Around the world there is heightened awareness of the dangers to the human habitat from global warming. The assessments of climate scientists increasingly express a sense of urgency that carbon emissions be reduced immediately. More and more people understand the threat. Polls show stronger understanding of the threat and a demand for governments to act to reduce carbon emissions. In some countries government action has already made significant progress; in others, sections of business are resisting or slowing down the process.
Capitalist Economy & Finance Capital
Almost 100 years after it was written, Lenin’s classic Marxist theory of imperialism, principally articulated in his book Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, remains the best framework to understand capitalism’s international political economy. Subsequent capitalist development shows the key aspects of Lenin’s thesis to be correct.
This report on the international political situation will focus on the two most significant developments in the world situation in 2011 – the popular revolt across Arab world against their despotic capitalist regimes, i.e., the so-called Arab spring, and secondly, the post-Great Recession capitalist financial crisis.
In a December 1915 introduction to Bolshevik theorist Nikolai Bukharin’s book Imperialism and World Economy, Lenin wrote: “There had been an epoch of a comparatively ‘peaceful capitalism’, when it had overcome feudalism in the advanced countries of Europe and was in a position to develop comparatively tranquilly and harmoniously, ‘peacefully’ spreading over tremendous areas of still unoccupied lands, and of countries not yet finally drawn into the capitalist vortex. Of course, even in that epoch, marked approximately by the years 1871 and 1914, ‘peaceful’ capitalism created conditions of life that were very far from being really peaceful both in the military and in a general class sense.
For orthodox Marxists, as Lenin explained in his 1917 book The State and Revolution, the state is a centralised organisation of force separated from the community as a whole which enforces, through special bodies of armed people and other institutions of coercion, the will of one class, or an alliance of classes, upon the rest of society.
The Communist Manifesto ushered in a new epoch in human history. It described and projected the process of change from capitalism to socialism, the coming to power of the working class. That’s a process still taking place. So it’s a thoroughly modern document.
It’s undoubtedly the most influential political document, not just of the last 150 years, but of all time. While the Magna Carta and the US Declaration of Independence marked important political victories for advancing sections of society, the Manifesto both marked a stage and projected the course for the working class and for the future of humanity as a whole.
The Communist Manifesto ushered in a new epoch in human history. It described and projected the process of change from capitalism to socialism, the coming to power of the working class. That’s a process still taking place.
For years they’ve been telling us we live in the Lucky Country. It’s now official. Each Australian – man, woman, child – is now worth $1.1 million, according to the World Bank. Its recent study estimating the wealth of 192 countries put Australia at the top of the list.