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Marxism

The Movement Sorely Misses Glen Ford

It has been one year since the death of Black Agenda Report Executive Editor, Glen Ford. The turbulence of the past year has been as intense as Glen Ford’s loss to the movement. President Joe Biden is facing a crisis of legitimacy. Inflation and recession loom over a flailing U.S. capitalist system. A U.S.-led imperialist war with Russia and China is closer than it has ever been and Black America is no better off with a Democrat controlling the White House. Such conditions demand that we remember and emulate Glen Ford’s tireless contributions to the Black liberation, peace, and socialist movement. Ford was a student of revolution. Every word written and spoken by Ford was done in the name of developing a movement capable of bringing about the end of the American Empire.

Glen Ford’s Irreplaceable Journalism

In the best sense of the word a journalist is someone who brings to the public sphere accurate, well sourced information, and rigorous analysis. Those individuals speak for the marginalized, who can’t speak for themselves, and they expose the privileged, who are always given opportunities for expression. They point out the faults of those deemed too authoritative to be questioned. If an outlet claims to write all the news that is fit to print or declares that democracy dies in darkness, their work should be given more scrutiny than credibility. The journalist should be truly independent and skeptical of official narratives. Glen Ford was such a person. His decades of work provide a blueprint for anyone who wants that word to have real meaning and integrity.

On Father’s Day And US Imperialism’s Machinery Of Death

Let me indulge you with a Father’s Day story. Five years ago on June 10th, my father fell ill with a massive heart attack. He spent two weeks in the ICU before dying at the age of 69. That day changed my life forever. I was familiar with the commonness of death under U.S. imperialism, but never had it hit so close. The loss of a parent or caregiver compels us to revisit our roots. After all, there are few people more influential on the trajectory of our lives than those who raise us. I was twenty-seven when my father died and only possessed a cursory understanding at that time of how his life influenced my own. Five years later and I am still figuring it out. What I do know is that my father was raised with a keen awareness of suffering. He was raised in rural New Hampshire by parents who struggled with mental illness and addiction.

Arming Scientists And Society For The Climate Crisis

Three scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are discouraged. New Zealanders Bruce C. Glavovic and Timothy F. Smith and Australian Iain White criticize governments for not doing enough about climate change. They are calling upon fellow IPCC scientists to no longer conduct research on climate change. “More scientific reports, another set of charts,” Glavovic exclaims; “I mean, seriously, what difference is that going to make?” Hundreds of IPCC scientists provide the United Nations periodically with reports on adverse impacts of climate change. The most recent report, issued in February, details rising seas, terrible droughts, atypical weather events, thawing permafrost, dying forests, and massive displacement of populations.

What Red Book Will You Read This Year On Red Books Day?

On 16 February 2015, Govind and Uma Pansare went for a morning walk near their home in Kolhapur, in the western state of Maharashtra, India. Two men on a motorcycle stopped them and asked for directions, but the Pansares could not help them. One of the men laughed, pulled out a gun, and shot the two Pansares. Uma Pansare was hit but survived the attack. Her husband, Govind Pansare, died in a hospital shortly thereafter on 20 February at age 82. Raised in poverty, Govind Pansare was fortunate to go to school, where he encountered Marxist ideas. In 1952, at the age of 19, Pansare joined the Communist Party of India (CPI). While in college in Kolhapur, Pansare could often be found at the Republic Book Stall, where he devoured Marxist classics and Soviet novels that came to India through the CPI’s People’s Publishing House.

25 Years Of Kerala’s ‘People’s Plan’

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) of the south Indian State of Kerala, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), came to power for the second consecutive time in April this year, securing 99 out of 140 seats in the State Legislative Assembly. This victory broke a 40-year-old trend of incumbents losing the elections. One of the key factors behind this victory was the successful response of the government to natural disasters, such as floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The highlight of this response was a community-centered approach with thorough people’s participation. People’s participation has been a feature of many other important initiatives in the State too. The ‘Public Library Movement’ helped set up reading rooms and little libraries while the ‘Literacy Movement’ contributed to Kerala becoming the most literate State in the country.

Paulo Freire At 100

Today marks the centennial anniversary of the birth of Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire. Most widely known for his magisterial Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire’s work continues to be a lodestar for teachers working in poverty-stricken communities across the globe, and for just about anyone who’s searching for a sense of justice in an unjust world. Every critically-minded educator has at some point used Freire in their teaching ––either to gain some insight into the upside-down world of the oppressed, or as the inspiration that led them to view teaching as a way to overturn society’s asymmetries of power and privilege. Freire’s literacy programmes for empowering peasants are now used in countries all over the globe, and Pedagogy of the Oppressed is currently the third most cited work in the social sciences, and first in the field of education.

