For further information, email: email@example.com
This workshop will operate at both beginners’ and more advanced levels. There is a set of readings for each level. While it’s primarily aimed at a basic level, there will be plenty to engage people who already know the basics. Attendees will need to have gone through the readings and be familiar with them beforehand so the afternoon can be reasonably interactive.
For people who want to do this at a basic level, the readings are:
How capitalism works – and doesn’t work
What is exploitation?
You will need to have read these before the workshop, to print them out and bring them with you.
For people who want to work at a more advanced level, you need to read, print out and bring along the same pieces, but also you could read any or all of the following (you might not want to print them out, due to length, but you might make notes on them and bring your notes along). These readings are from Marx:
Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist
The expropriation of the agricultural population from the land
Secret of Primitive Accumulation
The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall
There will be a follow-up later in March, which will look at Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 28 February, 2014 by Admin in Alienation, At the coalface, Capitalist ideology, Class Matters, Economics, Labour Party NZ, Limits of capitalism, New Zealand politics, Poverty & Inequality, Public Meeting, Unemployment, Unions - NZ, Workers' rights, World economy, Youth rights
by The Red Chef
On Wednesday (Feb 26) Guy Standing spoke on the ‘precariat’ at a lunchtime meeting in Rutherford House, Wellington. The meeting, attended by 30-40 people, was organised by the CTU’s new youth initiative. Standing is professor of Development Studies at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and was previously professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath. The ‘precariat’ is one of his main fields of study and he was written several books on the subject.
The talk was a mixture of good and bad. Frankly, the good wasn’t particularly groundbreaking or interesting and the bad was straight up pro-capitalist reformism.
The make-up of the crowd was primarily unionists and other activists; I could be wrong, but looking round the room I think I could well have been the only person there who could be properly defined as ‘precariat’. I get the impression, though, that he tailored his talk towards ideas about how union and Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 27 February, 2014 by Admin in At the coalface, Class Matters, Labour Party NZ, Marxism, New Zealand history, New Zealand politics, Revolutionary figures, Unions - NZ, Workers history, Workers' rights
Frank was a militant at Ford’s Seaview plant in Petone in 1970s
by Don Franks
Lifelong socialist Frank Johnson recently died, from a sudden massive heart attack. He’d willed there be no funeral memorial of any kind.
Frank’s death was not really unexpected, he’d long suffered many health problems, including chronic severe back pain caused by an accident.
Last September he phoned me from his home in Dannevirke, where he’d been living for some time. It took me a minute to recall who he was because I had not heard from Frank since the 1970s when we worked together on the Ford Seaview truck trim assembly line.
He rang to say he was saving up to visit Wellington, so that he could talk to me about forming a new revolutionary party of the working class. A month or so later Frank arrived in town and spent an evening at our home discussing this and that. Although we had a nice time, no new party beginning eventuated, or was likely to, if for no other reason than Frank’s state of health, which was obviously very poor. About the only part of him still operating efficiently was his anti-capitalist spirit, which remained undiluted. He was particularly unforgiving of latter-day leftist support for the Labour Party.
When we previously worked together at Fords it was, on paper, as Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 27 February, 2014 by Admin in At the coalface, capitalist crisis, Capitalist ideology, Class Matters, Economics, Limits of capitalism, Migration, Poverty & Inequality, Workers' rights, World economy
by Michael Roberts
There are two ways a capitalist economy can get out of slump. The first is by raising the rate of exploitation of the workforce enough to drive up profits and renew investment. The second is to liquidate weak and unprofitable capital (i.e companies) or write off old machinery, equipment and plant from company books (i.e. devalue the stock of capital). Of course, capitalists attempt to do both in order to restore profits and profitability after a slump. This is taking a long time in the current crisis since the bottom of the Great Recession in mid-2009.
Progress in devaluing and deleveraging the stock of capital and debt built up before is taking time and even being avoided by monetary policy. But progress in raising the rate of exploitation has been considerable. I took a look at the EU’s AMECO database to see if I could measure the progress by different capitalist economies in squeezing wages and raising the rate of exploitation.
Reducing workers’ share of new value
I used the AMECO database measure of adjusted wage share, defined there as compensation per employee as percentage of GDP at factor cost per person employed. In effect, this is the cost to the capitalist economy of employing the workforce (wages and benefits) as a percentage of the new value created each year. I calculated the percentage change in that share since it peaked at or during the crisis (the peak for each country in wage share was mainly in 2009, although there were exceptions).
I found that every capitalist economy had managed to reduce labour’s share Read the rest of this entry »
Dear Daily Blog:
I am 65 years old.
Some of my little study circle friends say there is no future for workers in the Labour Party.
Someone told me, ‘If you see it in The Daily Blog it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there any future for workers in the Labour Party?
15 Holloway Road, Wellington
your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.
All minds, Don, whether they be Marxist or Leninist, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Don, there is a future in the Labour Party. It exists as certainly as the economy exists, and you know when that it going ok it abounds and gives some people’s lives its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the Read the rest of this entry »
by Don Franks
Political upheaval in the Ukraine changes day by day, with New Zealand media reports typically vacuous as a guide to the situation.
Soundbites evoke a familiar simplistic scenario: freedom loving protestors versus an evil tyrant. Yet again, its suggested that regime change will magically cure all ills.
Such change appears imminent.
Last Saturday protesters seized the Kiev office of President Viktor Yanukovich and his whereabouts are unknown as the pro-Russian leader’s grip on power evaporated following bloodshed in the Ukrainian capital.
The previous day Yanukovych was forced to sign an agreement limiting his own powers, letting the opposition into government, and calling early elections.
The President’s concessions followed months of unrest, culminating in days of street fighting in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. Over 70 people, including protesters and riot police, died and hundreds were wounded in armed clashes between the protesters and the security forces. Protests and violence had escalated since the Ukrainian parliament voted down an opposition bill to curtail the president’s powers earlier this week. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 25 February, 2014 by Admin in At the coalface, Capitalist ideology, Class Matters, Economics, John Key, Labour Party NZ, National Party NZ, New Zealand economy, New Zealand politics, Poverty & Inequality, Unions - NZ, Workers' rights
by Don Franks
Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced the decision to lift the minimum wage from $13.75 to $14.25 from April 1.
The raise has been criticised by union officials as ”unfair” and this morning Labour leader David Cunliffe called it “insufficient”.
“We’ve been saying at least $15 for quite a while, and I’ve said yesterday not only will we raise it to $15 in our first hundred days, but we’ll raise it again 6 months later in our first year – April or May,” he said on Breakfast.
Cunliffe said his if elected promise would deliver a “significant raise”, but he would not put a number on the figure.
Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg said National’s increase was unfair given several years of stagnating wages, an economy that was starting to grow, and widespread concerns about how that growth would be shared.
The first step should be an increase to $15.50 this year, Bill Rosenberg said.
So, to the CTU economist, just another $1.25 will serve to wipe out wage “unfairness” .
Is it cynical to suppose that Read the rest of this entry »