Political Economy

Ireland Political Economy

Marxism and the housing crisis

“Our cities can never be made really habitable or worthy of an enlightened people while the habitations of its citizens remain the property of private individuals. To permanently remedy the evils of city life the citizens must own their city.” (James Connolly, Workers’ Republic, 18 November 1899) “The so-called housing shortage, which […]

Political Economy

Who said that?

“Again, it is important to highlight here that what failed was the state’s management of public enterprises, not the capacity of society to manage its assets in a democratic manner. This is a country under a blockade and capitalists don’t pay taxes!”—Pedro Eusse, Political Bureau, Communist Party of Venezuela, commenting […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Political Economy Socialism

Work, our mental health, and the disease of neoliberalism

Even our primate ancestors “worked”; they had “jobs”—not as we know them today but jobs nonetheless. And they “worked” to feed themselves and their offspring, just as we must do today. But of course they worked only to satisfy their needs: there was no working for someone, or being exploited.

Early human farming too was to survive; but then, with improving farming techniques, not only did…

Campaigns Political Economy Socialism

Water is a human right

At the end of 2020 the water “futures” of California, the largest state in the United States in population and economy, were floated on Wall Street for the first time, under the banner of Nasdaq Veles California Water Index.1 It was the first flotation of its kind, offering potential investors the opportunity to hedge against the future availability of water in California: in simple terms, to get rich from the scarcity of the most important substance for all human, animal and plant life to survive.

International Political Economy

China’s digital currency

In 2008 the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, expressed his view that “the root problem with conventional currencies is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.”¹ This is an old right-wing libertarian talking-point: “When the state spends money to achieve social aims, it devalues money in general, which is an attack on people with lots of money.”