Foreword to Creating an Ecological Society

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MR Online | October 19, 2017

Ecology Plant

As Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams point out in their new book, Creating an Ecological Society, the word “ecology” (originally œcology) was first coined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel, Darwin’s leading German follower, based on the Greek word oikos, or household. Ironically, the word “economy,” to which ecology is often nowadays counterposed, was derived much earlier from the same Greek root—in this instance oikonomia, or household management. The close family relationship between these two concepts was fully intended by Haeckel, who defined ecology as the study of Darwin’s “economy of nature.”1Read More »

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Marx’s Capital at 150: an invitation to history

by Radhika Desai

Red Pepper | September 30, 2017

‘Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time,’ Engels remarked in his graveside oration, because he discovered two things that struck at the heart of capitalism. First, it was neither natural nor eternal. It rests on entirely unnatural historical processes forcibly or fraudulently separating the mass of humanity from access to the means of production, leaving it dependent on employment by the appropriators of those means. Such a contradictory and antagonistic social order had to end. The only question was whether it would take humanity with it, and that depended on the choices humanity made.Read More »

2 or 3 Things I Know About Late-Stage Capitalism

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A view of New York City from the top of the World Trade Center in the mid-1980s. (Photo: Ralph Hockens/flickr/cc)

A number of recent, press articles, including an over 8000 word feature piece in the New York Times have asked, to quote the The NYT’s headline, “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?”

Although the question was proffered, the reporters and editors responsible for the articles remain resolutely obtuse to the obvious: The bughouse crazy environment of late stage capitalist culture evokes classic flight or flight responses attendant to episodes of severe anxiety and panic attacks.

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Conference Report: Marx’s Capital After 150 Years

by Leigh Denholm

Frontier | Autumn Number | Vol. 50, No.12-15, Sep 24 – Oct 21, 2017

From May 24th to 26th, 2017, the Marx Collegium of York University hosted an international conference marking the 150th anniversary of the first English-language publication of Karl Marx’s seminal Capital, Volume 1. Tirelessly organized by Prof Marcello Musto (York University, Canada) and entitled “Marx’s Capital After 150 Years: Critique and Alternative to Capitalism”, the conference gathered together 27 presenters from 23 universities spread across 8 countries. With 29 presentations across 9 sessions, the following report will focus primarily on four common themes which were recurrent throughout the conference, with only a portion of the presentations discussed here in the interests of brevity and thematization.Read More »

How Economics Is Forging Renewed Links With Social Sciences

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The Wire | October 04, 2017

Shoe-makers work in an underground workshop in Agra. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Economics began its life as ‘political economy,’ and the 18th and 19th-century classical economists grappled with questions that are fundamental throughout the social sciences. Adam Smith was the author of The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments. David Ricardo, in the preface to his path-breaking Principles, identified the distribution of the total produce of a country among the different classes – in the form of rents, profits and wages – to be the “principal problem in Political Economy.” And Thomas Malthus’s essay on population is known to have influenced Darwin.Read More »

Google eyed

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Economics of Imperialism | October 01, 2017

Google Eye

The Hoover Company’s vacuum cleaners once so dominated its market that people often still describe using any make of vacuum cleaner as ‘hoovering up’. Similarly, people ‘Google’ information from the Internet, even if they do not use Google. The only difference is that Google’s dominance of the Internet search market is far greater than Hoover had ever achieved with its vacuum cleaners. Earlier this year, Google’s search engine had an astonishing 92% of the market, with Bing, the next in line, owned by Microsoft, having barely 3%. This underpins its position as the world’s second largest private company by market capitalisation, at a massive $670bn on 29 September, and backs its seventy offices in forty countries. [1]Read More »

“Capital is not a bible nor a cookbook”, says José Paulo Netto

150 years after the first edition of “The Capital”, one of the main researchers of Marx’s magnum opus shares his opinions.

by Juliana Gonçalves

The Dawn News | September 19, 2017

“Marx was not a profet nor a creator of uthopias, he was a rigorous theoricist” claims the professor / Credit: Youtube

The work of Karl Marx, Capital, considered “the Bible” of the revolution, was first published 150 years ago. Many political and ideological battles are fought until this day in the name of the German intellectual and his biggest work.

