A tightening world

Michael Roberts Blog | June 18, 2022

It’s been a big week for the major central banks. First, the European Central Bank (ECB) called an emergency meeting because government bond yields were rising sharply in the more indebted Eurozone economies like Italy and Spain.  That threatens to deliver a new sovereign debt crisis as happened after the Great Recession from 2010-2014, leading to the Greek nightmare.

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HM Online 2021: Crisis, Pandemics, and Right-Wing Populism: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Neoliberalism

Morbid symptoms: The political economy of authoritarian neoliberalism

Adam Fabry, Universidad Nacional de Chilecito, Argentina

‘The Crisis of Neoliberal Globalization and the Global Rise of Authoritarianism in the 21st Century’
Berch Berberoglu, University of Nevada, Reno, USA

‘A Model State of Authoritarian Neoliberalism? An Analysis of the Orbán Regime in Hungary’
Attila Antal, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Hungary

‘Authoritarian Neoliberalisms, Social Reproduction and Social Policy in Croatia, Hungary and Poland’
Noemi Lendvai-Bainton, University of Bristol, UK
Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb , Croatia

Neoliberalism and Authoritarianism: A Long-term Perspective from the Southern Cone of Latin America

Hernán Ramírez, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brasil

Links to associated literature by panellists:

Antal, A. (2019). The Rise of Hungarian Populism: State Autocracy and the Orbán Regime, Bingley: Emerald Publishing. Available on: https://www.emerald.com/insight/publi….

Berberoglu, B. (2020). The Global Rise of Authoritarianism in the 21st Century: Crisis of Neoliberal Globalization and the Nationalist Response, London: Routledge. Available on: https://www.routledge.com/The-Global-….

Fabry, A. (2019). The Political Economy of Hungary: From State Capitalism to Authoritarian Neoliberalism. London: Palgrave. Available on: https://www.springer.com/la/book/9783….

Ramirez, H. (2019). Neoliberalismo e (neo)autoritarismo: Uma perspectiva de longo prazo a partir de casos do Cone Sul da América Latina. Available on: https://www.researchgate.net/publicat…
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This event is co-sponsored by Historical Materialism and Haymarket Books. While all events for HM Online are free to register, the organizers ask comrades who are able to please consider making a donation, which would help enormously in covering the costs of putting together this programme of events. Like all left organisations, HM had a very tough period from the beginning of 2020 and our budgets are very stretched and bank balance is sinking all the time, with very little revenue coming in. If you can make a contribution to help keep us afloat, please don’t hesitate!
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EMPIRE IN DECLINE

The Unraveling of the American Empire

Chris Hedges

MintPress News | April 22, 2021

Chris Hedges

Princeton, New Jersey (Scheerpost— America’s defeat in Afghanistan is one in a string of catastrophic military blunders that herald the death of the American empire. With the exception of the first Gulf War, fought largely by mechanized units in the open desert that did not – wisely – attempt to occupy Iraq, the United States political and military leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another. Korea. Vietnam. Lebanon. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Libya. The trajectory of military fiascos mirrors the sad finales of the Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian, French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and Soviet empires. While each of these empires decayed with their own peculiarities, they all exhibited patterns of dissolution that characterize the American experiment.Read More »

SUEZ CANAL TROUBLE

Insatiable Shipping Companies Set the Table for the Suez Canal Ship Debacle

Justin Hirsch

Labor Notes | April 07, 2021

Huge ship loaded with containers, viewed from stern which says "Ever Given, Panama." In the background are port cranes.
Investigators are more likely to blame the ship’s crew than an industry that avoids regulation and aims to grow infinitely. Container ships are four times as big as they were 20 years ago—while the earth’s waterways have remained roughly the same size. Photo: kees torn (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A lot of ink has been spilled to explain exactly what happened in the Suez Canal, where a massive container ship got wedged across the narrow channel, idling ships or forcing lengthy detours around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

Early speculation on social media laid blame on the captain and crew, mechanical failures, or mysterious forces of nature. Was it the fault of a drunken navigator, as was claimed in the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez, which spilled oil across Prince William Sound? Was there a failure of the steering gear that controls the ship’s rudder, or a did a loss of propulsion make it impossible to control the steel behemoth?Read More »

RADICAL POLITICS 

Democratic Socialism in Global Perspective

Electoral Politics and Transformative Perspectives in the Americas and Europe
January 11-15, 2021

Co-sponsored by the Havens Wright Center and the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam)

SESSION 5, The Crisis of the Capitalist State and the Democratic Socialist Response

Lucio Oliver, UNAM, Mexico (9:15) 

