Nicaragua’s Sandinista government used its platform at the United Nations General Assembly to call for a global rebellion against the “imperialist and capitalist system” that is “bleeding the world dry.” “It is time to say enough to the hypocritical imperialism that politicizes, falsifies, and denigrates human rights, that they themselves violate and deny every day,” declared Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. “Imperialism and its coercive actions are anti-life, in all spheres, and because of this, they are contrary to international law,” he added. In his September 26 UN speech, Moncada proclaimed, “A better, just, multipolar world” is “already being built, and we are here to keep creating it, and to defend it.”
It is a feeling of outrage, with a strong sense of déjà-vu. From the vantage point in the United Kingdom — where inequality and social injustice are in particularly sharp focus — we’re on the brink of yet another social and economic crisis. Even more so than in the rest of Europe, energy prices, and the cost of living are rocketing. But what is happening at the top? What are our leaders doing? Why are some people, yet again, making eye-watering financial gains while others face destitution and a real fear of being cold and hungry this winter?
In 2014, Congress used a midnight rider added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to hand the Indigenous Sacred Land at Oak Flats in Arizona over to a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, Resolution Copper, to mine, which would destroy the land and pollute the local water. Apache Stronghold and its allies are fighting to protect the land and with it, their cultural identity and religious freedom. A new Bureau of Land Management report and conflict within the Ninth Circuit Court are promising for them. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr. about the significance of Oak Flats and how it exposes the ways colonization and capitalism harm and threaten the existence of most people in the United States, not just the Native American population. Dr. Nosie discusses spirituality, ancient prophecies and the urgent need to work together to change course.
The ruling oligarchs are terrified that, for tens of millions of people, the economic dislocation caused by inflation, stagnant wages, austerity, the pandemic and the energy crisis is becoming unendurable. They warn, as Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and NATO Secretary GeneraJens Stoltenberg, have done, about the potential for social unrest, especially as we head towards winter. Social unrest is a code word for strikes — the one weapon workers possess that can cripple and destroy the billionaire class’s economic and political power. Strikes are what the global oligarchs fear most. Through the courts and police intervention, they will seek to prevent workers from shutting down the economy. This looming battle is crucial. If we begin to chip away at corporate power through strikes, most of which will probably be wildcat strikes that defy union leadership and anti-union laws, we can begin to regain agency over our lives.
For stolen lands to remain colonized, for investments to remain profitable, for white capital to remain ruthless, Black Rage must be neutralized. Black Rage—the omnipresent force radiating throughout the anxieties of the State—is a boundless threat to the capitalist order. Like a Big Bang, Black Rage began its expansion into colonial existence at the exact moment the first African was plucked from their roots and cast down into the sunken dungeon of the European slave ship. Its expansion is the survival of the human spirit, serving as a potential death knell to oppression—ringing its bell with smoldering waves of resistance quietly hissing in infamy. Black Rage finds expression in the assisted asphyxiation of the slave trader (accompanied by the seizure of their ship), the alleviation of the slave master's heartbeat (seasoned by the enslaved maid), the transformation of the settler city-state into a community fireplace (the riot of the unheard).
We’re still getting over a pandemic. Healthcare costs are totally out of control. Everyone’s in debt and hates their job. The insects are disappearing, which feels like a bad sign. I have to watch a Jeff Bezos interview just to see bug eyes anymore. On top of all that, the bankers at the Federal Reserve have decided they’re going to make things way worse. As reported in Common Dreams, “Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said… that the U.S. central bank is ready to inflict ‘pain’ on households as it continues to fight inflation, remarks that drew widespread backlash from experts who warned the Fed appears poised to spark a devastating recession and mass layoffs.” The Federal Reserve – the privately owned central bank of the U.S. – wants to screw us all some more. So the Fed claims it’s raising interest rates to fight inflation, but that isn’t why they’re doing it.
The U.S. has entered a dark period. Economic crisis wracks its capitalist system. Military instability and chaos reign supreme over its imperialist ventures. Political illegitimacy worsens by the year, at times by the month. These conditions sound favorable to the growth of revolutionary possibilities within the citadel of imperialism. But such is not the case at the moment. Discipline and organization are at perhaps their weakest point in generations. Young people are moving toward socialist politics. However, a similar number of people have embraced the politics of a U.S.-led New Cold War against Russia and China which seek to destroy any alternative to imperialism. Little clarity has been developed on the question of what socialism would look like in the United States, an obvious indication that a century of Red Scare politics has made a decisive impact on the political direction of the so-called Left.
