By IBL team.

A new podcast series aims to provide an overall view of the historical development of the capitalist system – a ‘people’s history’ of the world.

Trademark Belfast is the anti-sectarian unit of the Irish labour movement, which has carried out political education for trade unionists and workers for almost three decades.

Since its inception, Trademark has functioned as a roving community and workers’ college, delivering core trade union education courses in addition to bespoke political economy programmes that were developed in the aftermath of the 2007/08 financial crisis.

Over the past decade, Trademark has been working to embed radical political education in the British and Irish trade union movements, with the aim of developing a cohort of trade union activists that are equipped with the tools to understand, analyse and critique the system as well as advance progressive alternatives.

Political economy education during the pandemic

Trademark has a general podcast on that features episodes about current politics and political economy, and a blog that it runs in partnership with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation’s EU office, In Historical Thunder and Lightning: Post-Brexit Europe.

During the pandemic lockdown, the Trademark team has produced a special series on ‘A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’, featuring Stiofán Ó Nualláin, Sean Byers and Mel Corry.

Have a listen at the links below.

‘A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’ – Part One

An overview of the purpose of the series, and the development of Trademark’s political education course in the wake of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. The panel discuss the historical forces that contributed to the transition from feudalism to the capitalist system, starting with the European-wide Great Famine of 1315.

‘A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’ – Part Two

This episode focuses on the period of primitive accumulation, the Industrial Revolution, the creation of the working class, and the rise of European colonialism.

‘A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’ – Part Three

The third part of the series wanders through the history of capitalism taking in Fordist mass production, the Bolshevik Revolution and the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

‘A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’ – Part Four

This episode examines the aftermath of the 1929 Crash – the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and the New Deal in the United States, “and how John Wayne won World War 2 (or how the Soviet Union out-produced Nazi Germany and crushed them at the Battle of Kursk)”.

A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’ – Part Five

Part Five looks at the Golden Period of capitalism – the three decades following the end of Word War 2 – the welfare state compromise, the Bretton-Woods monetary system and the historical blip that was ‘social democracy’.

‘A Worker’s Guide to Historical Capitalism’ – Part Six

The latest – but not the final – installation in the series goes through the oil crash of 1973 and the rise of the global neoliberal movement beginning with the coup in Chile the same year, the end of the Bretton-Woods system and Thatcherism in Britain.

See Trademark Belfast’s podcast home page on here. Follow them on Twitter @TrademarkBF.

Top image: One of the series documenting child labour in the early 20th century in the US by photographer Lewis Hine.

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