Robin Hahnel

Robin Hahnel's response to David Laibman's article, "Horizontalism and Idealism in Socialist Imagination: An Appraisal of the Participatory Economy," which appeared in Science & Society, April 2014, pp. 207-234.

Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2014
Hannah Chadeayne Appel, David Graeber

Radical History Review
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2014
Stefka Hristova

Abstract

Radical History Review
Publication/Event Date: 
September, 2013
David Laibman

The model of the “Participatory Economy,” developed by Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel over the last 30 years, has attracted attention as a serious answer to “TINA” — “There Is No Alternative” (to capitalism) — and as a conception of socialism that claims superiority over proposals for central planning, “market socialism,” and “negotiated coordination.” The 2012 publication of Hahnel’s Of the People, By the People: The Case for a Participatory Economy provides an opportunity to examine this conception critically and systematically. Despite its many insights and contributions, the Albert–Hahnel model suffers from two crucial problems: its commitment to an abstractly speculative approach to the design of social institutions, and a limiting fear of authority and hierarchy that has clear roots in classical anarchist thinking. This latter feature results in a model with an uncanny resemblance to Walrasian competitive market equilibrium — despite its progenitors’ programmatic denial of this connection.

Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
April, 2014
Leo Panitch

Perhaps the most notable feature of the Register’s output is how consistent was its perspective over the years. Consistency is not necessarily the most admirable of virtues, since it may well indicate a stubborn blindness to changes that are occurring in the world. On the other hand, it may also indicate a refusal to indulge in passing fads and fashions. We avoided this ....

These words are Ralph Miliband’s, from his survey in the 1994 Socialist Register of its ‘direction, policy and output since its first appearance’ thirty years earlier. They may still serve as a useful marker for reflecting, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, on the Register’s longevity despite the many defeats, disillusionments and retreats experienced by the left.

Socialist Register
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2014
Greg Albo

Since 2008, the world market has been wracked by a degree of economic turbulence unusual in its scope, depth and duration. Although uneven in its recessionary impacts, no corner of the global economy has been untouched by this. In the central economies of North America, Japan and Europe, this period has been universally demarcated as a ‘major crisis’, comparable to the ‘great depressions’ of the late nineteenth century and the 1930s and the stagflation of the 1970s. Even as the crisis now presses into its fifth year, economic prospects remain highly uncertain. In cataloguing obstacles to a renewal of economic growth in various parts of the world, the July 2012 IMF World Economic Outlook observes, with a tone of understatement, that ‘the global recovery, which was not so strong to begin with, has shown further signs of weakness’.

Socialist Register
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2013
Mel Rothenberg
Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2014
Alfredo Saad-Filho

The mass movements in June and July 2013 were the largest and most significant protests in Brazil for a generation, and they have shaken up the country’s political system. They expressed a wide range of demands about public service provision and governance, and concerns with corruption. Their social base was broad, starting with students and left-wing activists and including, later, many middle-class protesters and specific categories of workers. The deep and contradictory frustrations expressed by those protests were symptomatic of a social malaise associated with neoliberalism, the power of the right-wing media, the limitations of the federal administrations led by the Workers’ Party (PT), the rapid growth of expectations in a dynamic country, and the atrophy of traditional forms of social representation. This article examines the political dilemmas posed by those movements, and suggests constructive alternatives for the left.

Critical Sociology
Publication/Event Date: 
September, 2013
R. A. Dello Buono

For at least half a century, social constructionism strongly marked the course of sociological studies of social problems. Its presence was felt in social problems textbooks, various dedicated book series, and within the discipline’s major professional associations, particularly the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) where many seminal constructionists served as presiding officers and/or as editors of the association’s journal Social Problems. After decades of glory, however, the winds of paradigmatic change may be blowing in new directions.

