The Unbearable Unawareness of our Ecological Existential Crisis

Over the past two years, the full report on Climate Change Mitigation by IPCC scientists, as well as research from other centres such as the Stockholm Resilience Centre, has consistently confirmed that we are on a doomsday trajectory. Unless we move rapidly in the opposite direction, the chances that we will face planetary catastrophes that seriously threaten the existence of life on our planet in the next twenty years are realistic and probable. Unsustainable capitalism keeps us deluded and largely unaware that we are on the brink of a serious existential risk. Therefore the great challenge is to provoke the awareness and critical thinking of ordinary citizens. Only a Citixens Revolution can stop our demise, but capitalism’s behemoth keeps people deceitful and mostly unaware of being on the verge of a catastrophic end. We must arouse Now! –– Álvaro J. de Regil

Marine plastic pollution as a planetary boundary threat – The drifting piece in the sustainability puzzle

The exponential increase in the use of plastic in modern society and the inadequate management of the resulting waste have led to its accumulation in the marine environment. There is increasing evidence of numerous mechanisms by which marine plastic pollution is causing effects across successive levels of biological organisation. This will unavoidably impact ecological communities and ecosystem functions. –– Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez, Sarah E. Cornell, Joan Fabres

Sustainable deaths

Maritime transport is responsible for 14% of polluting gases. There is already talk of miracle proposals to make this sector sustainable. –– Gustavo Duch

World Development under Monopoly Capitalism

In the recent period of globalisation - following the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the reintegration of China into the world economy - global value chains have become the dominant organisational form of capitalism. From low-tech to high-tech, from basic consumer goods to heavy capital goods, from food to services, goods are now produced in many countries, integrated through global value chains. According to the ILO, between 1995 and 2013 the number of people employed in global value chains increased from 296 million to 453 million, representing one in five jobs in the world economy. We live in a world of global value chains. -- Benjamin Selwyn and Dara Leyden

Controversial Demographic Projections Under Climate Collapse in 2050 - South and Mesoamerica in a Global Context

The corporate sector is building another aggressive re-engineering of global agrifood systems in South America and Mesoamerica. The region represents a pillar for global food security, warns the UN in the New Mission. Capitalist euphoria assumes 10 billion inhabitants by 2050. This is forging higher agricultural productivity, innovation, digitalisation and the expansion of standardised agriculture. Thus, they produce and market food destined for populations with some or enough consumption capacity, overconsumption and waste of food with equivalent carbon footprints. –– Nubia Barrera Silva

Capitalism and Extreme Poverty: A Global Analysis of Real Wages, Human Height, Mortality Since the Long 16th Century

This paper assesses claims that, prior to the 19th century, around 90% of the human population lived in extreme poverty (defined as the inability to access essential goods), and that global human welfare only began to improve with the rise of capitalism. The rise of capitalism caused a dramatic deterioration of human welfare. In all regions studied here, incorporation into the capitalist world-system was associated with a decline in wages to below subsistence, a deterioration in human stature, and an upturn in premature mortality. –– Dylan Sullivan y Jason Hickel

Making Sense of the World: Why Education Is Key to Change

A precondition to creating a different world is the capacity to imagine it. But many education systems continue to bear the imprint of the industrial, nation-state societies they emerged from. What would be required to empower people to first envision and then build a more sustainable and just society? A conversation with economist Maja Göpel on how education could spark the shift. –– Maja Göpel

The Left and the Imperial Mode of Living

The question of freedom is crucial for an emancipatory strategy and an emancipatory project. the imperial mode of living breaks with the universal norm of equality based on human rights; it represents freedom tantamount to not touching one's way of life and sacrosanct consumption. This aspect has not been sufficiently elucidated in our work, which is more focused on social structures and the practices and routines of everyday life. The current rediscovery of Karl Polanyi in critical debates has to do with this challenge for the left: What does it mean to act and live responsibly in a society characterised by the systematic production of irresponsibility? A relevant political question is: How can we maintain individuality without living at the expense of others?. –– Ulrich Brand | Markus Wissen

