Author: Michael A. Lebowitz

Michael A. Lebowitz has taught Marxian Economics and Comparative Economic Systems at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia since 1965 and is currently Professor Emeritus of Economics. His latest book is The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to now (New York: Monthly Review Press 2015).

  • Hats and Men: Marx’s Faulty Symmetry

    It is 150 years since Karl Marx published the first volume of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy in 1867, with the two subsequent volumes coming out under the editorship of Friedrich Engels over the next decades. Capital is a masterful appraisal of the ‘vulgar’ defences of capitalism focused on exchange and markets and the more … Keep reading »

  • The Tragedy of the Commons, the Pope, and the System

    There’s an old argument that common property inevitably leads to exhaustion of resources. In the parable of “the tragedy of the commons,” the story is told that, given the absence of private property, everyone had an incentive to graze his own animals on the common fields without limit with the result that overgrazing destroyed the … Keep reading »

  • Social Democracy or Revolutionary Democracy: Syriza and Us

    All eyes on the Left are upon Greece. Not because of a general interest in the contradictions of capitalism in the midst of this particular crisis but because of Syriza. Unfortunately, what we are observing is not unique to Syriza. The story has been told before, and the story inevitably will occur again if we … Keep reading »

  • Building New Parties or Building Direct Democracy?

    Vancouver — 2 November 2013. This forum was part of the 2013 World Peace Forum in Vancouver. Video from other workshops can be found on website. Moderated by Ingo Schmidt. Presentations by: Michael Lebowitz is Professor Emeritus, Economics Department, Simon Fraser University Roger Rashi is a member of Quebec Solidaire Tara Ehrcke BC Teachers’ … Watch video »

  • Contested Reproduction and the Contradictions of Socialism

    This essay is from a talk given to the Centre for Political Emancipation in Belgrade, Serbia on 6 May 2013. It can also be seen on YouTube. Some Explanations About the Fall of ‘Real Socialism’ Why did ‘real socialism’ and, in particular the Soviet Union, fall? Let me note a few explanations that have been offered. … Keep reading »

  • Socialism for the 21st Century

    Interview with Michael A. Lebowitz On Monday, May 6th, on the invitation of the Belgrade based Center for Politics of Emancipation (CPE), Michael A. Lebowitz gave a lecture titled “Contested reproduction and the contradictions of socialism.” CPE is an organization dedicated to the promotion of left-wing ideas and analyses and critical activist perspectives and practices regarding … Keep reading »

  • Working-Class Response to Devaluation Measures in Venezuela

    We agree that the government decision to devalue the Bolivar can be an important step toward providing greater funds for social programs and the state budget at all levels, reducing the unacceptable current level of imports, encouraging the development of exports other than oil and helping to create the conditions for new national production. However, … Keep reading »

  • The Crisis and the Myth of Canadian Exceptionalism

    Michael A. Lebowitz is Professor emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and the author of, most recently, The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, and The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted. He was the Director of the Program in Transformative Practice and Human Development, Centro Internacional Miranda, in … Keep reading »

  • The Concept of ‘Fairness’: Possibilities, Limits, Possibilities

    Critical Social Research Collaborative (CSRC) – the Fourth Annual Conference in Critical Social Research: Faultlines of Revolution! Keynote address by Michael A. Lebowitz: The Concept of “Fairness”: Possibilities, Limits, Possibilities. The talk draws on Lebowitz’s latest book, The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”. Moderated by Gulden Ozcan. For more info about the CSRC see Recorded … Watch video »

  • Overture: The Conductor and the Conducted

    The following is an excerpt from Michael Lebowitz’s new book, The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: the Conductor and the Conducted, Monthly Review Press, 2012. It is posted with the kind permission of the author and Monthly Review Press. Do we need leaders? Certainly, when we work together on a common project, we are more productive … Keep reading »

  • Contracorriente – discussion with Michael Lebowitz

    Cuba — February 2010. Interview by Aurelio Alonso. Michael Lebowitz is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. Some of his recent books include Beyond Capital: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class, Palgrave Macmillan (2003), Build it Now: Socialism for the 21st Century, Monthly Review Press (2006) and Socialist Alternative: Real … Watch video »

  • 21st Century Socialism: the Strategy of the Left and the Latin American Experience

    Thessaloniki, Greece — 13 December 2010. Michael Lebowitz and Marta Harnecker Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz were invited by the N. Poulantzas Institute and Transform Magazine to present lectures on “21st Century Socialism: the Strategy of the Left and the Latin American Experience.” Part 1: Michael Lebowitz Part 2: Marta Harnecker View playlist on YouTube Google … Watch video »