Category Archives: labour

Reading Capital 2 on a containership

8 February 2015 You begin to realise how much Marx actually crafted his writing when you compare Capital I to Capital II.  The former is beautifully edited, funny, extensively footnoted, erudite, and with a gorgeous narrative structure that inexorably push … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, labour, political economy, readings, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

Une Année Sans Lumiere: Encounters before Suez Canal

7 February 2015 15.00 Last night I was invited by the Filipino crew members to one of the crew members’ birthday party. He is an engine -fitter and he will be turning 40 tomorrow.  The crew recreation room unsurprisingly had … Continue reading

Posted in labour, Middle East, militaries, the sea, Travels | Leave a comment

Marsaxlokk-Jabal-Ali: Besotted with the sea

6 February 2015 “For a ship is a bit of terra firma cut off from the main; it is a state in itself; and the captain is its king.” (Melville, White-Jacket – did Conrad plagiarise Melville as I often think … Continue reading

Posted in Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, infrastructure, labour, literature, logistics, Melville, ports, readings, the sea | 2 Comments

Grace: Departing Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali:  At last at sea 5 February 2015 11.00 Occasionally in the night, the ship bumps against the berth and that is when one remembers that one is not on solid ground. I can’t wait for our ship to … Continue reading

Posted in labour, political economy, ports, readings, shipping conditions, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

Sha’bi cosmopolitanisms

There is very little that is original in this post, but I want to put it down anyway, because the affects of this moment are lovely; something that I want to remember when I think about so much that is … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, labour, Middle East, ports, the sea | 2 Comments

Stand-Up Beer Hall

Stand-Up Beer Hall Walter Benjamin Sailors seldom come ashore ; service on the high seas is a holiday by comparison with the labour in harbours, where loading and unloading must often be done day and night. When a gang is then given a … Continue reading

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Train whistles and futures

I am reading two books simultaneously through both of which trains rattle and whistle and snake…  But which in some ways are as different as they can be.  Bill Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis is a panoramic history of the making of Chicago in the … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, environment, finance and insurance, infrastructure, labour, literature, political economy, transport | Leave a comment