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Archive for the ‘Marxism’ Category

33rd Carnival of Socialism

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 16, 2009

Jim Jay blogs:

The 33rd Carnival of Socialism is out now over at Harpy Marx. A damn fine job it is too!

Posted in Carnival, Marxism, Socialism | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Wall Street Crisis and Das Kapital

Posted by Jack Stephens on September 21, 2008

Bhupinder blogs:

It was Marx who had analyzed the phenomenon of capitalism when it was still nascent- foretelling its demise not so much because it was his wish, but pointing out that that the system is inherently unstable and full of contradictions. The Marxist conception of the State as an expression of class power is again vindicated by the manner in which the federal governments in leading capitalist countries- the US, UK, Japan, Australia and even the puny India- has stepped into the rescue and “buy” back sunk investments. It suits these governments to step out of business activities when it suits the latter, and step in when it suits them too, that is having the cake and eat it too! Noam Chomsky once called the US (that’s true of most capitalist countries) – socialism for the rich.

This of course, is not unprecedented. Again it was Marx (or Engels) who commented in the preface to the second edition of Das Capital, that the crisis of the capitalism system of production (not to say of distribution) is inherent because while production grows in geometrical progression, markets expand only in an arithmetic progression. Since then, the web of conflicts and contractions within the capitalist system has only grown more complex.

Posted in Capitalism, Globalization, Government, International, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

The Fire and the Word: The Most Complete History of the Zapatista Movement

Posted by Jack Stephens on September 9, 2008

Kristin Bricker blogs:

Mexican journalist Gloria Muñoz Ramírez says that in 1997 she left her work, her family, and her friends to live in Zapatista communities. Her book The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement is the result of seven years of research, interviews, and—most importantly—listening in Zapatista territory.

Originally published in Spanish as 20 y 10: El Fuego y la Palabra in 2003 for the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista uprising and the twentieth anniversary of the EZLN, the book has since been translated into French, Italian, German, Turkish, Persian, and Greek. While English-speakers had to wait five long years to read it, Muñoz made The Fire and the Word worth the wait. The English translation updates the Spanish version, including new chapters and pictures of Zapatista history up through the Other Campaign in 2006.

Posted in Class, History, Literature, Marxism | 1 Comment »

Permanent Revlution in the Middle East

Posted by Jack Stephens on July 13, 2008

Farfahinne blogs on a speech she attended in London during the Marxism 2008 festival sponsored by the Socialist Workers Party:

Alex Callinicos, is a leading figure on the left internationally and a major Marxist theoretician. He is a leading member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and has participated in every major anti-capitalist mobilization since Seattle.
his talk was very interesting, it was titled : the Permanent Revolution in the Middle East. one of the most important things he said, that the struggle of the Palestinian People is not limited to the Palestinians themselves. It’s a broader one that involves the struggle of workers against the Arab Local Regimes who are the agents of Israel and imperialism. the conflict’s way out is the permanent Revolution that breaks the bounderies of individual societies.

Posted in Imperialism, International, Marxism, Organizing | 2 Comments »

Green Party and Class Politics

Posted by Jack Stephens on July 11, 2008

Dave Marlow blogs:

Fellow blogger Renegade Eye put it best: “I don’t believe the Green Party is the alternative party formation, since it lacks a program and class basis.” The Green Party is incapable of leading a successful workers revolution, at least in its current manifestation, because of its inherent ties to reformism and its separation from class struggle. They are not a genuine proletarian party and so any progress achieved through the Green Party will be limited to the confines of a non-revolutionary framework.

Posted in Capitalism, Class, Marxism | 1 Comment »

Reading Capital with David Harvey

Posted by Jack Stephens on June 28, 2008

Bhupinder blogs:

Listening to David Harvey’s lectures on Capital Vol 1 not only gave me a feeling that I was re- reading Capital but also provided a refreshing enthusiasm that I had experienced when first reading the tome. Though the first three chapters are considered to be somewhat intimidating, these three chapters are also the most interesting ones. As Harvery points out, Marx follows different literary techniques in different parts of the book, and the first three are marked not only by philosophical flamboyance but also literary flourishes with copious references to Shakespeare , Schiller and Balzac (the latter, like Harvey, I read much after reading Capital).

