“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The news that Britain has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a big blow to Irish farmers and rural agri-business workers. The CPTPP is different from the EU, in that it has no customs union or single market. It is a free-trade organisation, […]
Consumerism and the military-industrial complex go hand in hand in generating massive profits for global corporations. The military-industrial complex is the guarantor of cheap raw materials and cheap labour so that we in the First World can gorge on a never-ending supply of consumer goods at prices that we could […]
“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 […]
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…
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.
We might see this as amusing, or a bit futuristic. Wrong! It’s here already. Amazon Health, Amazon Pharmacy and Babylon Health, among many others, are testing new “digital medical systems,” where you ask a computer about your health. This, in time, will spell the end of GPs as we know them.
The same systems could be used for cancer consultations or any
“The significance of the public service to the overall wellbeing of the country has never been more evident than during the past 10 months.”—Michael McGrath, minister for public expenditure, 16 December 2020
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.”
During the second half of the twentieth century there was an ideological shift within the left in the West, namely from being the organised expression of the working class to seeing the working class as one among a variety of interest groups to be defended. The interests of any collective […]
“We’ve never had this dilemma between health and the economy. Obviously, the restrictive measures we’ve adopted . . . have had an economic impact but there’s no room for doubt that health comes first.”—Alejandro Gil Fernández, Cuban minister of economy and planning. “We are used to financial institutions making honest efforts to […]
Visible manifestations of social unrest have decreased considerably during the pandemic as people are unable to meet, organise or travel. This is shown by research conducted by the IMF in Figure 1 comparing major social unrest events with mobility data. Normality may be suspended to a large degree, but the […]
About 66,500 companies received a total of €2. 9 billion from the now-expired temporary wage subsidy scheme. The state paid out €2.9 billion of public money to mostly private companies to pay the wages of 664,000 employees; and that extraordinary news made the headlines for about eighteen hours. After that […]
The outbreak of covid-19 has exposed the glaring inequality in housing, health, education and work in Ireland and around the so-called “developed world.” This has led to renewed calls from some quarters for a universal basic income for all citizens. Some of those proposing this are well intentioned and believe […]