Review of No Bosses: A New Economy for a Better World, by Michael Albert (Zero Books, 2021)
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Labor / Economics
Stories about Labor and Economics.
Policies favourable to fossil fuel companies have extracted our common wealth – our air, forests, land… – and put it in the hands of a small minority. Green policies are therefore bound to be redistributive at a time when inequality is soaring. One of the measures proposed to reduce the regressivity of carbon prices is redistributing tax revenues in favour of low and middle income earners. But, as anthropologist Jason Hickel reminds us, “Anything short of a binding cap on fossil fuel extraction, with declining annual targets that will wind down the industry to zero, is just hand-waving.”
The current political era is best understood as a “great recoil” of economic globalization. It is a moment when the coordinates of historical development seem to be inverting, upsetting many of the assumptions that dominated politics and economics over the last decades. This moment corresponds to the “second movement” socialist economic historian Karl Polanyi described in his book , when phases of capitalist expansion recede and are met by “societal responses.”
Socialist economic planning is the only way to ensure a just transition to low-carbon energy and sustainable production.
Left to the market, any move to green alternatives will never be rapid enough, since fossil fuels remain so highly profitable; the manufacture of renewable technologies will be scarred by brutally exploitative, destructive, and profit-driven practices; and workers in obsolete, polluting industries will be thrown onto the scrapheap of unemployment.
A hemp plot constitutes a carbon sink: Because the plant grows quickly (up to 12 feet in four months), it absorbs huge quantities of carbon, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions that cause destructive climate change.
More than that, the plant can replace carbon-intensive materials used in manufactured products ranging from plastics to concrete, creating a new carbon-friendly economy. That’s what we need to survive the decades ahead, and hemp can be a part of that New Green Revolution.
Hempcrete is a valuable alternative to concrete in many forms of construction. It produces about four times the amount of fiber in a fraction of the time needed for processing an equivalent amount of wood.
The geographical scope of the US military is larger than the world, as even without the “Space Force” the militarization of space has proceeded apace. On this earth, there is its division into “commands.”
We must not forget the US continental sprawl of bases, training grounds, bombing ranges, and oceanic military preserves, and similar uses of US colonies. There are US bases in over 160 foreign lands.
“but to the degree that large industry develops, the creation of real wealth comes to depend less on labour time and on the amount of labour employed than on the power of the agencies set in motion during labour time, whose ‘powerful effectiveness’ is itself in turn out of all proportion to the direct labour time spent on their production, but depends rather on the general state of science and on the progress of technology…labour no longer appears so much to be included within the production process; rather, the human being comes to relate more as watchman and regulator to the production process itself…as soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well spring of wealth labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure…”
“Capitalism’s War on the Earth”: The existential challenge of a moribund socio-economic system