My notes from are presented like this,
Whereas my later reflection on those notes are presented like this
and actual quotes like this
I arrived late, so I missed the first 5 mins of the lecture, but on BREO (The uni website for notifications and information for students) there are some lecture notes:
Capitalism is a system based on the production of commodities for sale. Objects appear with price tags attached to them,this is the unique insignia of the commodity and this mass of objects bearing a price label can be said to be the wealth of Capitalist society. But commodities are odd, they lead a double life, it is a product not made for USE but for EXCHANGE.So it is both what it is, and what it is worth, it is not just an object but an object with a price.
Before Capitalism (and still now is some remote parts of the world) production was for USE, you made food to eat it, clothes to wear them. But under Capitalism production is for Exchange so this double life of the commodity is neither peaceful nor harmonious, Capitalist quest for profit, clashes radically with human desires for food, shelter and other needs.
As a commodity an object must be sold to be used, this is the principal of private property, commodities are not made to given away, Capitalists do not share with workers.
The Labour Theory of Value (from Karl Marx).
Labour working on natural materials is the source of all wealth, Capitalist wage labour is a relationship of exploitation, workers appear to get paid for all the work
they do, because they get paid after they work, when in fact some of the time they are at work they are in fact creating profits for their bosses. To keep profits up the Capitalist has few options they can make workers work faster, longer or for less wages. The average US worker now works for the same wages as in 1973 but works 4 weeks (6 weeks if you’re a woman) longer for them. The problem with this is there comes a point where workers do not have the money to buy as consumers the products of other workers, causing a recession and the problem of ‘over production’. Neo-Liberalism has attempted to bridge this gap since
the early 70s by replacing wage increases forms of credit and debt.
Does Capitalism offer you the chance to be ‘who you are’? “That which is for me through the medium of money – that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) – that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no mean determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless?”
What is Neo-Liberalism?
The main points of Neo-Liberalism include:
1. THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment. Reduce wages by de-unionising workers and eliminating workers’
rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services.
2. CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, there is no opposition to government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
3. DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.
4. PRIVATISATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatisation has mainly
had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
5. ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of healthcare, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
3rd world countries services get dropped to pay off debt to 1st world countries.
Country deteriorates as they struggle to pay off their debts, similar to British recession, although typically far more drastic.
Used internet in early days to create awareness
Reclaiming Mexican land
Governments try to stop them.
Jolnachoi – Military withdrew after protest
attac – France
Campaigning against economic globalisation
ATTAC is an international organization involved in the alter-globalization movement. We oppose neo-liberal globalization and develop social, ecological, and democratic alternatives so as to guarantee fundamental rights for all. Specifically, we fight for the regulation of financial markets, the closure of tax havens, the introduction of global taxes to finance global public goods, the cancellation of the debt of developing countries, fair trade, and the implementation of limits to free trade and capital flows.
Naomi Klein – No Logo
London – J18
June 19th, 1999
J18, also known as the Global Carnival Against Capital:
took place on Friday, 18th June, 1999. It was an international day of protest timed to coincide with the 25th G8 summit in Cologne, Germany. The carnival was inspired by the 1980s Stop the City protests and the Global Street Party, which happened at the same time as the 24th G8 Summit in Birmingham, England in 1998. The rallying slogan was Our Resistance is as Transnational as Capital.
One of the plans of the protest was to brick up the entrance of the Futures Trading Floor, to stop people getting to the meeting. Was meant to only be a symbol, but they ended up successfully bricking it up.
– Police told [protesters] that they wouldn’t attack if they weren’t in danger
– [Later] said they’d remove them with chemical & pain compliance if they didn’t move
– Used OC Spray
– CS Gas
Militarisation of police force
Seattle/N30/WTO sparked off a lot of protests globally:
November 1999 Seattle, USA – WTO shut down by protests.
April 2000 Washington, USA – IMF 30,000 protest.
September 2000 Prague, Czech Republic – IMF/World Bank 30,000 protest, shut conference down 2 days early.
