Open mike 03/04/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 3rd, 2024 - 39 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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39 comments on “Open mike 03/04/2024 ”

  1. Descendant Of Smith 1

    Some interesting thoughts from Yanis Varoufakis who always has interesting perspectives. Reminds me of some of what Adam Curtis talks about in his own entertaining way.

    The whole chapter in Das Kapital, in Marx’s Kapital explaining exactly this, called peace rates, the idea that capitalist employers… The one thing capitals hate more than anything is having to have workers in their premises. So if they can subcontract work, labor, to workers that are stay at home and work on peace rates or drive their own car in the case of Uber, or rent out their own apartment for which they take all the risks and pay the insurance and so on, Airbnb, all that, they will do it.

    technologies, apps and so on have been used to robotize human beings and make them turn them into a precariat again. However, why am I saying that things are worse? Because now, exploitation has really become universal. If you think about it, every time anybody posts anything on Facebook, or tweets, or goes into Amazon and posts a review, you’re adding capital to the capitalists directly. Up until now, or recently, okay, the only way capital could be created was through labor, through wage labor. You worked for a capitalist, the capitalist retains your surplus value, and from that surplus value the capitalist builds capital up.

    Now, the whole of humanity, even the middle classes and the upper middle classes, they are constantly on their phone. Even by telling Google Maps where you are and what you’re doing at that moment you are adding to Google’s capital, and you don’t get paid for it.

    At that moment, you have the makings of what I now call techno-feudalism. Because what happens after 2000 is this. The great central banks, the Fed, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Sweden, they got together in April 2009 in London and they decided to print mountain ranges of money to refloat banking while practicing austerity for everybody, for everybody else, effectively. So you had socialism for the banks and you had crashing austerity for the masses.

    https://therealnews.com/yanis-varoufakis-we-are-living-in-a-post-capitalist-techno-feudalist-dystopia?

    • Yes, and losses are socialised and profits are hardly taxed. Our acceptance of the ubiquitous nature of Face Book/ X et al is part of the problem. We like ease of use even if dangerous to our interests.

    • KJT 1.2

      Not just tech companies. I think Yanis Varoufakis needed to broaden the varieties of those who make money charging rents. Often for the "commons". Such as the internet which was developed with State capital.

      Almost all capital accumulation in NZ now goes to the people both Adam Smith and Karl Marx defined as "Rentiers".

      Those who make money simply from owning something and taking from community wealth, rather than adding to it.

      The chain across the river.

  2. Descendant Of Smith 2

    And John Stewart also looks at technology as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20TAkcy3aBY

    • Phillip ure 2.1

      It's great to have job stewart back…and that is a very good example of his ability to cut thru the crap…

  3. dv 3

    If I stole from the Wanaka supermarket that was open illegally on easter Friday would it be illegal?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/124732460/two-wanaka-new-world-supermarkets-will-break-the-law-and-open-on-good-friday

    • Nic the NZer 3.1

      It would also be illegal if you stole from the supermarket while it was closed.

    • gsays 3.2

      Great question.

      In a related vein: perhaps cops should be issued eftpos machines.

      When the supermarket calls them because of impact on their obscene profits shoplifting, Countdown et al can be charged $200 an hour or part thereof for the service.

    • Mike the Lefty 3.3

      The Wanaka supermarket does this every Easter, but this time they probably won't get prosecuted because the NACTZ have said openly in the past they will change the holiday trading laws thus the police will probably be told quietly not to do it.

      I also think ACT will be pushing to drop the penal rates for working public holidays.

      • weka 3.3.1

        I suspect that lots of people criticising Wanaka supermarkets have never lived in a tourist town.

        Wanaka should be exempt like Queenstown, because buy food is an essential need. The left should be pushing for better work conditions, days in lieu and pay for stat holiday workers.

        Over Easter Wanaka had 5 times its normal population due to a big event bringing visitors to the town. Imagine two supermarkets built for say 15,000 people having to accommodate 50,000 people, and doing that in two days instead of four.

        Imagine what that is like for supermarket workers and locals. The effect spreads out over the week as well, because both weeks either side of Easter are short weeks and everyone is trying to fit 5 business days into 4.

        I've lived in tourist towns, and I'm a fan of closing most things on stats, but doing that to supermarkets under those conditions is daft.

