Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Review of Green Capitalism by Jason Walsh at @goforthmag

Jason Walsh has a review of a new book called Green Capitalism: Manufacturing Scarcity in an Age of Abundance at forth magazine. According to the review, the book says that business today tries to increase its profits not through greater production, but by creating artificial scarcity that enables prices to rise.

Of particular interest to Strange Times partisans is this quote from the review:

Heartfield’s argument will not be welcome either on the left or in green circles, which is a great pity. Today’s left has, for the most part, enthusiastically embraced the green agenda, seeing it as a useful vehicle for framing a critique of capitalist social relations. Unfortunately, much of the green critique of capitalism is misplaced, focussing on individuals’ consumption and favouring retrograde measures in production that cause real world rises is commodity prices, from inefficient organic farming at one end of the scale to carbon trading, which not only encourages lower productivity but also functions as a barrier to new entrants to industry, at the other.

The left’s opportunistic attachment to the green ideal is a world away from the productivist visions of the likes of Marx. In fact, it amounts to a renunciation of the left’s key goal. The left’s goal has traditionally been not the amelioration of poverty through management but the liberation of all humanity through massively increased efficiency. This vital point is now completely obscured and ill understood by the vast majority of people who call themselves left wing today. Confusing social liberalism and today’s social democracy with socialism is now so commonplace that the word socialism itself is all but meaningless.

Green Capitalism can be purchased through forth’s Amazon store if you click here. Comments are of course welcome here, but I’d also suggest visiting the original review and commenting there too.

Photos from Same Sex Marriage rally, Melbourne, Sat Nov 28

Same Sex Marriage Rally, State Library of Victoria, Swanston and La Trobe Sts, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia 091128-23

Same Sex Marriage Rally, State Library of Victoria, Swanston and La Trobe Sts, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia 091128-184

Same Sex Marriage Rally, State Library of Victoria, Swanston and La Trobe Sts, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia 091128-136

These pictures are from yesterday’s Equal Love rally in support of same-sex marriage in Melbourne. You can also see a set of 100 photos from the rally here.

ALIENATION: from Karl Marx to Merle Travis and beyond

Sixteen tons
Whadaya get?
Another day older
And deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me
‘coz I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store.

‘Sixteen tons’ is one of many songs about alienation under capitalism. The song was recorded in the USA in 1946 by Merle Travis , whose father had worked in the mines of Kentucky. Merle’s father often used the phrase “another day older and deeper in debt” around the house. The song has been covered by many country artists, as well as blues and rock performers – my favourite version is by Eric Burdon. (Merle Travis’ version is here:

Check out Eric’s too:

The ‘sixteen tons’ refers to work, specifically in the coal mines during the era of the ‘truck system’ (under which workers in company towns were paid with vouchers recognized only by the local store rather than paid in cash). This may seem to date the song, even make it irrelevant to the current time. However, I think ‘sixteen tons’ can mean any kind of work people do for wages under a system in which wealth is socially produced yet privately appropriated. It’s certainly true that mechanization and automation continue to reduce the numbers of people doing such work; the kind of toil that my father always referred to in my youth as ‘dirty work’. (He worked in factories and used to nag me: “Son, study hard and go to uni and then you’ll be able to become a school teacher. Don’t end up in a dirty job.”).

Continue reading ‘ALIENATION: from Karl Marx to Merle Travis and beyond’

just too bizarre….

Please explain….. I just do not understand why a large section of the ruling class is so actively into the promotion of green hysteria.  One could almost begin to suspect some sort of weird science fiction scenario involving alien mind-control, or something….

Just have a look at this ad. produced for children by the British government (at a cost of $10.7 million dollars!)

Note:  I got the video from You Tube, where the person who  posted it has added a plug throughout for the film “Not Evil, Just Wrong” …… this may make you heave a sigh of relief, and think it’s a spoof … but it’s not.

Brendan O’Neil has an article about it in today’s Australian, by the way:  Panic Little Ones,  it’s the Carbon Monster.