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REVIEW
Epidemic Response
The Legacy of Colonialism
by Jennifer Dohrn and Eleanor Stein
(Jun 01, 2021)
The COVID-19 pandemic is at its root a crisis of globalization, racial capitalism, colonialism, the social organization of our public health system. It is a crisis of treatment and care versus demonization and wall building. And it is the latest pandemic in a long line of modern onesÑfrom SARS to swine flu to HIV to EbolaÑa predictable and predicted outcome, not the mysterious unforeseeable lightning strike as it is often portrayed. | more…
REVIEW
The Point Is to Change It
by Michael E. Tigar
(Jun 01, 2021)
Topics: History Imperialism Movements RevolutionsWar
Places: AmericasUnited States
We who are engaged in the struggle for change might ask: “Through what lens of refraction is the evidence of events recalled and related?” If we are to resist the genocidal use of military force, and to oppose the environmental depredation that follows in its wake, we need to see the roots and laws of motion of colonialism and empire | more…
REVIEW
What Sort of Kinetic Materialism Did Marx Find in Epicurus?
by Boris Hennig
(Apr 01, 2021)
Places: Global
In his Theses on Feuerbach, Karl Marx suggests that the main flaw of all previous materialism has been to uncritically accept and champion a notion of matter that has its proper place in a dualistic framework, where matter is passive and the mind is active. If this is so, true materialism will conceive of matter as an active principle, and of material beings as perfectly capable of conscious sensation and agency. | more…
REVIEW
Engels’s Ecologically Indispensable if Incomplete Dialectics of Nature
by Paul Blackledge
(Apr 01, 2021)
Places: Global
Engels was neither a reductionist nor a positivist, and, far from being a political fatalist, he embraced a form of interventionist politics that was underpinned by a historically emergent ethics. It was this standpoint that he aimed to philosophically ground in Dialectics of Nature. | more…
REVIEW
These Brothers Chose Well
by Michael D. Yates
(Apr 01, 2021)
Writer, editor, and prison activist Susie Day has written a beautiful, heartrending, and inspiring account of the friendship between Paul Coates and Eddie Conway. Both were born in the late 1940s and grew up in Black communities—Paul in Philadelphia and Eddie in Baltimore. Both were members of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and both were harassed by police for their radical activities as Party members. Eddie was wrongfully convicted of killing a Baltimore policeman and spent forty-four years in prison. Through it all, Paul was his steadfast friend and supporter, as well as partner in their political development and commitment to the liberation of Black people in the United States. | more…
REVIEW
Socialist Practice and Transition
by Steve Ellner
(Apr 01, 2021)
Topics: Capitalism Marxism Movements Political Economy Socialism Strategy
Places: Global
In Socialist Practice, a collection of essays on leftist theory and experiences, Victor Wallis adheres to the view that the achievement of socialism is a drawn out, nonlinear process consisting of episodes that in many cases have a mixed impact on the revolutionary cause. He analyzes several, ranging from the seven decades of Soviet rule to the New Left of the 1960s. His main thesis is that over the last century pure socialism has never existed and that on all fronts socialist movements and governments have contained elements of the old—namely, capitalism. | more…
REVIEW
Was Folk Music a Commie Plot?
by Mat Callahan
(Apr 01, 2021)
The revival of folk music—music derived from rural southern sources, unamplified, and, to a large extent, comprised of old songs of anonymous origin—was more than just another fad. Folk music encapsulated longings for an idyllic past, for a time before crass commercialism turned music into a commodity, and for relationships between musicians and audiences that were egalitarian and holistic. | more…
REVIEW
What We Recovered in the Revolution
Álvaro Cunhal's Five Days, Five Nights
by Camila Valle
(Mar 01, 2021)
A prolific political writer, Álvaro Cunhal—leader of Portugal’s Communist Party for half a century and central figure of the 1974 Carnation Revolution—revealed in 1994 that he had also written several novels under the pseudonym Manuel Tiago. One of these novels, Five Days, Five Nights, was only translated into and published in English in 2020. The novella manages to capture the complexities, loneliness, and bravery of ordinary people, highlighting how we are the ones who keep us safe. | more…
REVIEW
On Creative Destruction, Myths, and Revolution
by David B. Feldman
(Feb 01, 2021)
Topics: History InequalityLabor Movements Political Economy Race
Places: AmericasUnited States
It is a testament to the clarity and scope of Mark Jay and Philip Conklin’s vision that A People’s History of Detroit is replete with insights for those trying to make sense of these deeply uncertain and troubling times. In it, Jay and Conklin show that “in order to give a true ‘people’s history,’ one must do more than condemn the malevolence of those in power and celebrate the activists who have struggled for justice; one must also come to terms with the social system in which these people lived. In our case, this means confronting the logic of capital.” | more…
REVIEW
Fighting the “Immigrant Threat” Narrative
by Lola Loustaunau
(Jan 01, 2021)
Topics: Immigration InequalityLabor Movements
Places: AmericasUnited States
Ruth Milkman’s latest book is a strong scholarly response to the “immigrant threat” narrative that has been central to U.S. politics in the last decades. In Immigrant Labor and the New Precariat, the distinguished labor and migration scholar has a clear goal: to reframe the conversation about migration and increased inequality in the United States, reversing the causal relation that blames migration for the U.S. working class’s current perils. | more…
REVIEW
Standing with Standing Rock, Then and Now
by Zoltán Grossman
(Jan 01, 2021)
Topics: Climate ChangeEcology Inequality MovementsRace
Places: AmericasUnited States
The story of the Indigenous movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 and 2017 has been the subject of numerous articles and documentaries, many of which depict it mainly as an environmental and climate justice campaign to stop the pipeline from crossing the Mni Sose (Missouri River), just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Nick Estes and Jaskiran Dhillon’s edited collection Standing with Standing Rock tells a richer and more complex story of decolonization and indigenization from the frontlines. | more…
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