The United States of War

Between 1980 and 2020, two U.S. wars and sanctions in Iraq and the U.S. war in Afghanistan killed more than two million people. Washington’s proxy wars in Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria resulted in roughly nine million deaths. U.S. military interventions, support for client states and rebels, and related famines in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Nigeria cost the lives of another five million people. The U.S. Empire’s role in the collapse of most socialist regimes [including the imposition of economic shock therapy] made it partly responsible for well over seven million deaths. “Imperialism,” Magdoff wrote in 1969, “necessarily involves militarism. Indeed, they are twins that have fed on each other in the past, as they do now.” To combat the spread of militarism and war throughout the globe today, it is necessary to confront the imperialist world system centred in Washington. –– The Editors of Monthly Review

Planned Degrowth: Ecosocialism and Sustainable Human Development

The word degrowth designates a family of political-economic approaches which, in the face of the acceleration of the current planetary ecological crisis, reject exponential and unlimited economic growth as the definition of human progress. With continuous technological development and the improvement of human capabilities, mere replacement investment is capable of promoting constant qualitative advances in production in mature industrial societies, while eliminating exploitative labour conditions and reducing working hours. Degrowth, which is specifically targeted at the most affluent sectors of the world's population, is thus aimed at improving the living conditions of the vast majority, while maintaining environmental conditions of existence and promoting sustainable human development. –– John Bellamy Foster

Assessing the suitability of sustainability frameworks for embedding sustainability in higher education curricula: pragmatism versus transformation

This viewpoint paper addresses the use of sustainability frameworks in embedding education for sustainability into the curriculum of higher education institutions (HEIs). The purpose of this paper is to explore the paradox that sustainability frameworks must facilitate transformation of existing structures whilst also being well-enough aligned with current conditions to be readily adopted by today’s HEIs. –– Simon Mair, Angela Druckman

The Case for Universal Basic Services

This paper shifts the focus from transfers to public services. It mounts a case for Universal Basic Services (UBS): a proposal to safeguard and develop existing public services and to extend this model of provision into new areas. The first part argues that public services require a distinct conceptual justification and sets this out in terms of shared human needs and a foundational economy. The second part develops the normative arguments for UBS, in terms of efficiency, equality, solidarity and sustainability. The third part considers some of the issues to be faced in delivering UBS and the role of state institutions, with brief service provisions. The final section summarises some developments, including experience of Covid-19, which might enhance the political impetus for UBS. –– Ian Gough

The Progressively Accelerated Degradation of the Environment COP28

–Eighteen years after the Paris Agreement and on the eve of COP 28 –– The explanation for the progressively accelerating degradation of the environment is complex because it is due to several factors. But the root causes lie, on the one hand, in the systematic plundering and destruction of nature - particularly deforestation - carried out on a global scale by colonial powers for centuries and, on the other, in the superfluous and uncontrolled production and consumption of all kinds of objects and products, some necessary and some not. This is the result of what is known in economics as extended reproduction. Extended reproduction is inherent to the capitalist system. Understanding how it works is essential tounderstanding and explaining the ecological catastrophe. –– Alejandro Teitelbaum

El Niño and its (flaming) sea in the era of the Great Acceleration

We are breaking records with an increasingly unnatural naturalness: 40°C in Siberia, historic fires and the slowing of ocean currents essential for sustaining marine life. –– Juan Bordera

The End of Seasons?

Extreme temperatures and events such as Hurricane Daniel tell us we are approaching a point of no return. There is a good chance that in 2023, we will exceed the 1.5°C limit [and we have exceeded it]. –– Juan Bordera – Antonio Turiel

The New Cold War Washington

O n April 27, 2023, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan gave a speech on “Renewing American Economic Leadership” at the Brookings Institution. Sullivan’s talk was unusual and attracted widespread attention for at least three reasons. First, what was being announced was a fundamental shift away from the previous “Washington Consensus” associated with neoliberal globalisation and its replacement by what Sullivan called a “New Washington Consensus” organised around the de facto U.S. New Cold War against China. The purported China threat was used to justify economic sanctions against rival states, and government supply-side subsidies to corporations in a militarised industrial policy. –– The Editors of Monthly Review

