crisis

Brexit 2018: The Ruling Class Nightmare Continues

Theresa-May-confusion

During the preparation for the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU) we made it entirely clear (in Revolutionary Perspectives 08) that the debate was one that class-conscious workers should not have been drawn into – on either side. Participating in the exercise could only line workers up behind one or other faction of the ruling class. The stories peddled by both sides – that somehow workers would benefit from the British state either maintaining or ditching their relationship with EU institutions – were full of lies and imagined, but non-existent, benefits.

The whole world is like a nowhere land called Alicante – Miguel Amorós

A brief, and idiosyncratic, social and economic history of the medium-sized Valencian city of Alicante since the Spanish Civil War, denouncing the negative impact of chaotic development, venal and corrupt politicians, unbridled consumerism, the role played by the automobile in social atomization, the destruction of old working class neighborhoods, real estate speculation, the cynical exploitation of local cultural traditions, the noxious effects of an economy based on tourism, the ruin of traditional agriculture, and the proliferation of hideous skyscrapers in a nauseating panorama of trivialization and degradation that is typical of so many other cities all over the world.

Carillion’s Failure and the Private Finance Initiative

carillion

The collapse of Carillion is another symptom of capitalism’s general crisis of profitability. We are told the PFI and debacle of Carillion are not the way capitalism is supposed to work. Unfortunately this is the way capitalism is supposed to work, and the way it worked under state control also. The system is supposed to transfer wealth created by the working class to those who own capital and this is precisely what has been happening with Carillion, with PFI in general and with privatisation.

Capitalism’s Crisis of Stagnation and Austerity

secular_stagnation

As 2018 opens economic optimism is breaking out amongst the capitalist class. Leaving aside the vainglorious boasts of the current President of the United States that unemployment in the US has reached lows only last seen in the post-war boom, or that the New York stock market is now at all time record highs, more serious economic commentators are arguing that after a decade of misery (at least for 99% of the planet) the signs of recovery from the 2007-8 banking collapse are now behind us. If this sounds familiar it is because we have heard the same tale so many times.

The pitfalls of the social economy – Miguel Amorós

The text of a 2017 presentation examining the significance of the “third sector” or “social economy”, the non-profit community development and assistance sector, its origins as a replacement for faltering government aid programs for excluded sectors of the population, its diversification and increasing economic impact on job creation, service provision and housing, its association with the “civil society” movement, its avoidance of conflict with state and private power and its reliance on parliamentary procedures and negotiations, its ideological smokescreens, and the rise of the “new commons” ideology as a delusional strategy for non-confrontational withdrawal from the system.

The veins of Latin America are more open than ever – Miguel Amorós

The text of a 2017 presentation on the key role of extractive industries in contemporary world capitalism, their effect on the “territory” and its inhabitants, the left-wing parties’ support for export-oriented capitalist development that devastates the rural areas of their countries in exchange for funds to finance social programs, the importance of the “new middle classes” in serving as mediators for the rule of multinational corporations in Latin America, the fraud of “civil society” movements and their promotion of “sustainable development”, and the crucial role of peasant and indigenous movements in complementing urban struggles for “self-governed life in common”.

The period of decline – Miguel Amorós

Notes for a presentation delivered in September 2017 at the Gijon Anarchist Book Fair on the social, psychological and moral aspects of the modern crisis of capitalism, and the proliferation of nihilism, mental illness and generalized irrationality, based on the works of Jaime Semprun, particularly his book, L'abîme se repeuple [The Abyss Repopulates Itself], first published in 1997.

The Coming Insurrection: An identity-based construction and existential alternative – Alain C.

A 2009 critique of the sensational anarchist best-seller, The Coming Insurrection, in which the author claims that it is not its “ideas” or “worldview” that are what is most important about the book, but rather the fact that it is essentially an appeal for an identity-based politics, a “permanent drunkenness of the Ego” that postulates an abstract, socially undifferentiated “being” that is supposed to find itself at home in a paradise worshiping its “fetish”, “identity”, and the author concludes that the total elimination of this harmful tendency is “one of the goals of a communist revolution”.

From the Heart of Darkness: Anatomy of a March in Poland

The rise of so-called populism and the far right over the past few years has been a global trend. We have written about it before – "reactionary ideologies always feed on social decomposition, atomisation and growing insecurity."

Venezuela: The dead-end of the "Bolivarian Road to Socialism"

There was no revolution in Venezuela. Being against neo-liberalism is not the same as opposing capitalism but only one form of it. However, it does feed into the social democratic narrative of Corbynism. Today, in the middle of an election campaign, the assertion that “Venezuela is socialist” is happily repeated by right wing papers and politicians to gloat over the social disaster which Venezuela has become.