Thursday, April 30, 2020

Já agora, o que é feito de Exarchia?

O bairro anarquista de Atenas também está sobre ataque (mas, no fundo, ser atacado pelas autoridades não será o destino natural de um "bairro anarquista"?).

The Attack on Exarchia, an Anarchist Refuge in Athens, no New Yorker:

Throughout the winter, police repeatedly attacked Exarchia Square with tear gas and flash-bang grenades. Sometimes the pretext was a protest; other times, it was an attack by anarchists on the police. One night, police trapped residents inside a café for hours. On November 17th, after a march commemorating the 1973 uprising, social media lit up with photos of protesters left bloody by police violence. Three days later, the Ministry of Citizen Protection issued an ultimatum: squatters had fifteen days to evacuate every squat in Greece. By late December, only a handful of squats remained, the last survivors of a network that had once given thousands of refugees a home.

I thought of the words of an activist from Exarchia, when I asked him whether the government would succeed in fundamentally changing the neighborhood. “Exarchia is not just territory,” he answered. “Territory without people is nothing. I don’t care about losing Exarchia. I care about losing the people.”

O que é feito de Christiania?

O antigo bairro alternativo de Copenhaga, Dinamarca já não é o que era.

What happened to Christiania's dream of becoming Denmark's hippie paradise? (CNN)

Seen from a boat drifting along Copenhagen's wide canals, the neighborhood of Christiania is a verdant enclave tucked beneath a thick canopy of trees. Half a century after it was founded as a breakaway anarchist commune, it seems to have matured into a slice of paradise.

But all is not well in Christiania. While the hippie community still thrives today, it's beset by problems that threaten its identity and future -- an existential crisis variously blamed on intolerant local authorities, police, gentrification and, inevitably, tourists.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

O covid-19 e o controlo operário

Covid-19 struggles and workers' control, publicado pelo AngryWorkersWorld no

While many on the left waited around and asked the government to tell them what to do, many workers around the globe have taken limited, but real steps towards workers’ control. Spontaneous strikes have spread from car factories in Italy to Canada and the US; a series of call centre strikes erupted in Brazil; Amazon workers in Spain and France and New York walked out; public cleaners and mining workers are on strike in Peru; garment workers in Bangalore refuse to enter the factories without protective gear.

We can already see a politicisation within this short and global movement of the class.
The most immediate demands of workers on strike were to receive the right protection gear against Covid-19. But then many strikes went further than this, for example in the case of AvioAreo in Italy workers questioned whether their work – the production of aeroplane engines – is socially essential in these times. Workers at Ferrari did the same for obvious reasons.

Friday, April 17, 2020

A epidemia e a luta de classes à escala mundial (II)

Fever - Class struggle under pandemic, um site sobre os conflitos sociais desencadeados pela covid-19, em vários países.

A epidemia e a luta de classes à escala mundial (I)

Class Struggle in the Time of Coronavirus: An Incomplete Chronicle of Events (16-21 March), artigo da "Tendência Comunista Internacionalista" publicado no Libcom sobre os conflitos laborais originados pela covid-19.

Vaga grevista nos EUA (III)?

Um mapa interativo das greves (normalmente "selvagens") que tem ocorrido nos EUA a respeito do covid-19, normalmente com trabalhadores a exigirem equipamentos de proteção, ou até que o local de trabalho encerre enquanto a epidemia durar:

Vaga grevista nos EUA (II)?

Workers Launch Wave of Wildcat Strikes As Trump Pushes for ‘Return to Work’ Amidst Exploding Coronavirus (It's Going Down, via Libcom).

Monday, April 13, 2020


Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Vaga grevista nos EUA?

A epidemia da Covid-19 tem vindo acompanhada de uma onda de greves, muitas delas ilegais e/ou à margem dos aparelhos sindicais.

When Working Means Deadly Risk, Backlash Brews, por Josh Eidelson, na Bloomberg:

The coronavirus worker rebellion, inchoate as it is, is remarkable precisely because the U.S. in so many ways is set up to prevent such things from happening. Congress in 1935 passed a law guaranteeing workers the right to collectively bargain, strike, and protest, but riddled it with loopholes and limitations that, combined with a slew of economic transformations, technological innovations, corporate strategies, court rulings, and hostile laws, have rendered it a pretty empty promise. Workers who try to unionize can legally be forced to attend meetings where managers issue ominous “predictions” about what will ensue if they do. Workers who try to strike can often legally be “permanently replaced.” Usually, the most that managers have to fear if they fire an employee for organizing is perhaps having to reinstate that person eventually with back pay, and without having to pay punitive damages or accept personal liability.

