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Political Economy

Marx, Gamestop, and finance capitalism

As retail investors launched a short squeeze on large hedge funds, forcing large stock-market movements and frenzied recapitalisation, many commentators heralded it as a victory for “the little guy” against Wall Street. However, the truth is far from that simple. “The biggest owners of Gamestop: Fidelity (14%), Cohen’s RC Ventures […]

Trade Unionism

Workers of the world, unite!

Bus drivers in London went on strike last month against pay cuts that a number of “private bus operators” tried to impose. However, all is not as it seems. The British government has privatised much of the public transport system as they push ahead with their neoliberal agenda. They followed […]

Books Culture Ireland

Irish as spectacle

Manchán Magan, Thirty-Two Words for Field (Dublin: Gill Books, 2020). This acclaimed book ostensibly celebrates the Irish-speaking community in Co. Kerry, where the author spent his holidays as a young man. He explores the rich vocabulary of traditional Irish-speakers and their words for natural phenomena: the weather, the sea, plants, […]

Political Economy Socialism

€38.04 an hour?

The upper limit of a transformative wage demand A transformative strategy is “a means by which to expose the antagonistic contradictions between capitalism and the working class and, in so doing, to undermine capitalism and present the potential for a socialist alternative.”¹ While an increase in the minimum wage from […]

Culture Ireland

Another phoney celebration

Just as it did with St Patrick’s Day, the state has decided to take over the 1st of February—the beginning of spring, traditionally known as St Brigid’s Day—and convert it into another cheap stunt for promoting tourism and “selling Ireland.” (The only wonder is that there’s anything left to sell.) […]

Ireland

The last acceptable form of racism

Part 1 In March 2017 the Government recognised Irish Travellers as an ethnic minority. This was the culmination of a long campaign by Traveller activists, and while it was a vast improvement on the attitude behind the Report of the Commission on Itinerancy (1963),[1] which saw them as “deviant, destitute […]

Political Economy

Who said that?

“It’s a small nation with a strong identity, but it jumps like a puppy desperate for attention from one of the big boys—in this case, Biden. His PR team have played the Irish like a Stradivarius.”—Chris Sweeney, author and columnist, on Ireland’s “relationship” with Joe Biden “Ah, yes, America. The […]

Imperialism

Understanding the past to unlock the future

Dialectics says that everything is changing and everything is evolving. Capitalism is no exception—so can tactics for abolishing capitalism be the same? Capitalism was nascent during Marx’s time; and by the time Lenin arrived it had evolved into imperialism, which he said is the highest stage of capitalism. Marx’s assessment […]