exploitation   1722

« earlier    

Why Class Matters
Just to reiterate my main point: real utopias become viable when they span these two strategies, taming and eroding capitalism. That’s why it’s different from old-fashioned Bernsteinian evolutionary socialism. The role of the state in such a transformational project is to defend and expand the spaces in which alternatives are built from below, rather than for the state to provide, to be the central actor in the provision of needs.
class  Marxism  inequality  domination  power  exploitation  Marx  Weber  socialism  anti-capitalism  analyticalMarxism  Althusser  Poulantzas  AlbertMichael  markets  cooperative  utopias  interview  dctagged  dc:contributor=WrightErikOlins 
3 days ago by petej
Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong | Jason Hickel | Opinion | The Guardian
"An infographic endorsed by the Davos set presents the story of coerced global proletarianisation as a neoliberal triumph"

"Last week, as world leaders and business elites arrived in Davos for the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates tweeted an infographic to his 46 million followers showing that the world has been getting better and better. “This is one of my favourite infographics,” he wrote. “A lot of people underestimate just how much life has improved over the past two centuries.”

Of the six graphs – developed by Max Roser of Our World in Data – the first has attracted the most attention by far. It shows that the proportion of people living in poverty has declined from 94% in 1820 to only 10% today. The claim is simple and compelling. And it’s not just Gates who’s grabbed on to it. These figures have been trotted out in the past year by everyone from Steven Pinker to Nick Kristof and much of the rest of the Davos set to argue that the global extension of free-market capitalism has been great for everyone. Pinker and Gates have gone even further, saying we shouldn’t complain about rising inequality when the very forces that deliver such immense wealth to the richest are also eradicating poverty before our very eyes.

It’s a powerful narrative. And it’s completely wrong.

[tweet by Bill Gates with graphs]

There are a number of problems with this graph, though. First of all, real data on poverty has only been collected since 1981. Anything before that is extremely sketchy, and to go back as far as 1820 is meaningless. Roser draws on a dataset that was never intended to describe poverty, but rather inequality in the distribution of world GDP – and that for only a limited range of countries. There is no actual research to bolster the claims about long-term poverty. It’s not science; it’s social media.

What Roser’s numbers actually reveal is that the world went from a situation where most of humanity had no need of money at all to one where today most of humanity struggles to survive on extremely small amounts of money. The graph casts this as a decline in poverty, but in reality what was going on was a process of dispossession that bulldozed people into the capitalist labour system, during the enclosure movements in Europe and the colonisation of the global south.

Prior to colonisation, most people lived in subsistence economies where they enjoyed access to abundant commons – land, water, forests, livestock and robust systems of sharing and reciprocity. They had little if any money, but then they didn’t need it in order to live well – so it makes little sense to claim that they were poor. This way of life was violently destroyed by colonisers who forced people off the land and into European-owned mines, factories and plantations, where they were paid paltry wages for work they never wanted to do in the first place.

In other words, Roser’s graph illustrates a story of coerced proletarianisation. It is not at all clear that this represents an improvement in people’s lives, as in most cases we know that the new income people earned from wages didn’t come anywhere close to compensating for their loss of land and resources, which were of course gobbled up by colonisers. Gates’s favourite infographic takes the violence of colonisation and repackages it as a happy story of progress.

But that’s not all that’s wrong here. The trend that the graph depicts is based on a poverty line of $1.90 (£1.44) per day, which is the equivalent of what $1.90 could buy in the US in 2011. It’s obscenely low by any standard, and we now have piles of evidence that people living just above this line have terrible levels of malnutrition and mortality. Earning $2 per day doesn’t mean that you’re somehow suddenly free of extreme poverty. Not by a long shot.

Scholars have been calling for a more reasonable poverty line for many years. Most agree that people need a minimum of about $7.40 per day to achieve basic nutrition and normal human life expectancy, plus a half-decent chance of seeing their kids survive their fifth birthday. And many scholars, including Harvard economist Lant Pritchett, insist that the poverty line should be set even higher, at $10 to $15 per day.

So what happens if we measure global poverty at the low end of this more realistic spectrum – $7.40 per day, to be extra conservative? Well, we see that the number of people living under this line has increased dramatically since measurements began in 1981, reaching some 4.2 billion people today. Suddenly the happy Davos narrative melts away.