The deepening global crisis confronting the early 21st Century has shaken the social sciences. Powerful and increasingly transnational social movements have emerged in response to the dictates of global capital across the global North and South. The historical moment demands that we as academics, social scientists and social practitioners work in better tandem with these popular movements, channeling our efforts more directly to synergize and concretize emerging visions of another possible world. All of this requires a revitalized sociological imagination, a concerted reimagination that goes beyond critical analysis and places renewed emphasis on collective response and strategy building. Social constructionism, never well-suited for this task, has fallen ever further behind the curve of social change, leaving a theoretical vacuum in social problems research in its wake.

Critical Sociology
Publication/Event Date: 
November, 2013
Socialist Project
Publication/Event Date: 
September, 2013
Andrew Cumbers and Robert McMaster

Public ownership in the form of nationalization of the banking sector has re-emerged on the
public agenda. Yet, there has been very little debate about the meaning, status, and function of
public ownership as an alternative strategy in the context of globalization and advanced capitalism.
Here, as a contribution to this agenda we advocate forms of public ownership tailored to
enhance democratic decision making in the economy, to achieve greater equality and social
cohesion, and wherever possible to encourage localized rather than central control and ownership.

Continue reading

Review of Radical Political Economics
Publication/Event Date: 
August, 2013
Fusheng Xie, An Li, and Zhongjin Li

The recent round of debate over China’s state and private economy has fundamentally touched upon whether or not China should abandon or strengthen the socialist elements within the market economy. In this paper, we argue that the debate is, in essence, a continued class struggle in the political and ideological superstructure. Then we discuss the foreseeable future of stateowned enterprises (SOEs) under current political and economic conditions. We will further propose the necessary reforms for the SOEs to move towards a truly socialist form of public ownership.

Continue reading

Review of Radical Political Economics
Publication/Event Date: 
March, 2013

As the year 2011 wore on, protest banners asserted a thread of commonality that also runs across its offerings: “Arab Spring, European Summer, American Fall.” Symposium editors Ian J. Seda-Irizarry and Maliha Safri collect pieces touching on events that transfixed the world and excited radical activists and theorists. We cannot help but think of Marx's writings on 1848 as we struggle to make sense of the contagious revolts of 2011. In the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte and the often-neglected Revolution and Counterrevolution, or Germany in 1848, Marx undertakes a different mode of analysis situating class struggle in historically specific and detailed terms, generating an influential model of scholarship for subsequent generations. Ultimately, he argues that counterrevolutionary forces usurped the final outcomes both times, despite the genuinely radical revolutionary potential of France during the “June Days,” of Germany and Italy in 1848, and later, of the Paris Commune in 1871. In the same vein, each of the symposium's authors seeks to analyze the specific class struggles that have culminated in the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the Spanish revolt of the Indignados, always keeping in mind that counterrevolutionary forces are actively seeking to reverse any progress made.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
May, 2013
Brandon Tozzo


The repercussions of the 2008 financial crisis, which began in the USA, were felt around the world: credit markets froze, consumer demand collapsed, and major banks and industries required government money to avoid bankruptcy. Given the severity of the crisis and the American Government’s unprecedented intervention in the economy, the financial crisis presents an ideal case for a critical reassessment of major theories of empire. There are three prominent, yet distinct, views of empire that will be examined in this article. The first is the Empire offered by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The second theory of empire is that of Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin. Finally, there is David Harvey’s ‘new imperialism’. The purpose of this article is to challenge several limitations in each theory of empire, and to conclude that Harvey’s ‘new imperialism’ provides the greatest insight into the USA’s immediate responses to the economic crisis.

Critical Sociology
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2013
David Laibman
Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2012
Lars Lih
Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2012

Rethinking Marxism is pleased to present the symposium ‘‘Sexuality between State and Class,’’ edited by Suzanne Bergeron and Jyoti Puri. And as a way of thinking about this symposium, let us start with the commissioned art contribution by Robert Sember, ‘‘White People’s Stories (based on what I have been told by women I know),’’ which undertakes an Althusserian symptomatic analysis. Althusser (Althusser andBalibar 1997) focused on sight: ‘‘Thus Marx makes us see blanks in the texts of classical economics’ answer, but that is merely to make us see what the classical text itself says while not saying it, does not say while saying it.’’ Read more in the attached PDF:

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2012
Costas Panayotakis

Introduction: In December 2008, after the current economic crisis erupted, Walden Bello speculated that capitalist elites might respond with a new political project: global social democracy.[1] By injecting into global governance a greater concern for equity and sustainability, global social democracy could avoid the evident failure of neoliberal policies.