        • gsays 3.3.1.1

          Gotta gently disagree with you here weka.

          While the left does need to advocate, educate and organise round better work pay and conditions, the answer to food supply for locals and tourists ain't supermarkets.

          • Robert Guyton 3.3.1.1.1

            Food for locals, grown locally, shared with tourists, if they forgot to bring their own.

            Supermarkets are difficult places to find food in; lots of food-like products, but very little real food.

            • gsays 3.3.1.1.1.1

              I think, if we are to be honest, it's convenience we are really talking about here.

              I've long said inconvenience is the biggest hurdle to mitigating CC, environmental degradation, inequality etc.

              And you are correct about the 'food' offered in supermarkets.

              • weka

                I can tell you for a fact that for this disabled person, supermarkets aren't a convenience, they're an absolute necessity.

                For all the other good and important things they do, I don't see the transition and resiliency communities building disabled people into their plans. Those cultures are very much self sufficiency and interdependency based on ability, they're not leftist, collective orientated. Most I know are small L libertarian.

                But as per my other point, if a woman gets her period and needs to buy menstrual products and the supermarkets are closed, that's not convenience, that's necessity.

                Likewise someone with bad headache who has to go to work. Or a woman with a sick child needing baby aspirin. I have other ways of managing all those things, but mos people don't. Telling tourist towns to suck it up because the revolution is coming just puts people off change.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Supermarkets have positioned themselves as necessities for economic reasons. They only are, because they schemed to be. Should we submit to their machinations, or take action to loosen their stranglehold?

                  • weka

                    I still see now plan or even mention of how to get from where we are now (which is what I was talking about) and where we need to be (which we both know we agree on, so why bother arguing that?), that takes disabled people's needs into account. Just Transition and all that.

                    If you and gsays don't need to use supermarkets, I'm glad for you. Meanwhile, most of the rest of us still need to eat in a way we can actually manage.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I still use a supermarket for some (few) things. Your own posts and questions here have revealed a plethora of how to get there, from network-building to community gardens, all of which could/should involve those disabled in some way. Ours here certainly do. Today, I helped at the high school garden, the community forest garden, the local organic food co-op, as well as opening-up the canopy in my own forest garden, all the while being somewhat disabled, (being unable to grasp, as you know, women's issues 🙂

                      Tomorrow, I'm on the Loop, riding passenger to a potential (young) driver, who requires a walking stick to get around; can drive well though, I'm assured 🙂

                • gsays

                  I'm not sure where to start.

                  What are the good and important things supermarkets do?

                  They have royally screwed over primary producers since the '80s, repetitive anti competitive behaviour, their influence in the trucking lobby is strong, and often sell food with obscene diesel miles embedded n them (sultana biscuits from Ukraine, potato products from Belgium and American garlic).

                  Pain relief and menstruation products, dairies are open for emergencies.

                  As for the transition/resilience building groups, what do you have to offer? If yr not involved how can yr needs be met.

                  I'm reading a TINA attitude with regards to the food duopoly which is very defeatist.

                  • weka

                    I'm reading a TINA attitude with regards to the food duopoly which is very defeatist.

                    Ok, this is weird. I've been writing about transition culture on TS, posts and comments, for years. I just assumed you knew this and wouldn't talk to me as if I don't know the problems with supermarkets and relocalising food.

                    What I am saying is that right now, at Easter, there is no compelling reason to close supermarkets in tourist towns that have big events because food and other goods at supermarkets are essential items.

                    The reason for closing on stats is worker rights, and there are other ways to address that.

                    Pain relief and menstruation products, dairies are open for emergencies.

                    Yes, but they are considerably more expensive in a tourist town to buy from a dairy.

                    As for the transition/resilience building groups, what do you have to offer? If yr not involved how can yr needs be met.

                    I've been involved in those cultures for a long time. I know what I have to offer. My point here was that those cultures are not good on disability and the collective. They are not predominantly leftist, they have a strong libertarian ethic. So the people that can't do self sufficiency often don't fit in well or get supported. Yes, I am speaking from long experience.

                    • gsays

                      I certainly don't doubt your cred around sustainability issues that's why I was so flummoxed to read you going into bat for the duopoly.

                      Yes products are more expensive at a dairy that's why Americans call them convenience stores.

