Category Archives: political economy

A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes: The factory at sea

9 February 2015 20.00 “Going forward and glancing over the weather bow, [… the] prospect was unlimited, but exceedingly monotonous and forbidding; not the slightest variety that I could see.” Herman Melville, Moby Dick For the next few days, we … Continue reading

Posted in Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, labour, literature, Melville, Middle East, political economy, readings, seafaring, shipping conditions, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

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

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

On Battleship Hill

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali; On Military Logistics in the Age of Philip II 4 February 2015 What becomes clear in reading Braudel’s vol II about war-making is the extent to which your martial power really depends on your economic ability to supply … Continue reading

Posted in militaries, political economy, readings, war | Leave a comment

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali: Surmises

How will I ever be able to return to life, “circumspect life” in Melville’s words, after that, the “delirious throb” of this research adventure? In his gorgeous opening to Moby Dick, Melville writes, “whenever it is a damp, drizzly November … Continue reading

Posted in Allan Sekula, logistics, Melville, political economy, the sea, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

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

Posted in capital accumulation, labour, political economy, ports, readings, seafaring, shipping conditions, the sea | Leave a comment

More on London canals

I have written lovingly of London’s canals before. I just want to briefly write out something else I have discovered which ties in nicely with the whole infrastructure thing. Today I spent an hour or so in the London Canal … Continue reading

Posted in infrastructure, political economy, transport | Leave a comment