The Poetry of The Communist Manifesto: a Combination of past and present
“Capitalism has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities. Capitalism has agglomerated population, centralised means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands.”
As many readers will know, Karl Marx wrote these words, but used ‘bourgeoisie’ instead of capitalism. The words were swapped in a 2012 lecture by John Lanchester (he of Whoops, and Capital) marking Marx’s 193rd birthday, to show how prescient he was in describing the structure of capitalism and the way in which it changes the landscape.
“… before all else a revolutionist”. Marx and the question of strategy
The multiple crisis of capitalism goes hand in hand with a multiple crisis of the left. And amidst this crisis, we find ourselves commemorating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Capital. But how are we to treat Marx and his works? How important is he for us today – for our capacity to transform the world in practice?
Read Karl Marx! A Conversation with Immanuel Wallerstein
Immanuel Wallerstein (www.iwallerstein.com), currently a Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, New Haven – USA, is among the greatest living sociologists and one of the most appropriate scholars to discuss the current relevance of Marx. He has been a reader of Marx for long time and his work has been influenced by the theories of the revolutionary born in Trier, on 5 May 1818. Wallerstein has authored more than 30 books, which have been translated into several languages, including his very well known The Modern World-System, published in four volumes between 1974 and 2011.
For Moishe Postone
In 2011, I invited Postone to speak at the New School for Social Research in New York, as the keynote to a graduate student philosophy conference called "The Spirit of Capital: Hegel and Marx." Postone gave a sweeping lecture on the the role of Hegel's concept of Spirit in the works of Marx and Lukács. His critique of labor was disorienting for many, as was his view of capital as an "automatic subject", similar to Hegel's view of the self-mediating dynamic of Geist. After the conference, Postone mentioned that he was working on three books: one on Capital, one on the Holocaust, and one on Critical Theory. I hope they one day see the light. On the occasion of his death, I offer the following brief summary of some of his key ideas on Marx, capital and value.
Marx’s Theory and Philosophy of Praxis
Between academia and ideology
Hungarian writer and historian György Dalos described his relationship to Marx in a short, reflective piece that appeared in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 25 October 2017. Dalos states that we are now a generation further on from the collapse of the Soviet system. In light of these experiences, he writes that all political “Isms” are now a thing of the past for him. But Dalos also pensively asks if the world would be a better, more peaceful, more rational place without Isms? He wonders whether, without such doctrines and their reassuring, forward-looking regularities, we would be condemned to a lifelong present? The question that must be asked, however, is a different one, as it would be disastrous to once again bind the promise of a more open future to legalities.
Thoughts on the 170th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto
At some point between 23 February and 1 March 1848 – the exact date remains disputed – a political text comprising a small 23-page pamphlet was published in London. The document was written following a congress held by the Communist League in the British capital in the middle of December 1847, during which it had been decided that the League would meet on an annual basis every August and subsequently commission a “manifesto in the name of the party”.
Marx's Political Militancy at the Time of the International Working Men’s Association
The International Working Men’s Association - founded in London on September 28, 1864 - was an organization with several different political currents that were able to coexist with each other. Reformist trade unionists from England, French mutualists inspired by the theories of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, anticapitalists, and a variety of other groups, including those who were influenced by the ideas of 'utopian' socialists, participated for eight intense years to develop the first transnational political experience of the labour movement.
From Marx reloaded to Marx returns
Jason Barker is the writer, director and co-producer of the 2011 documentary Marx Reloaded. He is Professor of English at Kyung Hee University, South Korea. His new novel Marx Returns is published by Zero Books. Marx200 asked him about his new book and what has happened between Marx Reloaded and Marx Returns. More information about the novel at: www.marxreturns.com
Social Movements in Europe and North America Since 1989
Although they were formed during the post-war years and maintained a critical distance to the countries where real socialism and ‘party’ communism thrived, like the communist parties themselves, the social movements of Europe and the New Left in North America were impacted by the collapse of real socialism and the broad delegitimisation of radical social critique.