The irrelevance of animals

So-called "laboratory meat" is simultaneously generating great expectations and concerns. The huge investment and research efforts of economically powerful private initiatives have uncovered an important economic niche waiting to be exploited. The promoters of the market for laboratory meat or meat derived from vegetable products have seen in their ethical and ecological foundations the great lever that will mobilise consumers on a massive scale towards their products. The growth in supply and speculation around these products responds, among other factors, to two very different pressures: on the one hand, the climatic behaviour of meat production. On the other hand, the growing pressure from animal and vegan groups on the living and dying conditions of the animals that are raised for their consumption. –– Pedro M. Herrera

The pressing priority of saving the Amazonia

The world's most biodiverse region is threatened by deforestation levels close to the point of no return. Despite this, the countries involved failed to reach agreements at the last summit in Brazil in August. –– David Roca Basadre

The Ecological Collapse We Were Warned About Has Begun

Raging fires rage across Canada, an unprecedented drought is raging in Uruguay and global temperatures have broken all records. An urgent people's plan to adapt and mitigate the situation is still possible. –– José Seoane

Two Scenarios for Sustainable Welfare: A Framework for an Eco-Social Contract

More nation states are now committing to zero net carbon by 2050 at the latest, which is encouraging, but none have faced up to the transformation of economies, societies and lives that this will entail. This article considers two scenarios for a fair transition to net zero, concentrating only on climate change, and discusses the implications for contemporary ‘welfare states’. The first is the Green New Deal framework coupled with a ‘social guarantee’. I argue that expanded public provision of essential goods and services would be a necessary component of this strategy. The second scenario goes further to counteract runaway private consumption by building a sufficiency economy with ceilings to income, wealth and consumption. This would require a further extension of state capacities and welfare state interventions. The article provides a framework for comparing and developing these two very different approaches. –– Ian Gough

Settler Colonialism in Palestine

Direct expropriation of the land and promotion of outright extermination –– T he genocide being inflicted by the Israeli state on the Palestinian people has now (as we write this in late November 2023) reached a particularly lethal stage, giving rise to a second and perhaps final Nakba, akin to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their land in 1948. Under these circumstances, it is crucial to turn to the concept of settler colonialism as it emerged over the last century and a half from the Marxian critique of colonialism/imperialism. –– The Editors of Monthly Review

Transitioning to Geocratia — the People and Planet and Not the Market Paradigm — First Steps

Parting from the fact that saving Planet Earth, our home, changes everything, we need to build a new ethos where the majority of humankind commits to a system whose only purpose is the pursuit of the welfare of people and Planet Earth. This requires that all Earth resources necessary for the enjoyment of life of all living things be managed to achieve true long-term sustainability. — Álvaro J. de Regil

Why strike action is climate action

Striking pushes against the core capitalist dynamics also responsible for global warming, CUSP researcher Simon Mair writes. Reducing fossil fuel use will not happen without a major shift in the centres of power. Strike action is one way to build towards these shifts, and in this way can be a precursor to stronger climate action. –– Simon Mair

There will be no ecological transition without a social and labour transition

At present, hardly anyone doubts the need for an ecological transition. Environmental denialism, although it exists, seems to be in retreat in the face of overwhelming evidence of the negative effects of our way of life on nature. The energy model must be changed. But even more urgent is a transformation that addresses the limitation of wealth, consumption and the necessary sharing of labour. –– Vicente López

Marketocracy and the Capture of People and Planet — The acceleration of Twenty-First Century Monopoly Capital Fascism through the pandemic and the Great Reset

This study examines the trajectory that the world has followed since neoliberalism was imposed on humanity half a century ago, assessing the subsequent motivations—and their consequences for humanity and the planet as a whole—of key global elite groups and individuals (Gates, Musk, Bezos and the World Economic Forum, and its proclaimed "Fourth Industrial Revolution" through "The Great Reset") who have powerful influence on the world's governments. We live in dangerous times on our planet that threaten the future of all living things, but there is a way to avoid such a future –––– Álvaro J. de Regil

The Transnational Capture and Pillage of Central America

Massive invasion of transnational corporations, a multifaceted and tragic toll on the Central American Dry Corridor Region. –– Nubia Barrera Silva

Is Population Crucial for Degrowth?

