Research finding summaries

The communitarian revolutionary subject in the struggle for alternative social-ecological metabolic configurations

As capital’s social-ecological metabolic configuration moved closer to globality, particularly in the aftermath of the Great Acceleration in the mid-twentieth century, so too have its ecological rifts. These rifts, together with the social crises of the capitalist system, confront humanity in the twenty first century with the imminent threat of potentially unprecedented social-ecological devastation, and possibly even human extinction. Under these circumstances of intensifying crises, the need for a hegemonic alternative to capital’s social metabolic order has become correspondingly urgent.

By , |2023-05-10T11:22:41-04:00May 10, 2023|

Can poetry help overthrow capitalism?

Using the arts and humanities to suggest how society – including the economic system of capitalism -- could be transformed to promote health is even less common. German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht’s works can be excellent resources in efforts to accomplish this goal.

By , , |2023-08-07T22:03:24-04:00May 3, 2023|

Dying to work: Hawai’i hotel workers organize in the face of autoimmune capitalism

Our research, done in consultation with the hotel workers’ union, reveals on the one hand, a morbid correlation between the reopening of tourism and deaths across the state, and on the other, the life-affirming ethic of collective care, with unionized workers persistently pushing for safe hotels, recall rights, better pay, and the well-being of all hospitality workers, their communities, as well as tourists. 

By , |2023-04-26T08:59:25-04:00Apr 26, 2023|

Turning farmland into real estates: Expulsionary development and the appropriation of space in Pakistan

What is especially interesting about the case of expulsionary urbanization in Pakistan is that it illustrates qualitatively distinct contemporaneous processes of dispossession and displacement. That is, processes of displacement and proletarianization have been largely decoupled. Capital is now primarily interested in appropriating spaces (land and nature) occupied by working people rather than securing their labor-power.

By |2023-03-29T06:42:00-04:00Mar 29, 2023|

Public health rediscovers the health threatening character of capitalism

Specific analysis of how capitalism shapes the quality of living and working conditions – now termed the social determinants of health -- is now accumulating in the English-language public health literature. This is coming about because of the polycrises in employment security and wages, food insecurity and hunger, health and health care, housing, income and wealth inequality and environmental protection as a result of the acceptance of neo-liberal governance in many capitalist nations. The inability of even social democratic political parties to respond to these crises had led to increasing numbers of public health researchers endorsing Marx and Engels’s call for a rupture from capitalism towards a post-capitalist socialist society.

By , |2023-03-21T21:39:18-04:00Mar 22, 2023|

Radicalism, Trade Unions, and the Law: A Question of Strategy

It is not, therefore, straightforwardly advantageous for a union, such as the IWGB, to identify as one of their shorter term goals recognising their members as ‘workers’ entitled to rely on, and gain access to, the various rights, protections, and institutions, that form part of this legal framework, and which shape the pursuit, by traditional trade unions, of their objectives. While doing so may well help insulate their members from the various legal risks attendant on organisation and industrial action, it does so at the direct expense of exposing them to the very compulsions and incentives that have historically helped to de-radicalise trade unions over time.

By |2023-03-15T09:32:53-04:00Mar 15, 2023|

Behind the Foxconn Uprising: “Gig Manufacturing” and the Politics of Social Reproduction

Put together, these factors create a dilemma for these workers: dire need of cash income keeps propelling rural parents, who make a significant portion of the workforce, to come to work at Foxconn; the family’s demand for caring and emotional labor, on the other hand, is pulling workers, especially mothers, back to the family. In the end, many of the workers end up turning this job a seasonal gig.

By |2023-03-08T07:08:45-05:00Mar 8, 2023|

What can US labor learn from multi-employer bargaining in South Korea?

The capitalist system has been utilizing the tactic of workplace fissuring to weaken the organizing power and bargaining position of US unions. This has led to a decline in worker's ability to negotiate fair wages and benefits. However, as an alternative strategy, unions have begun to adopt multi-employer bargaining [...]

By |2023-03-01T09:52:33-05:00Mar 1, 2023|

Sticking it to the workers: The international race to keep Vietnamese factories open

Low wages and the necessity to work continue to undergird the Vietnamese economy. A web of international finance and corporations like Intel, Samsung, and Nike systematically transfer labor power and its value to their balance sheets and to shareholders. This is simply an old form of imperialism dressed up now in the guise of the free market.

By , |2023-02-22T18:25:35-05:00Feb 22, 2023|

Universality and the Enduring Relevance of the George Floyd Uprising

During an uprising, it is unclear precisely how the end-goals—whatever they may be—will be achieved. None of this detracts from the consequences of the event unfolding in a potentially radical direction, as participants work towards building the society they hope to see.

By |2023-02-13T14:53:12-05:00Feb 15, 2023|
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