Jeffery R. Webber, York University, Toronto (31:29) 
Costas Lapavitsas, SOAS, London and Spyros Marchetos, Thessaloniki (51:49) 
Jorge Viaña, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia (1:22:42) 

Read More »

U.S CRISIS AND BIG TECH’S CONTROL OVER POLITICS 

Why Everyone Should Be Concerned About Parler Being Booted From the Internet

Amre Metwally

The Wire | January 17, 2021

The real coordinated inauthentic behaviour on social media made itself abundantly clear in the aftermath of the January 6 assault on the US Congress. The culprit isn’t a troll farm or Russian influence. This time, the coordinated inauthentic behavior is coming from California.

Late last week, Google and Apple both suspended Parler – the social media platform of choice for the alt-right – and demanded a “moderation improvement plan” from Parler. Amazon, as of midnight, also suspended Parler from its web hosting services, citing “inadequate content-moderation practices.” Okta, an identity management software company in San Francisco, California, was notified that Parler had a free trial of its product and subsequently rushed to terminate access.Read More »

U.S. CRISIS

The Suppression Of Trump Voters Will Not Create Long Term Stability

DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY “B”

Someone at CNN was tasked with writing a thrilling story about a brave democratic congressman who did not shy away from confronting the Capitol intruders.

How a swift impeachment was born under siege

Rioters were still ransacking the halls of the US Capitol when two Democrats stuck in lockdown together in the House office buildings across the street started drafting the impeachment resolution that led to the unprecedented second impeachment of President Donald Trump almost exactly one week later.

California Rep. Ted Lieu was forced to evacuate his office in the Cannon Office Building as insurrectionists converged on the Capitol. Grabbing a crowbar in his office, Lieu said he and his chief of staff called the top aide to Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline while wandering the halls and asked if they could hunker down in Cicilline’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building. …

Read More »

ANTHROPOCENE 

The Forgotten Environmental Crisis: How 20th Century Settler Writers Foreshadowed the Anthropocene

Philip Steer

The Conversation | December 04, 2020

Just as writers and artists today are responding to the Anthropocene through climate fiction and eco art, earlier generations chronicled an environmental crisis that presaged humanity’s global impact.

The Anthropocene is a proposed geological epoch that powerfully expresses the planetary scale of the environmental changes wrought by human activity.Read More »

ENVIRONMENT AND EARTH

The Tragedy of Spaceship Earth

Troy Vettese

VIEWPOINT MAGAZINE | August 14, 2020

Masterplan, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In the 1909 short story “The Machine Stops,” EM Forster imagined a future where the atmosphere had become poisonous, leaving little life at the surface apart from a few ferns. Humans had all moved to a network of vast subterranean cities—the Machine—where they lived physically isolated from each other but digitally linked via an internet-like device to communicate with friends, listen to short lectures, and play music. Few bothered to ramble at the surface with a respirator or fly to other colonies via airship, for civilization was structured on “bringing things to people” rather than “people to things.” One of the denizens of this sedentary future, Vashti (“a swaddled lump of flesh […] with a face as white as a fungus”), recalled “those funny old days, when men went for a change of air instead of changing the air in their rooms!” Vashti and her peers abhorred intimacy with others or communion with nature, and preferred their utter dependence on the Machine. Vashti’s son Kuno was unusual in his desire to escape, but he could not venture far from the Machine given his need for its artificial air. Read More »

Coronavirus, Crisis And The End Of Neoliberalism

by Alfredo Saad-Filho

Progress in Political Economy | April 15, 2020

Suddenly, we find ourselves in a transformed world. Empty streets, closed shops, unusually clear skies, and climbing death tolls: something unprecedented is unfolding before our eyes.

News about the economy is alarming almost everywhere: the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the sharpest and deepest economic contraction in the history of capitalism.[1] To paraphrase The Communist Manifesto, all that was solid has melted into air: ‘globalisation’ has gone into reverse; long supply chains, that were previously the only ‘rational’ way to organise production, have collapsed and hard borders are back; trade has declined drastically, and international travel has been severely constrained. In a matter of days, tens of millions of workers became unemployed, and millions of businesses lost their employees, customers, suppliers and credit lines.[2] Several economies expect contractions of GDP to be measured in double digits, and a long line of sectors beg governments for a bailout. In the UK alone, banks, railways, airlines, airports, the tourism sector, charities, the entertainment sector and universities are on the verge of bankruptcy, not to speak of the displaced workers and the (nominally) self-employed, who lost everything because of an economic shock that has not yet even been felt in full.[3]Read More »