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Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

Curiouser and Curiouser

A story worthy of a mystery author—or dramatist—has been hitting German headlines. It began when police at the Vienna airport in Austria arrested a first lieutenant of the German Bundeswehr army when he picked up a pistol hidden some weeks earlier in a bathroom. He denied it was his and was released. But his fingerprints […]

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Corporate Profits

What’s driving abnormal profit margins? Monopoly

Why is the cause of abnormally high corporate profit margins in the US. The phenomenon is amongst other things upsetting the standard notion that profits are mean reverting to historic averages. Jeremy Grantham (of the global investment management firm, GMO) puts the cause down to three other factors: increased monopoly power, increased political power and […]

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carbon-pricing

The Steps to Ecosocialism

John Bellamy Foster and Ian Angus reply to a recent article published by Daniel Tanuro on carbon pricing schemes. Tanuro, a vehement critic of such schemes, focuses his critique on the cautiously critical support given by Foster and Angus to proposals developed by climate scientist James Hansen.

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Prison Labor

The Return of Commercial Prison Labor

In the decades following, the number of prisoners decreased to a historic minimum. But with cutbacks in the welfare state, the prison population exploded from about 200,000 in 1975 to 2,300,000 in 2013 (Scherrer and Shah, 2017: 37) and prison labor for commercial purposes became legal again. Today, about 15% of the inmates in federal […]

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Miroslav Krleža

With Krleža, Against Organized Idiotism

Krleža writes about imperialist wars, corruption, oligarchy, plutocracy, the miserable life under the dictatorship of capital, and so on. Moreover, he writes from the perspective of a revolutionary socialist. Almost a century later all of those Krleža’s early themes are still critically and tragically topical. Various versions of ostensible socialism are today thoroughly discredited, but […]

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Martin Schultz

Miracles Can Happen

To follow German politics these days you have to like arithmetic. At first only up to six, for that many parties are now vying to get good grades, lots of votes, and more power in the September elections to the Bundestag, which will lead to a government ruling until 2021.

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Tenure Umbrella

Just Wait Until I Get Tenure

The first thing to understand about colleges and universities is that they are workplaces. And like all workplaces in capitalist societies, they are organized as hierarchies, with power radiating downward.… Those at the top have as their central objective control over the enterprise, so that their power can be maintained, that revenues from tuition, grants, […]

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Workers at Whirlpool

Monopolization and labor exploitation

Those who advocate “freeing the market” claim that doing so will encourage competition and thereby increase majority well-being. These advocates have certainly had their way shaping economic policies. And the results? According to several leading economists, the results include the growing monopolization of product markets and the steady decline in labour’s share of national income. […]

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"Cementing Feet" in protest of the "Corporate Governor," Ganjar Pranowo in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, March 13, 2017.

Kendeng Against Cement

Since March 13, 2017, over 50 local indigenous peasants known as Sedulur Kendeng, from Central Java, Indonesia, have been sitting with their feet in cement boxes in protest before the Presidential Palace. This is their second such protest in eleven months.

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cd1

Cementing Dissent in Indonesia

The accelerating rate of land and resource dispossession in post-authoritarian Indonesia has led to a number of confrontations between state and corporate authorities on one side and peasant communities on the other. Many of these conflicts, though garnering much attention from sympathetic activists, remain localised. However, there are moments when peasants and their activist allies […]

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