Post-communist parties in Eastern Europe
By the time real socialism collapsed in and around 1989, it had already become apparent that Marx would never be uniformly received in the real-socialist countries of eastern Europe. Even within the ruling communist-Marxist parties, opposing trends had emerged.
LIBERATION, SELF-RELIANCE and MARXISM – the Tanzanian Way of Socialism
Marxism as the ideological core of a developmental strategy emerged in Tanzania in the late 1960s as a result of a particular constellation of forces – the intension of the newly liberated country to pursue an alternative development model. This led to the promulgation of the Arusha Declaration and the TANU Guidelines of 1972. Its concentrated expression found the surge for a Tanzanian way of Socialism in the ideological battles at the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Communist Parties and the Naxalbari Movement in India
Communist Party of India The party was founded in the 1920s inspired by the October Revolution in Russia. During India’s struggle for independence, the CPI joined the left wing of the Indian Congress Party known as Congress Socialist Party (CSP). After India’s independence the party constituted the principal opposition in parliament raising important demands such as social equality for women, land reforms, nationalization of privately owned enterprises etc. The strongholds of the Indian Communists have always been the South and the East of the country.
MARX200: POLITICS – THEORY - SOCIALISM
To celebrate the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung will be hosting a large conference. A short week will be filled with the theories, the politics and the arts that are connected to Marx’s anniversary. Call for Papers. Congress in Berlin, 3-6 May 2018
“Feminism Is for Everyone”
Perspectives for a Feminist Class Politics
2017 began with a global wave of feminist protests. Opposition to Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States was expressed most visibly by the Women’s Marches – and not only in the US itself. In Poland, resistance to restrictions on reproductive rights by the country’s right-wing government continued, while 8 March brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets from Buenos Aires and Istanbul to New Delhi. In Germany, as well, International Women’s Day witnessed demonstrations the likes of which we had not seen in decades.
Capitalism as a service – capital is going digital
Why digitalisation is not sounding the death knell for capitalism
In his 2015 book, Post-Capitalism, Paul Mason concludes that ‘the technologies we’ve created are not compatible with capitalism’. Regarding the 2008 financial crisis Mason writes that ‘although capitalism is a complex, adaptive system’ it has now reached ‘the limits of its capacity to adapt’. This is not crisis as usual, it’s the final one; we’re experiencing the advent of a post capitalist world order.
The end of growth for global capitalism?
On our options to overcome the spectre of secular stagnation
In an article published on 17 July 2016 in the German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Peter Bofinger, a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, argues that ‘a spectre is haunting the global economy – the spectre of secular stagnation’. As he writes, the phenomenon is based on a profound feeling of discomfort regarding the state of the global economy, which has been plagued by major dysfunctional issues for several years.
How typical are atypical employment relations?
Why the erosion of standard employment relations in Europe and North America requires a new interpretation
Politicians, economists and sociologists – they all assumed until recently that in the long term capitalism produces certain »typical« employment relations that harmonize best with profitability and capital accumulation. Reality, however, is considerably more complex.
Even closer to the truth
Why we ought to read Keynes with Marx in mind, and why doing so can help us learn – from Keynes. A response to Michael Roberts
To many who subscribe to Marx’s theory and critique of political economy, the economist John M. Keynes is a provocation: aside from Marx, hardly any other scholar so fundamentally challenged the predominant economic theory of his time.
Left Parties in the United States, 1989-2017
The decline of the Communist left in the US began long before 1989. Neoliberalism and the technological revolution brought fragmentation to the society as a whole, and the left was particularly shaken by the corrosion of working-class communities and the workforce.
A Gap in Marx’s Work or the Ignorance of the Reader?
The metabolic exchange between nature and society in a mode of production based upon value
So many accusations have been levelled against Marx and, to an even greater extent, his friend and co-author Friedrich Engels in the 150 years since Capital was first published that the charges are almost too many to list. Unlike the political economists that came before him, Marx was supposedly unable to explain price formation. What is more, according to his critics, the predicted immiseration of the working class never occurred, and capitalism was not in a state of collapse, but has instead emerged victorious from the battle between competing social systems.
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