The coronavirus hasn’t swept away workers’ fears that protesting could get them fired. But for a growing number, it’s helped to overcome them. At Instacart, where delivery workers are classified as independent contractors explicitly excluded from labor protections, the fear that refusing work could get you denied future shifts has kept many workers from participating in past protests, says strike leader Vanessa Bain. But the pandemic has changed the calculation: “It’s a lot easier for somebody to decide, ‘I can’t continue to shop, because if I get sick, my grandparents are going to get sick.’”

The crisis is emboldening workers in other ways, too. It’s trained a spotlight on the companies that still get to operate while everything else shuts down, and the workers that allow them to. That means harsher scrutiny from the public, politicians, and the press on businesses that seem to fall short of their duty, and a widespread valorization of the “essential” service and logistics workers who are often ignored. In periods like this, says University of California at Santa Barbara historian Nelson Lichtenstein, “they demand recognition, and society is giving it to them—and why isn’t their employer?”

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

O plot twist

Há uns meses[1] alguém escrevia que se a situação mundial[2] fosse uma série do Netflix, seria como um penúltimo episódio em que toda a gente está a pensar "isto é demasiado complicado - não vão conseguir resolver isto tudo só em mais um episódio".

O que ninguém estava à espera era do plot twist[3].

[1] Por acaso até pensava que fosse um post mais recente, mas afinal era de agosto de 2019, ainda antes da vaga de protestos no Chile, no Equador, na Bolívia, no Iraque, no Líbano, etc. (creio que na altura só Hong Kong estava em ebulição)

[2] Em rigor, o autor falava da situação política mundial,  mas o plot twist, não tendo diretamente  ver com política, acabou por "resolver"/suspender/fazer ignorar grande parte das questões políticas que se estavam a viver

[3] Finalmente, eu diria que, se isto fosse o plot twist a encerrar uma série televisiva , era um bocado fraquinho no sentido de parecer uma solução muito "mas isto surge do nada, sem aparente ligação com os episódios anteriores??? Estes argumentistas inventaram um enredo tão complicado que foi a única maneira de o resolverem? Isto é pior que o Lost!", tipo gainax ending (mas penso que houve pelo menos uma telenovela brasileira que resolveu os problemas no enredo de uma maneira parecida, embora aí não para a finalizar mas a meio da história).

Monday, April 06, 2020

Em vez de isolar os grupos de risco, porque não fazer o contrário?

Este post de Robin Hanson, Variolation (+ Isolation) May Cut Covid19 Deaths 3-30X (via Tyler Cowen, que não concorda com a ideia), faz-me pensar que a melhor abordagem à Covid-19, enquanto não se desenvolve uma vacina, talvez seja, nem exatamente a quarentena generalizada nem a tal ideia de isolar os grupos de risco (que devem ser para aí quase metade da população, incluindo eu), mas sim isolar em comunidades (estritamente fechadas) grupos de voluntários de baixo risco (em pequenos números, para os poucos casos graves que se desenvolvessem não fazerem grande peso no sistema de saúde), deixá-los infetarem-se uns aos outros e quando se curassem "libertá-los na natureza", isto deixá-los sair com um "certificado de imunidade" que lhes permitisse andar na rua e trabalhar à vontade (e ir admitindo novos voluntários ao mesmo ritmo que os já existentes se forem curando).

[A minha ideia difere da de Robin Hanson num aspeto - ele parece fazer um distinção entre infeção por uma dose grande e infecção por uma dose pequena, e os "Hotéis de Heróis" iriam incentivar apenas a infecção por doses pequenas; na minha ideia não há qualquer distinção entre uma coisa e outra]

Editado: uma relevância da diferença entre a minha ideia e a de Hanson é que à minha não se aplicam as criticas feitas nestes comentários (isto é, não se aplicam no sentido de não puderem dizer que se está a usar um termo obscuro para esconder a verdadeira natureza da ideia; na minha sugestão está mais que explícito que estamos a falar de infeção intencional):


Did you ever read up on rabies vaccine?

Variolation - not as described by Hanson but as described by everyone else: drying smallpox scabs for about a week or so.

First dead virus vaccine: drying infectious tissue (from a rabbit) for a week or so.

Come on. Why in the world do you and Hanson jump from actual variolation to this idea of simply giving people the actual fully potent live virus?
Can someone please help me understand why the term 'variolation' is being used? Tyler, in this post, seems to use it to mean intentional infection, like parents having a chicken pox party for their kids when someone got infected in the neighborhood. That's not variolation, that's intentional exposure at a time when the virus is very likely to be relatively harmless.

Variolation refers specifically to exposing people to an a mild form of variola (small pox). There are two forms of variola that infect humans, variola minor (as the name suggests, much less dangerous) and variola major. Immunity from one confers immunity to the other. Variolation was the controlled exposure of variola minor to individuals who were then isolated until they were no longer infectious, thus protecting them from variola major.

There is functionally one form of CoV-SARS-2. There is ZERO evidence that a smaller initial dose of virus leads to a milder form of illness. The people proposing this are engaging in wishful thinking, and revealing their profound ignorance.

