Economy

What We Believe - WSM Points of Unity Explained - Audio

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This is a series explaining the 8 Points of Unity of the Workers Solidarity Movement - an anarchist organisation active on the island of Ireland. [Download PDF of these explanations]

The WSM regularly discusses, debates and decides on what our collective political approach is. The Points of Unity are the most basic political agreement necessary to be a WSM member or supporter. They are 8 short points which outline the anarchism the WSM stands for.

WSM Points of Unity Explained: 5 - Trade Unions

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'5. A major focus of our activity is our work within the economic organisations of the working class (labour organisations, trade unions, syndicates) where this is a possibility. We therefore reject views that dismiss activity in the unions because as members of the working class it is only natural that we should also be members of these mass organisations. Within them we fight for the democratic structures typical of anarcho-syndicalist unions like the 1930's CNT. However, the unions no matter how revolutionary cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).'

Throughout history the trade union movement has been a vitally important mass movement. In the face of bitter hardship and repression - even state murder - the downtrodden have banded together and demanded more, driving society forwards in the process. For instance, in Ireland we can thank the union movement for the end of child labour and for the 'weekend'. However, unions are not a relic for museums. Recent victories for better conditions and pay are a practical proof of that, not to mention participation of some fairly large unions in wider grassroots political campaigns. In spite of the relative decline of trade unions in the past neoliberal decades, their role today is still greatly important, as long as there are zero-hour contracts, wage cuts, pay freezes, lay-offs, unpaid overtime, long days, workplace bullying, and capitalism itself.

Not wanting Apples billions? The landlords agent is not our friend

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The native Irish ruling class have long been prone to parasitical activity, enriching themselves by acting as agents of absentee landlords or today as law firms for multinationals keen to avoid and evade paying taxes.  As landlords agents that involved breaking down the doors to evict those who were literally dying of starvation.  The modern form is less hands on but the repercussions are similar, the 13 billion they don’t want to collect from Apple are the same billions whose absence has people dying on hospital trolleys.

Wealth and the working poor - you'd have to work 703 years to earn what O'Reilly takes

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Roughly over one hundred thousand workers in Ireland are currently working on the minimum wage-thats 9.15 an hour or under 400 euro a week,working 40 hours a week. Around 90% of those on social welfare payment and out of work earn less than they would in work. The old proclamations of our leaders that 'were all middle class now' and the lies spread about those on social welfare are shown to be what they actually are from these facts. They are mere propaganda slogans aimed at convincing us that we live in a more or less equal society and that we should keep quiet about the enormous wealth of corporations and business owners.

Better to Squat Than Let Homes Rot

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On the merits of Squatting as a tactical response to the permanent housing crisis.

 

Global inequality is escalating rapidly - let’s end concentrations of wealth and power, completely

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Oxfam has just released a report that shows global inequality has escalated rapidly over the last 6 years.  The particular measure they used is a very important one.  First they calculated the wealth held by the poorest 50% of the planets population, which is about 3.6 billion people. And then they asked how many of the richest people held the same amount of wealth.

Why capitalism can't sort out the worlds problems

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The list of jobs to be done in Ireland is endless. Houses need to be built, roads need to be repaired, hospitals and schools need to be adequately staffed. At the same time large number of pople are looking for work but unabkle to find it. Why can't these jobs be given to those who want them?

Middle Men and Market Forces - An interview with Conor McCabe

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The following is an edited transcript of an interview cum dialogue with Conor McCabe, author of the 2011 book “Sins of the Father” on the economy of Ireland since independence and researcher on financial shenanigans and corporate misdeeds in the Republic. I keeping with the theme of this issue of IAR on the institutions of power in Ireland, we wanted to explore how money and market forces operate through the specific structures and class composition of Irish society.

 

 

Care & Social Reproduction - Audio or Video of Selma James & Conor McCabe at DABF 2014

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The hardship of the current economic crisis has impacted unevenly across genders. This panel from the 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair discussed the intersection of austerity, care-work and women’s reproductive rights.  Selma James and Conor McCabe presented with Conor focusing on what this has meant in Ireland in particular.

Defeating Fracking - setting limits to growth? - DABF audio

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Climate change has reached a point where scientists are now saying that direct actions against resource extraction is the only strategy likely to prevent ecological collapse and ensure our environment’s survival. This panel considered what needs to be done and who is going to do it.

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