What Is Exploitation?

The term “exploitation” typically conjures up images of horrendous working conditions, perhaps sweatshops in China or India, or the child labour used by Western clothes manufacturers. We think of people working long hours for little pay in terrible conditions ruthlessly bullied by unscrupulous bosses or gangmasters.

Such “exploitation” is presented to us as exceptional – and contrasted with the “normality” of working life for most people, particularly in countries such as Britain.

Karl Marx had a different understanding of exploitation. Rather than seeing it as exceptional, he argued that exploitation is fundamental to capitalism.

For Marx, exploitation was not just about the level of wages received, or working conditions, but was the very process whereby capitalism creates profit out of the work we do.

In order to understand what Marx meant by exploitation we need to start with his explanation of where profits ultimately come from – the “labour theory of value”. Continue reading

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Non-Aligned Countries Endorse Venezuelan Proposal for Alternative World Media

Mérida, July 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)– At the 7th Conference of Information Ministers of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries held in Venezuela’s Margarita Island last week, more than 80 country delegations endorsed Venezuela’s proposal to create an alternative worldwide media network.

The Margarita Declaration signed Friday lays out a working agenda for constructing a “new international communicational order” that is meant to “balance information and democratize the presence of the countries of the South in worldwide communication,” said the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, Andrés Izarra, in his closing speech Friday.

“We now have a new tool,” explained Izarra. “The communicational task of our peoples today is to recuperate the words, the images of our existence which have been sequestered and used against us by the masters of the world.” Continue reading

“The Future of Classical Music lies in Venezuela”

Excerpt from documentary ‘Mata Tigre” 2006

Placido Domingo cried when he saw the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra perform. The world-renowned opera singer confessed that the concert evoked the strongest emotions he had ever felt.

Sir Simon Rattle, director of the Berlin Philharmonic, swore that the country’s youth orchestras were doing the most important work in classical music anywhere in the world.

And former Berlin Philharmonic director Claudio Abbado only needed to see one performance by the orchestra to invite the Venezuelans to play in Germany. Continue reading