The United States is not a failed state — just ask any American capitalist. But we desperately need something better for everyone else.
Nicole Aschoff is on the editorial board at Jacobin. She is the author of The Smartphone Society: Technology, Power, and Resistance in the New Gilded Age and The New Prophets of Capital.
Against all odds, for ten years Jacobin has survived, and thrived, as a forum for critique and debate, as a resource for people trying to make sense of the world around them. But we’ve only been able to do it with your help.
It is incredibly important to protect free speech and, by extension, the internet as a space to cultivate and share ideas and viewpoints that may fall outside the mainstream. That means curbing the power of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg.
This pandemic has the potential to erase much of the progress women have achieved over the past forty years. The solution is simple: labor organizing and struggling for jobs and fair pay.
The 2008 bailout was a giant giveaway to corporate America. 2020 is more of the same.
Elites have the money and resources to hide in their homes and ride out the coronavirus pandemic till kingdom come. The rest of us will need a better plan.
Before smartphones, police violence went mostly unseen — but far more violent interactions are never captured on film. The problem of racist policing won’t be solved by more visibility.
Social media platforms have become a central element of modern political life — too important to allow them to be run according to the whims of either an unbalanced president like Donald Trump or a few tech billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Making cities more resilient against coronavirus pandemics will require taking on the landlords, real estate developers, and elected officials who prop them up. We need safe, affordable housing.
The coronavirus has scattered the pieces on the geopolitical chessboard, revealing the fragility of just-in-time global production. Getting back to normal is the last thing we need.
We should use digital technology to fight the coronavirus and keep people safe. But that doesn’t mean we should accept ruling elites or private companies wantonly trampling on our civil liberties.
Companies like Shake Shack, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, the Los Angeles Lakers, and J. Alexander’s Holdings drew from the Paycheck Protection Program established to aid small businesses in paying their employees. While average workers have suffered under the pandemic, these huge corporations have helped themselves to enormous amounts of cash.
People are losing everything — their jobs, their homes, their health care, their savings. Democratic socialists must articulate the pain and uncertainty ordinary people are experiencing during this crisis or the Right will fill the void.
The G20 has announced it will allow 76 poor countries additional time to pay back their loans. But it’s not an act of benevolence — it’s a desperate maneuver to maintain the global debt peonage that undergirds neoliberal capitalism.
The suffering of women during the coronavirus pandemic illuminates where feminists need to push harder. Medicare for All, free higher education and a living wage, and a housing and job guarantee would go far in giving women the autonomy necessary to protect themselves and their children.
Locked down, smartphones are giving many of us some comfort and connection now. But the hardware and software that make our phones so indispensable are also tracking us twenty-four hours a day. This crisis will only open the door to more privacy intrusions in the name of public health.
The World Bank’s “pandemic bonds” demonstrate how global capital has an uncanny ability to profit from social ills. So far, investors have earned about $96 million in interest on the pandemic bonds, but developing countries have yet to receive desperately needed money.
Before we hand over billions and possibly trillions of dollars to corporations that have proven time and again that they value profits above all else, we should take a pause. There is time to put people first.
Coronavirus is pushing us from our workplaces, classrooms, and public spaces into our homes. High-speed internet is more essential than ever to maintain social ties. But millions are denied this fundamental right.
All of the fretting about social media addiction and smartphones destroying our attention span misses the point. Capitalism and the profit-seeking of big tech is the real problem.