Capitalism Nature Socialism
Publication/Event Date: 
December, 2010
Karen Charman

All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
—Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto

Capitalism Nature Socialism
Publication/Event Date: 
December, 2010
Lauren Langmann

Right wing populism has typically consisted of anti-statist/elitist mobilizations by the ‘common people’ opposed to government policies and/or various out-groups. Such cycles of contention, typically prompted by various social changes and/or crises, have long been an essential feature of American society. The Tea Party (Parties) appeared in 2009 as a response to economic stagnation and crisis, secular challenges to traditional religious identities and the election of an African American president. The Tea Partiers were generally highly conservative, highly religious, rural/suburban, lower middle class Republicans. Such movements might be best understood as reactionary ‘resistance movements’ that attempt to defend and retain traditional identities and statuses based on race, patriarchy and hetero-normativity that have been under assault by late modern ‘network’ society. Such movements, prompted by anger, rage and ressentiment may garner attention and even wider support, but if/when they gain power, they foster ‘buyer’s remorse’ and eventually wane.

Check out the special issue (38:4) on the Tea Party at : http://crs.sagepub.com/content/current

Critical Sociology
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2012
Benjamin Heim Shepard

Forty-two years after the Hard Riot of May 1970, organized labor seems to have embraced the goals of a new social movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWS). Both movements have benefited from mutual association, with labor finding new vitality in its connection with a mobilized social movement. And OWS has been able to dismiss the charge that this is a counterculture movement, by connecting itself with labor. Labor helped mobilize a successful action in Wall Street on May 12, 2011, which anticipated OWS.

Working USA
Publication/Event Date: 
March, 2012
The Editors

We open with a symposium on a jointly authored book by the first two editors of our journal, David F. Ruccio and Jack Amariglio. The symposium is long in the making because Postmodern Moments in Modern Economics was published in 2003 and the commentators finalized their pieces prior to the 2008 crash. Yet, at the same time, the context of the dual crises of the capitalist world economy and modern economics suddenly gave the book and, along with it, the symposium a new meaning.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
July, 2012
William I. Robinson

The class and social structure of developing nations has undergone profound transformation in recent decades as each nation has incorporated into an increasingly integrated global production and financial system. National elites have experienced a new fractionation. Emergent transnationally-oriented elites grounded in globalized circuits of accumulation compete with older nationally-oriented elites grounded in more protected and often state-guided national and regional circuits. Nationally-oriented elites are often dependent on the social reproduction of at least a portion of the popular and working classes for the reproduction of their own status, and therefore on local development processes however so defined, whereas transnationally-oriented elites are less dependent on such local social reproduction. The shift in dominant power relations from nationally- to transnationally-oriented elites is reflected in a concomitant shift to a discourse from one that defines development as national industrialization and expanded consumption to one that defines it in terms of global market integration.

Critical Sociology
Publication/Event Date: 
May, 2012
Carter Wilson

Throughout the twentieth century, most progressive scholars have argued against the utility of a Marxist perspective in analyzing racial oppression in the United States. These scholars and critics reject the Marxist notions that racial oppression is undergirded by exploitative and oppressive economic arrangements, that the dominant class plays a major role in the construction of racial oppression, and that racial conflict in the United States is masked class conflict. Moreover, these critics of Marxism claim that historical materialism puts too much blame on the dominant class, adheres too naively to a form of economic determinism, and pays too little attention to human agency. They insist that the most fervent racists were not the capitalists or members of the dominant class, but the white working or lower class. They argue that racial conflicts cut across class lines. Scholars rejecting the utility of a Marxist approach include not just nationalists, but progressives such as W.E.B. Du Bois, C. Vann Woodward and William Julius Wilson. The views of these scholars have become the conventional wisdom.