Most proponents of degrowth tend to avoid the population factor, many of them fearful of being perceived as Malthusian. This is not the case. However, in the context of a genuinely democratic ethos, we must incorporate population degrowth into the core of any degrowth imaginary, as we are the preeminent source of our planet's unsustainable consumption. If people become aware of the existential danger we face, we expect that many will choose to embark on a transition that includes gradual population degrowth as a key driver of our trajectory. If the majority refuses, that is always their right. In such a case, we will have to face the consequences of significantly reducing the chances of achieving a safe and just transition-ecologically safe for all species and socially just for people, especially in the Global South-to avoid the obvious existential threat we face. –– Álvaro J. de Regil

Lithium and the Contradictions in the Energy Transition that Devastate the Global South In Favour of the Global North

Green Capitalism is a Hoax, because switching to batteries is not sustainable and it keeps depredating the ecosystems. — Nubia Barrera Silva

“Not growing but thriving”: The Beginning of a Paradigm Shift

20th-century economics starts with the market, with supply and demand, and so prices are the metric of concern used to calculate everything. As if everything were for sale, because money means price, means market, means sale. We need to move from the singular metrics of money to a dashboard of social and natural metrics. Let’s measure life in her own terms. Measure the life expectancy, the educational achievements, the self-reported wellbeing, to gauge the strength of a community. Let’s measure the quality of housing and the access to essential services in people’s lives, the stability of the climate and the health of our soils and our oceans. Let’s measure the integrity and intactness of the ecosystems on which life depends. We can do this. We have the data. –– Kate Raworth

Post-Second World War SocialChristianity and Its Relevance to

A Christian social analysis that continues to be held by those like Pope Francis, who in May 2022 criticised NATO as “barking at Russia’s door.” –– Toby Terrar

Population in the IPCC’s new mitigation report.

A new IPCC climate change mitigation report confirms that population increase and economic growth are the main drivers of today’s historically high greenhouse gas emissions. — Philip Cafaro

Spiral of contradictions between financialised capitalism and rural smallholdings in South and Mesoamerica

Irreversible destruction of the Earth's soil food webs leads to drought and collapse of global food security. The logic of peripheral capitalism slips through the cracks of economic growth without development... Thus we have a direct correlation between the dispossession of land, the alienation of the rural workforce and the loss of food sovereignty. — Nubia Barrera Silva

Urban Commons and Collective Action to Address Climate Change

Community centres can have a key role in the social mobilisation of community climate commons. Group-based learning on climate change is more effective than individual learning. We deal with three types of urban commons, i.e., “urban green commons,” “coworking spaces,” and “community climate commons.” — Johan Colding, Stephan Barthel, Robert Ljung, Felix Eriksson and Stefan Sjöberg

Exterminism in Palestine

Genocide is recognised as the severest of international crimes. Today there can be no doubt that, since Operation Al- Aqsa Flood on October 7, 2023, Israel has carried out a genocidal war on Palestinians, targeting the entire civilian population. Israeli government officials have called for the annihilation and removal of Palestinians. Israel, at the time of this writing in mid-December 2023, has killed more than twenty thousand Palestinians, targeting hospitals, schools, mosques, and refugee camps. The population has been deprived of food, water, fuel, and electricity. According to the United Nations Genocide Convention, genocide is “a crime committed to destroy a national, ethnic, and religious group, in whole or in part.” In this case, it is crystal clear that Israel’s goal is to destroy the Palestinians not in part, but in whole. Indeed, it is not genocide, as commonly defined, but rather the logic of exterminism that is most relevant here. The Palestinian population is today being exterminated by the Israeli colonial state in the double sense of extirpation and expulsion utilising the most advanced and deadly weapons, mainly supplied by the United States (United Nations, “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [1948],”

