Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
by Daphna Whitmore
While Trump’s visa bans and a wall across the US-Mexico border are rightly seen as abhorrent, Labour and the Greens advocate a pretty high wall of immigration restrictions here in New Zealand.
Labour is facing criticism of its long simmering anti-immigration campaign and it is being called out as hypocritical for denouncing Trump while indulging in dog whistle politics.
The latest comments come from Peter Dunne who notes that Labour “talks about new migrants as problems, rather than as people”. He goes on to point out this “is exactly the same ‘us versus them’ narrative that contributes to reactionary and damaging policy regarding immigration”.
The picture below appeared on Mike Alewitz’s facebook page. Mike is a longtime left activist and artist in the States. It’s a great variation on – and far more inspiring than – the old Pastor Niemoller quote about they came for this group of people and then that group of people etc and no-one resisted. Mike made the following comment:
“One of the glorious aspects of the recent demonstrations is the lack of pre-printed signs and banners handed out by Democratic Party hacks and union bureaucrats.
“Instead we have seen an explosion of creative sign making – hand lettered messages that are funny, emotional, insightful and clever. These works are giving genuine expression to the aspirations of tens of thousands of workers, artists and activists.
“Here is a favorite of mine – artist and photographer unknown.
“This kind of organic art has always been around, but Donald Trump has definitely been an outstanding inspiration!
“(As both a professional sign painter and professor emeritus of street art, I heartily endorse this development).”
The éirígí calendar for 2017 has the theme of Women of the Revolution, 1913-1923. This period covers the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913-14 and the formation of the workers’ militia (the Irish Citizen Army), the formation of Cumann na mBan, the 1916 Rising, the war for independence and the civil war. Here are the cover and a few shots from inside the calendar. Contact éirígí to order copies of the calendar.
This paper first appeared in the very first issue of Revolutionary Communist, a Marxist review/journal based in Britain, in 1974. It was later slightly edited with some revisions and appeared in the second edition of Revolutionary Communist 1, published in 1976. While some older readers may be familiar with Yaffe’s work on these issues, as it was well-known and influential at the time, many younger readers will probably not have seen this.
by David Yaffe (1974 and 1976)
‘Has Struve, who has managed to discern the “harmfulness” (sic!) of repeating Marx, failed to notice the harmfulness of uncritically repeating the fashionable corrections of fashionable bourgeois “science”?’ (Lenin) 
Of all the fashionable ‘corrections’ of Marx’s Capital, none has been performed so often as the transformation of values into prices. From Bortkiewicz (1907)  to Samuelson (1971) , bourgeois ‘science’ has felt itself impelled to improve, correct or revise Marx on this question. With Sweezy’s introduction of the Bortkiewicz ‘correction’ of Marx to the English speaking world in 1946 , another round of ‘solutions’ began. Although many differ in form from the Bortkiewicz/Sweezy contribution, and some avoid the more obvious errors, they treat the problem in a more or less similar way.
Bortkiewicz was a Ricardian and he went to great lengths to defend Ricardo against Marx’s systematic attack. In his treatment of value and price, and in his ‘solution’ to the transformation problem, he is a consistent Ricardian. It is, therefore, not surprising that with the problem being presented in a Ricardian way, the appearance of Sraffa’s Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities  – a thoroughly Ricardian text – has more recently given a new life to the transformation ‘problem’. What all these Ricardian type solutions have in common is a failure to grasp Marx’s method in ‘Capital’ and little or no understanding of the categories of value and price. Value and capital cease to have a social significance, to express, in fetishistic form, social relations under the capitalist mode of production. The substance of value – abstract human labour – is replaced by its magnitude, units of labour-time, and capital is simply reduced to dated labour-time inputs. The social relations, usually introduced by these critics of Marx as the rate of exploitation, is an empirically ‘given’ fact or a mathematically, and presumably sociologically, acceptable explanation of positive profits. It is given once the bundle of commodities forming the wage paid to the workers (in embodied labour-time units, of course) and total income are known. A social process is replaced by technical coefficients and social relations by the distribution of the production between the social classes. 
The method of Marx, the dialectical representation in Capital, is not a ‘”hegelese” form of reasoning’  that can simply be discarded as so much unnecessary ballast, That is why Lenin remarked:
‘It is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and especially the first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic. Consequently, half a century later, none of the Marxists understood Marx!!’ 
The failure to understand Marx’s Capital, and especially its first chapter, does indeed (more…)
Tags: CTU, Helen Kelly, IWW, Labour Party, Struggle, unions
by Don Franks
Yesterday I was hired by a university professor to sing for his class. These students were business management graduates. Their well meaning tutor wanted them to hear some union songs “to balance things up a bit”.
I told my audience the most enduring English language union songs I knew came from the IWW – Industrial Workers of the World. Founded in the USA in 1905, radical anticapitalists. The only union then and for some time to recruit women, immigrants, unskilled and all races into its ranks.
I told how the IWW had influenced early 20th century New Zealand unionism. I mentioned that several American IWW organisers had lynched by capitalist agents in the course of the struggle.
I also noted that three people in this country had been killed in the pursuit of union activity; Fredrick Evans, Ernie Abbot and Christine Clarke. To round off, I sang my song about Ernie’s murder in Wellington Trades hall.
The young business graduates suffered my presentation quietly, most fiddling with electronic devices, some kept up whispered conversation. At the end I received polite applause and left them to get on with 2016 matters of meaning to them.
Across town that day, Helen Kelly lay dying from a disease as cruel as capitalism. She had chaired AUS meetings in the lecture theatre I was singing in, and her father was leader of the union movement at the time Ernie Abbot was killed. (more…)