Articles

These articles represent the views of their authors, not necessarily those of the C.C.S.

Notes on 2014  (January 2014)
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Ideology and democracy  (November 2013)
"The problem of proletarian democracy cannot be separated from the problem of ideology. One hundred and fifty years ago the bourgeois propaganda methods were still relatively crude and we were hopeful; today the bourgeoisie is bursting with confidence and their myth-making industry is at its pinnacle. Saying that we are all infected by the ideology of the ruling class is, of course, nothing new. But while there is no doubt that early attempts at socialism failed to generate mass prosperity, they failed in a far worse way in terms of ideology. Somehow the Soviet Union ended up standing for a creepy bureaucracy, while Britain and the USA were perceived as defending freedom. Before we tried building a communist state it was perfectly possible to affect a kind of carefree optimism about the future, to say that our victory is historically inevitable; now the same is all but impossible for Leftists to even think, never mind display. How do we get it back?"
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Quality and consumerism  (October 2013)
"One of the most pervasive and dispiriting results of the alienation of labour under modern capitalism is the compulsion to work badly. This does not just affect the food industry: across the economy, workers are pushed to do their jobs fast and cheaply rather than well. Workers in the electronics sector have to cobble together gadgets with ‘built-in obsolescence’. Rail workers are made to economize on safety. Teachers have to limit themselves to the simplifications and half-truths that the state-monopoly exam board industry dictates. Garment workers have to turn out inferior clothes, made with shoddy materials, so the multimillionaire shareholders don’t see a dip in their dividend payments. Capitalism is built on a colossal edifice of enforced mediocrity."
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Digital Drudgery  (September 2013)
"Technological advance—while always to be welcomed—does not inevitably lead to a higher quality of life for all people. All too often, instead of being used to reduce tedious work and increase the time available for leisure and creativity, new innovations are used to increase unemployment and the misery which goes with it. The Luddites and others were, at least, able to see this and create a movements against it. Over the last few decades, however, there have arisen a series of related technological advances, which have had a dramatically detrimental effect—but have been enthusiastically welcomed by their victims."
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We've Got Nothing To Hide  (June 2013)
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Socialism: Utopian and Scientific  (April 2013)
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What we are talking about when we talk about economics  (February 2013)
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Random Democracy  (January 2013)
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Neoliberalism: The End of a Myth  (November 2012)
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New Age spirituality: a study in commodity fetishism  (October 2012)
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