Coffee: the disaster of a good harvest

21st August 2019

Two bumper harvests in Brazil have flooded the international market with so much coffee that the price farmers can get has plummeted to below $1 a pound (BBC News, 11 July). Since coffee is a cash crop that farmers sell instead of growing food they could actually eat, when the price hits the floor farmers […]

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Big Pharma

21st August 2019

This is your capitalist brain on drugs Drug firm Pfizer has discovered that its own arthritis treatment drug Enbrel also seems to cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 64 percent (New Scientist, 15 June, p7). Great, you might think. Over to Pfizer to start cranking out Enbrel by the container load. Oh […]

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Huawei: is it really just cybersecurity?

3rd July 2019

Competition for markets, sources of raw materials and the control of strategic routes is the lifeblood of capitalism. This competition inevitably translates into rivalry between nation states, which serve the capitalist interests within their borders. Trade wars ensue with all the skulduggery that governments can muster and can lead to bloody conflict. We have seen […]

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Colour prejudice

3rd July 2019

The description of the aristocracy as blue-bloods was very much based on class where fair skin highlighted a person’s blue veins which showed that they did not toil in the outdoors in the fields like the peasants. Today the problem is confused by the idea of race which human beings impose on themselves, an issue […]

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Out of Africa

10th June 2019

Emigration from Africa has increased dramatically in the last three decades, going from just 1 per cent in the 1990s to 31 per cent by the 2000s. Migration by people has been a fact of life throughout their evolution. At this point in history, we should look at the reasons for such numbers of migrants […]

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The strange world of Fully Automated Luxury Communism (FALC): a consumer fantasy?

5th June 2019

The conquest of scarcity Aaron Bastani, co-founder and senior editor at the alternative media organisation Novara Media, argues in his book Fully Automated Luxury Communism (published by Verso this month) that current technological advances are on the way toward overcoming scarcity and making ‘luxury communism’ – a society of abundance for all – possible for the first […]

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Latter-day Neros

24th May 2019

‘The politics that’s needed to prevent the climate catastrophe—it doesn’t exist today. We need to change the system, as if we were in crisis, as if there were a war going on’. Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who shot to global prominence in 2018 by missing school days to go on strike alone outside the […]

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Climate change: capitalism can’t cope

16th May 2019

Last October the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report on what they consider would have to be done, and by when, to avoid average global temperature rising by the end of the century by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. They concluded that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would have to be […]

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A view on Trump

16th May 2019

“His cupboard bare; his vision hardwired” – Wire, ‘Internal Exile’ As some wag tweeted after the presidential election, orange is the new black: Trump the Terrible will soon replace Oleaginous Obama as the leader of the world’s most powerful nation. Trump’s white nationalist supporters and hangers-on are naturally ecstatic – and some of them may […]

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Boeing: the fatal price of competition

5th May 2019

Boeing Boing Capitalism’s supporters are always telling us that competition brings out the best in human beings. It is supposed to encourage efficiency and creativity and promote innovation. We are also informed that capitalism’s drive for profit creates high quality goods that most people desire at a competitive price. However, as we have shown time […]

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