Tag Archives: South African

the iPhone 5, obsolescence, and capitalism

Enforced obsolescence, the iPhone 5, and capitalism. Capitalism gives us new reasons to hate it every day. Each momet that we’re stuck living under the state apparatus, we see the absurdity of the logic that the need to generate maximum profit creates. The newest macabre example of capitalist logic coming on the heals of a massacre of striking workers by a black president in South Africa and the strike of thousands and thousands of teachers united with parents and students against the educational policies of a black president here is the release of the new iPhone. Not only is the new iPhone saturated with the blood of the laborers that work in hell-like conditions, but it is indicative of the profit-driven insanity that is capitalism’s core.

 

A whole industry of products has been built up around the iPhone’s docking station mechanism. Stereos, alarm clocks, and other doohickeys that capitalism makes us think we need. Well, the new iPhone has changed the docking station to make it incompatable with any of the existing gadgets that exist. Under communism, we’d have taken the scientific approach and built upon the existing technological strata to create a device that would meet the needs of the working class. Capitalism wants to negate a whole industry and collection of goods so that people have to buy more shit. These masters of war constantly create to destroy, constantly produce for profit, and then drop bombs on workers with the vast profits that they do create.

 

The fact that millions of older model iphones aremeow going to be thrown away as people upgrade and Apple is not interested in recycling or adapting them.  The enforced obsolescence of capitalism is a wasteful element that it needs in order to maximize profit. It is not a bad habit of capitalism that can be reformed, as it’s just as intrinsic to it as racism. The primary need of capitalism is profit. Capitalism is not addicted to profit anymore than we are addicted to food. We need food just as much as capitalism needs profit. The only way a rationally planne society can exist is under communism, as socialism is nothing more than capitalism with some red paint. 

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South Africa Miners’ Strike Exposes Nationalist/Capitalist Rulers

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, Dec. 4 — Over 40,000 striking South African miners marched here today against hazardous working conditions, adding to pressures on the industry in a country where a miner dies nearly every day. The world’s leading producers of gold and platinum are among mines hit by the one-day walkout called by the 270,000-member National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). The workers marched on the Chamber of Mines, the industry employers’ organization that includes the leading companies — AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

In October, around 3,000 miners at Elandsrand were trapped almost a mile underground for more than 24 hours when the lift cage’s power cable was damaged. They were eventually rescued unharmed. Agence France-Presse quoted Thembisile Marrent, a miner at the Kloof goldmine in Mpumalnga province, saying, “We’re dying in mines but get nothing. We want change, we want to work safe. When you get accidents the boss [says] it was ‘bad luck.’ If the mistake is yours, they charge you [with disciplinary offenses] even though you’re in the hospital.” The miners carried placards with slogans including, “Mine safety is a human right,” and “Blood-dripped profit is the bosses’ luxury.”

South Africa’s mines are among the world’s deepest and most labor-intensive. But since the end of the apartheid regime working conditions still haven’t improved too much under African National Congress (ANC) rule. Mining produces 7% of the country’s gross domestic product and is the highest foreign exchange source here. The high price of precious metals has seen mine company profits soar through the roof, but the workers see little of it. As a matter of fact, the mine bosses are demanding even more productivity from the miners.

Unfortunately, the NUM leadership won’t challenge the ANC government. In fact, the NUM is a leading union in the COSATU union federation, which is part of the ANC coalition government currently led by President Mbeki. The South African “Communist” Party is also a key member of the government and a leading force in the trade union movement. But these sellouts have joined the side of the class enemy. Instead of breaking with all these capitalists, the “C”P and union hacks helped millionaire boss Jacob Zumia — then the country’s deputy president — survive a 2005 corruption scandal. Zumia is now in a dogfight with President Mbeki for control of the ANC and of the government.

In the 1990’s, when the imperialists and big capitalists (like the Anglo-American Mining Corp.) felt they needed to derail the growing revolutionary anti-apartheid anger of workers and youth, they decided to dump the old apartheid racist rulers and allow Nelson Mandela and the ANC to take power while continuing the oppression of capitalism and maintaining their profits.

South Africa’s militant working class, the continent’s most powerful proletariat, needs new leadership, one based on revolutionary communist politics and no alliance with any capitalist or nationalist politician. That’s the only real road to liberation from the yoke of capitalism and racism.

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