Marxists

The “Green New Deal”

Marxist ecologist John Bellamy Foster has commented on the “Green New Deal” proposed notably by the new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez. I am impressed by some aspects of it. She calls for mass mobilisation, which is indeed necessary. She also calls for innovative forms of financing, such as setting up a network of public banks to finance it directly, modelled after the New Deal, and through much higher marginal tax brackets on the rich and corporations, going back to what we once had in the United States. The revenues could be used to finance a massive shift toward solar and wind...

Dry January not so good

I’m sympathetic to some of the points made by Martin Thomas in “Health-anuary” (Solidarity 494) but I think the article attempts to draw conclusions with little evidence. I took part in Dry January. I’m pleased I did. But for improving health, a general reduction in drinking is more likely required rather than a month of abstinence. I am not a problem drinker, but like many British people an occasional binge drinker. The facts for problem drinking are stark; 30% of all alcohol is consumed by just 4.4% of the population. Dry January is neither desirable for nor targeted at those people, who are...

Crisis and Sequels out in paperback

Martin Thomas outlines the guide he followed in compiling Crisis and Sequels, a book on the 2007-8 crash and its aftermath now out in paperback edition. “Analysis must proceed not from a blurred outline of a ‘typical’ capitalist economy, but from the complex reality of a world economy with its own structure and within it national economies substantially different in pattern both from the global structure and from each other”. Crisis and Sequels is built round 32 interviews with or contributions by 15 economists, organised into five chronological sections as the 2007­8 crash and its sequels...

Rosa Luxemburg and imperialism

Rosa Luxemburg considered her most important contribution to be her book, The Accumulation of Capital, published in 1913. The legacy of the Polish­-German revolutionary socialist leader who was murdered by a right­-wing militia operating under the aegis of a Social­ Democratic government just over 100 years ago has come down to us through a haze of sentimental misrepresentation and selective republishing, but now can and should be reconsidered. For decades the two most widely ­available texts from Luxemburg were critical notes on the Bolshevik revolution, drafted in jail in 1918, and not...

Postone, capitalism, and the working class

Moishe Postone, a Marxist academic at the University of Chicago who died in 2018, skewered antisemitism as an addled, "pseudo-emancipatory" form of anticapitalism, which blames the evils on capitalism not on its structures but on shadowy plots by "the Jews". Socialists, he argued, must instead seek to spread understanding of capitalism's complex and impersonal structures of social domination. Capitalist exploitation and oppression is a matter of social structures. It is not a conspiracy by secret cabals of evil people. Capitalists are generally, to be sure, personally greedy and arrogant, but...

Corbynism, Marxism, and "orthodox Marxism"

Above: Moishe Postone, Robert Fine, Michael Heinrich Harry Pitts and Matt Bolton, authors of the book Corbynism: A Critical Approach, published in September 2018, talked with Martin Thomas from Solidarity. A review of the book can be found here S: Tell us first how you came to be interested in this sort of thing, and writing this sort of book. P: I′ve always been politically active, but not particularly consistently. I first became politically aware in opposition to the Iraq war when I was 15. My involvement with the Labour Party started in 2008 in one of Labour's only traditional strongholds...

Georgi Plekhanov

Before the year 2018 reaches its end, the 100th anniversary of the death of Georgi Plekhanov should be noted and remembered. He is sometimes referred to as the “father” of Russian Marxism, and for good reason. Plekhanov was the most important figure in the early Russian Marxist movement, a major theorist and voice in the Second International; and, as a member of the editorial board of Iskra, a collaborator with Lenin in the first years of the twentieth century. Plekhanov and Lenin were to go their separate ways. By the time of the October Revolution in 1917 Plekhanov had moved considerably to...

An ABC of socialist politics: introductory articles

This ABC of socialist politics brings together a list of short texts which can you can print off and read or give to a friend or workmate to read; or read online. Often longer, more in-depth, articles on the topics covered can be found by using the search function or scanning our sitemap.

How to be pro-Palestinian without being “anti-Zionist”

A French translation of this article can be found here. The term “anti-Zionist” was rare in political discourse when real debates with Zionists were a lively part of the broadly-defined left, in the early 20th century. Its use quadrupled in the 1930s, when the Stalinist movement took an overt “anti-Zionist” and antisemitic turn. It multiplied by three again, to twelve times the level of the early 1930s, in the 1970s, when the term “Zionist” had lost meaning in general circulation other than as a catch-all curse-word. So Google Ngram’s statistics show. Studies such as Dave Rich’s The Left’s...

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