Unsurprisingly, UBI has attracted hysterical denunciations from the establishment press, replete with confident pronouncements that any such program would prove ruinously expensive and discourage people from working. A Daily Telegraph columnist asserted that poorer beneficiaries might spend “their time getting drunk, watching pornography or taking drugs”. The Financial Times claimed that “rewarding people for staying at home, is what lies behind social decay”.
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Yet another new aspect was, in some places like Rennes, the way in which feminist groups and the Peasant Confederation joined the trade unions on the streets in a mobilization comprising over 15,000 people.
The falsehood that Nader “spoiled” the 2000 election played no small part in this rightward degeneration of US politics. It was the foundation for a fallacious narrative façade that’s since been constructed from innumerable other deceptions. Insidiously, it also served as a way of demonizing left-of-liberal political ideals by associating them with a manufactured villain.
The GND does not propose the creation of state ownership of utilities, much less agriculture, housing, or medical care. Similarly, the bill has provisions for energy upgrades through refurbishing existing buildings, environmental cleanup, and an unusual provision to “ensure businesspersons are free from unfair competition.. Without further establishing state ownership over these sectors, many of these provisions are going to add value to existing private property or rely on contractors to do the work, paid for by large sums of public money. Although the GND provides decent employment and these emission reduction programs are desperately needed, much of this activity will generate further wealth in private hands if not performed by the state. The present electoral left may not be capable of enacting or want to deliver on this revolutionary goal.
The core industrial working class backbone of those parties has thus been shipped offshore in the Neoliberal era and otherwise captured by nationalist appeals or who see nothing in it for them to vote for anyone. Social Democratic party leaders in recent decades have thus participated in, and presided over, the destruction of their own organizations and their own erstwhile political-electoral base. And as they allowed the decimation of their own industrial working class, the atrophy and disappearance of the unions as an organized electoral support force followed.
Today neither the class nor the unions existed to deliver the vote for Labour (or for the Democrats, or the Socialist Party, or the SPD, etc.) in strategic contests like the recent British election and Brexit votes.
Karl Marx’s (1859) Preface to a Critique of Political Economy represents one of his major contributions to human thought. It has probably been more influential than any other in the social sciences and has served as a guide to revolutionary thinkers and activists across the intervening decades. We suggest ruminating on the following passage before considering our illustrations.
On April 23, the government of King County, Washington released an executive order expressing the intention to ban deportation flights from passing through King County International Airport - Boeing Field. The decision, which left Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with one less facility for ground support, was won by years of local organizing by immigrant justice organizations.
What is at stake is our future. That’s why, in order to ensure that this plan of action is carried out, it is essential to organize general assemblies to organize the demonstrations and remain in charge of our movement. We—trade unionist activists, politicians and associations from different organisations and sectors, Yellow Vests, activists from working class neighborhoods, women and LGBTQ+, young climate activists—support this platform: beginning December 5th, each and every one of us must go on strike in our places of work or study and be determined to continue the fight!
Such a ludicrously tenuous situation clearly demonstrates that the only rational model of geopolitics capable of avoiding catastrophe, whether due to nuclear annihilation or collective climate suicide, is some sort of world government.
After the military coup we are told that we are witnessing the fact that “a political current within Catholicism advocates violence in the name of God” in Bolivia. Far from being a new phenomenon, this violent religious fanaticism is not different from what the European colonisers did in Latin America centuries ago.