Analysis

Understanding the jargon behind the banking crisis - What are they talking About?

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Financial ‘experts’ and economists seem to speak a different language to the rest of us. They rely on us not understanding what they’re on about. They know that if the gamble which constitutes the supposedly all-powerful ‘markets’ is revealed to us we will see just how crazy a system capitalism actually is.

But the truth is revolutionary and it is important that we look behind their jargon. Here we explain just a few of the most commonly heard terms. [In Italian]

Housing & the property bubble in Ireland - Bubbles, Booms and Busts

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Based on Monopoly houses by Doun Donnell on flickrThe years from 1995 to 2007 saw record levels of housing construction in Ireland. Construction output went up, land and house prices mushroomed and it seemed as if there was a never-ending bandwagon on which everyone was going to get rich by simply waiting for their pile of bricks to increase in value.

First published in The Irish Anarchist Review 2

A whole new lexicon of terms and vocabulary entered the everyday parlance – terms such as ‘starter home’, ‘property ladder’, ‘first time buyer’; Newspeak phrases such as ‘affordable housing’ were bandied about. Houses and housing estates were advertised for sale by estate agents and property developers with colourful banner headlines and slogans such as ‘live the dream’, ‘live the lifestyle’ – it was almost explicitly stated that even the dreary Irish weather could be by-passed by buying an apartment or house in the latest development. It seemed as if the dream would go on forever. But in mid 2007, disaster struck. With the onset of the world- wide recession, Ireland’s very own property bubble burst with a huge bang and left only destruction behind it. The dream turned to a nightmare for many people and the vocabulary was now dominated by terms such as ‘negative equity’, ‘ghost estates’ and ‘price collapse’.

Stonewall Rebellion: How it all began:

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Celebrations have recently been seen all over the world, as a celebration of sexual diversity. It's worth remembering the history of Pride celebrations, of their origin in a homophobic and repressive culture, and their challenge to a world that refused to recognise sexual freedom. In this article, Paul McAndrew discusses the origins of Pride as a moment when the queer community in New York stood up and fought to be proud of their sexualities.

The crisis in capitalism and the anarchist response

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Starting at our Spring 2009 national conference the WSM has debated and voted on a number of documents on the capitalist crisis and the resistance to it. This text is the agreed collective position of the WSM and looks at the causes of the crisis, how it impacts workers in Ireland, what resistance there has been and what hope there is for the future.   Most recently this text was updated at the May 2013 Feb WSM national conference.

Capitalist crisis and union resistance in Ireland

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Reading a SSN leafelt at the GPOLate 2008 saw the Irish capitalist class wage a major ideological struggle against the Irish working class. They called for workers to bear the brunt of the capitalist crisis. Print media, TV and radio carried segment after segment where well-paid commentators argued that workers, in particular public sector workers, were earning too much, had overly generous pensions and that the public had unrealistic expectations of public services.

Parliament or democracy

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From the 1850s onwards, against a background of great new wealth in society and a working class that was more independent and resourceful, the 'problem of democracy' became urgent for the rich and powerful. In general wealth was rising throughout society, but so was the greed of those who owned the new factories, mines and plantations. The key question was: what was to be done about the general demand for democracy, and about the incessant clamour for political rights which, during the revolutions of 1848, had almost got completely out of hand?

 

Abortion Rights

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This is the Workers Solidarity Movement position paper on Abortion Rights as collectively agreed at July 2017 WSM National Conference.  This position paper sits under the Patriarchy paper which in turn is under the Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation paper, and hence does not repeat any of that material in these.

Trade Unionists betrayed by leadership

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On Tuesday 24th November 2009, 250,000 public sector workers took strike action in opposition to the government policy of public service pay cuts. This was a potentially massive show of defiance and the first time in more than 20 years that the trade union movement had flexed its collective muscle.

Why are the ICTU leaders refusing to fight the cuts - It's Time to Strike Back

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Working people hit the streets in huge numbers on November 6th. The protests showed, once again, that there is a willingness to resist the government’s attacks on living standards. Most observers put the total number who walked out of work to take part in the eight protests at around 100,000.

Thinking About Anarchism: The Politics of Climate Change

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In recent years climate change has loomed large in the public imagination. Scientifically, there is little doubt that it is a real threat to the future of human civilisation. The greenhouse effect has been known about since the early 19th century - gases in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour trap heat from the sun, causing the climate of the planet to heat up over time. Probably the most spectacular known example of this effect in action is on Venus.

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