Let's call this what it is - intentional infection. Dressing it up with an archaic medical term that doesn't apply makes it seem like a much more reasonable idea than it is.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

O que é talvez o maior problema com o teletrabalho

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Ideologia, psicologia e a atitude face ao Covid-19

The Coronavirus and the Conservative Mind, por Ross Douthat (New York Times):

Both the crude and sophisticated efforts tended to agree, though, that the supposed conservative mind is more attuned to external threat and internal contamination, more inclined to support authority and hierarchy, and fear subversion and dissent. And so the political responses to the pandemic have put these psychological theories to a very interesting test.

In the coronavirus, America confronts a contaminating force (a deadly disease) that originated in our leading geopolitical rival (an external threat) and that plainly requires a strong, even authoritarian government response. If there was ever a crisis tailored to the conservative mind-set, surely it would be this one, with the main peril being that conservatives would wildly overreact to such a trigger (...).

From the Wuhan outbreak through somewhere in mid-February, the responses to the coronavirus did seem to correspond — very roughly — to theories of conservative and liberal psychology. Along with infectious-disease specialists, the people who seemed most alarmed by the virus included the inhabitants of Weird Right-Wing Twitter (a collection of mordant, mostly anonymous accounts interested in civilizational decline), various Silicon Valley eccentrics, plus original-MAGA figures like Mike Cernovich and Steve Bannon. (The radio host Michael Savage, often considered the most extreme of the right’s talkers, was also an early alarmist.)

Meanwhile, liberal officialdom and its media appendages were more likely to play down the threat, out of fear of giving aid and comfort to sinophobia or populism.(...)

But then, somewhere in February, the dynamic shifted. As the disease spread and the debate went mainstream, liberal opinion mostly abandoned its anti-quarantine posture and swung toward a reasonable panic, while conservative opinion divided, with a large portion of the right following the lead of Trump himself, who spent crucial weeks trying to wish the crisis away. Where figures like Bannon and Cernovich manifested a conservatism attuned to external perils, figures like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity manifested a conservatism of tribal denial, owning the libs by minimizing the coronavirus threat. (...)

But the right’s varying responses to the pandemic also illustrate two further points. The first point is that what we call “American conservatism” is probably more ideologically and psychologically heterogeneous than the conservative mind-set that social scientists aspire to measure and pin down. In particular, it includes an incredibly powerful streak of what you might call folk libertarianism — which comes in both highbrow and middlebrow forms, encompassing both famous legal scholars predicting minimal fatalities from their armchairs and “you can’t stop the American economy … for anything” tough guys attacking social distancing on Twitter.

This mentality, with its reflexive Ayn Randism and its Panglossian hyper-individualism, is definitely essential to understanding part of the American right. But it’s very much an American thing unto itself, and I’m doubtful that it corresponds to any universal set of psychological tendencies that we could reasonably call conservative.

The second point is that on the fringes of the right, among QAnon devotees and believers in the satanic depravity of liberalism, the only psychology that matters is paranoia, not conservatism. And their minimizing response to the coronavirus illustrates the unwillingness of the conspiratorial mind to ever take yes for an answer — meaning that even true events that seem to vindicate a somewhat paranoid worldview will be dismissed as not true enough, not the deepest truth, not the Grandest of All Grand Conspiracies that will someday (someday) be unraveled.
Mesmo em Portugal, parece-me ter havido uma evolução semelhantes: nos primeiros dias da epidemia, era o Chega a querer mudar a Constituição para permitir internamentos compulsivos, e depois, pelo menos no Facebook e no Twitter, era sobretudo os opinadores de direita que mais reclamavam que o governo não estava a fazer nada, que não fechava as escolas, etc. (inclusivament cheguei a assistir a uma discussão na página de Facebook de um "amigo" de direita em que alguém - já mais alinhado com os ventos vindos das Américas - se queixava que a direita portuguesa andava em "contra-ciclo", toda preocupada com o vírus em vez de desmascarar a fraude). Em compensação, era na esquerda que se via mais discursos de combater o alarmismo (um exemplo foi quando a Diretora-Geral da Saúde revelou que era possível que um milhão de pessoas fosse contaminada; parece-me que foi sobretudo da esquerda que surgiram as vozes contra o "alarmismo", uns a criticar a diretora, outros a criticar o jornal que destacou isso na notícia).

Entretanto, depois de uma espécie de quarentena entrar em vigor, a situação inverteu-se e agora é na direita que se ouvem as vozes a dizer que vai morrer mais gente do colapso económico do que da doença, que se deveria apostar na imunidade de grupo ou no isolamento vertical, que o número de mortes está a ser inflacionado, que se calhar já quase toda a gente apanhou a doença e já ficou imune, etc.