Socialism and Democracy
Publication/Event Date: 
April, 2012
Steve McGiffen

The European Union presents itself to the world as an example for others to follow, a model of ‘good governance’ and democracy, and an ethical player on the world stage. Much of the academic debate surrounding it revolves around the question of whether the EU can be seen as a ‘normative power’, an idea promoted and regularly revised and discussed by the political scientist Ian Manners, his admirers and critics.[1] Fewer and fewer progressive-minded people who live within its borders, however, maintain the view, once far more widespread, that the Union represents some sort of radical departure from the traditional behaviour of nation states as they confront each other on the international stage. Enthusiasm for the EU amongst working people has never been widespread, but there has always been a coterie of ‘left’ intellectuals, centred around most of the continent’s Green parties and the remnants of ‘Eurocommunism’ (in groups such as Greece’s Synaspismos and the rump of the PCI[2]) who have seen the EU as a potentially unifying force for the labour movement.[3]

Socialism and Democracy
Publication/Event Date: 
April, 2012

This issue of Rethinking Marxism opens with Andriana Vlachou's timely and trenchant “The Greek Economy in Turmoil.” As Europe deals with the consequences of neoliberal monetary policies—among them a crippling debt crisis threatening the viability of the European Monetary Union, Greece finds itself facing the prospect of devastating austerity measures that will produce long-lasting personal hardships as well as exacerbate economic and political uncertainty.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
April, 2012
Al Campbell, Guest Editor

The April 2012 issue of Science & Society is a Special Issue, "Designing Socialism: Visions, Projections, Models."  This entry combines four items from the issue: "Editorial Perspectives," by S&S Editor David Laibman; "Introduction," by Guest Editor Al Campbell; the set of five Questions regarding socialism that each participant in the issue was asked to address; and the list of participants, or Contributors.

Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
April, 2012
Ricardo Dello Buono

The unraveling of the Washington Consensus in Latin America is part of a broader decline of US hegemony in the region and beyond. Four distinct approaches by Latin American analysts from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Cuba are introduced that examine different aspects of this decline.

Critical Sociology
Publication/Event Date: 
March, 2012
Joseph G. Ramsey, editor

This special issue of Cultural Logic on “Culture and Crisis” appears at an exciting
juncture, at a moment when the relationship between these two terms – Culture. Crisis –
is shifting and shaking before our very eyes and feet.  The long suppressed is breaking

Cultural Logic
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2010
Manny Ness, Dario Azzelini & Victor Wallis

Capitalism would have us believe we need our bosses. Envisioning a post-Capitalist society implies challenging this proposition. This volume, edited by Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini, reveals the history of workers who dare to disagree.

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2011

This special issue of Rethinking Marxism, on Marxism and nationalism, has been planned with the hope of starting a series of reflections coming to terms with nations,nationalism, and their relation to capitalism, with a view to exploring the possibilities Marxism can open for political transformation. The authors’ individual takes onnationalism and its relation to Marxism are in part overlapping and in part not, if not contrary to one another. We think, however, that it is this kind of very open discussionwith multiple perspectives that is needed for a rejuvenation of Marxism and a furthering of its fortunes.

 

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2012
Jim O'Brien

The terror attacks of September 11, 2001, have been a recurrent theme — sometimes implicit, often front and center — of U.S. politics throughout the past decade. How to interpret and understand them has been a crucial question. In the tragedy’s immediate aftermath, the George W. Bush administration struck a theme that resonated with the American public: the attacks constituted an out- of- the- blue declaration of war against an unsuspecting and entirely innocent victim, namely, the United States. “America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world,” the president told the nation on the evening of the attacks, as he promised a “war against terrorism.”1 This initial historicizing of the 9/11 attacks soon became embedded in other official speeches and documents and in the public mind. It possessed not only a congenial explanatory power but also an enormous power to mobilize. It fueled a war in Afghanistan and subsequently, with leaps of logic, the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Continue reading: http://rhr.dukejournals.org/content/2011/111/5.full.pdf+html

