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Editorial and Opinion Articles: Social Commentary Headlines.

Capitalism Without Wages? by John Latham

Volunteers throughout the ages have realised that working for nothing is not such a bad idea. It seems perverse, but the “cash nexus” can make labour more tedious than almost anything else. Eccentric Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle noted that the relationship between employer and employee can be difficult. Without a strong union behind them, anybody can be subject to insidious forms of exploitation or discrimination.

If work is done for money rather than love the result can be a profound sense of alienation. The young Karl Marx observed that the power of money means that an ordinary paid labourer has almost no input into the shape of the work process. In less theoretical terms, we may work to live, but only live and breathe at the weekend. We can feel like the mere tools of a boss, aware that we are replaceable by machinery or robots. Worryingly, the ethics of some paid work is highly questionable. It is not only unlucky prostitutes who sell themselves for money...

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Marx and Manifesto: A Beginner's Review by Phillip Sutcliffe-Mott

I didn’t finish The Communist Manifesto when I first read it. Despite its short length, I knew within ten pages that I was too immature. Something stuck with me though. An observation which hardened, some years later, when I started university. It was how in awe with capitalism Marx was. How complementary and excitable his tone. There are pages of passages that marvel at capitalism’s capacity as an all-consuming global force.

This goes some way to explaining how odd a text Manifesto is. The whole thing is delivered by two voices at once, each oppositional to the other. The critic and the fan. This, as we’ll see, is fitting indeed.

To pull sense from Manifesto, you have to read it with at least two other works: Das Kapital and Marx’s Contribution to Hegel’s Critique of Right. For this reason, it is necessary to flounce indeterminately between discussing Marx the scholar and discussing Marx and Engels, Communist co-conspirators...

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Ode to a Rotten Morning - Editorial Commentary Article by Dragoon Babic

Shiver-me-limber. It’s morning again and I’m cold. This blanket is tucked around me like the skin they wrap around sausage meat. My arms are clenched tight to my chest and I am all of a sudden conscious of the lack of warmth in my right ear. It’s cold. It’s dark-winter-morning cold. My exposed extremities are desperate for the warming embrace of a sympathetic soul. A parent or a lover who might provide a less traumatic transition from dreams into reality. Someone who could rub my blood warm. Instead I wake up to the morning felicitations of this dank and dreary room; coughing with a suffocation brought on by the primordial patches of damp that have enveloped the walls. The smell of it fills my nostrils and leaves a dry itchy sensation at the back of my throat...

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Nationalism and Identity - Editorial Commentary Article by Zack Breslin

Recently, the people of Venice and its surrounding areas voted overwhelmingly in favour of separation from the rest of Italy. The referendum, although non-binding and not recognised by the Italian Government, saw 89 per cent of Venetian voters back the establishment of a new nation—the Republic of Veneto. Centuries ago, the city of Venice and its environs did indeed constitute an independent state and only ceased to do so when Napoleon conquered the Republic of Venice in 1797. Venetia is not the only region to seek a breakaway from its government in recent weeks. On the 16th of March the people of Crimea voted in favour of leaving Ukraine and re-joining Russia. That dubious referendum passed, and with Russian troops occupying the region, there wasn’t much the Ukrainian...

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