bboydy Susanne Kemp

About 80 delegates from the NZ Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) and the United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA) met over several days in Auckland in the first week of December, sharing knowledge and building up ties of mutual awareness and solidarity.

The conference noted that the challenges facing firefighters and the two unions, in terms of working conditions, are similar. At the same time, firefighters enjoy what the unions call “political capital”, most particularly public admiration and support. This makes the dirty work of governments and top management just that bit harder and the ability of firefighters to defend and improve conditions just that bit easier.

Resolutions adopted in relation to work included for the NZPFU to Read the rest of this entry »

by Steve Masterson

Introduction

A modern, living dialectics is essential for social revolution. This series on Redline has now formally become the draft chapters of a book, A Living Dialectics. Indeed, for me they were so from the beginning. As such each chapter is connected as a scientific story and preparation for the next. Because of the large number of new concepts I’ve introduced – which is creepy to many traditional ‘Marxists’ – I’ve unfolded these integrated new ideas in a stepping stone and logical manner.

For example, this chapter on ‘Dynamics of human origins’ was prepared for by the previous two, ‘The Productive forces and human development’ and ‘Dialectics and praxis’. I knew that before introducing this very original and radical grasping of our origins and of precisely what made us human, I had to steep readers in Marx and especially in the processes of ‘human development’ and ‘social praxis’. Considering their vital and central role in our human evolution, I was preparing for a sensitizing to those most essential human properties that belong equally to 7 million years ago in emergence as they do today in us hopefully completing the human revolution – they belong to the same process at different stages.

Female-bonobo-carrying-two-infants-and-sticks

An upright modern bonobo mother is carrying two children and sticks. Common chimps cannot do this. The photo reminds me of a human mother today, with children clinging-on, pushing a buggy overloaded with shopping. It might seem little has changed in 7 million years – but it has!

We will now explore the anthropology of human origins and begin the science behind how human activity actually came into existence; of what made us human and still does so today – of how to discover our future in our past and through the present. We have already looked into the end phase of gatherer-hunter life and the transformation to hierarchy that began a mere 12,000 years ago in chapter-3 in the section ‘Gatherer-Hunter Life – Order then Chaos’. Now we go back 7 million years to an earlier phase, the emergence of gatherer-hunter life and human origins.

This chapter is very important to activists. Nearly everybody today believes that ‘human nature’ is very selfish, patriarchal, violent and automatically hierarchical in social structures. Politicians, the state, corporations and their military divide and rule we humans with borders, fear, wars and hate along nationalist, wealth, sexist, religious, ethnic and racial lines. The bosses’ mass media daily stuffs this nonsense down our throats. In short, the result is their enforced hierarchical and divisive uncaring way of life dominated today by greed and wars, money and profit accumulation – it’s OK to exploit the environment to earth’s destruction so long as the next day’s profit is met!

However, this inhuman way of life only began recently in opposition to our previous 7 million years of nomadic communal gatherer-hunter life where our tremendous ‘forces of humanity’ were nurtured in accumulated culture, which was hard-wired deep into us. Hierarchy began in a few parts of the world like the Middle East only Read the rest of this entry »

images-1What is exploitation?

How capitalism works – and why it doesn’t

4,000 words on Capital

Karl Korsch on “tremendous and enduring” impact of Marx’s Capital (1932)

Marx’s critique of classical political economy

marx_3

Karl Marx

Capital, the working class and Marx’s critique of political economy

Capital and the state

State companies, capital and the left

State intervention: a handout to capital

How capitalist ideology works

Pilling’s Marx’s Capital: philosophy, dialectics and political economy

How capitalism under-develops the world 

1386453047-gaza-palestinians-commemorate-46th-anniversary-of-pflp_3444200

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued the following statement last week, marking its 47th anniversary:

As our people’s struggle continues against the rising fascist Zionist attacks, we reach the 47th anniversary of the founding of our party and the 27th anniversary of the outbreak of the great Intifada of our people in 1987. On these two occasions we rise and pay tribute to the martyrs of the march of our people over a century of struggle for national liberation.

We remember all of those who fought on the path of national struggle: Jamjoum, Hijazi, al-Qassam, Abdulqader al-Husseini, and all of the martyrs who have fallen in the battle for liberation. We recall the leader and founder of our party, Al-Hakim (George Habash), whose revolutionary commitment and integrity instilled in us our values; the great martyr Abu Ali Mustafa, who worked tirelessly for our people; we remember Wadie Haddad, Ghassan Kanafani, Abu Maher al-Yamani, and Guevara Gaza.

We recall the long line of national leaders of the Palestinian people whose blood was shed on the road of freedom, Abu Ammar (Yasser Arafat), Abu Jihad (Khalil al-Wazir), Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Fathi Shikaki, Khaled Nazzal, Omar al-Qassem, and the list goes on.

We remember the suffering of our brave prisons in the enemy jails, led by the General Secretary of our party, the national leader Ahmad Sa’adat, and we salute the wounded, emphasizing our determination and our pledge to remain firmly loyal to the banner of struggle until the liberation of all of Palestinian national soil and the realization of the full national rights of our people to return, self-determination, independence and a free Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem, as our people continue their comprehensive struggle and Intifada in all forms.

On the anniversary of the founding of our party and the great Intifada, our people are mounting a struggle against Read the rest of this entry »

by Michael Roberts

David Harvey is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), Director of The Center for Place, Culture and Politics and author of numerous books. For over 40 years, he has been one of the world’s most trenchant and critical analysts of capitalist development. And he has developed a global audience for his on-line video lectures on reading Capital, (see http://davidharvey.org/). Harvey won the 2010 Isaac Deutscher prize for the best Marxist book of the year with The Enigma of Capital.

I have commented on Harvey’s contributions to Marxist economics on various occasions on my blog:
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/views-on-the-great-recession-david-harvey-and-anwar-shaikh/
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/david-harvey-marxs-method-and-the-enigma-of-surplus/
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/david-harvey-piketty-and-the-central-contradiction-of-capitalism/

Professor Harvey has always been critical of the view that Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall plays any significant role as a cause of crises under capitalism. In his award-winning book, The Enigma of Capital, he states that “There is, therefore, no single causal theory of crisis formation as many Marxist economists like to assert. There is, for example, no point in trying to cram all of this fluidity and complexity into some unitary theory of, say, a falling rate of profit”.

Recently, Harvey has  Read the rest of this entry »

131215195303-yemen-drone-art-story-top

U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes.

The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Instead, these two attacks killed 105 other people, 76 of them children. The study also found that more than 1,000 people, including 142 children, were  Read the rest of this entry »

One of the several different faces of Man Haron Monis

One of the several different faces of Man Haron Monis

by Jeff Sparrow

Unfortunately, we have now sufficient experience of terrorist incidents to formulate a simple rule: namely, almost everything said in the first few days after the event will later prove wrong.

That’s not merely because of the speed of today’s media cycle (though Twitter did not exactly crown itself with glory as an information source yesterday). More importantly, terrorism has been so fundamental to mainstream politics that empirical reality matters far less than the pre-prepared scripts that play out almost of their own volition, on the Right and (to an extent) the Left.

Thus, with the siege still underway, the Daily Telegraph printed a 2pm edition with the grotesque headline ‘DEATH CULT CBD ATTACK’, for which it was duly congratulated on Twitter by the Sith Lord Murdoch himself.

Perhaps more significantly, the Tele also ran the headline ‘The day Sydney changed forever’, a sentiment that sat rather awkwardly with the slogan running simultaneously at news.com.au, ‘Terrorists, you’ll never change who we are.’

That juxtaposition illustrated how Read the rest of this entry »