Radical History Review
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2011
Peter Linebaugh

Enclosure, like capital, is a term that is physically precise, even technical (hedge, fence, wall), and expressive of concepts of unfreedom (incarceration, imprisonment, immurement). In our time it has been an important interpretative idea for understanding neoliberalism, the historical suppression of women as in Silvia Federici, the carceral archipelago as in Michel Foucault’s great confinement, or capitalist amassment as in David Harvey’s accumulation by dispossession.1 In our time it has also been an important empirical fact. On the one hand, the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of the current moment; on the other hand, the vain security fence between Mexico and the United States, and the hideous gigantism of the Israeli wall immuring Palestine, also define the current moment.

Continue reading: http://rhr.dukejournals.org/content/2010/108/11.full.pdf+html

Radical History Review
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2010
Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly

This pamphlet was produced by the Public Sector Campaign of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly, September 2011.

“The Great Recession – the product of government incompetence and corporate greed – should have lit a fire under workers everywhere. It hasn’t. Politicians should be on the defensive. They aren't. We are. Employers should be making concessions. They don’t. We do. Their lawyers should be grovelling. Instead, our leaders are cowering. Their silk ties should feel tighter. Instead, our boots feel heavier. Their nights should be sleepless. Instead, our dreams are crushed.

Socialist Project
Publication/Event Date: 
September, 2011

Completely unexpected, 2011 has emerged as a year of revolt against neoliberalism and austerity, from Tahrir Square in Cairo to Plaça de Catalunya of the indignados to Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street. The overthrow of long-standing authoritarian regimes in the Arab world re-asserted the moral and organizational capacities of workers and popular movements to transform the world.

Socialist Project
Publication/Event Date: 
November, 2011
Melisa R. Serrano and Edlira Xhafa

Capitalism is not the only form of economy. Alternative economies—people’s economies—exist in which human needs and relationships are more important than competition and profit.

Forms of solidarity economy built on the principles and values of cooperation, equality, self-determination and democracy, exist and are taking shape in many parts of the world. These forms include household economies, barter economies, collective economies including cooperatives, worker-controlled economies, subsistence market economies, community budgeting, participatory budgeting, community-based local currency exchange systems, and ethical trading, among others. Labor organizations have also provided spaces for building capacities in the struggle to defy capitalism.

The paper aims to contribute to the discourse on alternatives to capitalism. We go about by first examining recent works dealing with the issue of alternatives to capitalism (and neoliberalism). We define `alternative’ as an on-going multi-dimensional, non-deterministic process of people’s economic and political struggle beyond the capitalist logic, whether macro, meso or micro, to change their circumstances and simultaneously transform themselves in the process. Full development of human potential based on equality, solidarity and sustainability through democratic participatory processes is at the core of an alternative.  Then, we look at how various forms of peoples’ solidarity economies and state-initiated democratic participatory schemes become spaces or provide spaces for the development of counter-consciousness (outside the capitalist `common sense’) and concomitantly build capacities for the development of projects, initiatives and economies beyond the capitalist logic. By addressing changes in the mode of production and the labor process within their spaces, we argue that many of these organizations, projects and initiatives, are the ‘materialization’ or actual
manifestation of non-capitalist alternatives.

Socialist Register
Publication/Event Date: 
September, 2011
Leo Panitch

A common response of the left to the financial crisis that broke out in the USA in 2007-08 was often a kind of Michael Moore-type populist one: Why are you bailing the banks out? Let them go under. This kind of response was, of course, utterly irresponsible, with no thought given to what would happen to the savings of workers, let alone to the paychecks deposited into their bank accounts, or even to the fact that what was at stake was the roofs over their heads. On the other hand, the even more common response was all about asserting state responsibility: This crisis is the result of the government not having done its duty: governments are supposed to regulate capital, and they didn't do so. But this response was in fact fundamentally misleading. The United States has the most regulated financial system in the world by far if you measure it in terms of the number of statutes on the books, the number of pages of administrative regulation, the amount of time and effort and staff that is engaged in the supervision of the financial system. But that system is organized in such a way as to facilitate the financialization of capitalism, not only in the U.S. itself, but in fact around the world. Without this, the globalization of capitalism in recent decades would not have been possible.