                      Easter happens at much the same time every year. Folk be it tourists or locals shouldn't be surprised.

                      When you load up the impact of supermarkets on a scale, on one side you have the negative impact done to society, competition, communities, workers, the environment and primary producers. The other side has convenience and handsome returns for shareholders.

                      You make a good point about the libertarian streak in resilience/community building organizations. Sometimes what we so often lack in leadership is a benevolent dictator.

                    • weka []

                      If you think I am going into bat for the supermarkets, you really don’t understand my argument. Fuck the supermarkets. I’m talking about the impact on people in those towns that have big events at Easter. That workers and locals even if you don’t care about the visitors.

                      You don’t seem to care about those people in your rush to make this about the politics of the duopoly and shareholders, which is really disappointing not least because we simply won’t get buy for transition when people see their needs being dismissed like this.

                      Allowing a few selected supermarkets to open where warranted will have zero negative effect on transition or relocalising food.

                    • gsays

                      I'm not questioning yr cred around sustainability and that is why I was flummoxed when you 'went into bat' for the duopoly.

                      The price of products in dairies are more expensive and that is the price of convenience. I figure that is why yanks call 'em convenience stores.

                      For me, putting the negative impacts these big companies have on communities, society, primary producers, the climate and workers on a scale, the only thing I see on the others side is convenience.

                      I accept there is a libertarian streak to the resilience crowd and that has to be one of the strengths. We so often lack a benevolent dictator character in positions of leadership.

                    • gsays

                      Sorry about doubled up comment. posting on my fone at work.

                      tsk tsk.

              • Robert Guyton

                Convenience? Maybe…

                People seem to yearn for what they have grown accustomed to. When that disappears, they feel the loss of something that was in their life but now isn't.

                I think that's the more powerful driver; it was mine, now it ain't.

                Therefore, I'll protest.

          • weka 3.3.1.1.2

            taking food supplies away from the population before those systems are in place is very bad idea.

        • Cricklewood 3.3.1.2

          Tend to agree, where I am the local New World which was closed had signs on the doors saying not to worry the four square less than a km away is open. The four square is new fully stocked with cafe etc its basically a small metro supermarket. Basically the law is a nonsense better to allow them to open and have suitable penal rates for workers.

      • Ad 3.3.2

        Wanaka had about 70,000 tourists come through in Easter weekend.

        It also now has about 25,000 residents including Hawea.

        Wanaka has 2 supermarkets: a New World and a New World. And 1 4Square.

        If you shut them down for a couple of days when you're close to 100,000 people you have a lot of hotels, restaurants, bars, retirement villages, tourist facilities, and event managers pretty unhappy.

        • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.2.1

          bars and restaurants

          I would have thought they'd be happy. Only places to get food and alcohol.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      While the headline from DiEM25 is a little dramatic, the article is nicely explanatory.
      https://diem25.org/is-natural-gas-the-real-reason-for-the-genocide-in-gaza/

      With World Central Kitchen staff being killed in such a manner, what more adjectives are there to express how many of us feel and know about the IDF butchers?

      Governments are not moving sufficiently to stop this atrocity so it is up the rest of us–BDS hard, campaign to expel the Israeli Ambassador, and keep up the solidarity actions each week.

      • Subliminal 4.1.1

        Absolutely right. It may seem that each individual protest is ineffectual but momentum is gathering. The US would not have abstained at the Security Council if Biden were not worried. There are now no longer any lesser evil arguments that he or his supporters can make. The status quo is being shown up as pure evil. The only path to re election now is a permanent UNSC mandated cease fire backed by force if needed.

        Israel has shown it's true colours in the destruction of Al-Shifa Hospital.

        Hundreds of bodies inside al-Shifa complex and in the surrounding area have been found burned and mutilated, including corpses “with their heads and limbs severed,” stated the Geneva-based Euro-Meditteranean Human Rights Monitor.

        The group called Israel’s destruction and slaughter at al-Shifa “one of the largest massacres in Palestinian history.”

        https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/al-shifa-hospital-ruins

        • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1.1

          Thanks for your reply Subliminal. Israel as a state should be wound up really, and the people of the world have the power to make it so–not today perhaps, but it will happen.

  4. Phillip ure 7

    Works here… didn't when I tried to reply to yr above..

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