Just weeks after Donald Trump claimed his Electoral College victory, he put the spotlight on U.S.-China relations by taking a call from Taiwan’s President, creating the possibility that the U.S. might abandon the “one China” policy.
Part III of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Strikes and workers’ uprisings in China have forced industrial wages up, not pausing even during the global Great Recession, as a window on capitalism and its crises.
Workers in four maquiladoras in Ciudad Juarez began organizing to form an independent union and for higher wages, better working conditions and against sexual harassment.
The workplace at Amazon.com is making employees physically and mentally ill which is a hallmark of production under capitalism. What happens at Amazon.com is not unusual and can be seen even in areas like healthcare, for example, at Kaiser.
Workers and residents reacted to the huge explosion of Tianjin in China of a hazardous chemical warehouse that killed and injured hundreds of firefighters, neighbors and factory workers. At the same time, Chinese economic troubles engender revolt.
Kaiser imposed added staff cuts in the same breath as it announced the “Total Health Incentive Plan” campaign. While it is promoted as voluntary, the program hides the reality of the health of workers and patients sacrificed daily in the name of cost efficiency. Workers realize they risk their own health and the health of their patients when they come to work sick. Yet we are called into disciplinary meetings when we exceed the company set limit in the number of sick days.
Workers at the vast Foxconn manufacturing complex in China now struggle against daily torture that is not only physical but mental. It is a new form of the banality of evil that combines Dickensian work conditions, crowded dormitories and a vast bureaucratic maze designed to make young individuals feel totally lost and alone when thrust into it by circumstances not of their own making.
The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse of the USSR. Such is the degeneracy of the globalized capitalist system, laden with destructive forces and sunk into structural crisis. The deep crisis is seen in the U.S. and abroad, economically, in unemployment and poverty, homelessness and hunger. It is seen politically, in new laws attacking workers and women, and new outbursts of racism. It is seen environmentally, with the advance of climate disruption and fake capitalistic solutions. It is seen in thought, as the lack of philosophy, of a total view, hampers the development of struggles from the U.S. to the revolutions of the Arab Spring facing counter-revolutions.
From the July-August 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Using robots to attack labor upsurge in China
Workers who created a wave of strikes in China from auto and electronics to steel over the past two years have confronted the power of private capital, the state and the Communist Party. In 2011 alone, China’s State Council acknowledged [=>]
From the new September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
Political spectacles cannot hide reality of deranged capitalism
by Ron Kelch
At the end of a months-long political spectacle in Washington–manufactured over irrelevancies concerning what should have been a routine raising of the national debt limit before the Aug. 2 deadline–reality struck with a bombshell: the anemic “jobless” [=>]