Moreover, the few gains that have been made have virtually all happened in one place: China. It is disingenuous, then, for the likes of Gates and Pinker to claim these gains as victories for Washington-consensus neoliberalism. Take China out of the equation, and the numbers look even worse. Over the four decades since 1981, not only has the number of people in poverty gone up, the proportion of people in poverty has remained stagnant at about 60%. It would be difficult to overstate the suffering that these numbers represent.

This is a ringing indictment of our global economic system, which is failing the vast majority of humanity. Our world is richer than ever before, but virtually all of it is being captured by a small elite. Only 5% of all new income from global growth trickles down to the poorest 60% – and yet they are the people who produce most of the food and goods that the world consumes, toiling away in those factories, plantations and mines to which they were condemned 200 years ago. It is madness – and no amount of mansplaining from billionaires will be adequate to justify it."

[See also:

"A Letter to Steven Pinker (and Bill Gates, For That Matter) About Global Poverty"

"A Response to Max Roser: How Not to Measure Global Poverty"

"Citations Needed Podcast: Episode 58: The Neoliberal Optimism Industry"
https://soundcloud.com/citationsneeded/episode-58-the-neoliberal-optimism-industry ]
billgates  statistics  capitalism  inequality  poverty  2019  jasonhickel  davos  wealth  land  property  colonialism  colonization  maxroser  data  stevenpinker  nicholaskristof  gdp  dispossession  labor  work  money  neoliberalism  exploitation 
21 days ago by robertogreco
I work at a Wetherspoons in grim conditions – and Tim Martin’s clueless Brexit bleating is driving me mad | The Independent
It is nothing short of perverse that it’s the organisation’s bar associates – the lowest-paid and most migrant-heavy layer of the workforce – who are responsible for distributing Martin’s politics in pubs up and down the country. Through content in the magazine, on leaflets and even on beer mats, we are essentially instructed to propagandise for a policy that promises to make our livelihoods more precarious.

Brexit has always been driven by the central xenophobic lie that blames the decline of living standards on foreign workers. Yet when you contrast the extreme wealth of Wetherspoon’s shareholders with what I see as poverty wages granted to all its employees, it’s all too clear in my mind that it’s not migrants who drive down wages, it’s exploitative bosses.
UK  Brexit  Wetherspoons  MartinTim  pay  wages  conditions  propaganda  Leave  migrants  rights  freedomOfMovement  exploitation 
29 days ago by petej
Ben Tarnoff on Twitter: "Zuboff is a giant, and I am learning a lot from her new book. But I would respectfully dissent from her view, expressed both here and in her book, that "surveillance capitalism" is a radically worse form of capitalism than the one
"Zuboff is a giant, and I am learning a lot from her new book. But I would respectfully dissent from her view, expressed both here and in her book, that "surveillance capitalism" is a radically worse form of capitalism than the one that preceded it. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/20/shoshana-zuboff-age-of-surveillance-capitalism-google-facebook

In her book, she describes SC as a "rogue capitalism" that "abandon[s] capitalism's reciprocities with people and society" and exceeds “the historical norms of capitalist ambitions" by "claiming dominion over [new] human, societal, and political territories."

But I'm not sure that this reciprocity-oriented, not-too-ambitious Good Capitalism ever existed. Or if it did, it only existed briefly, during the postwar era of social-democratic compromise made possible by lots of class struggle.

Instead of defining SC as a "rogue capitalism," I think it's more useful to see SC (or data/informational/platform/etc capitalism) as a new mode of capital accumulation *within* capitalism that helps manage/displace certain contradictions.

This view has two advantages, I think. The first is that it gives us a clearer understanding of how SC works by emphasizing its continuities with other modes of accumulation ("cheap nature," imperialism, accumulation by dispossession, good old exploitation, etc).

The second is that I think it gives us a clearer understanding of what's wrong with SC. In her book, I find that Zuboff often spiritualizes the harms inflicted by SC, speaking of the damage done to "human nature" rather than the damage done to actual humans.

In sum, I think SC is bad because of what it (and capitalism as a whole) does to historically specific humans: it dispossesses and exploits, depletes the social and ecological resources on which we depend, and robs us of our free time. Onward to the abolition of the value form!"