Socialist Project
Publication/Event Date: 
August, 2011
Perry Anderson

Contrary to a well-known English dictum, stoical if self-exonerating, all political lives do not end in failure. In postwar Europe, it is enough to think of Adenauer or De Gasperi, or perhaps even more impressively, Franco. But it is true that, in democratic conditions, to be more popular at the close than at the outset of a prolonged period in office is rare. Rarer still – indeed, virtually unheard of – is for such popularity to reflect, not appeasement or moderation, but a radicalisation in government. Today, there is only one ruler in the world who can claim this achievement, the former worker who in January stepped down as president of Brazil, enjoying the approval of 80 per cent of its citizens. By any criterion, Luiz Inácio da Silva is the most successful politician of his time.

marc
Publication/Event Date: 
March, 2011
Richard D. Wolff
Throughout its history, capitalism never succeeded in preventing recurring economic cycles or crises.  However, they were usually contained within the system.  Economic crises usually did not become social crises; the system itself was usually not called into question.  Transition to a different system was then an idea kept away from public discussion, a project kept from public action.  During cyclical downturns production was reduced, unemployment and bankruptcies rose, deflation often hit and hurt, and mass working-class suffering spread.  Downturns typically drove down wages and the prices of productive inputs.  Eventually, those declines provided sufficient profit opportunities for employers to resume production.  Then downturns became upturns, the unemployed (or at least some of them) were rehired, and prosperity replaced depression until the next cyclical downturn (usually within a few years).  Before the 1930s, government interventions to offset or manage downturns were mostly marginal, minor and sporadic.  Mass resignation to endure "hard times" was the norm, although voices for fighting back were also evident.
Monthly Review
Publication/Event Date: 
July, 2011
Fred Magdoff

Given the overwhelming harm being done to the world’s environment and to its people, it is essential today to consider how we might organize a truly ecological civilization—one that exists in harmony with natural systems—instead of trying to overwhelm and dominate nature.

Monthly Review
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2011


Edited and introduced by Maliha Safri, the twin origins of this exchange—Safri's activist and scholarly work on class analyses of worker cooperatives undertaken in conjunction with the U.S. Social Forum, and, concurrently, the conversations among various members of the Association for Economic and Social Analysis around the analysis done by J. K. Gibson-Graham on worker cooperatives—offer some insight into the stakes of this discussion. As Safri tells us, these exchanges began to take a more public form at last year's Left Forum and produced the collection of essays presented here.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
June, 2011

The current political conjuncture is dominated by enduring struggles and new dilemmas for the Left trying to stop the bleeding. The enduring financial crisis has posed the matter starkly: is neoliberalism in terminal crisis and over, or are the ruling classes intensifying its distributive norms and its political form? The outcome of the May Federal election revealed some of the same patterns: an historical consolidation of the hard Right Conservative government of Stephen Harper, and an unprecedented electoral surge for the social democratic NDP (and however harsh one is on the nature of contemporary social democracy, it is the first time that any political party in North America who has its ideological roots in socialism has captured such a significant part of the electorate and emerged as the second party).

 

Socialist Project
Publication/Event Date: 
May, 2011
Vandana Shiva with Maude Barlow, Cormac Cullinan & Pablo Solon. Moderated by David Harvey

David Harvey and the co-authors of the new book, The Rights of Nature , discuss how to transform our relationship with the environment to address climate change and related problems like natural disasters.