Posted in Academia, Education, Literature, Marxism, Media | Leave a Comment »

Hero from Egypt

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 8, 2008

Roobing blogs:

If your hero is Justin Timberlake or Santa Claus, Madonna or the Tooth Fairy… or any such legend or fluff merchant you’re wrong. Your hero is actually Hossam el-Hamalawy, currently reporting the uprising in Egypt, led by the textile workers of Mahalla.

Hossam reports:

The Textile Workers’ League activists Kamal el-Fayoumi and Kareem el-Beheiri, as well as a number of the Mahalla detainees, are currently undergoing interrogation at the Tanta Prosecutor’s Office. I have a report from an activist, which I couldn’t confirm yet, that Kareem was subject to severe beatings in police custody. The activist I spoke with said he heard this from one of the recently released detainees. We should know soon whether Kareem and the others were abused in custody or not when the lawyers who are attending the interrogation come out…

For continuous updates on the detainees, please follow Tadamon, April 6th Strike, Abna2Masr and the HMLC blogs, especially as reports are coming out that those ordered by the prosecutor to be released in Alexandria and Mansoura, remain in police custody… Shehab Ismail also called me from NYC yesterday to say his sister Sarah who had been detained earlier in Cairo was still in police custody despite a release order…

Posted in Blog, Class, Communism, Empowerment, International, Marxism, Media, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »

Learning and Doing

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 2, 2008

Marco, a graduate student in Western Australia, blogs:

So many people have written about what’s wrong with the world, but very few are writing about what people are doing to change the world. Getting politicised requires: a) learning about what’s wrong with the world, and b) knowing what to do about it. So many people reach A; You know, they read Noam Chomsky and all about the horrors of capitalism and the like, but they never learn or become convinced of their own power to intervene in reality and change things because often they’re not exposed to the rich history of people’s movements and what they’ve achieved, and all the creative things that people are doing in the present… Therefore, in my work, my focus is on activists and what people are doing to change the world, instead of just coming up with another theory of capitalism and how fucked it is.

Take Marx for example. As Harry Cleaver points out (see article here), Marx was more interested in writing about capitalist domination, and not in working class subjectivity! Like Cleaver, I would argue that this is the entirely wrong starting point! The starting point of my work is not capitalism, but the revolutionary subjectivity of those challenging capitalism, and it is for precisely this reason that I am studying social movements.

Posted in Leftism, Marxism, Organizing | 1 Comment »

Carnival of Socialism #19

Posted by Jack Stephens on March 14, 2008

The Carnival of Socialism #19 is up at Power to the People:

Solidarity,

This carnival i wanted to highlight posts in the left blogosphere which not only hardly receive coverage in the mainstream media, but independent and left press as well. My only hypothesis is that since what we know of as the revolutionary left is mostly made up of comrades from Western countries, their focus tends to be on,well, Western countries.

Is it because there is no class struggle in Africa, Latin America or Asia? As the following posts show, it is certainly not the case.

Posted in Carnival, Marxism, Socialism | 2 Comments »

160 Years Ago in February

Posted by Jack Stephens on February 29, 2008

Bhupinder blogs:

This little book was first published 160 years ago on 21st February 1848.

The world has not stopped listening to it ever since.

Thanks to Marxists Internet archives, you can actually now listen to the audio.

Posted in Communism, History, Literature, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Religious Fundamentalism and Imperialism

Posted by Jack Stephens on December 7, 2007

On the blog Red Diary, Vidrohi writes:

Imperialism succeeded in pushing back the Left through an expensive smear campaign against the Leftist forces trough out the world – a campaign that was not limited to mere words, but involved systematic suppression of Communist Parties. However, it could not eliminate the roots of the Left, which lie in the misery and poverty that Imperialism inflicts due to its inherent nature. Thus, in the absence of Left, it was all the more expected from the people to be attracted to any force that gives voice to their grievances, even if they do not provide a coherent program as an alternative to capitalism and Imperialism. This phenonmenon may not be the reason behind the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, for no one denies the working of Imperialism behind their birth, but it surely constitutes as a major cause in their continued existence (even without the enormous U.S. and Saudi funding that they received during the Cold War).

Posted in Imperialism, Marxism, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Turning Historical Materialism on Its Head

Posted by Jack Stephens on November 22, 2007

Marco blogs:

The brilliance of Autonomist Marxism, which began to emerge out of the revolutionary experiences in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, was that it turned historical materialism on its head. No longer was capital ironically seen as a progressive force; as the “motor of history”. Rather, desire came to be seen as primary, and capital came to be seen as merely reactive, and on the back foot. In other words, it is desire which becomes the engine of history, not capital or its a-social laws. So, according to Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in Empire, the neoliberal restructuring of capitalism, which we are currently experiencing, first began as a response to the revolutionary upheavals of 1968. Capitalism was forced to find new ways to contain the exploding lines-of-flight which threatened its very existence. Thus, sovereignty shifted from the national to the global level. So 1968 marked a real watershed, but I would add that the capitalist restructuring was also a response to all of the many victorious national liberation movements. This is what I argued in my honours thesis.

Posted in Capitalism, History, Imperialism, International, Marxism | 1 Comment »

Slavery, Capitalism, and the Sugar Plantations

Posted by Jack Stephens on July 24, 2007

Louis Proyect blogs:

The anthology “Working Slavery, Pricing Freedom,” edited by Verene A. Shepherd, includes an article by Veront Satchell titled “Innovations in sugar-cane mill technology in Jamaica.” The book evolved out of a series of seminars at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. Shepherd and Satchell are Afro-Caribbeans who are obviously much influenced by the work of fellow Afro-Caribbean Marxists CLR James and Eric Williams. This trend starts off on a completely different premise than Robert Brenner and Ellen Meiksins Wood. Rather than seeing the forced labor and trade monopolies of the mercantile period as “pre-capitalist”, they see it as a necessary first stage in the development of capitalism, a period that Karl Marx referred to as “primitive accumulation.”

Posted in Capitalism, History, Imperialism, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

A Marxist’s Look at Palestine

Posted by Jack Stephens on July 24, 2007

Renegade Eye posts an essay by Lal Kahn, a Pakistani Marxist, on his blog:

“It is one thing to raise the aspirations and sentiments of an impoverished populace, but to establish order and bring to heel Gaza’s tribal warlords, smugglers, criminal gangs and jihadists is beyond the capacity of Hamas. With 70% unemployment; despicable health and other social conditions, the raging poverty and violence cannot be resolved through the mythological dogmas and metaphysical rhetoric of Hamas. It has no scientific analysis, method, perspective or solution to the crisis.

Furthermore, there are such violent convulsions erupting that they are opening up cracks both in the Hamas and Fatah hierarchy. There is now an open split between Khalid Meshaal, the so-called supreme leader of Hamas, and Ismail Haniyah, the Hamas prime minister ousted by Abbas.

The followers of the left-wing Fatah leader Marwan Bargoughti (incarcerated in Israeli jails serving several life terms) are defiant against Abbas. The more he capitulates to imperialism and the more his stoogism is exposed, he will be confronted with an even bigger revolt from within the Fatah and the left organizations within the PLO.”

Posted in Government, International, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

A Marxist’s Look at Palestine

Posted by Jack Stephens on July 24, 2007

Renegade Eye posts an essay by Lal Kahn, a Pakistani Marxist, on his blog:

“It is one thing to raise the aspirations and sentiments of an impoverished populace, but to establish order and bring to heel Gaza’s tribal warlords, smugglers, criminal gangs and jihadists is beyond the capacity of Hamas. With 70% unemployment; despicable health and other social conditions, the raging poverty and violence cannot be resolved through the mythological dogmas and metaphysical rhetoric of Hamas. It has no scientific analysis, method, perspective or solution to the crisis.

Furthermore, there are such violent convulsions erupting that they are opening up cracks both in the Hamas and Fatah hierarchy. There is now an open split between Khalid Meshaal, the so-called supreme leader of Hamas, and Ismail Haniyah, the Hamas prime minister ousted by Abbas.

The followers of the left-wing Fatah leader Marwan Bargoughti (incarcerated in Israeli jails serving several life terms) are defiant against Abbas. The more he capitulates to imperialism and the more his stoogism is exposed, he will be confronted with an even bigger revolt from within the Fatah and the left organizations within the PLO.”

Posted in Government, International, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Histomat’s Top 10 Marxists

Posted by Jack Stephens on June 1, 2007

Snowball blogs:

To celebrate breaking through the 100,000 unique hits counter on Histomat, I have decided to put together my top ten Marxists of all time. I expect this may well be quite a controversial affair – but it is a personal list and I have five minutes to spare so here goes. Feel free to suggest people who are more worthy of ‘top ten status’ – I am sure there are plenty (Bukharin, Kautsky, Plekhanov, etc. etc.)

Posted in History, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Histomat’s Top 10 Marxists

Posted by Jack Stephens on June 1, 2007

Snowball blogs:

To celebrate breaking through the 100,000 unique hits counter on Histomat, I have decided to put together my top ten Marxists of all time. I expect this may well be quite a controversial affair – but it is a personal list and I have five minutes to spare so here goes. Feel free to suggest people who are more worthy of ‘top ten status’ – I am sure there are plenty (Bukharin, Kautsky, Plekhanov, etc. etc.)

Posted in History, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Marcos on Mexico/The Mex Files on Marcos

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 13, 2007

Richard Grabman writes:

It seems to me that Marcosistas (as opposed to the real Zapatistas, who are, like the original Zapata, just fighting for their own lands and traditional – i.e. reactionary – way of life) either romanticize Revolution, or are foreigners, who look foreward to Mexican unrest to provide them with an object lesson for their own pet theories – or entertainment. Much the same as American conservatives and the “war on drugs/terror” they expect the Mexicans to do the fighting and dying for their political theories.

Posted in Globalization, International, Marxism, Revolution | Leave a Comment »

May Day in Iran

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 2, 2007

Maryam Namazie, of the blog of the same name, blogs about May Day and what it means for the people of Iran:

There is an immense revolutionary movement against the Islamic Republic. Working class is the backbone of this movement and due to the active presence of the worker-communist movement and its party the socialistic and libertarian demands dominate this movement. The continuous workers’ strikes, the nationwide strike of school teachers that has mobilized the whole society, marking the student movement with the slogan “Socialism or Barbarism”, proposition of the most radical demands on March 8th, growth of children’s rights movement and the movement for abolition of the death penalty with leftist slogans and demands, chanting the Internationale anthem in meetings; all these confirm the key role that the working class and its socialism plays in the existing social situation in Iran. The working class in Iran can and should overthrow the Islamic Republic under the banner of its party and as the pioneer of the people. It should form the socialist republic and save not only itself but also the people of Iran and of the world from the horrific fate that the dead end of bourgeoisie and its wars can create. May Day of this year, far and most, should be the reflection of the will and intention of the workers towards changing the world.

Posted in Capitalism, Class, Empowerment, International, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Christianity and the Working Class Movement

Posted by Jack Stephens on February 17, 2007

In subliminal tyranny G. posts an excerpt from Milan Kundera’s The Joke:

 “The churches failed to realize that the working-class movement was the movement of the humiliated and oppressed supplicating for justice. They did not choose to work with and for them to create the kingdom of God on earth. By siding with the oppressors, they deprived the working-class movement of God. And now they reproach it for being godless. The Pharisees!”

Posted in Christianity, Communism, Leftism, Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Marxist Theory

Posted by Jack Stephens on February 16, 2007

haisanlu posts an article on Marxist theory on his blog Seek The Truth and Serve the People:

Marxian theory disclosed the propelling force and the mechanism of social development. In doing this it has proved that history is not something irregular, and that the various social systems are not the result of chance or haphazard events, but that there is a regular development in a definite direction.

Posted in Marxism | Leave a Comment »

Building the Movement

Posted by Jack Stephens on February 9, 2007

Chris Crass writes a book review on the book Towards Land, Work and Power: Charting a Path of Resistance to U.S.-Led Imperialism in the blog Red Flags.  The book was done by members of POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights), an organization based in San Francisco.

A key contribution of the book is their centering of race, gender and sexuality in their class analysis. The authors review how the local ruling class planed the development of the Bay Area and have advanced their strategy for decades. The ruling class thinks and acts big and plans for the long-term. The authors not only argue that we can do this, they’re working on it and share the beginnings of where they’re at in the third chapter.

Posted in Leftism, Marxism, People of Color | Leave a Comment »

 
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