September 2000 Melbourne, Australia – WEF 10,000 protest.
December 2000 Nice, France – EU summit 150,000 protest.
January 2001 Rio, Brazil – World Social Forum, set up in opposition to WEF in Davos 12,000 attend.
April 2001 Quebec, Canada – FTAA 65,000 protest.
June 2001 Gothenburg, Sweden – EU summit 50,000 protest one protester shot.
June 2001 Barcelona, Spain – World Bank (meeting cancelled).
July 2001 Genoa, Italy – G8 300,000 one protester murdered, scores tortured.
January 2002 Rio, Brazil – 2nd WSF – 12,000 people from 123 countries.
March 2002 Barcelona, Spain – 500,000 march against ‘A Europe of Capital and War’.
June 2002 Seville, Spain – EU summit 150,000 march/one day general strike.
September 2002 London, UK – 400,000 march against forthcoming attack on Iraq.
November 2002 Florence, Italy – 30,000 attend 1st European Social Forum. Launches call for Feb 15 2003 demos, first 1 million people march against the forthcoming Iraq war.
Feb 15 2003 Worldwide – Largest day of protests the world has ever seen to protest the forthcoming attack on Iraq. Millions of people protested in approximately 800 cities and 60 countries around the world. Estimates range from 8 million to 30 million involved.
Protests against the World Trade Organisation, inspired by J18, happened on November 30th 1999
Adbusters – magazine
Toxic Culture – Poster
Drop the debt – laser message on Davos mountains
Johannes Gees set up a laser projector to allow the public to input messages that would be projected on the mountains in Davos,
Challenging the undemocratic nature of the World Economic Forum meeting held there in 2001
(Quote from Lecture Notes on Breo)
Prague/S26/IMF World Bank
Praha 2000 (I think Praha means Prague)
[Italian demonstrators] using padding to protect selves from riot teams
Farmers against Junk Food
Dismantled McDonalds & drove it away
Giant fence around
Shot Carlo Giuliani’s face at close range, and ran him over in a landrover
Police disguised selves as anarchists to stat off shooting to give reason for police violence.
Raided School where protesters were sleeping, police captured 90+ people & tortured them for a week.
Assemblies to discuss for better ways for society to work
Then 9/11 happened, so much of the energy of the movements, especially in the UK and USA, became devoted to protesting against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
India – World Social Forum/European Social Forum
Feb15th – Worldwide protest against Iraq war
Make Poverty History
- Live 8 held at same time as a demonstration to oppose G8, Live 8 gets more attention.
- Angered Activists
- [Make Poverty History] shut down at end of year
So not only did Make Poverty History draw away attention and support of G8 protests, it also didn’t achieve much because it was cancelled at the end of the year anyway.
- Leader of Bolivia
- Bolivia fought against Western water companies for raising water prices
- First indigenous leader
Evo Morales, the first indigenous leader of Bolivia, was voted in because of his participation in the ‘Water War’ to stop the privatisation of their water supplies.
Tahrir Square and Occupy also inherit the movements organising features and anti-systemic stance, Egypt was a poster child for Neo-Liberlaism where massive privatisation programmes left the half the population living on a dollar a day.
(Quote from Lecture Notes on Breo)
Student loans risen
“Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
We need to understand what’s going on in the economic world, as the problems aren’t going away.
My summary of the lecture:
Capitalism is bad m’kaaaaaay.
It was a very interesting lecture, and I found myself agreeing with a lot of the points. However, I am aware that at the beginning of the lecture, Noel (the lecturer) himself said that this would be a bit biased against Capitalism as he”s an activist and has participated in G8 protests and the like.
Just from that lecture I found that it can be quite easy to get swept up in the causes and movements, which reminds me of the Kony 2012 video, which seemed like a great video when I first saw it, exposing this terrible man along with a method for dealing with him, but then minutes later I found articles which completely changed my view of it, and showed that it wasn’t such a good idea after all as they had manipulated the facts, made the local people seem helpless and it came very close to propaganda.
Lecturer: Noel Douglas