Israel as a nationalist ethnoreligious state exists in its present form only due to U.S. backing. In the face of such naked exterminist imperialism, the product of the whole history of capitalism and settler colonialism, the worldwide response is bound to be overwhelming in the end, marking a global historical turning point. Already as the horror unfolds before our eyes, tens of millions of people of all ethnicities, nationalities, and religions around the world are in the streets protesting, promising a resistance that will become more and more universal—a general revolt of humanity. The Palestinians today are the frontline defence in a much greater struggle against the exterminism that is threatening the population of the earth as a whole, and that has been building over the entire course of capitalist history. In this sense, we are all Palestinians today.



Research and analysis to provoke public awareness and critical thinking

We contribute to the liberalisation of the democratic instituions of society, for they have been captured by the owners of the market. They work in tandem with their market agents, who, posing as public servants, are entrenched in the halls of government. The political class has betrayed its public mandate and instead operates to impose a marketocratic state to maximise the shareholder value of the institutional investors of international financial markets. They own the global corporations and think they own the world on behalf of their very private interest.

Our spheres of action: true democracy – true sustainability – living wage – basic income – inequality – ecological footprint – degrowth – global warming –human development – corporate accountability – civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, responsible consumption, sustainable autonomous citizen cells...


Parting from an ethos of true democracy and true sustainability, We, the citizenry, work to advance the paradigm whose only purpose is to go in pursuit of the welfare of People and Planet and NOT the market.

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Urban commons

World scientists’ warning: The behavioural crisis driving ecological overshoot

Previously, anthropogenic ecological overshoot has been identified as a fundamental cause of the myriad symptoms we see around the globe today from biodiversity loss and ocean acidification to the disturbing rise in novel entities and climate change. In the present paper, we have examined this more deeply, and explore the behavioural drivers of overshoot, providing evidence that overshoot is itself a symptom of a deeper, more subversive modern crisis of human behaviour. We work to name and frame this crisis as ‘the Human Behavioural Crisis’ and propose the crisis be recognised globally as a critical intervention point for tackling ecological overshoot. We demonstrate how current interventions are largely physical, resourceintensive, slow-moving and focused on addressing the symptoms of ecological overshoot (such as climate change) rather than the distal cause (maladaptive behaviours). We argue that even in the best-case scenarios, symptom-level interventions are unlikely to avoid catastrophe or achieve more than ephemeral progress. We explore three drivers of the behavioural crisis in depth: economic growth; marketing; and pronatalism. These three drivers directly impact the three ‘levers’ of overshoot: consumption, waste and population. We demonstrate how the maladaptive behaviours of overshoot stemming from these three drivers have been catalysed and perpetuated by the intentional exploitation of previously adaptive human impulses. In the final sections of this paper, we propose an interdisciplinary emergency response to the behavioural crisis by, amongst other things, the shifting of social norms relating to reproduction, consumption and waste. We seek to highlight a critical disconnect that is an ongoing societal gulf in communication between those that know such as scientists working within limits to growth, and those members of the citizenry, largely influenced by social scientists and industry, that must act.



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Winter-Spring 2024!

Sustainability: a catalogue of ideas received

The term is often used as a collective conscience-cleansing tool for the coming climate catastrophe. Perhaps an exercise in deconstructing the most common clichés would be necessary.

Many things have not yet been named, and many others have been lost in the name. One of these is the notion of sustainability. Sustainability, by definition, is the prevention of the depletion of natural resources necessary for ecological balance. However, it is a term often used as a collective conscience-cleansing term for the looming climate catastrophe. This makes it the recipient of innumerable clichés, which only take us further from the urgency of its original meaning.

While reactionary political sectors appropriate terms historically used by left-wing movements, such as"freedom", the market acts similarly, reducingconcepts to superficial aesthetics and ending up as consumer appeals. Perhaps an exercise in deconstructing the clichés surrounding sustainability would be necessary as a plea for its recovery.

