Author: Nancy Holmstrom

Nancy Holmstrom is Professor Emeritus and former chair of the Philosophy Department at Rutgers University, and a member of the boards of the Left Forum and the Daniel Singer Millennium Prize Foundation. With Joanna Brenner, she most recently co-authored “Socialist Feminist Strategy Today” in the Socialist Register 2013.

Rosa Luxemburg’s Legacy for Feminism

Many people who know something about Rosa Luxemburg would be surprised to hear the name of this talk: They know Luxemburg as the author of the brilliant pamphlets The Mass Strike and Reform or Revolution; they know that she debated . . .

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From the Editors

Pessimism and optimism vie for our feelings as we survey the world and national scene. We are deeply disheartened by the continuing reports on climate change, driven largely by the coal and oil industries, most recently a report . . .

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From the Editors

One need not be a Christian or religious at all to feel that the human race, if it does not change its behavior, seems to be heading toward an apocalypse, toward the destruction of the planet and human life.

From the Editors

After protests and occupations temporarily shut down ICE offices, Donald Trump suffered a significant political defeat when he was forced to reverse himself on separating immigrant children from their parents after they were arrested at the border. By and large, people were horrified at the separation of kids from their families and at the creation of what were basically prison camps for children. Polls showed that only about a quarter of the U.S. population supported Trump on this child-hostage policy, though about half of Republicans did.

Democracy and Ecological Crisis

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Last fall 15,000 scientists issued a second dire notice to humanity that we are on a collision course with the limits of our planet. They concluded, “To prevent widespread misery, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual,” including “reassess[ing]… the role of an economy rooted in growth.” That means that we have to challenge capitalism; there is no capitalism without growth. Rosa Luxemburg’s statement on the eve of World War I that the choice is between socialism or barbarism was never more true. But today our struggle is about our very existence.

Developing Marx’s Mode of Production Theory

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It is not surprising that Karl Marx is having a comeback today, after the 2008 financial crisis, the growing awareness of capitalism’s propensity to crises and ecological problems, and the fact that global inequality has increased to an obscene degree – all of which Marx foresaw.

On the 150th Anniversary of Marx’s Das Kapital

Exploitation and Modes of Production

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The mode-of-production concept that Marx develops in Capital (although the idea is present earlier) is the essential methodological tool for understanding history, different societies, and the possibilities for social change.

From the Editors

We wish our readers a Happy New Year, though we know that you take little joy in it, politically speaking. If we take no joy, we do sometimes find humor in President Donald J. Trump’s proclamations by Twitter, such as his claim that he is a “stable genius.” The current debate revolves around which of those two words is more ridiculous.

From the Editors

Since Donald Trump has taken up residence in the White House, the country has faced a series of political controversies, a barrage of right-wing legislative and regulatory initiatives, a growing far-right movement, but also a broadening resistance from various sectors of society.

TIAA Accused of Land Grabs, Human Rights Violations, Environmental Destruction

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No one wants their retirement to be financed by companies involved in human rights violations and environmental destruction. But that is exactly what is happening to those of us with retirement funds invested in TIAA.

From the Editors

The inauguration of Donald Trump as the president of the United States opens what we fear will be one of the darkest and most dangerous periods in American history since the founding of this journal in 1961.

Women's March 2017: The Birth Of a New Women's Movement (?)

ImageI came back when the Women’s March in D.C. exhausted but thrilled, convinced that we are seeing the birth of a new women’s movement. Hearing about all the other Women’s Marches around the world only confirmed that impression. The size, the inclusiveness, the defiant but good-humored spirit and the progressive politics make me very optimistic.

Trump Takes Office, Resistance Takes to the Streets

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Donald Trump takes office  on January 20, setting up the most right-wing, racist government in modern American history, but he will not go unchallenged. That challenge is already in motion.

Feminisms of the Left

ImageThis essay was originally a talk at the conference held at the New School for Social Research on April 21-22, 2016.

From the Editors

We have had an extraordinary presidential primary in 2016: in addition to the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, we have an authoritarian demagogue, Donald Trump, who has unleashed a reactionary rage which harkens back to fascism, and another, Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist.

From the Editors

In this issue we are proud to present a previously unpublished lecture by C.L.R. James, the noted Afro-Caribbean Marxist intellectual. His discussion of Oliver Cox’s book Caste, Class, and Race, first published in 1948, brings an historic Black socialist voice to illuminate some of the issues that face our own times and the demand that Black Lives Matter.

NYC Day of Climate Protests a Step Forward

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The last protest of the day of the New York City Climate Protests was at a Broadway theatre where Gov. Cuomo was scheduled to attend.  It was a spirited demonstration complete with a little orchestra and playful costumes focused on persuading Cuomo to veto the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas  (LNG) plant off the coast of Long Island right near JFK airport. Opponents argue that it is very dangerous security risk, terrible for the environment, and would kill the chance for a 700-megawatt wind farm that would create 17,000 local jobs.

Debt Forgiveness: Who Owes Whom for What?

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The lion’s share of indebtedness in this world is invalid and immoral. Forgiveness is not what is called for; it’s liberation.

Talk of a “debt jubilee” leaves open whether the debts are valid or not, but talking about debt forgiveness raises the question of whether a debt is valid from a moral point of view.

The Left and the Environment

ImageI am especially excited about the theme of this year’s conference because it represents what I think is a historic advance in left thinking. In all the years of the Left Forum, not to mention the Socialist Scholars Conference before it, plenary speakers have addressed a huge range of left topics from a variety of perspectives. Certainly the ongoing economic crisis has received a great deal of our attention and must continue to.

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