The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Privatising Water as an Effective Route Towards Development?

In June 2010, the UN declared safe access to ‘clean drinking water and sanitation’ a human right. For many this highlighted the importance of water as the world’s most important natural resource for human life. Nevertheless, today many homes lack direct access to safe drinking water and rely on external, purified sources. This situation is all too common throughout the global south. By contrast, for the overwhelming majority in developed societies, access to safe water and sanitation is commonplace. Therefore, improving access to water is a global development issue. Accordingly, a central aim of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals was to halve ‘the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’. In this guest post, Carlos Kassman assesses the possibilities of private water companies to assist in this respect by investigating cases of water privatisation in France, Argentina and West Africa.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Rupturing the Dialectic: Harry Cleaver on continuing class struggle against the imposition of work.

In his latest book Rupturing the Dialectic: The Struggle against Work, Money and Financialization (Chico/CA: AK Press, 2017), Harry Cleaver makes an emphatic case for the importance of a continuing focus on class struggle and here in particular the role of the working class rather than capital. Building on his seminal work Reading Capital Politically (1979), he re-asserts the key role of agency in our understanding of resistance against capitalist exploitation. In this blog post, I will assess the fundamental contributions of this volume. 

Monday, 3 September 2018

Labour and Brexit: The need for a principled approach.

With a no-deal outcome increasingly likely, the Brexit negotiations by the current government are in a shambles. It has become clear by now that Brexit will have economic costs for the country. At the same time, preferential trade agreements with other countries such as India or the USA, which might be able to compensate for the loss of a close relationship with the economies of the EU, remain unlikely. Split between neo-liberal Remainers and hard-line nationalist Brexiteers, the Conservative government is on the point of falling apart. And yet there is little to gloat for Labour Party members. Labour too is split over Brexit and only being in opposition has saved it so far from more open confrontations inside the party. In this post, I will argue for a people’s vote on the final outcome of the negotiations as a principled approach from a left perspective within the Labour Party.