Author: Jason Schulman

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.

review

What I Saw at the (Political) Revolution

ImageThis memoir of sorts by Fordham University sociology professor Heather Gautney, who became a policy fellow in Bernie Sanders’ Washington DC office and a volunteer researcher and organizer for his unexpectedly popular 2016 presidential campaign, has a very specific focus: to “offer insights from up-close work with Bernie, mixed in with historical and sociological analysis, to perform an autopsy of the 2016 election” (2). Given the sheer number of insightless (to put it mildly) autopsies that have been proffered across the political spectrum—perhaps none more useless than Hillary Clinton’s own What Happened (Simon & Schuster, 2017)—Gautney’s book is more than welcome and even slightly overdue.

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.

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.

review

Socialism or Ecocide

      Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to Capitalist Catastrophe, while excellent and valuable in its own right, isn’t quite the introduction to “green Marxism” that one might have expected. Michael Löwy is a veteran for decades of the democratic revolutionary left in France and a frequent contributor to New Politics.

It's Still Fried Ice: On "Market Socialism"

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In “Our Road to Power,” an article from the most recent issue of Jacobin, Vivek Chibber makes some very familiar arguments about socialism and “central planning.” One hardly has to quote him—they’ve been repeated many times since Alec Nove’s The Economics of Feasible Socialism appeared in 1983.

Bolshevism, Real and Imagined: A Reply to Mitchell Cohen

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The greatest flaw of Mitchell Cohen’s “What Lenin’s Critics Got Right” in the most recent Dissent is that it repeats what Lars T. Lih, independent researcher and author of Lenin Rediscovered:‘What Is To Be Done’ In Context (Haymarket, 2008) and a biography of Lenin (Reaktion Books, 2011), calls the “standard textbook interpretation” of Lenin’s thought and, by extension, Bolshevism as a movement.

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.

The Popular Front: the Deadest of Dead-End Strategies

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A few days ago, Paul Krehbiel—a member of the Committees of Correspondence, an organization with roots in a split from the Communist Party USA in 1991—had an essay posted on Portside entitled "United and Popular Front: Lessons from 1935-2017."

Organizing Against Trump: An Interview

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Jason Schulman is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, co-editor of New Politics, and author of Neoliberal Labour Governments and the Union Response (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

He spoke to Workers’ Liberty about the challenges facing the left in America under Donald Trump's presidency.

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.

review

Blueprints for the Future

Designing Socialism is a complete reprint, as an e-book, of the special April 2012 issue of the American academic Marxist journal Science & Society. It continues that publication’s tradition of providing, as stated by its usual editor David Laibman, “a major worldwide pulse-taking of the state of play in theoretical socialism” every April of the years ending in “2” in every decade (Campbell, ed., 7).

Bogdan Denitch

ImagePerhaps ironically, shortly after writing the following memorial for Arthur Lipow, longtime New Politics sponsor Bogdan Denitch died on March 28 at the age of 86.

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.

review

What Is This Thing Called Leninism?

First, allow me to come clean: I count Paul Le Blanc as a friend and comrade and am in his debt—along with Peter Hudis, author of Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism (Haymarket, 2013)—for inviting me to join the editorial board of the Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg being published by Verso Books. And I am in agreement with many of the positions on politics and historical matters that Le Blanc expresses in Unfinished Leninism.

Bernie Sanders and the Dilemma 
of the Democratic “Party”

ImageSome months ago I responded to a piece that appeared on the New Politics blog by my longtime fellow NP editorial board member and friend Barry Finger.1 In my own blog, I argued that Barry had a better, more sophisticated understanding of the peculiarities of the Democratic Party and the U.S.

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.

Jeremy Corbyn versus the Third Way

A development which no one expected now appears inevitable. Barring either otherwordly intervention or old-fashioned political dirty tricks, Jeremy Corbyn, long on the left wing of the British Labour Party, is slated to become that party's new leader.

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And the rabidly pro-capitalist heirs of long-gone "New Labour" leader Tony Blair, as well as the traditional right wing of the Labour Party, are absolutely apoplectic.

On Critical Theory, Value Theory, and So-Called Traditional Marxism

ImageWerner Bonefeld, Critical Theory and the Critique of Political Economy: On Subversion and Negative Reason, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014, 246 pp.

The Sanders Campaign and the Democratic “Party”

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I appreciate the nonsectarian tone of the piece on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign by my longtime fellow New Politics editorial board member and friend Barry Finger. I think he has a better, more sophisticated understanding of the peculiarities of the Democratic Party (DP) and the U.S. electoral system than do many on the radical left that refuse to support any DP candidate regardless of that candidate’s personal political platform. However, I think that Barry still suffers from certain misunderstandings regarding just how different the big two U.S. political parties are from political parties that exist anywhere else in the world, and this means there are defects in his suggestions as to how left-wing socialists should relate to the Sanders campaign.

Remembering Marshall Berman

Marshall BermanThe death of Marshall Berman—City University of New York political theory professor, author of books including the seminal All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity, Dissent editorial board member, and one-time professor of mine—caught me quite by surprise, as I’m sure it did many.  I’d last seen him in person at a Dissent holiday party and last talked to him on the phone some months ago.  Alth

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