"Thread. Been thinking about this a lot. Still need to read the book and work through the ideas, but the notion that SC is a perverted form of capitalism (rather than capitalism itself being the problem) isn’t one that resonates with me." [quoting the first tweet in the thread above]

"One of the other problems is it seems to play up the “nobody could have seen this coming” argument, which overlooks the many social critics who pretty explicitly warned about all of this."

"Oh wow. Yeah that's not good (or accurate). It would be ironic if the book length treatment is the thing that moves me away from using the term."

"She doesn't even actually argue that strange distinction. It feels very much like a "Hey, your privilege is showing" kind of moment."

"I've been arguing for a while that the critique of "surveillance" or "data" capitalism is largely a reaction by the bourgeoisie who is faced with similar vectors of exploitation and discrimination working class people have been living with for decades"

"I spent an evening arguing with Prof. Zuboff about her thesis a year or so ago, and basically she isn't arguing against capitalism, and in fact thinks that the solution to the problem of 'surveillance capitalism' lies within democratic capitalism."

"I agree with this dissent, which echoes prior scholarly critiques of Zuboff's earlier important work, which similarly misrepresents technological formations as if they are triggers of fundamentally new forms of capitalism."
https://twitter.com/ltaub/status/1087735610872352769 ]
bentarnoff  soshanazuboff  2019  capitalism  surveillance  siliconvalley  technology  surveillancecapitalism  data  class  exploitation  history 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
Rosa Luxemberg 100 years on… – Mosquito Ridge – Medium
Capitalism destroys itself, colonises its external environment and destroys the planet. To survive it must constantly impose market logic on the non-capitalist, human-centred parts of the economy

This inner tendency leads towards barbaric outcomes unless we stop it — and we are surrounded by those outcomes: genocide, war, torture, surveillance, control, misogyny, racism…

Those who will overthrow capitalism are the people who cannot live with the barbarism. They do not need a deus ex machina, a manipulative Leninist party, to realise what’s wrong: they can work it out for themselves. The task of the organisation is to focus their energy and free it from the strictures and controls capitalism teaches them to impose upon themselves.
LuxemburgRosa  capitalism  exploitation  socialFactory  autonomism  socialism  barbarism  revolution  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
4 weeks ago by petej

