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(Written for the WSF) Every single day, we are further brought to see that this demand is now over-ripe.

The wars and conflicts in the Ukraine and around the Ukraine cause enormous pains and suffering. We are even unable to make this suffering and these pains audible within our societies. And still, we are unable to translate them into an unequivocal, unmistakable appeal: “Lay down the arms!” More

The following Memorandum from the working group on Ukraine was written before Xmas. The table of facts is still valid … More

 

friederThere is a debate which going around in circles, within the established forces in Europe, as well as in the broad Left: a debate on a European „state“ emerging out of the present „state“ and development of European integration, as it has been realized in the EU. I want to defend the idea, that this debate is doomed to be circular, because it is based on what could be called very politely a „less than elaborate notion of statehood“ – and this can … More

degrowth-bildThere are three consensual positions in the left-wing debate on degrowth in Germany . First, the current societal structures including those of production and consumption mean than growth in GDP is leading to increasing social, ecological and global problems. Second, a sustainable and just solution to these problems, built on the principles of solidarity and democracy, requires a profound socio-ecological transformation. Third, in order to begin and implement such a transformation, the socio-political relations of power in society must be changed. More

In 2010 Inkrispena conducted a Particpatory Research on social protection on and consumption patterns of women workers groups in 5 industrial districts in Java, Indonesia. The background of the research was the organization’s concern towards the socio-economic crisis – which had reachrf the household level – caused by the capitalist system. Aside from that there is also no adequate social protection instrument to protect the majority of the people in timed of crisis. The significance of the research was that it served as a tool to support workers in their struggle with social protection and it also functions as an input in developing a roadmap for an integrated production-distribution-consumption social protection.

More…

1. What is the problem?

We need a comprehensive ecological and social transformation in order to avoid the collapse of civilization via widespread hunger and suffering.  Thus, we need a systemic approach to making monetary investments in many sectors of the society and economy:  food production, water supply, healthcare, education, housing, energy supply, energy demand technologies, land-use, natural environment reconstruction and preservation, mass transit, production of consumer goods, etc..  Yet, most reports and discussions of transitions to sustainability do not address the huge problem of how to finance such transitions in a serious way commensurate with the substantial magnitude of the problem.  In fact, the magnitude of necessary gross investments (not net costs) in all of these areas listed above might be of the order of magnitude of at least 5-10% of world GDP per year.  At the lower end of this range that would imply about $3.5 trillion per year in gross investment requirements, or almost 3 trillion euros.  Rough figures just for the United States indicate that more than $1 trillion per year may have to be invested there just to convert the energy system from a fossil-fueled based system, to a renewable energy based system, including investments in more energy efficient energy end-uses.  Note that so far, almost all (if not all) of the integrated assessment modeling done in addressing the issue of the economics of mitigating climate change for the IPCC assessments, or for other reports, do not include a treatment of the incremental investment requirements for any of the topics listed above except for the energy supply system.  Even the investment requirements for converting the economy to more energy efficient end-use technologies are completely omitted from the climate change assessments! More…

The new Transform! magazine (12/2013)  is out. The book of Perry Anderson, reviewed in this issue is probably still the marxist analysis of the whole matter. Skip to the review

analyse_finance-dominated_1309The new analysis (see fulltext PDF) by two members of the Institute states: There is no consensus among the ruling classes on the correct way of dealing with the crisis or how to continue with Europe. And works around questions like: Should the euro be defended? Would it not be better to split up the eurozone or give up the euro completely? Should the European Central Bank (ECB) buy unlimited amounts of government bonds or would this simply encourage irresponsible spending, policies that lead to debt and pave a direct path to inflation? Will austerity policies help us overcome the crisis, or would a more Keynesian policy of investment be more appropriate? How should austerity measures and measures that stimulate growth be balanced? Would it be better to return to the nation state and its  competencies, or move towards deeper European integration? How generously should competencies be transferred to the European Commission and the ECB? Should debtor countries such as Greece or Cyprus be rescued or would it be better to have an option for the insolvency of states and not only for banks? Read More

socoecThe Institute for Social Analysis (IfG: Institut für Gesellschaftsanalyse) focusses on socio-ecological transformation. Two texts provide first insights: “Energy Struggles for Energy Democracy” and “Beyond the Green Economy: System Change, not Climate Change?” with Nicola Bullard, fellow at the institute in 2013.

Sotiropoulos states quite rightly that the euro is not just a currency, but a mechanism:

It has set up a particular form of symbiosis among different capitalist economies.” (Sotiropoulos 2012, 66)

But what is the material nature of this “symbiosis among different capitalist economies”? This key issue had already been raised by John Grahl in 2003. He stressed that globalization and the associated process of European integration was not just a political strategy

but also, and even more, the outcome of a deep change in productive structures, of a new phase in the socialization of production”. (Grahl 2003, 19)

At the moment, however, the main thrust of left-wing discussions and strategies is still concentrated on the distributive and political aspects of the EU. This is usually bound up with the supposition that there would be a resumption of national political ability to act in general and of left-wing ability to act in particular in the event of the EU’s disintegration. More

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