Parliament: the mother of all deceptions By William Bowles

30 June 2012

wm-morris“There — it sickens one to have to wade through this grimy sea of opportunism. What a spectacle of shuffling, lies, vacillation and imbecility does this Game Political offer to us? I cannot conclude without an earnest appeal to those Socialists, of whatever section, who may be drawn towards the vortex of Parliamentarism, to think better of it while there is yet time.

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Syria and the media: "Activists say…" By William Bowles

17 February 2012

Every time I read a BBC news piece about events in Syria it invariably includes the following phrase (emphasized):

“Troops are shelling intensively parts of the Syrian city of Homs, activists say, a day after the UN General Assembly called for an end to violence.” — ‘Syrian city shelled after UN vote’, BBC News, 17 February 2012

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A history lesson By William Bowles

25 December 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation

I don’t remember much about my high school years. Some of the highs (few in number) come back to me but it was mostly lows which probably explains why I don’t remember much. It’s not that I was dumb, I just had no motivation, but I was interested in history, jazz and politics (thanks to my parents) and even won a prize for a history essay as well as starting up the school’s first jazz appreciation society (not appreciated by the school I might add, the head of music tore down my posters).

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In the belly of the beast By William Bowles

28 September 2011

beast.jpgIn case you hadn’t noticed, especially if you get your news from the MSM, there is the mother of all capitalist crises unfolding around us. A crisis that appears to be far deeper even than the Crash of ’29 and given the global nature of corporate capitalism, nobody (except the rich) can escape its awful destructive power, short of revolution of course.

So deep in fact, that the imperial elites are incapable of resolving it and appear to be frozen to the spot like a deer caught in the headlights, attempting to apply ‘solutions’ that only compound the contradictions. It points once and again to the chaotic nature of capitalism that hides its ignorance behind glib phrases that mean nothing.

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MIMO – A socio-economic model for the 21st century? By William Bowles & Michael Jensen

5 August, 2010

This was written back in 2001 but on reading it again, with some changes, I still think it has possibilities. Reprinting here was triggered by the FLATTR system (see also my piece, ‘How to build a real Web Economy – a socialist one’).

MIMO (More in More Out)

A socio-economic model for the 21st century

MIMO is a ‘work in progress’, that starts from the point where use value is transformed into cultural capital and, over time (as with the evolution of money from being a portable form of barter, to being a commodity) establishes a mechanism for measuring value generation that has meaning in the real world, insofar as it can compete on ‘equal terms’ with the world of traditional, commodity-based use values determined by (in part) production costs. A list of additional resources can be found at the end of this page.

In an age where machines are performing an increasing amount of real as well as virtual production, finance capital itself is under threat (without wage labour, capital ceases to exist).

  • Globalisation is accelerating this process by distributing production globally and hence costs.
  • But ownership of intellectual capital (which is central to any modern capitalist economy) is concentrated in the developed world.
  • As wealth creation, dominated by the developed world shifts to intellectual products (communications, currency speculation, financial services, entertainment, education, sport, in short, information-based production as a whole), the developing world and those without intellectual skills in a saleable form, are increasingly marginalised.
  • MIMO addresses these issues in part, by putting a value on human life itself as the source of ideas and experience, which can be traded because MIMO enables them to be valued statistically.
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The Capitalist Shakedown By William Bowles

12 October 2008

Marx Revisited“It is only in these dire circumstances that the United States, where private property is more sacrosanct probably than anywhere else in the world, is talking about some kind of nationalization of banks, if only limited. In financial circles they are now calling this ‘regime change,’ borrowing the term of course from a different context. But it is clear what it means: the end of neoliberalism, and the rise of aggressive government interventions into the economy. It represents a clear recognition that this is not a liquidity crisis that can be solved by pouring more money into financial markets or by lowering interest rates.” — Interview with John Bellamy Foster, “Can the Financial Crisis Be Reversed?

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Sink or Swim in the capitalist ocean? By William Bowles

9 April 2008

When a group of so-called Aboriginals from I believe Borneo (or maybe it was Papua New Guinea) visited the UK recently they were gob-smacked to find homeless people on the streets of London. The concept ‘homelessness’ simply didn’t exist in their vocabulary and reinforced by the vast wealth that surrounded them (the ‘Aboriginal and the homeless). So too was the idea of the ‘nuclear family’. The concept of ‘living apart’ is totally alien to them.

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Book Review: Who said Marx wasn’t Green? By William Bowles

1 September 2007

Book Review: Ecology Against Capitalism by John Bellamy Foster

“An ecological approach to the economy is about having enough, not having more.” — John Bellamy Foster

“For the first time — nature becomes purely an object for humankind, purely a matter of utility; ceases to be recognized as a power for itself; and the theoretical discovery of its autonomous laws appears merely as a ruse so as to subject it under human needs, whether as an object of consumption or as a means of production. [my emph. Ed]” — Karl Marx, Grundrisse

For some of us on the Left it appears that confusion reigns in much of what”s left of the Left, caught up as it is in its own largely petty squabblings, mostly about who said what to whom and when, thus when a book comes along like Ecology Against Capitalism, I feel damn well vindicated!

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No need to panic, let the market decide By William Bowles

14 August 2007

“We’ve got blind panic… and obviously a complete lack of confidence [in the market]” – Tony Craze, Dawntrader.co.uk

It should be obvious to all and sundry by now that capitalism is in dire straights. Last week’s meltdown of the world’s major capital markets was only ‘rescued’ by the injection of literally hundreds of billions of dollars from by the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve. So much for the magic of the ‘market’ which we are continuously told, solves all problems. And in fact, last week’s injection by the European Central bank of something like $100 billion dollars didn’t do the trick! More had to be ‘injected’ in order to stave off a total collapse of the world’s stock markets. The ‘injection’ is in reality a bail-out of the commercial banks.

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