Category: Political Economy

South Africa: Something’s Got to Give

The election of a new government should be a time of celebration. 25 years since the end of Apartheid should be the time of immense celebration. Yet, 25 years since the “dawn of democracy” and South Africans are engulfed by . . .

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It’s Profitability: A Response to “Why Stagnation?”

Recently in the Marxist Sociology blog, David Kotz, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Sheridan Scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Distinguished Professor in the School of Economics at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics offered an explanation as . . .

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Are we at a tipping point? Assessing the US political terrain

“Liberal democracy is crumbling.” A Harvard Law Professor opened a recent talk with this matter-of-fact statement and the audience readily murmured its assent.
The daily headlines certainly seem to confirm this assessment—that we are a nation in crisis. Yet, the nature . . .

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Climate, communism and the Age of Affluence?

Fully Automated Luxury Communism (FALC) was a slogan in search of a movement, and now it has its manifesto. The aim: to accelerate capitalism’s positives (technological progress), curb its negatives (neoliberal globalisation), and to re-invent communism for the coming Age of Affluence.

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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The Green New Deal: Realistic Proposal or Fantasy?

The Green New Deal (GND), drawn up by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey, is the most ambitious and comprehensive program to deal with climate change ever made by political representatives to Congress and the U.S. public. It calls for . . .

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Interview with Neil Davidson on Brexit: An Excerpt

With the recent announcement of Prime Minister Theresa May’s pending resignation, and the general chaos surrounding Brexit and British governance, New Politics has decided to offer a preview of a lengthier article which . . .

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Hands Off Venezuela! For Socialist Democracy!

The foul, brutal hands of U.S. imperialism and its allies are tightening around Venezuela, and there is a strong possibility that a far-right takeover will occur in the near future.  This would extinguish the last vestiges of the left-of-center Pink . . .

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Open Letter to Costas Lapavitsas and Grace Blakeley

Stories have a life of their own. Merriam-Webster describes a meme as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture”. It doesn’t matter who the carrier of the meme is or the way that they pass it on: all that matters is that the story is reproduced and given new life with each telling.

Fidel Castro: His Political Origin, Rule, and Legacy

Cuba has not been at the center of world attention for a long time, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet bloc considerably diminished the island’s importance to US imperialism. For the international left, political developments in other Latin American . . .

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The British Labour Party – The Largest Sect in the World

Jeremy Corbyn and the UK Labour Party leadership have dragged their feet on taking a clear oppositional stance on Brexit. While the Party has shifted slowly towards a position of, perhaps, supporting a People’s Vote, its entire approach since the 2016 referendum result has been one of feet dragging and equivocation.

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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The Angst of the 1%

The New York Times (1/22/19) reported on a bleak letter by the billionaire investor Seth Klarman that was circulated at the World Economic Forum in Davos.  The letter warns about the coming financial crisis amid increased levels of social . . .

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A Preview of “What is Post-Modern Conservatism?: Essays on Our Hugely Tremendous Times”

What is Post-Modern Conservatism: Essays on Our Hugely Tremendous Times is going to be released later this year by Zero . . .

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Beyond The Nation State: A Critical Look At Venezuela’s Current Crisis

Venezuela has made headlines in the last few weeks, as Venezuelan opposition leader and National Assembly head Juan Guaidó has declared himself interim President, throwing the country into turmoil. Current President, Nicolás Maduro has called the effort a coup. Meanwhile, . . .

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review

An Economist’s Case for Socialism

It is all too rare that an economist makes the case: socialism or barbarism. Or, in Alan Nasser’s more piquant alternatives, socialism or fascism. Economics is a hedging profession of carefully detailed countervailing forces and measured equivocation. Even the seemingly . . .

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How NGOisation Provides Cover for the Murder of Shack Dwellers

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In South Africa ten members of a militant shack dwellers organisation have been assassinated in the past six years. Yet many progressive organisations have distanced themselves from these militants. Jared Sacks exposes the complicity of a mainstream NGO that could have played an important role defending the movement against these political assassinations. Sacks argues that when movements refuse co-optation, repression, including assassination, become necessary to maintain power.

Marx Turns 200: A Mixed Gift

A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx
By Sven-Eric Liedman
Translated by Jeffrey N. Skinner
Part of the Marx 200 series
Verso Books, 2018, 768 pages, $40 hardcover.
Amid an outpouring of discussion and new works marking the bicentennial of Karl . . .

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Brazil’s Racial Capitalism at a Turning Point

Rising Militarization after Two Decades of Workers’ Party Government

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In February, I published an article in the International Marxist-Humanist reporting that the political scene was horrible in Brazil. Five months ago, I had in my mind how fascism was growing quickly under the hegemony of identity politics, especially with social movements’ fragmentation, and the increase of anti-communist thought, with slanders against Marx as totalitarian, Eurocentric and colonial. I said that all of this, in addition to the legacy of almost 15 years of Workers’ Party government that ended via an institutional coup d’état in 2016, was leading to the destruction – ideological and material – of the left.

Globalists vs. Internationalists

ImageQuinn Slobodian. Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. Harvard University Press, 2018. 381pp.

Neoliberalism is dead, if it ever existed at all. Centrists and so-called moderates dismiss it as nothing more than a slur bandied around by leftists. On the left on the other hand, neoliberalism is at times portrayed as mere free market fundamentalism, or simply as a return to capitalism as it was intended, before the post-war social democratic hiatus. Thatcher and Reagan, the thinking goes, along with Milton Friedman and his “Chicago Boys”, wanted to unleash the full power of free markets’ self-regulating force.

The Fires This Time and Their Implications for Ecosocialists

Image“Deindustrialization.” That’s a word you virtually never hear in the debate around global warming. Not surprising. It’s a word that’s loaded with negative implications: economic collapse, mass layoffs, falling living standards. Who wants to think about those, let alone think about this as a strategy of suppressing CO2 emissions?

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