For Qassem Ali, the conflict began in his childhood and continues to this day. A couple of weeks ago, Qassem fled Gaza, leaving behind his mother and sister, a house that has been destroyed for the third time, and the bodies of his relatives, who have been lying in the rubble for a month and a half now.
Healthcare is a part of critical infrastructure. In addition to being necessary for preventing social collapse, its adequate maintenance is very important for treating injured soldiers and civilians, thus allowing for the reduction of losses during war. Furthermore, in the long term perspective, medical professionals will leave Ukraine, especially with the new possibilities for integration created for Ukrainian refugees in western countries. This will make the rebuilding of Ukraine very difficult.
In this presentation for the Kombinatas 2023 festival, Ian Parker analyses the Psy professions (psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis etc.) and presents some of the progressive and even anti-psy alternatives to the established psy-practices.
Political Economist Jeffrey Sommers: on Baltic Inflation, Protecting Rich Grannies and Bending EU Fiscal Rules
But the other thing that property taxes do is take housing prices down. Every family, every household has a certain amount of money for housing – that’s the money they have for it and they won’t have more. And somebody is going to get that money. It’s either going to the state, in part through taxation, and will be used for kindergartens, healthcare, national defense, paving roads, all these things that are actually productive and help people and the economy. Or it can go to banks. As the property tax goes down, the housing price goes up because there’s more money available for the purchase of a property. Banks love that, because that means larger mortgages, larger fees, larger commissions and more debt service payments. The argument that you’ll get from the banks and the real estate sector as to why this is a bad idea is that they’re protecting grandma.
“There are more sustainable ways of protest, we don’t want anti-war activists in jail. We need them active in the underground partisan movement. The main point of the anti-war movement inside Russia right now is to push away the moment when you get arrested as much as possible, so as to stay free and active, using other strategies than going to street protests openly.”
Reaction to the cost-of-living crisis runs into cultural, political and economic specificities of CEE: low levels of trust between people, lack of organising tradition, and difficult relationships with trade unions (which are always on the defensive). However, recently, there have been unprecedented successes in linking environmental issues to demands of trade unions. Public discourse is slowly shifting from anti-communist rhetoric to blaming oligarchs, although any major change is yet to come. On the other hand, trade unions are weak and are used to very low demands. Meanwhile, the far-right raises more ambitious demands (e.g., energy to everyone and good relations with Russia to secure the gas supply) and hijacks the left/progressive agenda.
Currently, the public discourse around mental health is severely underdeveloped. For example, conversations around mental health tend to focus only on the personal responsibility of the individual. By contrast, Extinction Rebellion’s call for collective action goes beyond urging individuals to recycle and use less plastic. Likewise, the public discourse on mental health should go beyond urging individuals to think positively, take yoga classes, eat healthily, exercise more, and so forth. Mental health illnesses do not appear in a vacuum. No mental illness was caused by a lack of yoga. The narrative of the public mental health has to become systemic.
Inhabitants of Písnice, a neighbourhood built on the outskirts of Prague in the mid-1980s, lost more than just a political fight. They lost their homes, friends, and communities. However, there are several lessons to be learned from this, regarding both the socialist past and the post-socialist capitalist present.
Hatred towards AirBnB is not unique for Prague. In many cities around the world, people and municipalities are trying to impose control measures on short-term rentals. However, AirBnB is not only about short-term rentals anymore. It is an obvious proof of how the capitalist economic logic functions in the city: housing is for sale, not for fulfilling human needs. Those who can afford it, can live; those who cannot, must leave to the outskirts.