In an interview with Brasil de Fato, the emeritus professor of the Rio de Janeiro University, José Paulo Netto, who describes himself as a communist, demystifies the work.

Netto defends the content of the book insofar as it is a “projects of analysis that must be systematically developed”. He also highlights the main points of analysis that Marx established in the book, such as the successive crises of capitalism as opportunities for social change, of the power of class consciousness of workers, and finally, about the issues of race and gender, which are dismissed as “postmodern” by many marxists who currently analyze and debate the issue of class struggle.Read More »

Dr. Peter Hudis: Awareness of the non-viability of capitalism grows with each passing day

An interview with Dr. Peter Hudis

by MOHSEN ABDELMOUMEN

Peter Hudis1 22759

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You wrote the relevant book “Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades“. Why such an interest in Fanon’s work?Dr. Peter Hudis: There is indeed a renaissance of interest in Fanon’s work in the last several years (my book is only one of many that have appeared). I think there are two reasons for this. The first is the objective changes in global capitalism, which is generating racial discrimination and racism on a huge scale. Racism, and especially anti-black racism, is not new to capitalism; as the history of the U.S. shows, class relations have been shaped by racial factors since the birth of the colonial project. This is why any “purely class” analysis always fails when applied to U.S. society. What has become increasingly obvious, however, is that the racial structuring of class and social relations is neither a matter of ancient history nor restricted to the Americas. As capitalism becomes increasingly globalized it increasingly relies on racial determinations to spur capital accumulation, divide the working class, and divert attention from the crises plaguing existing society. Europe is a clear case, which is experiencing a massive growth of racist sentiment, but the problem is by no means limited to Europe. The second reason for the renewed interest in Fanon is the effort, especially by people of color, to resist this resurgent racism. The scourge of police abuse, prison warehousing of the poor and unemployed, and discrimination against immigrants is causing a new generation to seek out theoretical sources that can assist the effort to combat these conditions. As the foremost critic of race and racism of the post-World War II era, it makes sense that Fanon would once again serve as a pole of attraction, especially for young people.

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The Economy of an Ecological Society Will Be at the Service of Humanity

INTERVIEW WITH FRED MAGDOFF

by Mark Karlin

truthout | August 20, 2017

We already know an incredible amount about how to use ecologically sound ways to produce what we need for a good life.

We already know “an incredible amount about how to use ecologically sound ways to produce what we need for a good life.” (Photo: Pixabay)

What would a truly just, equal and ecologically sustainable future look like? Why would it require a change in our economic system, namely the end of capitalism? Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams answer these questions in Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation. Suffused with radical hope, this book can be yours with a donation to Truthout!

Is a world possible based on equitable needs, empathy and sustainable economics? Two authors believe so — and that it would require the end of capitalism: Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams, who co-wrote Creating an Ecological Society. In this Truthout interview, Magdoff — a professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont — shares his vision of how we could move toward such a world. Read More »

Marx’s “Capital” at 150: History in Capital, Capital in History

 

Photo by Royal Opera House CoventCC BY 2.0

‘Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time’, Engels remarked in his graveside oration, because he discovered two things that struck at the heart of capitalism. Firstly, it was neither natural nor eternal. It rests on entirely unnatural historical processes forcibly or fraudulently separating the mass of humanity from its means of production, leaving it dependent on employment by the appropriators of those means. Such a contradictory and antagonistic social order had to end. The only question was whether it would take humanity with it, and that depended on the choices humanity made. Secondly, Marx discovered the ‘special laws’ of capitalism; how workers were exploited for surplus value, how capitalists and other property-owners struggled over its distribution and – and because capitalism does not have a ‘global’ political economy but a geopolitical economy in which states and their relations are central – how these contradictions manifested themselves in international competition and imperialism.Read More »