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This article explores, from an anarchist perspective, the sugar industry in southern Africa, and how the two dominant companies - Illovo and Tongaat-Hulett - exploit and oppress workers and communities surrounding their operations.Southern Africa has become well known for being one of the cheapest places to produce sugar. Millions of tons are produced in the region every year and two companies have come to dominate much of this lucrative industry: Illovo Sugar and Tongaat-Hulett, who have once again declared massive annual profits. Illovo and Tongaat-Hullett have publicly claimed that despite their drive to maximise profits and their self-declared goals of becoming the cheapest sugar producers in the world; they have also played a valuable social role in the southern Africa. Both companies have publicly declared that they care deeply about the welfare of workers, claiming they are well paid, respected and valued. And they have repeatedly highlighted their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, including work around HIV/AIDS and outgrowing schemes. This has all been used by these two companies to argue that they play a very positive role in society.
Unfortunately, much of this is a public relations campaign that is designed to sugar coat the shady practices of these two companies. In reality, both of these companies’ profits are based on paying abysmal wages.
Joint statement on the Marikana Massacre issued by the Tokologo Anarchist Collective, Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front and Inkululeko Wits Anarchist Collective.
The Constitution promises political rights and equality. It is quite clear that the bosses and politicians do exactly as they wish. They walk on the faces of the people. This is shown by the police killings of strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.
As the US enters yet another election cycle (though it is hard to say whether the US is ever not in election mode these days), it is worth interrogating the current state of the world’s unipolar hyperpower – and of the foreign policy, red in tooth and claw, that affects us all.The first thing that is important to recognise about the foreign policy of the United States of America is that it has a very specific history, or rather a national mythology that distinguishes it from other countries by the explicit nature of its revolutionary aims. The Revolutionary War established a unique republican state in the West, a reflection in part of the values of the French Revolution, but, isolated by the vast Atlantic, destined to pursue a path of its own. It is thus useful to consider the US state as an explicitly revolutionary state (albeit institutionalised in the Mexican sense of the word), with a national mythology which endows it with a sense of mission in the world. Comparable, though very different, states with expansionist missions driven by revolutionary myths would include Revolutionary France, the Soviet Union until its collapse, Nazi Germany, and post-apartheid South Africa today, with a ruling party explicitly dedicated to a “National Democratic Revolution”. The foreign policy and thus warmaking of Britain and the Netherlands, in contrast, despite having possessed globe-spanning pre-war empires, were never guided by anything similar to such political myths.
For many people on the left, within and outside of Southern Africa, the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ is seen as a beacon of socialist hope in a sea of capitalist despair. The reason why many leftists feel so strongly attached to this project, and promote it as an alternative, is because they have come to view it as a move by the Venezuelan state towards creating a genuine, free form of socialism or at the very least an experiment that profoundly breaks with the tenets of neo-liberalism.This article, however, questions the assumption that the Venezuelan state is embarking upon a path to create a truly egalitarian and free socialist society. It will, therefore, be argued that Venezuela is not in a transitional phase to socialism; rather it is a capitalist country where the private sector and important state-owned companies seek to maximise profits.
It is argued that while some welfare is handed out by the State, this often sits side by side with other policies that are outright neo-liberal. In order to make the argument that Venezuela cannot be considered as heading in a socialist direction, this article engages and examines issues around the State’s nationalisation programme, its relations to multinational corporations, its community councils project and its social service programmes.
north america / mexico / anarchist movement Tuesday May 01, 2012 05:59 byMiami Autonomy & Solidarity
Global Crisis; American NightmareA global economic crisis has brought a new Great Depression to the doorsteps of working class families. While the corporations, government officials, and bureaucracies are experiencing record profits and compensation, those who are least able to pay are expected to shoulder the majority of the burden. This collapse is placed upon the backs of workers, and even more to the most oppressed in working class communities, for example: working class women, immigrants, blacks, and latinos. Despite the promises of a Democratic congress and presidency, deportations of undocumented immigrants have dramatically increased since Obama took office, tearing communities apart and criminalizing whole populations. If we don’t fight back, the crisis may drive a permanent decline in our standard of living, deepen the domination over the oppressed, and widen the gaps in American society.
But people are coming together and finding ways to support and struggle alongside each other in ways that haven’t been seen in generations. The potential of a mobilized, conscious, and active movement frightens those in power, and they are pouring money, resources, and repression into diverting potential movements. People all over the world are building new struggles: turning vacant foreclosures into homes, resisting tuition hikes and worsening education in universities, fighting cuts and injustice at work, resisting ICE deportations and challenging second class status for immigrants, launching fare strikes on transit against service cuts and fare hikes, and resisting racialized police brutality and violence against oppressed communities. Attempts to coopt these potential movements are coming out of the unions who fear changes in the comfortable relationships they have with management, from the NGOs who are funded by and keep their jobs through all those who profit off our suffering, and from the political machinery that wants to channel our anger into their careers.
Other May Day statementsNorth America:
Thu 05 Mar, 01:48
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