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
April, 2011
Iraklis Oikonomou

This research note examines whether the status of EU-U.S. military relations confirms the increasingly popular notion of a transnational capitalist class, integrated on a global scale and accompanied by the cessation of interimperialist rivalry. It focuses on two cases: formation of the European Security and Defense Policy and the setting-up of an EU armaments policy as well as the respective transatlantic struggles over the nature of these two policies. It concludes by highlighting empirical inconsistencies in the transnationalist argument, as demonstrated by the continuation of transatlantic competition over the formation of a separate EU military-industrial identity.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2011
Roberta Garner & Larry Garner, Daniel Gaido, Paresh Chattopadhyay, Mel Rothenberg, David Laibman
Science and Society
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2011
Bill Fletcher & Nikhil Singh in New York talk with Jack O'Dell via Skype in Vancouver

This event was a book party for the publication of Climbin' Jacob's Ladder: The Black Freedom Movement Writings of Jack O'Dell edited  by NikHil Pal Singh.

Jack O’Dell is a legendary strategist and organizer, whose career spans the National Maritime Union in the 1940s, the underground left in the South in the 1950s, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Freedomways in the 1960s, and the Rainbow/PUSH campaigns of the 1970s and 80s.

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
December, 2010

We open the issue with “Under the Dome: The Ethics and Politics of Reading Capital,” a special symposium devoted to readings of Capital by graduate students at Notre Dame. As David Ruccio writes in his introduction, “It's one thing to read about Capital, or to listen to lectures on the Marxian method. It's something else entirely to read the text of Capital and develop an understanding of Marx's method in action.” Taken together, the symposium's contributors demonstrate the value of open-ended, aleatory readings of Capital.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2011

We are trapped in a state of limbo, neither one thing nor the other. For more than two years, the world has been wracked by a series of interrelated crises, and they show no sign of being resolved anytime soon. The unshakable certainties of neoliberalism, which held us fast for so long, have collapsed. Yet we seem unable to move on. Anger and protest have erupted around different aspects of the crises, but no common or consistent reaction has seemed able to cohere. A general sense of frustration marks the attempts to break free from the morass of a failing world.

Turbulence
Publication/Event Date: 
December, 2010
Eric Tang

Once upon a time, being labeled an affiliate of the state was a nasty indictment in radical movements. Today some of the movement’s best and brightest openly and proudly claim membership in organizations whose link to the state—either through direct public funding or mere tax-reporting—are unambiguous and well-documented.

Left Turn
Andrea Smith

Both scholars and activists have tended to periodize the feminist movement into the so-called first, second, and third waves of feminism. The “first wave” is characterized by the white suffragette movement; the “second wave” is characterized by the formation of the National Organization for Women, abortion rights politics, and the fight for the Equal Rights Amendments.

Left Turn
Michael Albert

1.   Where did parecon come from? What is its history?

Participatory economics, or parecon, came mainly from the cumulative struggles of diverse populations trying to win liberation from capitalism. Parecon owes, in particular, to the anarchist and the libertarian socialist heritage, to the most recent experiences of the New Left of the Sixties, but also to every historical uprising and project aimed at eliminating class rule from the beginning to the present. It has learned from successes and from failures.

ZCom
Barbara Ehrenreich & Bill Fletcher Jr.
Socialism's all the rage. "We Are All Socialists Now," Newsweek declares. As the right wing tells it, we're already living in the U.S.S.A. But what do self-identified socialists (and their progressive friends) have to say about capitalism's current troubles? We've asked them, and you can read their spirited replies in the forum that follows this essay.   --The Editors (from March 23, 2009 edition of The Nation.)
The Nation
Publication/Event Date: 
March, 2009
Luis Bonilla-Molina, Victor Rodríguez Alvarez, Miguel Ángel Pérez Pirela & Juan Carlos Monedero. Moderated by Venezuelan Consul General Carol Delgado.

This forum took place on September 19, 2010 at the Brecht Forum in New York City.

