Saturday 29 August 2020

Workers’ Mail: Climate Change, COVID-19 and Wage Theft.

“As we reconstruct our economy after the pandemic we have an opportunity to build a stronger, fairer economic framework that includes a credible and coherent plan on climate change and energy. In rebuilding our economy from the COVID crisis it is critical that job creation efforts also reduce emissions and keep Australians safe from the devastating impacts of bushfires and climate change.” - Michele O'Neil, President, Australian Council of Trade Unions
The ACTU, as part of the Australian Climate Roundtable, has issued the statement “Far-Reaching Climate Change Risks to Australia Must be Reduced and Managed”, among other things, calling the Morrison Government to adopt a net-zero emissions target for 2050.

Comrades O'Neil and McManus, keep up the good work!

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Identity Politics in Pictures.

Have a good, detailed look at that picture. It represents capitalist society as a pyramid. Think critically about what you see. Take your time.

Friday 21 August 2020

Believe it or Not: the Season of Fire.


It’s August and Australian winter is almost over. The 2020 fire season has already started. So far, however, we haven’t had any bushfires. Moreover, after an ominously dry July, this month considerable rain has fallen over the southern part of the continent and there’s even talk of a La Niña.

That is extremely lucky. With international borders closed/restrictions to travel and interstate borders closed due to COVID19, it’s dubious state’s rural fire services could receive any firefighting resources from overseas or even share such resources among themselves. That’s particularly true of heavy water bombers: the Commonwealth leases those aircraft from American and Canadian firms.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

This is How Madness Looks Like.

A flashback: a week ago, Prof. Adolph Reed was forced to cancel his speech before a Democratic Socialists of America event in New York.

If allowed to speak, it was expected that Reed would have argued that the American Left’s laser-like focus on identity politics (currently the emphasis is on racial identity) was counterproductive. It seems many within DSA – especially many blacks – disagree with Reed’s position. Instead, they opposed, to change that emphasis in pursuit of class solidarity was preposterous. Apparently Reed’s stance was “reactionary, class reductionist and at best, tone deaf”.

His stance was, in other words, anathema. And so they gagged him.

The thing is Adolph Reed (a well-known Marxist, in a country where it takes guts to call oneself a Marxist) is not only a distinguished academic, socialist, and long-time civil rights activist, he is also black.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

Source: The Saturday Paper.

Imagine a capitalist who, needing two new workers, publishes an advertisement asking for applications. After receiving 470 applications for the two positions, the capitalist feels disappointed. Unemployment benefits are to blame, the capitalist says, because they are too generous. More people should have applied.

What would you say about that person? Would it make any difference if the capitalist were skinny or bald?

Let’s add details. Although the capitalist pays the wage rates prevailing in the labour market for the two positions, that industry pays the lowest wage rates. Say, the legal, prevailing median and  average weekly wages in that industry are the lowest in the land. Would that explain why many other workers, perhaps less desperate than those 470, did not apply for those two positions?

Further suppose one were to reduce unemployment benefits or even eliminate them altogether, so as to increase the number of applicants, in accordance with the capitalist’s wishes. Would that improve in any way the situation of the 470 original and more desperate applicants?

That capitalist needed two additional staff. Let’s say another 470 applicants were pushed to apply for those two positions. Would him/her hire any more employees because the number of applicants doubled?

Let’s stop here. Think well your answers to those questions before going any further. Take your time.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

As Seen on the Internet.

You’ve gotta love the level of commentary from former Toyota production engineers.
“Marx may be surprised to now learn that ownership of the means of production is not the path to riches in an internationally competitive market place at least when that production is located in the developed world. Off-shoring of production to developing world ‘work houses’ can however be very profitable.”