The run on toilet paper has brought the failings of capitalism front and center to the bathroom of every house across Australia, a trend that has now spread to other countries. We are witnessing, in real-time and with stunning consequence, the stone-cold fact that markets are an ineffective mediator of resources, prone to the worst vagaries of herd mentality. Perceived impending shortages of toilet paper owing to the spread of COVID-19 set off widespread panic. We might be inclined to laugh at the implausibility of the whole scenario, but whether the situation is real or imagined is beside the point. The truth, which in this case may appear stranger than fiction, is that markets operate in the sweet spot between scarcity and fear.Continue reading #COVID19: Toilet Paper Wars and the Shithouse of Capitalism
The logic and sincerity of Marxist appeals to unity on the Left are worthy of critical scrutiny. I argue against such pleas, suggesting that the devil is in the details. In practice, ‘Left unity’ could only result in the co-optation of anarchism under a Marxist leadership. Such vanguardism is one of the fundamental divisions between the two approaches, having long been rejected by anarchists. I further argue that Marxism cannot withstand the anarchist critique, striking fear into the heart of Marxists as it threatens their worldview. It also means that despite appeals to ‘fertile collaboration’ between the red and black, there is an explicit lack of willingness among some Marxists to actually engage with anarchists in legitimate debate. So be it. Anarchists will continue to raise hell all the same.