Let these brief notes serve as a small, unfinished catalogue of what sustainability is not.





From Imperialism to Green Imperialism: Tools of World-Systems Analysis Ecosocial Crisis

Humanity is at the most challenging crossroads in its history. Anthropogenic productive activity, framed within the capitalist mode of production, has caused most planetary boundaries to be exceeded and others to be strained. This has caused, among other things, temperatures to reach maximums never before experienced by our civilisation, species to become extinct at an unprecedented rate, the loss of soil fertility to become the norm, and the oceans to boil to the point of leaving the poles on the brink of their disappearance while acidifying and suffocating life in them. At the same time, civilisation does not lose sight of an increasingly threatening war horizon in which a nuclear outbreak cannot be entirely ruled out. And against this backdrop, a galloping decline of materials and energy sources is unfolding, putting pressure on every vector of the eco-social apparatus to the point of casting a shadow over the future accessibility of our societies' livelihoods and their very survival as we know them.

Amid this panorama of ecological devastation and military escalation, there is a growing impression, both justified and worrying, that mainstream geopolitical analyses are often too lazy to address the role of the planet's biophysical limits in shaping the global hierarchy between states and their regimes of dependency. On the flip side of this impression, but equally justified and worrying, there is also a growing sense that modern environmentalism suffers from excessive naïveté (and often ambiguity) in understanding the global political-economic dynamics that condition eco-social conflicts.

This combination of "oversights" has allowed capitalist elites, among many other things, to adopt many expressions of a supposedly environmentalist character to protect and perpetuate their domination. Thus, by means of the "green" label, global capitalism has managed to actualise its planetary and human plunder in a highly efficient manner. Greenwashing camouflages the interests of exploitation and appropriation of life and natural goods on which capitalism itself is based to adapt them to a terminology that paves the way for its expansion. It is the continuation of business as usual by other means: a new mode of accumulation that tunes business to the fashion of the times of ecological emergency. The "creative destruction" of capitalism sees business everywhere, even in disaster.

The dangerousness of this handling of reality, even more so in an era marked by a combination of eco-social crises, makes it essential to identify and unmask those central aspects of the green narratives of global capitalism in order to understand its conjuncture and the projections it allows us to glimpse. This paper aims to contribute to studying the relationship between imperialism and political ecology, the characteristics that identify the historical development of ecological imperialism and the eco-social implications of its cosmetic adaptation in a context of growing threat and biophysical concern. In order to do so, it is essential, first of all, to offer an updated, if succinct, definition of the notion of imperialism.








Marxian Ecology, East and West: Joseph Needham and a Non-Eurocentric View of the Origins of China’s Ecological Civilisation

Ecological materialism, of which ecological Marxism is the most developed version, is often seen as having its origins exclusively within Western thought. But if that is so, how do we explain the fact that ecological Marxism has been embraced as readily (or indeed, more readily) in the East as in the West, leaping over cultural, historical, and linguistic barriers and leading to the current concept of ecological civilisation in China? The answer is that there is a much more complex dialectical relation between East and West with respect to materialist dialectics and critical ecology than has been generally supposed, one that stretches back over millennia.

In Within the Four Seas: The Dialogue of East and West in 1969, Needham noted the absolute alacrity with which “dialectical materialism” was taken up in China during the Chinese Revolution and how this was treated as a great mystery in the West. Nevertheless, the sense of mystery, he contended, did not extend in the same way to the East itself. He wrote: “I can almost imagine Chinese scholars,” confronted with Marxian materialist dialectics, “saying to themselves ‘How astonishing: this is very like our own philosophia perennis integrated with modern science at last come home to us.'” The Marxian materialist dialectic, with its deep-seated ecological critique rooted in ancient Epicurean materialism, was in Needham’s view, so closely akin to Chinese Daoist and Confucian philosophies as to create a strong acceptance of Marxian philosophical views in China, particularly since China’s own perennial philosophy was in this roundabout way integrated with modern science. If Daoism was a naturalist philosophy, Confucianism was associated, Needham wrote, with “a passion for social justice.


