China In Revolt

China In Revolt

The Article: China in Revolt by Eli Friedman in Jacobin Magazine.

The Text: The Chinese working class plays a Janus-like role in the political imaginary of neoliberalism. On the one hand, it’s imagined as the competitive victor of capitalist globalization, the conquering juggernaut whose rise spells defeat for the working classes of the rich world. What hope is there for the struggles of workers in Detroit or Rennes when the Sichuanese migrant is happy to work for a fraction of the price?

At the same time, Chinese workers are depicted as the pitiable victims of globalization, the guilty conscience of First World consumers. Passive and exploited toilers, they suffer stoically for our iPhones and bathtowels. And only we can save them, by absorbing their torrent of exports, or campaigning benevolently for their humane treatment at the hands of “our” multinationals.

For parts of the rich-world left, the moral of these opposing narratives is that here, in our own societies, labor resistance is consigned to history’s dustbin. Such resistance is, first of all, perverse and decadent. What entitles pampered Northern workers, with their “First World problems,” to make material demands on a system that already offers them such abundance furnished by the wretched of the earth? And in any case, resistance against so formidable a competitive threat must surely be futile.

Continue Reading

Email

0

Google: Tax-Dodging Villain Or Capitalist Conqueror?

Google

The Article: Google’s tax avoidance is called ‘capitalism’, says chairman Eric Schmidt in The Telegraph.

The Text: Mr Schmidt’s comments risk inflaming the row over the amount of tax multinationals pay, after it emerged that Google funnelled $9.8bn (£6.07bn) of revenues from international subsidiaries into Bermuda last year in order to halve its tax bill.
However, Mr Schmidt defended the company’s legitimate tax arrangements. “We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he told Bloomberg. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”
In Britain Vince Cable was unimpressed by Mr Schmidt’s views. The Business Secretary told The Daily Telegraph: “It may well be [capitalism] but it’s certainly not the job of governments to accommodate it.”

A Californian pressure group called Consumer Watchdog wrote to the Senate’s Finance Committee demanding a hearing on Google’s “global tax avoidance strategies”.

Continue Reading

Email

0

The Worst Inauguration Speeches Ever

Worst Inauguration Speeches Ever

James Buchanan

Worst Inaugural Speeches Buchanan

Had he been alive then, James Buchanan would have been an excellent addition in the 90s cinematic masterpiece “Clueless”. Channeling Cher Horowitz in his 1857 inaugural address in terms of sheer ineptitude and real-world disconnectedness, Buchanan spent a large portion of his uninspired oratory discussing slavery as one would their chronic (and unsuccessful) battles against irritable bowel syndrome. Described as an “agitation” that hadn’t had any intermission for more than 20 years, Buchanan spent most of his 2,834-word address musing about how he wished Kansas would just stop bleeding so that Americans could focus on other matters “of more pressing and practical importance.” Like, you know, not slavery. Suffice it to say, Supreme Court Justice Taney delivered his abominable majority opinion on Dred Scott V. Stanford in the following days, and four years later the Civil War would begin its bloody trajectory on American soil. Sound like presidential leadership? “As if!”

Continue Reading

Email

0

How We Failed Aaron Swartz

Killing himself a little over a week ago following imprisonment for “hacking” into academic documents and trying to make them available for all, American law enforcement clearly needs to realign its priorities.

Email

0

Is Education A Right Or A Privilege For The Wealthy?

Affordable Education

The Article: Is Education a Human Right or a Privilege for the Wealthy? by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers in TruthOut.

The Text: Over the last 40 years, higher education in the United States has been transformed into a commodity that produces automatons to serve big-finance capitalism, prevents campuses from being a source of societal transformation and creates modern indentured servants through debt slavery.

Today, there is over $1 trillion in college debt with graduates entering a job market that cannot fully employ them, resulting in rapidly rising defaults. In fact, while tuition has grown 72 percent since 2000, employment for graduates with bachelor degrees has declined by almost 15 percent over the same time period.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed on December 10, 1948, and ratified by the United States, declares that, “Everyone has the right to education” and declares higher education “shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” The purpose of education is broader than creating workers for big business; it is to “be directed to the full development of the human personality.”

Continue Reading

Email

0
Hot On The Web