The biggest frontier of mechanization of the past ten years has been the automation, broadly speaking, of that particular type of human labour known as interpretation.

The bestselling Los Angeles crime novelist James Ellroy is known for his entertaining re-imaginings of US history between 1940-1970. His novels reflect his dark vision of what police, politicians, bureaucrats, criminals, movie stars and intellectuals were really thinking and doing behind the scenes, but never appeared in the official record. Ellroy calls it the news that was “unfit to print.”

This short article from 1993, from the journal Medicine and War, argues that the 1992 Earth Summit failed to address key issues of land distribution, rights and security. In doing so, it made it impossible to address its own purported environmental goals, which require respect for ordinary people's efforts to conserve the land and forests on which they depend.

This draft chapter argues that any serious study of bioenergy and global inequalities must take account of the oppression inherent in thermodynamic energy itself. Because this topic is widely neglected by academics and activists alike, the chapter first describes how the abstract nature that we now call energy was organized during the 19th century in conjunction with new waves of capitalist mechanization centred on labour control and productivity.

Logistics -- now a $4.7 trillion industry and said to be the world's largest employer -- is reshaping global production, distribution and consumption.

The implications for labour are profound. Automation in combination with just-in-time logistics regimes are subjecting workers to degrading just-in-time labour practices. More work is now contingent piece work; workers are increasingly subjected to electronic monitoring; work is increasingly degraded; and new forms of unpaid labour are proliferating, particularly online.

The Corner House and Global Justice Now are calling for a parliamentary inquiry following a report from the BBC's award-winning Africa Eye team on concerns about alleged fraud, bribery and other highly-questionable business practices by two British managers appointed by a UK aid-backed private equity fund to run its investee Kenyan firm Spencon.

See the downloadable press release above.

Climate movements need to be wary about thinking about climate in terms of carbon. It is more effective to think about it in terms of work.

This is hard because the idea that climate is about carbon remains embedded in much climate thinking on both the right and the left. This presentation -- which includes a special guest appearance by the Covid-19 virus -- discusses both the difficulties and the necessity of moving on.

A recording of the presentation, with Q & A, is online at https://youtu.be/xzRZ-V_Qrsw.

The vast territory of transnational capitalism is partly constituted by particular kinds of human bodies. One of those bodies is the body of the wage worker. The worker who is supposed to show up on time every day. The worker who gets only so many sick days each month. The worker who can be relied on to come in and make money for the boss, year in and year out.

What is business getting itself into in its embrace of so-called artificial intelligence? What is it getting the world into?

In approaching these questions, it may be useful to set aside the term "artificial intelligence" in favour of "interpretation machines."

To do so, argues this version of an essay forthcoming in Socialist Register, is to point to ecological and political continuities between 19th-century and 21st-century automation -- continuities that may help clarify strategies for popular struggle.

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In December 2004, The Corner House began legal proceedings against the Export Credits Guarantee Department, claiming it had weakened its anti-corruption rules after consulting corporations only. It was awarded the first-ever full "protective costs order" to challenge the changed rules: The Corner House would not have to pay the Department's legal costs, even if it lost, because the challenge was in the public interest.