« earlier    

related tags

1st  2012  2015  2018  2019  2nd  abudhabi  abuse  acquiescence  activism  africa  africom  ai  aid  albertmichael  algorithms  alienation  alt-right  althusser  amazon  america  americana  americas  an  analyticalmarxism  anandgiridharadas  anatomy  andreasmaln  andrewcarnegie  anti-capitalism  anxiety  arabtec  archive  argument  art  artificial-inteligence  artificial  artificialintelligence  artpope  aspenconsensus  asylum  augmentedreality  authoritarian  automation  automative  autonomism  autonomy  baltimore  bangladesh  barbarism  baseband  belgium  benefits  bentarnoff  billclinton  billgates  biodiversity  biology  bisect  bmovie  boardband  bolton  bonuses  books  branding  breath  brent  brexit  british-empire  browser  budget  burn  burnout  bus  business  cable  california  can  cantact:  capital  capitalism  care  categorisation  celebrity  chain  change  charitableindustrialcomplex  charity  cheneydick  children  china  chorus  christian  class  climate  clippings  coal  coercion  colonial-era  colonialism  colonization  compare  competition  conditions  conference  conservatism  construction  consumer  consumer_financial_protection_bureau  consumerism  consumerist  consumers  contractors  control  cooking  cooperative  corbynism  corbynjeremy  corporations  corruption  councilhousing  coup  cpu  crime  crisis  croudsourcing  ctf  culture  customsunion  czechrepublic  damascus  darrenwalker  data  database  davidcallahan  davos  dc:contributor=wrighterikolins  dc:creator=harrisjohn  dc:creator=masonpaul  dctagged  debt  decentralisation  decline  deindustrialisation  deliveroo  democracy  democratic_republic_of_congo  democratisation  demographics  denier  design  dev  diagram  disability  discrimination  disparity  dispossession  diversity  division  dll  domination  donald  donald_trump  donaldtrump  donations  door  dwyl  ec  echo  ecology  economic.capture  economics  education  elizabethkolbert  emotionallabour  employment  energy  entertainment  equality  ethics  eu  eurocentric  exclusion  exploit  exploration  facebook  fame  far-right  faragenigel  fascism  fashion  fear  feedback  fees  fibre  filetype:pdf  fines  fishing  flags  flexibility  football  for  fordism  fracking  free  freedomofmovement  fullstack  fuzzer  fuzzing  games  gamification  gang  gas  gdp  generalelection  geoengineering  georgesoros  germany  gigeconomy  gildedage  gmb  goodwill  google  gop  greece  guardian  hack  hacking  hate  health  healthcare  henrykravis  hipocrisy  history  hiv  housing  hughpricehughes  human.rights  human_trafficking  humanrights  hyper  hyperindividualism  identity  identitätsstiftend  identitätsstiftung  ideology  idlib  ifttt  illegal  imf  immigrants  immigration  imperialism  important  incentivisation  independant  independence  india  individualism  industrialstrategy  inequalities  inequality  inequity  influence  infosec  infrastructure  inheritance  insecurity  instability  instacart  instagram  interests  intervention  interview  investigation  italy  iwgb  jabhatal-nusra  jasonhickel  javascript  jobs  journalism  junckerjean-claude  kernel  kitchens  klimakatastrophe  konsum  labor  labour-movement  labour  labourparty  land  landlords  larryellison  latecapitalism  latin.america  laurietisch  law  learning  leave  lettingagents  libertiesrights  licensing  life  linux  liverpool  loans  lobby  logistics  london  luxemburgrosa  lyft  maastricht  management  manchestercity  map  mar15  markets  martintim  marx  marxism  maryland  maximisation  maxroser  maytheresa  mechanical  media  memory  mentalhealth  meteriality  michaelbloomberg  microsoft  migrant  migrants  migration  military  millennials  minimum  minimum_wage  minimumwage  misogyny  ml  money  monitoring  motivation  mustread  nandylisa  nationalisation  natural_disasters  nature  neoconservatism  neoconservatives  neoliberal  neoliberalism  newcross  news  nicholaskristof  niger  nigeria  noconfidence  nonprofit  nonprofits  nz  oceans  of  olivrmorton  on  open  overwork  paday_lenders  parenting  participation  passion  path  patronage  pay  peoplesvote  performance  permaculture  personalaccount  pharmaceutical_industry  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  pirates  polarisation  politics  portugal  post-industrialism  post-racial  postfordism  poulantzas  poverty  power  power_in_america  precarity  precrime  predict  predictive  presentation  privacy  privatization  process-injection  production  profit  prometheus  propaganda  property  prostitution  prostiution  psychology  publicpolicy  qatar  quotas  racial  racism  ranking  rape  rating  rce  rechtsruck  recognition  reconciliation  recovery  referendum  reform  refugee  refugees  regulation  regulatory.capture  relationships  remain  renting  republican  research  retail  revolution  revolving  right-wing  rights  righttobuy  risk  robertreich  rollout  routers  rugeley  rural  schools  search  security  selfish  sex+trade  sex+workers  sex.trafficking  sheikhmansour  shipping  sickness  silicon-valley  silicon  siliconvalley  slavery  slides  smart-tech  smartphone  social.media  social_justice  social_media  socialentrepreneurship  socialfactory  socialism  socialmedia  socialmovements  socialwelfare  society  solver  somali  soshanazuboff  spain  speculative  speech  sport  statistics  status  stevenpinker  strategy  stress  subcontracotr  subcontracting  superpacs  supplychains  surgepricing  surveillance.capitalism  surveillance  surveillancecapitalism  sustainability  sustainable  system  tactics  tax  taxavoidance  taxes  taxonomy  teams  tech  technology  texas  theft  theleft  theory  thinktanks  thousands  time  timgill  to  tool  tools  toryparty  tourism  tracking  tradeunions  trafficking  trashmovies  trump  tuc  turk  turkey  tutorial  uae  uber  uk  union  united_states  universalcredit  us  usa  used  utopias  v8  valley  values  veil  vested  video  violence  visualisation  volcano  volunteer  votersuppression  vpn  vulnerability  wage  wages  wakefield  walsall  war  warehouse  warrenbuffett  wealth  wealthdistribution  web  weber  welbyjustin  welfare  wetherspoons  wework  white  williamjewetttucker  windows  withdrawalagreement  women  work  work_conditions  workers  workers_rights  working  writing  youtube  εκμετάλλευση  κινητό_τηλέφωνο  κοβάλτιο  μέταλλα  μπαταρίες  οικολογία  παιδική_εργασία 

Copy this bookmark: