ASSA 2021: part two – the radical answers

8 January 2021 — Michael Roberts Blog

by michael roberts

At the annual conference of the American Economics Association (ASSA), there are sessions hosted by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) for Marxist and other heterodox economists to present papers.

At this year’s ASSA 2021, many of the URPE sessions were concerned with the economic impact of COVID-19 and climate change, as did the mainstream sessions, but, of course, from a different perspective. But before I look at those sessions, let me start with the annual David Gordon lecture presented by a different radical economist each year.

Continue reading

Marx Didn’t Invent Socialism, Nor Did He Discover It

9 December 2020 — Internationalist 360°

Steve Lalla

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/31cd2-1cu8zmelqf3xeiu9iavpxnw.jpeg

Revered as the Father of Socialism, in popular conception Karl Marx (1818–1883) is the originator of socialist theory, the creator of a plan implemented thereafter by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other socialist nations. He remains one of the most cited authors of all time, and his writings are endlessly scrutinized and analyzed. Was he standing on the shoulders of giants?

Continue reading

Friedrich Engels at 200: A Revolutionary Historian

23 November 2020 — History Workshop

28 November 2020 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Friedrich Engels. The German revolutionary philosopher made pathbreaking and profound contributions to modern social and political theory, playing a critical role in the forging and development of classical Marxism.  The renewed relevance of many of his ideas in our crisis-ridden world of late capitalism, where profits come before people and the planet, are rightly foregrounded by those marking the #Engels200 commemoration.

Continue reading

Silvia Federici: The exploitation of women and the development of capitalism

10 November, 2020 — Liberation School

By Jodi Dean

Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch is a classic work of anti-capitalist feminism. The book examines capitalism’s investment in sexism and racism, showing how the consolidation of the capitalist system depended on the subjugation of women, the enslavement of black and indigenous people, and the exploitation of the colonies. Federici demonstrates that unpaid labor–especially that of women confined to the domestic sphere and of enslaved workers–is a necessary support for waged labor.

Continue reading

Catastrophe capitalism: climate change, COVID-19, and economic crisis

1 April 2020 — MROnline

An interview of John Bellamy Foster

and

In the backdrop of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, the famous socialist magazine, discusses the pandemic in relation to the present condition of capitalism and economic crisis in the following interview conducted by Farooque Chowdhury in late-March, 2020. Foster, professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, and author of numerous books on political, economic, and ecological issues, relates the pandemic to the capitalist economy, its crisis and climate change.

Continue reading

Marxism and the Climate Crisis: African Eco-Socialist Alternatives

16 February, 2020 — MROnline

Originally published: ROAPE (Review of African Political Economy) by Vishwas Satgar (February 14, 2020)   |

Introducing an important book series on Democratic Marxism in Africa, Vishwas Satgar explains that the project is premised on a rejection of the authoritarianism of vanguardist politics and the need to learn critical lessons from all the left projects of the 20th century. There is a rich inheritance of emancipatory Marxism in Africa, which includes Frantz Fanon, Ruth First, Samir Amin, Sam Moyo, Harold Wolpe and many others. Today, Satgar argues, the challenge is to defeat carbon capitalism accelerating the climate crisis and fomenting exclusionary nationalisms and for this there has to be a return to Marx.

Continue reading

Understanding socialism

6 December 2019 — Michael Roberts Blog

by michael roberts

The New York Times magazine has described Richard Wolff as “probably America’s most prominent Marxist economist”.  And that is probably not an exaggeration as a description of this emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and visiting professor at the New School University in New York.

Continue reading

Could this be the most Marxist film ever made?

14 May 2019 — MROnline – The Public Autonomy Project by Steve Darcy (May 8, 2019)

Boots Riley’s masterpiece of socialist cinema — Sorry to Bother You — may be the most self-consciously marxist film ever made. It is an exhortation to rebel, but to do so with our eyes open, with ‘sober senses,’ so we don’t replicate uncritically the logics that we aspire to contest.

[Note: this contains some plot spoilers.]

Those who avoided reading Karl Marx’s three-volume, 2,500 page magnum opus, Capital, in the improbable expectation that someday a movie version would come out, have finally got their wish. Boots Riley’s film, Sorry to Bother You, may indeed be the most marxist film ever made.

Continue reading

The Validity of Socialism By Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez

15 March 2019 — Internationalist 360°

It would be enough to listen to the hatred that the bourgeoisie injects into its denouncements against Socialism to deduce that there is something very good for human beings that implies ending the hierarchy of oppressors in order to proceed to a Socialist system capable of eradicating the interests of capital over the human being, as well as eradicating the entire individualist, racist, exclusionary and oppressive burden that has made our existence bitter for too long. To establish as a priority society itself, has been a struggle that is increasingly valid according to the ecological and humanistic ravages that capitalism has caused throughout its history. Realism reaffirms the validity of Socialism.

Continue reading

István Mészáros: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction

2 October 2017 — Climate & Capitalism

In Memoriam

István Mészáros, Dec. 19, 1930 – Oct. 1, 2017

“István Mészáros is one of the greatest philosophers that the historical materialist tradition has yet produced. His work stands practically alone today in the depth of its analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation, the structural crisis of capital, the demise of Soviet-style post-revolutionary societies, and the necessary conditions of the transition to socialism. His dialectical inquiry into social structure and forms of consciousness — a systematic critique of the prevailing forms of thought — is unequaled in our time. No less a historical figure than Hugo Chavez referred to him as the ‘pathfinder’ of twenty-first century socialism.” —John Bellamy Foster


Continue reading