Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Copenhagen estimate that close to 40% of multinational profits (more than $700 billion in 2017) are shifted to tax havens each year. This shifting reduces corporate income tax revenue by more than $200 billion, or 10% of global corporate tax receipts.
Historically, in Europe the commons was not a major affair. The lands that the lords and abbots set aside for the use of their serfs amounted to not much more than a sop to encourage their continuing subservience. In some areas it played a bigger role than in others, but all over Europe, the peasants were in constant upheaval trying to get out from under the thumb of the landlords. As towns emerged and guilds of skilled craftspeople developed in the early Middle Ages, prospects of more autonomy enticed peasants to the towns.
It may be stretching the historic record to say the guilds offered another world of possibility for the peasants. What we can say is that the growing opposition of workers to the rise of industrial capitalism in the 19th Century looked back several centuries and saw it that way.
IN CAPITAL IS DEAD, McKenzie Wark asks: What if we’re not in capitalism anymore but something worse? The question is provocative, sacrilegious, unsettling as it forces anti-capitalists to confront an unacknowledged attachment to capitalism. Communism was supposed to come after capitalism and it’s not here, so doesn’t that mean we are still in capitalism?