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 Transitioning to Geocratia — the

Safe and Just Earth System Boundaries

The stability and resilience of the Earth system and human well-being are inseparably linked, yet their interdependencies are generally under-recognised; consequently, they are often treated independently. Here, we use modelling and literature assessment to quantify safe and just Earth system boundaries (ESBs) for climate, the biosphere, water and nutrient cycles, and aerosols at global and subglobal scales. We propose ESBs for maintaining the resilience and stability of the Earth system (safe ESBs) and minimising exposure to significant harm to humans from Earth system change (a necessary but not sufficient condition for justice). The stricter of the safe or just boundaries sets the integrated safe and just ESB. Our findings show that justice considerations constrain the integrated ESBs more than safety considerations for climate and atmospheric aerosol loading. Seven of eight globally quantified safe and just ESBs and at least two regional safe and just ESBs in over half of global land area are already exceeded. We propose that our assessment provides a quantitative foundation for safeguarding the global commons for all people now and into the future.


Unequal Value Transfer from Mexico to the United States

“underdeveloped countries are so because they are superexploited and not because they are backward.”

Utilising a Marxist perspective and the concept of unequal exchange, I describe here the enormous drain of wealth that Mexico has experienced as a manufacturing supplier to the U.S. market. Unlike the analyses that understand Mexico as a backward economy, low on the scale of production compared to the United States, my argument is based in the value-labor time perspective and demonstrates that the meagre wages of theworking class in Mexico do not correspond to productive backwardness, but to a vast value creation that is drained away systematically through unequal exchange mechanisms occurring in trade. The conversion of Mexico into an export platform supplying the United States has resulted in a huge theft of socially necessary labor time. As Samir Amin explained, “underdeveloped countries are so because they are superexploited and not because they are backward.”



Why strike action is climate action

Striking pushes against the core capitalist dynamics also responsible for global warming, CUSP researcher Simon Mair writes. Reducing fossil fuel use will not happen without a major shift in the centres of power. Strike action is one way to build towards these shifts, and in this way can be a precursor to stronger climate action.

Taking strike action is difficult. Some difficulties are obvious: sacrificing my pay as a lecturer creates immediate financial difficulties. Other difficulties are more hidden, like the pervasive anxiety of a strike day as emails roll in.

Strike-breaking colleagues remind me about pressing deadlines and students ask about class, marks, supervisions. I feel guilty for letting them down. Again, there is the threat of financial instability: will Ibe punished for papers I haven’t written, the student work I haven’t marked, the grants I haven’t submitted?

This is all compounded by the sense that when I stop working I stop contributing in some small way to action on environmental issues which, for me, is the point of my academic career. My research aims to support efforts to build a different, more sustainable, economic system. Through my teaching I aim to help my students build the critical capacities and technical skills they need to support an ecological transition.

Not doing the work can leave me feeling that I’m letting down activists and others on the coalface of climate action in order to support narrower concerns around wages, working conditions and pensions. As Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam recently tweeted: “Why are lecturers not going on strike to stop their outrageous flying to conferences rather than protecting their pensions?”

I share this because I think these feelings are common. Many academics, healthcare workers and others feel a sense of vocation in their work. We do it for money, but for other reasons too. Our work is a way to contribute to the societies we hope to live in.

But I don’t think these feelings should stop us from taking industrial action. Hallam is mistaken when he pits industrial action over wages against climate action. Climate change is a systemic problem and I argue that strike action goes some way to addressing core systemic drivers of climate change.



The toxicity of the capitalist mode of living

More than ten million people die each year worldwide from air pollution, a figure equivalent to deaths caused by war, terrorism, AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and drugs.

Although over the last half-century, capitalism has achieved unparalleled success in terms of material opulence, there is growing evidence to question its real contribution to people's quality of life, particularly in terms of the more immaterial aspects of well-being, such as social cohesion, personal autonomy, physical and mental health, the good use of time, the enjoyment of rewarding interpersonal relationships, or the availability of safe and healthy natural environments.