The question of who controls water and for what purpose makes water inherently political. Whether it’s water sources, water production such as desalination plants and waste treatment, or water services, private industry and financial markets are approaching water as the “it” commodity of the coming decade. Water grabbing is a form of accumulation by dispossession. Risk is shifted from private investors to the public whilst profits are siphoned off in the opposite direction. In this guest post, Madelaine Moore draws on her recent Rosa Luxemburg publication Wellsprings of Resistance.
Sunday, 24 March 2019
Sunday, 17 March 2019
From the early 1980s onwards workers’ rights across Europe have been greatly cut back, especially with regards to collective bargaining and trade unions’ involvement in government decision-making. GDP kept growing, but the distribution has been so uneven that many people have lost out as a result. Is there an alternative to this that might lead to greater social equality? I was recently interviewed by the Italian online magazine ytali. We discussed neo-liberal restructuring across the EU, the related increasing social inequality, the rise of nationalism and potential progressive alternatives underpinned by social justice. I argued that “organised labour has realised it needs a much broader agenda to stay relevant, so it is starting to participate on issues such as water, energy and democracy”.
Thursday, 21 February 2019
|Photo by UggBoy - Ugg Girl|
Thursday, 14 February 2019
Witch-Hunt and the Birth of Capitalism: reflections on Federici’s re-interpretation of primitive accumulation.
In her powerful book Caliban and the Witch (Autonomedia 1998/2014), Silvia Federici makes the important claim that the medieval witch-hunt across Europe constituted part of the processes of primitive accumulation, preparing the ground for the emergence of capitalism. While the enclosures put an end to people’s access to the commons, the witch-hunt resulted in the loss of women’s control over their bodies. In this blog post, I will reflect critically on Federici’s assessment of the role of the witch-hunt in the emergence of capitalism.
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
How does the project of European integration relate to globalization? Is a revival of the project of social Europe still possible and what role can social movements and class based movements play in these struggles? I met Cat Moir (CM) from the University of Sydney on the fringe of this year’s Historical Materialism Sydney conference in December 2018. In this post, I re-publish the interview she conducted with me during that meeting. It was originally published on the blog on 10 January 2019. We talked about class, social reproduction, and the crisis in the European project, thereby also drawing on my recently published, co-authored book with Adam D. Morton Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis (CUP, 2018).
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
The rise of ‘new generation’ trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA, the ongoing debates surrounding Brexit, and the Trump administration’s aggressive protectionism have seen the issue of trade move away from being merely the preserve of pro-liberalisation lawyers and economists towards a much more public debate on the social costs of free trade policies. Alongside this debate, trade unions and civil society organisations have taken to the streets to oppose free trade agreements in record numbers. Trade is most certainly now a mainstream issue. Nonetheless, such opposition has still failed to curb the overwhelmingly neoliberal tendencies of world trade in general. In this guest post, Andrew Waterman discusses efforts to include a social dimension in trade agreements.
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
|Memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht|
Tuesday, 8 January 2019
The election of Jair Bolsonaro as new President of Brazil has put indigenous people under renewed pressure. Only recently, loggers invaded indigenous territory and attacked indigenous people in the Xingu region in Para. This blog post reprints the letter of three indigenous nations from Brazil to President Bolsonaro, asserting their rights.