Friday, December 02, 2016

The cleaners at the London School of Economics

Compare here:

The CEO of Lloyds Bank got £6,000 per hour in 2014, dividents and bonuses included. That is calculated on the basis that he worked 40 hours per week. 

Suppose a cleaner in London gets £21000 per year. It takes Cristiano Ronaldo 11 minutes to earn what a cleaner earns in a week.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

"Between the onset of the global Cold War in 1948 and its conclusion in 1990, the US government secured the overthrow of at least twenty-four governments in Latin America, four by direct use of US military forces, three by means of CIA-managed revolts or assassination, and seventeen by encouraging local military and political forces to intervene without direct US participation, usually through military coups d’état . . . The human cost of this effort was immense. Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin’s gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those in the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries. The hot Cold War in Central America produced an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Between 1975 and 1991, the death toll alone stood at nearly 300,000 in a population of less than 30 million. More than 1 million refugees fled from the region—most to the United States. The economic costs have never been calculated, but were huge. In the 1980s, these costs did not affect US policy because the burden on the United States was negligible’: John Coatsworth, ‘The Cold War in Central America, 1975 1991’, in Leffler and Westad, eds, Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. 3, pp. 220–1."
Perry Anderson, Imperium pp. 76-77.
"About 90,000 people have signed a petition calling for tallow to be removed from bank notes." (BBC website). 
But Churchill should remain on the five-pound note and in Trafalgar Square!

"I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion." — Winston Churchill

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A clarification by Richard Seymour
"When a wing of the left criticises "identity politics", they usually mean the kind of politics that reduces oppression to representation and that, as such, is apt to celebrate the inclusion of a right-wing fundamentalist woman in Trump's team because she is a woman and hence "diversification". They want a more substantive attack on racism, sexism, oppression of all kinds.
When a wing of the liberal centre criticises "identity politics", they usually mean to criticise what they think of as the overly clamorous and over-hasty demands of women, gays, African Americans, migrants and others for justice. This, they claim, puts 'progressives' in a difficult position when it comes to building coalitions (with racists, homophobes, etc) and achieving real reforms.
When the Right attacks "identity politics", they mean any concession whatsoever to the idea that anyone other than white bourgeois men are "created equal". They mean welfare handouts and laws banning lynching. They mean attempts to reduce police violence."
"With what moral right can the rulers of a nation speak of human rights when within it the millionaire and the beggar coexist, the Indian is exterminated, the black man is discriminated against, women are prostituted and large masses of Chicano, Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans are scorned, exploited and humiliated? How can this be done by the rulers of a nation where the Mafia, gambling and child prostitution predominate, where the CIA organizes subversion and universal espionage plans and where the Pentagon creates neutron bombs capable of preserving material assets while exterminating human beings, in an empire
that supports reaction and counterrevolution throughout the world, that protects and encourages the exploitation by monopolies of the wealth and human resources on all continents, unequal trade, a protectionist policy, an incredible squandering of natural resources and a system of hunger for the world? How can this be done by the representatives of a capitalist and imperialist society whose essence is the exploitation of man by man and, with it, egotism, individualism and total absence of human solidarity? How
can such watchwords be written by those who train and send military supplies to the most reactionary, corrupt and bloody governments in tie world such as those of Somoza, Pinochet Stroessner, the Uruguayan gorillas, Mobutu and the shah of Iran, to mention only a few cases?
How can there be talk of such rights by those who maintain close relations with the South African racists who oppress, discriminate against and exploit 20 million Africans, by those who supply the Zionist aggressors with large quantities of sophisticated weapons with which they dislodged the Palestinian people from their lands and who refuse to return to the Arab countries [applause] and they refuse to return to the Arab countries the territories they have taken by force.
How can the leaders of a nation speak of human rights when their
intelligence agencies organized attempts against leaders of other nations and their armies dropped explosives in Vietnam many times the equivalent of the nuclear bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing millions of Vietnamese, without even having the dignity of apologizing for the one and indemnifying the other? How can the leaders of such a nation speak of human rights when they have traditionally intervened in the nations of Latin America, subjugating the peoples of this continent to their exploitation, and who are responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of children each year through illness and hunger? In fact, how can the imperialist government that maintains a military base by force on our territory and subjects our people to a criminal economic blockade speak of human rights?" Fidel Castro, July 26, 1978.
Now, shall we talk about "human rights" since 1978?

Turkey

Torture in the wake of the failed coup

1. If the coup succeeded, I think, the military would have done as much or probably more.
2. Now even the progressive opposition in Turkey is being subjected to brutal repression.
3. The main Western powers were late in condemning the coup. Russia and Iran, for their own strategical interests, were among the first to come against the coup. That was one of the elements which drove Erdogan to heal Turkey's relations with Russia.

Monday, November 28, 2016

France

BBC website: Mr Fillon is "proposing dramatic economic reforms that include slashing 500,000 public jobs, ending the 35-hour week, raising the retirement age and scrapping the wealth tax.
On foreign policy, he advocates closer relations with Russia."

It sounds great! Probably 40% of the electorate will vote for that.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Once debts have been subtracted, a person needs only $3,650 to be among the wealthiest half of the world’s citizens. However, about $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders and $798,000 to belong to the top 1%.  So if you own a home in any major city in the rich North on your own and without a mortgage, you are part of the top 1%.  Do you feel rich if you do?  This just shows how poor the vast majority of people in the world are: with no property, no cash and certainly no stocks and bonds!"

The vast majority? They are just losers; the are uneducated, they don't know how to be entrepreneurs ...

New figure reached by annual Credit Suisse global wealth report

Friday, November 25, 2016

London

"Graham recounts how Mohamed Atta, a leader of the World Trade Center attack, was for years before 9/11 a ferocious critic of high-rises. A holder of degrees in both architecture and urban planning, he regarded such buildings as destructive of cities’ ancient virtues – as do many conservationists and urban activists, and as, in some ways, does Graham himself."