Science & Technology

 

 

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto established the first digital bitcoin transaction by mining the so-called genesis block. This was to be the beginning of a new era for money and the payment system, but the story did not develop according to the original aims of the pseudonymous bitcoin creator. Digital currencies really have the potential to change the economic landscape. The problem is that, under capitalist conditions, they will not be used to help ordinary people, but rather, the profiteering bankers. Note: this article was written in December 2020.

With the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the UK; and products by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and others already being administered around the world, one would think we are approaching the end of this pandemic. However, pharmaceutical profiteers and political representatives of the ruling class are bungling the rollout in some of the worst-affected countries. In their haste to return to ‘normal’ and get the economy moving again, they are ignoring the science, cutting corners and

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The COVID-19 vaccines slowly entering circulation offer a glimmer of hope for millions of ordinary people who have spent the best part of a year trapped in the seemingly endless nightmare of this pandemic. For the pharmaceutical capitalists, these essential resources (whose development has been funded largely by public money) are a goldmine to be plundered. Meanwhile, stockpiling by the imperialist powers, and Big Pharma’s bottom line put a working vaccine out of reach for the poorest parts of the world.

The censorship of social media accounts of left-wing groups has continued, with Facebook recently removing and restricting US anarchist and antifascist pages. This is part of a pattern, which has seen similar moves by other social media platforms. These purges demonstrate whose side these huge corporations stand on, and why we must fight for public control and ownership of social media.

This extensive work (originally published in March by Lucha de Clases in Spanish) exposes who controls the world’s economic and health resources, how we can break away from the exploitative and irrational capitalist system that is strangling public health, and how we can ensure healthcare for the working class of the entire world.

As billions of dollars are invested into creating a vaccine for COVID-19, the imperialists are only interested in protecting their intellectual property and settling scores with one another. Meanwhile, global bodies like the WHO further reveal their impotence in the face of this international public health emergency.

A perfect storm of private sector profiteering, reckless production practices, environmental destruction and underinvestment in medical research has made global pandemics more common, and undermined our capacity to deal with them. Capitalism not only gave rise to this invisible and deadly enemy – it is the biggest obstacle in our fight against it.

The coronavirus crisis has had immense impacts on the airline industry, which is now on its knees. Billionaires like Richard Branson are calling for government handouts to keep their companies afloat. We say: nationalise without compensation!

"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going". Up until recently, this was the slogan many pilots and passengers had adopted when flying or boarding an aircraft. It was a nod of respect for the Seattle aircraft manufacturer that brought America into the jet age with airliners like the 707, the three-engine 727 that followed, and the “Queen of the Skies” – the 747. How times have changed!

The pharmaceutical industry is a very profitable business, particularly if you lack a moral compass. Jazz Pharmaceuticals 15-folded its value in seven years on the back of one drug, for which it charged through the roof.

Boeing is in trouble. The American aviation giant finds itself in the middle of a storm that has culminated in the worldwide grounding of its latest aircraft model, the 737 MAX. There is an emerging picture of a major manufacturer botching a new aircraft design, with more than 300 people dead as a result. This follows two fatal accidents in the space of five months that seem to have occurred under similar circumstances.

“The ocean is rising, and we are too.” So read one placard at the recent #YouthStrike4Climate in London. Young people across the world are taking to the streets to address the burning issue of our epoch: the impending climate catastrophe. Starting in Sweden last August with the weekly protests of one school student, Greta Thunberg, the youth strikes have rapidly spread internationally. In every country the situation is the same: a new, radicalised generation is entering into political activity, demanding action and system change to avert environmental destruction.

If asked 'what is the least proletarian profession?', many might place ‘video game designer’ pretty close to the top. Until quite recently, that opinion might well have been shared by a majority of game designers themselves. But now this is changing rapidly. A snowballing of awareness is taking place about the extreme exploitation that the video games industry is based upon.

In this article, Ben Curry explains the development of scientific thought from a Marxist perspective. Ben introduces the dialectical materialist outlook, explains how it applies to the natural world and demonstrates how the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome laid the foundations for modern science. Science is always rooted in class society, and the lack of a dialectical materialist perspective has led some modern scientists back to the idealism and mysticism that the bourgeoisie railed against in its revolutionary phase.

We previously published a review of The Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – And the Unexpected Solutions, a book by Swiss-British writer and journalist Johann Hari, in which he attempts to re-examine the way that society views depression. However, while Hari raises some valid criticisms, his critique ends up being exaggerated and one-sided.

In the last 48 hours, liberal news outlets (in particular Britain's Guardiannewspaper), have made a scandal out of the exposé into Cambridge Analytica. This is a shadowy peddler of influence that has been exposed by an employee-turned-whistleblower for its use of masses of digital data to target political adverts.

As with all production under capitalism, scientific production is not democratically controlled by the working class. We argue that the workers can and should be the drivers of scientific advancement.

This article, written for Socialist Appeal, was published a matter of days before Bitcoin's value collapsed by half overnight. This catastrophic downturn proves everything we have written about Bitcoin and how it reflects of the general crisis of capitalism.