Scientific Crusader Showed That No Biological Basis For Race Exists

Lewontin always harked back to what being radical means: going back to fundamentals in deriving a viewpoint. As a Marxist and activist, Lewontin believed that we need to fight at both levels: to expose class, race and gender stereotypes as a reflection of power within society, and also at the level of radical science, meaning from the fundamentals of scientific theory and data.

Sometimes Marx’s Capital Is A Pillow…

In 1911, a young Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) arrived in France, which had colonised his homeland of Vietnam. Though he had been raised with a patriotic spirit committed to anti-colonialism, Ho Chi Minh’s temperament did not allow him to retreat into a backward-looking romanticism. He understood that the people of Vietnam needed to draw from their own history and traditions as well as from the democratic currents set loose by the revolutionary movements around the world. In France, he became involved in the socialist movement, which taught him about working-class struggles in Europe, although the French socialists could not bring themselves to break with the colonial policies of their country.

‘Real Theory Is In What You Do And How You Do It’

When I first put forward “wages for housework” in March 1972, I was unsure of the implications. I knew that wages for housework was qualitatively different from wages for housewives, which I had been considering; it spoke about the work and didn’t identify necessarily with women, which I thought—and others did too—was crucial. I had recently studied volume one of Capital in a reading group—without a teacher. l realized that women reproduce labor power, the basic capitalist commodity, unwaged. That was a new idea then. A year later, I went on a lecture tour of North America with Mariarosa Dalla Costa and as I spoke with audiences (as an English speaker, I did most of the speaking), I began to understand that we were developing a new perspective that was international and far more comprehensive.

‘We Demand Tomorrow’: Marxist Documentary On The Climate Crisis

Kudos to Patreon for this brilliant production, well worth seeing, with its deep analysis of capitalism though I have some reservations to be noted below.  I particularly applaud the presentation of Cuba’s socialist solutions in this current pandemic, in contrast to capitalist Britain, with Cuba being on the cutting edge of global ecosocialism. “We Demand Tomorrow” should trigger a lot of debate, and be a useful resource for wide-ranging discussion. I agree with the video’s support for a two-stage path out of capitalism. I have long argued that socialism in our epoch must confront the climate/ecological crisis with effective science-based solutions...

On Economic Madness

ONE HUNDRED AND fifty years after Capital Volume I was first published, David Harvey returns to the classic text and its posthumously published adjuncts, Volumes II and III. He does so in the hope of challenging the notion that Marx’s political economy is stuck in the 19th Century. Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Eco­nomic Reason presents a systemization of Marx’s thought that demonstrates the continued relevance of Marx’s work. Harvey also shows how it can be recontextualized in light of the massive technological, social and industrial changes that have taken place since Marx wrote. More than a summing-up of Marx’s Capital, The Madness of Economic Reason also acts as a summary of the methodological kernel of Harvey’s own writings on Marxian value theory. In many ways this book is a concise rehashing of Harvey’s Reading Capital lecture series.

Karl Marx’s Legacy Continues 200 Years After His Birth

May 5 marks 200 years since the birth of philosopher turned economist and organizer Karl Marx. Today, the concepts he developed to explain how the capitalist production works are still useful tools for interpreting – and, as Marx would have wanted – transforming our world. His work is a living testament to how we understand the world around us, the social and economic arrangements that shape our lives and organizing to reverse oppression, inequality and – ultimately – human misery and unhappiness. The utopian idea embodied in Marx's criticism and proposals continues to inspire workers, intellectuals and social movements across the world. "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles," the manifesto declares. We see it today, from anti-austerity social organization and protest in Argentina and Puerto Rico to struggles for land redistribution in India. Urban and rural workers, feminists, environmentalists, students and Indigenous nations continue to nourish the 'movement against the existing social and political order of things,' which so motivated 1,800 communists in Europe.

For His 200th Birthday, Honoring Marx As An Activist

In 1848, Marx wrote, “philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” On this 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx we focus on Marx as a political activist, rather than what he is best known for, an economist and philosopher who wrote some of the most important analyses explaining capitalism and putting forward an alternative economic model. In the "Communist Manifesto", Marx wrote, "The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles." He believed political change stems from the history of conflicts between people who are exploited against the people who are exploiting them.

Bicentenary Of Marx’s Birth, Socialism & Resurgence Of International Class Struggle

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the originator of the materialist conception of history, the author of Das Kapital and, with Friedrich Engels, the founder of the modern revolutionary socialist movement. Born on May 5, 1818 in the Prussian city of Trier, Marx was, to quote Lenin, “the genius who continued and consummated the three main ideological currents of the nineteenth century, as represented by the three most advanced countries of mankind: classical German philosophy, classical English political economy, and French socialism combined with French revolutionary doctrines in general.” [1]
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