Category: Theory

  • The Revolution Party

    A fresh and compelling new account of the Russian revolution to mark its centenary concludes by paying tribute to the Bolsheviks for acting as history’s switchmen, a term derived from the small booths that dotted the railway tracks across the Russian empire, where local revolutionaries had long gathered for clandestine meetings. Against those so-called ‘legal … Keep reading »

  • 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

    They Dared: The Legacy of the October Revolution

    A hundred years later, the question of the historical legacy of the October Revolution is not an easy one for socialists, given that Stalinism took root within less than a decade after that revolution and the restoration of capitalism seventy years later met little popular resistance. One can, of course, point to the central role … Keep reading »

  • Reading Capital: Changing Historical Contexts and Different Political Projects

    One hundred and fifty years after the first volume of Marx’s Capital was published in 1867, Marx remains a common point of reference but his magnum opus is by no means widely read. Once he was thrown off pedestals across the former Soviet Union, Western business media adopted Marx as a principal witness for the … Keep reading »

  • Populism in the 21st Century

    Class Struggle Returns to Haunt Capitalist Democracies Populism: “any political movement which seeks to mobilize the people… against a state which is either controlled by vested interests or too powerful in itself.” — Oxford Dictionary of Sociology The term “populism” has returned to the daily vocabulary of political pundits and analysts trying to make sense of … Keep reading »

  • Working Classes and the Rise of the New Right: Socialist Politics in the Era of Trump

    The success of xenophobic right-wing political forces today calls for the development of a socialist praxis fit for this perilous political moment. Taking this seriously requires that we address the inroads of the far right into working class constituencies that were bastions of trade unionism for much of the 20th century, and traditionally voted heavily … Keep reading »

  • Ragpicking Through History: Class Memory, Class Struggle and its Archivists

    In 1990, I watched the Polish film maker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blind Chance (1981/1987) without registering the paralyzing potential of a particular scene. The protagonist, Witek, meets an old Communist by chance on a train. As a result of that meeting Witek decides to join the Communist Party. Later, again by sheer chance, he runs into … Keep reading »

  • Regulation — Who Needs It?

    Surrounded by CEOs and autoworkers bused in for the event, Donald Trump made it clear during his March 14th appearance in the Detroit area that he was going to get rid of a federal regulation in order to free up the industry so it could “make thousands and thousands and thousands of additional cars.” For … Keep reading »

  • 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 »

  • Zionist Colonization is Not ‘Exceptional’: A Marxist Viewpoint

    This article aims to challenge the rather widely accepted claim that the nature of Zionist settler colonization is exceptional[1] and even “defies appeal to any precedent that can usefully be invoked as to its evolution and eventual revolution.”[2] My challenge will focus on Moshé Machover’s 2016 article, “The decolonization of Palestine”[3] which is the third … Keep reading »

  • In the Shadow of Social Democracy: Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives

    We live in a paradoxical world. Much debate on the radical left revolves around multitudes of discontented groups – sometime lumped together as the 99%, sometimes rebranded as precariat – struggling against an abstract empire and its 1% rulers. Capitalism and class – once serving as a compass to navigate left politics through the apparently … Keep reading »

  • Socialism

    The Return of Hope: For an Offensive Double Strategy

    The future has gone astray. The neoliberal utopia is exhausted just as are left alternatives. The decades of an initially conservative-orthodox neoliberalism from Margaret Thatcher to Helmut Kohl; its generalization under the governments from Tony Blair to Gerhard Schröder; and, finally, its authoritarian deepening and anchoring in the years of the crisis have caused social … Keep reading »

  • Reading Marx’s Capital Today: Lessons from Latin America

    This paper was presented at the International conference “150 years Karl Marx’s Capital – Reflections for the 21st century” held in Athens, Greece on January 14-15, 2017. Organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – Athens Office in cooperation with Theseis, the conference discussed the actuality of Marx’s theoretical system of the critique of political economy … Keep reading »