Archive for the 'capital's growth and development' Category

Value struggle on the river front

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is a Al Jazeera report on the impacts of the Belo Monte Dam in Altamira, Brazil and on the Xingu Encounter 2008. For more on the latter, see the site of International Rivers


women empowerment as competition

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Here is what the World BanK has to say about it:

“Economic empowerment is about making markets work for women(at the policy level) and empowering women to compete in markets (at the agency level)”

Now, food prices are skyrocketing, fuel for transport and cooking are up, communities are strangled with debt, and what is the World Bank talking about? Empowering women to compete. This is their ultimate solution for everything.

This is what they really mean by “gender mainstreaming”. Imagine women storming cities in the 1970s, hands up high in the vagina symbol screaming at unison “GENDER MAINSTREAMING!!!”: what an image of co-optation could have been. One thing seems clear about this current respectable slogan of World Bank policy on gender and development: whatever will happen through the energy, food, financial, or environmental crises, the subjectification of women to the market in particular, and therefore the reshaping of the conditions of reproduction in general (who knows in what direction…), will be central to their managing of these crises . . .

Some of the C0₂ emissions of global production chains

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008


An article today on The Guardian reveals the hypocrysy of it all. The world’s shipping fleet without which the burgeoning production chains of global capital would be paralised, emits 1.21bn tonnes of CO2 a year. Aviation, 600million tonnes. Yet shipping has been completely absent from public debate and government targets. (more…)

Marx and the WTO

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Quite impressive interview to Pascal Lamy, the director of the World Trade Organization, one of the institutions overseeing and promoting global capital, its enclosures and disciplinary processes. Here Lamy pays tribute to Karl Marx, especially the idea that the system is predicated upon a “certain theory of value” and that “alternatives to capitalism” must be found since “capitalism cannot satisfy us. It is a means that must remain in the service of human development.” Wow, what an oxymoron!! (more…)

Enclosures, Oil and the Junta

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

This is a clip from the new film “total denial” interviewing villagers in Burma and documenting oil companies collusion with military junta. Yet another story of modern enclosures, and capital’s accumulation. Interesting exhange between Chevron’s attorney and Californian Judge. “Chevron is one of the largest foreign investors in Burma and is the only remaining major U.S. corporation with a significant presence there. In 2005, Chevron bought the company Unocal weeks after the latter settled a lawsuit accusing it of assisting the Burmese military junta in the torture, murder and rape of villagers during construction of a pipeline.” See Democracy Now

Communist Manifestoon

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

video_button_white_dred.gifI found this 8 minutes video, voice over text from Marx and Engels 1848 Communist Manifesto and images from a broad range of Golden Age XXth Century Hollywood animation. And what a pairing this is!

Microcredit, enclosures, commons

Monday, December 18th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifThis is an extract of a debate on microcredit broadcasted by Democracy Now! (13 December - go here for full coverage in real player) between Susan Davis, founder and chair of the Grameen Foundation, and Vandana Shiva. The occasion was the Nobel Peace price acceptance speech made by the founder of Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus. The Commoner has already pusblished a critique of Grameen Bank with the article by George Caffentzis titled Varieties of Bancocide: Left and Right Critiques of the World Bank and IMF, linking microcredit to IMF and World Bank policies.

The debate here extracted is not only informative, it is also enlightening of the gap we have to overcome in our critical discourses. Susan Davis and Vandana Shiva epitomise here two opposite ways to deal with “poverty” and “development”. Susan Davis, in a business like fashion, (more…)

Competition as class struggle

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

optical-illusion.jpgYou try to go at a Marxist conference and say that “class struggle” is the centre of our preoccupation, that we need to bring in subjectivity and struggles, desires and class composition, strategies and counterstrategies, problematic of political recomposition vis-a’-vis capital in our way to apprehend the world. You will be answered with a rift sang by all types of variations and idiosyncratic types of Marxism: the historical approach, the value form approach, the disequilibrium approach, the equilibrium approach, the overproduction approach, the under-consumption approach, the logic of capital approach, even the “of-course-class-struggle-is-important” approach. In all their diversity, they share one common song, they sing to you to shut up your insistence on subjectivity and struggle, and this is it: “there is not only class struggle, there is also competition among capitals” . . .or, to put it in a more elegant (maybe) way, here they go: “there is not only the vertical struggle between capital and labour, there is also the horizontal competitive struggle among capitals”.

Ok, let us take a time machine and travel back 102 years, to 1905, (more…)

Global warming and indigenous survival: the Inuit

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifAn extract from a talk by Sheila Watt-Cloutier of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference at a Internation Forum on Globalisation teach in few days ago (taken here from Democracy Now of 23 November). She is making the very simple, but essential point, that global warming is not so much about the “environment”, but about people and communities whose livelihoods and ways of life are threatened by it. People like the Inuit, whose cultural tradition of hunting and sharing food across the artic are threatened by the effects of the global system of capitalist production. The speaker gives us some interesting insights on how the life of the Inuit depends on the ice sea, which is the main “hightway” for transportation as well as the “supermarket” from which food is obtained. Global warming here clearly appears here as a context of enclosures, and I could not avoid to think that as for the Inuit it represent an opportunity to struggle, for capital it represents an opporunity to replace the “supermarket” of the ice sea with new Wall Marts or Tescos wherever they think to relocate the Inuit once the see ice has melt.

China competes with the West in “developing” us

Monday, October 16th, 2006

A recent article by the New York Times (Jane Perlez, “China Competes with West in Aid to its Neighbors”, The New York Times, September 18 2006) was surveying recent Chinese investment in development projects across the world, especially Asia and Africa. One of the key issue is that

Chinese money usually comes unencumbered with conditions for environmental standards or community resettlement that can hold up major projects. The aid does not carry penalties for corruption that are being increasingly used by the World Bank president, Paul D. Wolfowitz. And China’s offers rarely include the extra freight of expensive consultants, provisions that are common to World Bank projects.

laying-rail-tracks.jpgIf we put this into broader perspective of how global capital works, this is one example of how homeostatic mechanisms not only are the governing mechanisms of markets, but also apply for governance and development in which there are different players facing different constraints and acting up different but interlocked strategies. So for example, (more…)