David McNally is one of the more important Marxist scholars in the world, and we talked to him today on the anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth–May 5th, 1818. McNally discussed a wide array of topics, including his introduction to Marxist thought, important texts to use to discover Marx’s writings, the importance of Marx’s concept of “alienated labor,” his formulation of class struggle, and why democracy is essential to socialism.
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We also discussed the history of Marx’s influence in European politics and how Americans came to discover Marx in the late 19th Century. And we finished with a discussion of why Marx remains relevant today and why Marxism is seeing a resurgence.
A mass of western companies are exiting Russia over the war in Ukraine. This has included some major corporate heavyweights, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nike, Netflix, Apple, Visa, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Exxon, major western law firms and most major film distributors.
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Jeffry Sonnenfeld at the Yale School of Management compared it to the boycott of apartheid era South Africa. We’ve talked on past shows about the role that multinationals have played in the political economy. But have they developed a new conscience?
In our latest, we talk with investigative journalist and Executive Director of CorpWatch Pratap Chatterjee (@pchatterjee) about the latest round of corporate activism. We talk about who benefits, who’s being hurt and whether it’s having enough of an impact on Russia.
In December, the Pentagon got a $768 billion budget approved, despite the withdrawal from Afghanistan, with the aim to counter China and build Ukraine’s military strength. This has been a bonanza for arms makers like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Gruman.
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Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes popped the champagne open when saying “…[W]e are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales. We just have to look to last week where we saw the drone attack in the UAE, which have attacked some of their other facilities. And of course, the tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.”
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we saw a spike in these companies’ stock prices.
In our latest episode, we talk about arms manufacturers with William Hartung of the Quincy Institute. We discuss how the war in Ukraine, potential conflict in the South China Sea and wars in Yemen and other parts of the world are critical to their business model. We also talk about how the bureaucracy of the Pentagon and Washington D.C. gives these companies so much influence.
We’ve got another briefing on the larger contexts of the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Sure, Putin is a horrible and brutal force in the world and the attack on Ukraine is indefensible, but we ignore the larger contexts at our own peril.
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We talk about the impact of the breakup of the USSR, the privatization of the Russian economy, the sense of western/NATO encirclement felt by Russia, and U.S-Russia-Ukraine economic and trade relations.
It’s the 22nd anniversary of the direct action shutdown of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle. The WTO is a transnational economic institution created to regulate and facilitate global (corporate) trade.
Listen in: https://bit.ly/ShutdownWTOGandR
Organized by a scrappy group of organizers, the shutdown kicked off an anti-corporate globalization moment in North America which challenged austerity and the capitalist political economy. Globally, those movements had already been fighting austerity and corporate power for decades.
We talk with Nancy Haque, Stephanie Guilloud and David Solnit – three organizers that were all part of Direct Action Network to Stop Corporate Globalization (DAN), the body that organized the shutdown.