Category: Intellectual History
review

The Democratic Quest: Marxism Versus Liberalism

In a recent interview for the Minneapolis Interview Project, August Nimtz asserted that “to exercise political power, we must impose our will through collective action.”* In his new work, Nimtz says much the same when he writes, “If . . .

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review

Questions for the International Left

In anxious anticipation of the Brexit referendum, then U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron summed up the philosophy of politics that drives him and so many who occupy the command posts of power: “I divide the world into team . . .

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review

A Radical New Politics of Surrogacy?

Sophie Lewis’ new book Full Surrogacy Now, published by Verso, has gotten a lot of attention in left media circles. Lewis was interviewed on Jacobin Radio’s The Dig Read more ›

From the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to Black Lives Matter

On SNCC’s 60th Anniversary

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee began as an organization of students from black colleges in the South to integrate lunch counters that refused service to blacks. The tactic they used was the nonviolent direct action sit-in. What began . . .

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Anti-colonialism and Humanism

Anti-colonialism is understood to be both a group of historical events and a critical analysis of past and ongoing imperialisms.

Are You a Settler?

Settler-colonialism, Capitalism and Marxism on Turtle Island

The politics of solidarity on display during the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline have raised the issue of Indigenous liberation more and more sharply to people on the left.

The Historical Retrieval and Controversy of Walter Rodney’s Russian Revolution

The posthumous publication of Walter Rodney’s book on the historiography of the Russian Revolution is a remarkable accomplishment of historical retrieval, and it provides us with an opportunity to look more deeply into Rodney’s relationship to Marxism, Soviet . . .

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Writing an Obituary for Neocons

The New York Times obituary of neocon historian Gertrude Himmelfarb shows why  neoconservatives remain a potent political force in U.S. politics: many liberals can’t imagine a socialist challenge to capitalism that doesn’t apologize for authoritarianism.
The NYT’s sentimental gloss of Himmelfarb’s . . .

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Where Is Iranian Socialist-Humanist Intellectual, Yashar Darolshafa?

On Thursday November 21, five days after the outbreak of a popular uprising against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Yashar Darolshafa was violently arrested by government authorities at a friend’s home and taken away. Since then, family and friends have . . .

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Noel Ignatiev, 1940–2019

A Life Defined by Political Engagement

This article by John Garvey on the late Noel Ignatiev was originally posted by The Brooklyn Rail as an introduction to a piece by Ignatiev on Frederick Douglass. Given Ignatiev’s importance as a writer on race and class in the . . .

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Review: The Permanent Guillotine

Mitchell Abidor, ed. and trans. The Permanent Guillotine: Writings of the Sans-Culottes. Oakland: PM Press, 2018.

Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary Life

Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy is very live, very relevant, and very contested. One of the ways to understand this particular political valence is to see her not only as an exceptional individual, which she surely was, but also as . . .

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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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Rosa Luxemburg and the Necessity of Anti-Imperialism for Revolutionary Socialism

Today prominent political leaders are calling themselves socialists, but even if the terms “socialist” and “democratic socialism” are being used, it is often unclear what exactly is meant by these terms and what kind of political projects they embody. In . . .

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Is a Revolutionary Rupture with Capitalism Possible?

For too long, the radical left has framed debates about reform and revolution in terms bequeathed to us from an era very unlike our own. At the expense of soberly and concretely analyzing the conditions socialists face today in advanced . . .

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“Is the New Deal Socialism?” by Norman Thomas

Norman Thomas was the most prominent spokesperson for the Socialist Party of America in the 1930s and 1940s. He ran six times for president on the SP ballot line. Recently, an article by Seth Ackerman of Jacobin magazine argued that . . .

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Rosa Luxemburg Symposium

Rosa Luxemburg’s Legacy
Rosa Luxemburg was a brilliant Polish/German revolutionary socialist theorist and political activist. Thoroughly committed to socialism from below, she believed in the necessity of radical class struggle principally in order to build the experience and capacities of the working . . .

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To the Arab Readers of “Marx at the Margins”

Published as “Letter to My Arab Readers” for the new translation into Arabic, Cairo: Arweqa Institution for Studies, Translation, and Publishing, 2019, translated by Hisham Rouhana.

Discrediting Charges of Authoritarianism and Violence-Worship in Marx’s Worldview

This blog post is based on a presentation on chapters 2 and 8 of Terry Eagleton’s Why Marx Was Right to the Lower Manhattan DSA Branch Political Education meeting, May 14, 2019.
Milton Berle, the 1950s television comic superstar, had a . . .

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Are any of Rosa Luxemburg’s ideas relevant for us today?

One hundred years after the murder of Polish-German revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg, are any of her ideas relevant for people today who want to transform society to achieve social and ecological justice? I believe the answer is yes. In spite . . .

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The Decline and Fall of Neoliberal Hegemony

In his scathing, Sturm und Drang takedown of the 1851 French dictatorial coup, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoléon, Marx remarks that history repeats twice: “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” Thus when Luther pit himself . . .

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