Tag Archives: job insecurity

Why Marxism is on the rise again

Capitalism is in crisis across the globe – but what on earth is the alternative? Well, what about the musings of a certain 19th-century German philosopher? Yes, Karl Marx is going mainstream – and goodness knows where it will end

By The Guardian

Class conflict once seemed so straightforward. Marx and Engels wrote in the second best-selling book of all time, The Communist Manifesto: “What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.” (The best-selling book of all time, incidentally, is the Bible – it only feels like it’s 50 Shades of Grey.)

Today, 164 years after Marx and Engels wrote about grave-diggers, the truth is almost the exact opposite. The proletariat, far from burying capitalism, are keeping it on life support. Overworked, underpaid workers ostensibly liberated by the largest socialist revolution in history (China’s) are driven to the brink of suicide to keep those in the west playing with their iPads. Chinese money bankrolls an otherwise bankrupt America.

The irony is scarcely wasted on leading Marxist thinkers. “The domination of capitalism globally depends today on the existence of a Chinese Communist party that gives de-localised capitalist enterprises cheap labour to lower prices and deprive workers of the rights of self-organisation,” says Jacques Rancière, the French marxist thinker and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII. “Happily, it is possible to hope for a world less absurd and more just than today’s.”

That hope, perhaps, explains another improbable truth of our economically catastrophic times – the revival in interest in Marx and Marxist thought. Sales of Das Kapital, Marx’s masterpiece of political economy, have soared ever since 2008, as have those of The Communist Manifesto and the Grundrisse (or, to give it its English title, Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy). Their sales rose as British workers bailed out the banks to keep the degraded system going and the snouts of the rich firmly in their troughs while the rest of us struggle in debt, job insecurity or worse. There’s even a Chinese theatre director called He Nian who capitalised on Das Kapital’s renaissance to create anall-singing, all-dancing musical.

Read more » the guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/04/the-return-of-marxism

Hard Work Is Not Working!

Poverty Report Reveals Most Poor People Have Jobs

By : The Huffington Post UK/PA

A shocking report has revealed that most people classed as living in poverty have jobs. For the first time, there are more working families living in poverty in the UK than non-working ones.

The news comes from a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which said average incomes have plummeted below the poverty line for millions of households.

Julia Unwin, the foundation’s chief executive, said: “Hard work is not working.” Some 6.7 million working families live below the poverty line – an increase of 500,000 on last year – compared with a combined 6.3 million of retired families and the out-of-work.

Households have been hit by a sustained and “unprecedented” fall in living standards, a report for the organisation found. Average incomes have fallen by 8% since their peak in 2008. As a result, around 2 million people have an income that while above today’s poverty line, would have been below the poverty line in 2008.

Of those in work, the number paid below the living wage rose from 4.6 million to five million in 2012. Half of working families in poverty have an adult paid below the living wage.

Unwin said the research showed that millions of people were moving in and out of work, but rarely out of poverty itself.

She said: “Hard work is not working. We have a labour market that lacks pay and protection, with jobs offering precious little security and paltry wages that are insufficient to make ends meet.”

The JRF did find a number of positive changes, including an improvement in the labour market with falling unemployment and underemployment and, over the longer term, improvements in health and education outcomes.

Unemployment of young adults has peaked at 21%, and total unemployment has begun to fall. But it found that job insecurity is increasingly common ….

Read more » Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/08/poverty-report_n_4407666.html?1386509109&utm_hp_ref=uk