Loblaws responds to “greed”; Biden’s security strategy continues trend of US global hegemony; UK’s Liz Truss resigns as Prime Minister; Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Ideology – The Brock Press

Photo by: Brenden Cowan

Haytham Nawaz

CANADA: LOBLAWS PRICE FREEZE AND NDP INQUIRY ON GROCERY

Food prices have skyrocketed over the past year.

In light of soaring prices, Loblaws recently froze prices for its no-name products. Loblaws Chairman and President Galen Weston Jr. announced that “to help Canadians curb food inflation, we are focusing on what is within our control.” Weston says the inflation is not the conglomerate’s doing, but the result of higher price demands from suppliers. Meanwhile, Loblaws’ second-quarter earnings rose 2.9%, or $356 million, from earnings in the same quarter a year earlier.

This excuse is not new to frustrated consumers.

Oligopolies like Loblaws claim that supply chain issues are the reason prices are the way they are, when in reality it is a matter of monopolization. It’s also probably no coincidence that this price freeze comes just as the NDP’s motion to investigate rising grocery prices, aka “greed,” passed unanimously. among members of the House of Commons. This means the Liberal government is being asked on a non-binding basis to question big food companies through a range of methods.

With recent interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada, prices may start to come down on their own. Yet this survey is important because it will reveal the problems associated with not breaking up large grocery conglomerates.

UNITED STATES: BIDEN’S NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY PLACES CHINA AND RUSSIA AS THE MAIN THREATS TO THE STATE

The United States Congress has mandated a document that recently emerged from the White House called the “National Security Strategy” (NSS) that continues a nearly decade-long trend of placing China as the states’ greatest threat. .

The document presents a popular split at the moment in light of the war in Ukraine, that of the democratic west against the autocratic east. Biden’s document worries about China’s power on the world stage and, instead of offering a less hegemonic and expansive alternative foreign policy framework, says the US will continue to try to compete with expansion Chinese.

In “Part III” of the document, Biden outlines ways to “compete” with China and “restrain” Russia. This is just further proof of America’s existential need to dominate the world. Now that the Soviet Union is irrelevant, other imperial countries – which are undoubtedly problematic in their own right – are presented as bogeymen from which the United States will liberate the world.

INTERNATIONAL: LIZ TRUSS RESIGNS, THE UNITED KINGDOM CELEBRATES

Liz Truss ascended to the executive cabinet as Prime Minister of the UK in early September and, just 44 days into her term, resigned as the Tories have been in a relentless scandal over Truss’s reckless budget proposals that cut the main business taxes.

At a time of high inflation and disrupted global supply chains, cutting corporation tax without a refund plan is sure to send negative press to the Tories.

Truss also ran on the promise to approve more than 100 new oil drilling licenses, although renewable wind power alternatives are cheaper. Notably, some of Truss’s campaign donors included a pro-fracking group as well as a former Brexit MEP who claimed climate change was a “religion”.

As the now former Prime Minister walks away from Parliament, Britain’s working class may be able to catch their breath, if only for a moment, as speculation over Boris Johnson’s return to the executive seat is in the air.

THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS: THE IDEOLOGY OF ŽIŽEK

Slavoj Žižek is probably the best-known “communist” in the Western world. His books have sold well around the world and clips of him regularly attract a large following on YouTube.

Ideology is a notion that acquires a philosophical value felt in the canon thanks to the works of Karl Marx, whose famous critique of capital produced the main formula of ideology in continental thought for a century: “they don’t know it , but they do. ”

Marx’s conception of ideology separates the intentional thought behind an action from the reality of the action itself. It does this because when people engage in the market they don’t exchange commodities such as money, coke, canapes and whatever else paying attention to the heterogeneous processes of labor who created these goods, but paying attention to homogeneous abstract values. of the objectified labor time embodied in the commodity, which manifests itself in the price.

The Marxist gesture of ideological criticism therefore always consists in lifting the veil on the gap between idealist intentionality and the material actuality of the actions of the subjects.

Žižek both problematizes and rectifies Marxist theory of ideology by asserting that there are literally nothing apart from ideology. Using the work of psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, Žižek shows how the symbolic order AKA ideology, or the big Other, is necessary to establish intersubjective relationships. He rejects the idea that by completely covering the gap between one’s intention and the raw reality of one’s actions, one can live in a post-ideological world without exploitation. One can instead establish new axioms, or in Lacan, master signifiers, to build an ideological edifice that replaces the hegemony of capital over the symbolic universe.

Whether this new ideology is called communism, socialism, anarchism or whatever, it will necessarily rely on ideological fantasies to function according to Žižek.

Therefore, the left should embrace the do of ideology, the ideal-material gap it creates, instead of trying to overcome it or go beyond it.

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