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
September, 2010
Colin Leys

There is a widespread belief that capitalism is responsible for the huge improvements in health that have occurred over the last century and a quarter. Capitalism is seen as the supreme engine of growth, and growth is seen as the crucial condition for health improvement. But it is not. Poor countries can and sometimes do have better health than rich ones. The US is held up as a ‘world leader’ in medicine when it is really a world leader in healthcare market failure, spending almost a fifth of its huge national income to produce overall health outcomes little better, and in some respects worse, than those of neighbouring Cuba, with a per capita income barely a twentieth as large. ‘Breakthroughs’ in health science and technology – in nuclear medicine, genetic medicine, or nanotechnology – are treated as triumphs of capitalist investment in research. But most innovative medical research is actually done in state-funded medical schools and research laboratories.

Socialist Register
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2010
Marta Harnecker

What's happening is a renovation of left-wing thought. The ideas of revolutions that we used to defend in the 1970s and 1980s, in practice, have not materialized. So, left-wing thought has had to open itself up to new realities and search for new interpretations. It has had to develop more flexibility in order to understand that revolutionary processes, for example, can begin by simply winning administrative power. 

Socialist Project
Rick Wolff

We are overdue for a new strategy. Labor and the Left are at low points in long declines. One cause has been adherence to a failed strategy. We need to acknowledge that reality and answer two linked questions. First, what part of getting into this situation was our own doing? Second, what changes in labor’s and the Left’s strategy could revive the two groups and rebuild their coalition into a powerful political force? To answer the first question: labor’s and the Left’s strategic attitude toward capitalism undermined both partners and their coalition. To answer the second: changing their attitude toward capitalism could, I believe, revive them significantly in the near future.

New Labor Forum
Kevin B. Anderson

Despite the revival of interest in Marx since the economic crisis hit, some important ideological and conceptual barriers continue to block what would be a very positive step, returning to Marx as the primary source of leftist critique of capitalist modernity as a whole, and as providing the theoretical ground for its overcoming [Aufhebung].

Socialism and Democracy
Raúl Zibechi

The end of 2008 marked the ten-year anniversary of Hugo Chávez's first electoral victory (December 6, 1998), which initiated a new period marked by the emergence of progressive and left governments in South America.

Socialism and Democracy
Richard D. Wolff

 Paul Krugman, stuck in the old Keynesian rut amidst its blinders.  The recession would be over, he says, if only the government ran more and bigger deficits to provide the needed fiscal boost.  If only the Obama people and those crazy Republicans were less afraid of such bold government action, less befuddled by ideology, and less ignorant of economics.

Rethinking Marxism
David Laibman

This review article appeared in Science & Society, Fall 2009.

Science and Society
David Harvey

A talk given at the World Social Forum 2010, Porto Alegre
The historical geography of capitalist development is at a key inflexion point in which the geographical configurations of power are rapidly shifting at the very moment when the temporal dynamic is facing very serious constraints.  Three percent compound growth (generally considered the minimum satisfactory growth rate for a healthy capitalist economy) is becoming less and less feasible to sustain without resort to all manner of fictions (such as those that have characterized asset markets and financial affairs over the last two decades).

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2010
Maria Helena Moreira Alves, Barbara Fields, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levins, Daniel Singer, Cornel West, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Moderated by Steve Brier

Part I
Steve Brier: This is obviously a time of great insecurity and distress both emotionally and physically and of great confusion politically and ideologically across the globe. The realities we confront are imposed by a world capitalism that is at the same time vigorous and expansionist and in decline and crisis. How do we understand this current moment and the profound distress it is creating across the globe? How do we understand it and relate to it?

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 1998

by Van Gosse
The Huffington Post, May 27, 2010
Almost every day I get a message from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele denouncing President Obama's "radical socialist" policies. Fox News relentlessly sounds this chorus, and some Americans agree, rallying with posters featuring hammer-and-sickle drawings and pictures of Stalin next to our elected leader. For the rest of the world, this sounds pretty silly: they know what socialism looks like, and we have nothing like it.

marc
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