Life expectancy is one of the best measures of human development. In hunter-gather societies, on average, about 57-67% of children made it to 15 years. Then 79% of those 15 year-olds made it to 45 years. Finally, those remaining at 45 years could expect to reach around 65-70 years. So we can see that life expectancy at birth in these societies was very low, given high child mortality. But some 40% did make it to about 65 years on average. It seems to have been worse in the class-based feudal and slave societies. The average medieval life expectancy for a peasant was only a mere 35 years of age at birth, but it was closer to 50 years on average for those who made it beyond 15 years. You can see that measuring life expectancy at birth is not a perfect guide to how long humans did live in pre-capitalist societies. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that life expectancy on average rose sharply once science came to bear on hygiene, sewage, knowledge of the human body, better nutrition etc.
In November 2022, most member states of the United Nations (UN) will gather in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh for the annual UN Climate Change Conference. This is the 27th conference of the parties to assess the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, commonly referred to as COP 27. The international environmental treaty was established in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, with the first conference held in Berlin in 1995; the agreements were extended in the Kyoto Protocol of 2005 and supplemented by the Paris Agreement of 2015. No more needs to be said of the climate catastrophe, which threatens mass species extinction.
Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that the US is trying to start a war with China over Taiwan. He also explained how imperialism is rooted in capitalism and detailed its economic exploitation of the Global South. It’s quite obvious that when the Eastern bloc was still there, it was a bustle between capitalism and communism. Once communism was defeated, then capitalism could expand and show its true self. It’s no longer constrained by the need to be nice, so that people will choose their so-called free-market system as opposed to the centrally planned system. So because of that, nowadays there is nothing to restrain capital, and capital is demanding that it should be able to go anywhere and do whatever it likes.
The virus of deindustrialisation that beset North America and Europe in the 1970s created a field of scholarly literature on post-work and post-industrial society. These writings led to the curious assumption that the digital economy would be the primary motor of capital accumulation; there was marginal interest in the fact that even the digital economy needed infrastructure, including satellites and undersea cables as well as plants to generate electricity and gadgets to link to the digital highways. This digital economy is grounded in a range of metals and minerals – from copper to lithium. Old steel, tempered in large factories, however, continues to be the foundation of our society. This steel – a thousand times stronger than iron – is as ubiquitous in our world as plastic.
The economy’s job is to work for people. It is not the job of people to sacrifice themselves on the altar of the economy. The subconscious feeling drummed into all of us that we should feel some sense of collective pride for being ground into dust in service of economic growth is a sick bit of indoctrination that is stubbornly hard to escape. The simple step of asking what the economy is doing for us — rather than what our lives are contributing to the economy — can go a long way toward reframing how we all think about this. They say that behind every fortune is a crime; likewise, behind every mainstream economic analysis is a set of poisonous assumptions that exist to tranquilize us. Consider the problem of inflation. It’s rising around the world. The growing consensus in the financial world is that the era of low inflation is gone for good, because the era of globalization that enabled it is coming to an end.
In his recent book, Climate Change as Class War, Matthew Huber argues that the ecological crisis is primarily caused by the capitalist mode of production, especially the preponderant deployment of fossil capital, ‘the forms of capital that generate profit through emissions’. For many on the anti-capitalist left, this is a conclusion that hardly bears repeating. Nevertheless, Huber is right to centre the claim. Ecological collapse is accelerating and requires immediate action. While the global average of emissions must reach zero by 2050 to stay within 1.5–2 °C heating, in order to do this at pace, the parts of the world most responsible for emissions must reach net zero by 2030. But not only are we failing to make progress toward these goals, emissions continue to rise with no end in sight. Huber puts it bluntly: ‘We’re still losing.’
On July 30 activists marched and rallied in Washington, DC, calling for a more humane healthcare system. Physician and Left Voice member Mike Pappas spoke at the rally about how capitalism and health aren’t compatible. Below is the text from his speech. Hi, everyone. My name is Mike, and I’m a healthcare worker in New York City. I work at the nation’s first overdose-prevention center and at a psychedelic-medicine clinic. Before this, I worked in both a federally qualified health center and a hospital in New York. I’m also a member of Left Voice, a revolutionary socialist group with a publication that is part of an international network of news sites. To start out — and this should be no surprise to anyone — but just in case, I’m going to be really blunt and make things real clear: our healthcare system is a piece of shit that doesn’t remotely foster health or well-being.