Ralph welcomes the Washington Post’s technology columnist, Geoffrey Fowler, to explain all the ways your smart devices are gathering information about you, your garage door, your soap dispenser, your vacuum cleaner and even your toilet.
Ralph welcomes back prolific Pulitzer Prize winning author and esteemed public intellectual, Chris Hedges, to get his thoughts on the hypocrisy of war, corporate control of the press, Julian Assange, unions, grass roots activism, Christian fascists, and his work teaching in prisons.
Amazon Labor Union scored an historic victory April 1, becoming the first union at an Amazon facility in the U.S. From March 25 to March 30, all nonmanagement workers at the Staten Island, New York, Amazon warehouse, known as JFK8, had the opportunity to vote on whether to be represented by the ALU. The final totals, certified by the National Labor Relations Board, were 2,654 yes votes to 2,131 no votes, with 67 challenged ballots. Over half of the 8,325 eligible employees participated in the vote. A simple majority was needed to win.
We speak to Wikileaks Editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson. He discusses the leaks showing up to 50,000 people were potential targets of the Pegasus spyware that has been sold to governments around the world by NSO, an Israeli company and the inescapable global surveillance apparatus, that has also now become privatised. He also discusses the Julian Assange US extradition case, where he slams the ongoing detention of Julian Assange despite a key witness in the case against Julian Assange admitting to lying.
One thing this pandemic has demonstrated in stark terms is class struggle. Those people deemed essential, though often applauded in public, have been treated as expendable. In truth, they were always treated this way. But this last year has made this struggle visible for anyone paying attention.
The ruling class has more class consciousness than the lower classes do. They’re the ones who have to manage the relationship between the classes, and to keep this relationship in balance so that revolution is prevented. This makes them especially equipped to engage in what Marxists call dialectics—the practice of assessing material factors and opposing social forces. With this ability, they can adapt the power structure to be able to best respond to whatever threatens their interests.
At a certain point in an age of absurdity the normalization of madness becomes so common that it is almost indiscernible to most in the thick of it. Indeed, late capitalism, the stage which is undoubtedly preceding complete barbarism, has produced an endless stream of absurdities which not only insult the senses of those who possess a conscience and a modicum of critical thinking skills, but can also deliver a fatal injury as we are seeing unfold in real time with tepid or reckless responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the global coronavirus public health and economic crisis of 2020 approaches the international workers’ day May 1st, let us consider 23 ways in which it is a crisis of and by capital and its class rule profits system:
On this episode of Going Underground, ahead of a UK General Election in December, we speak to BAFTA-award winning director Ken Loach and BAFTA-award winning writer Paul Laverty on their new film “Sorry We Missed You”, highlighting the struggles of a family living facing an uphill struggle since the 2008 financial crash in the neoliberal gig economy. They discuss the film, the illusion of choice in the free market and how it damages workers’ rights, the hardship of workers in gig economy jobs, the rise of Amazon and how companies like Amazon show capitalism can’t be regulated, the culture of shaming the poor and lauding entrepreneurs, the ignoring of corporate fraud and the continuous focus on welfare fraud, why the ideology of socialism still faces difficulty after the collapse of the Soviet Union and more!
The New York Times screamed its headline — “In 1997, Apple was 90 Days from Going Broke. On Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], it became the first publicly traded American company to be valued at… $1,000,000,000,000.” The first trillion dollar company!
The current mass exodus of people from Central America to the United States, with the daily headline-grabbing stories of numerous children involuntarily separated from their parents, means it’s time to remind my readers once again of one of the primary causes of these periodic mass migrations.