into it’.
So, that’s the police then. Draw your own conclusions.
Mindful. Grateful. Kind.March 16, 2023
20 March is UN International Happiness Day, and this year’s theme is ‘Be Mindful. Be Grateful. Be Kind’.
The official website helpfully tells us ‘There are lots of big and worrying issues in our world right now’. It goes on: ‘We can’t always change what is happening, but we can choose how we respond.’
You are advised to ‘create a happier and kinder world together […] By tuning in to your feelings, looking for what’s good and sharing kindness you can nurture yourself and help make things better day by day.’
What a load of pious crap.
The real cause of the ‘big and worrying issues’ is the casino economics of capitalism. The truly kind and mindful approach would be to ditch it.
Alright for someMarch 13, 2023
The trade association Comité Champagne is to launch a £350-a-bottle of Bollinger champagne. Comité Champagne said the rich have been largely unaffected by soaring inflation and were seeking out specific vintages and more valuable bottles (Guardian 10 March).
‘Yes, the cost of living crisis and inflation affects most people, but the ultra-high net worth people we are selling to are very insulated… their spending power certainly hasn’t decreased.’
Cult Wine Investment said champagne prices, ‘don’t affect the richest people. Luxury goods are doing better than ever during a cost of living crisis – I’d arguably say luxury is doing better than it ever has done. The cost of living crisis has really shown us the scale of wealth inequality.”
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 ➤
Forget what you think you know about socialism…
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…