“Digital” economy and work, like the imagined and claimed “4th industrial revolution”, are mesmerizing many scholars that lead them to chorus: “Blue-collars are gone, gone are smoke spewing chimneys, so is Marx”. But, do facts support those scholars’ choir “Cancel Marx” even if data related to blue-collar employees are ignored?
The ILO report The World Employment and Social Outlook, The role of digital labor platforms in transforming the world of work, 2021 (Geneva, Switzerland, February 23, 2021) focuses on digital labor platforms (DLP), which mediate work, and have rapidly penetrated economic sectors. The praise-worthy report helps understand condition of the “digital” workers, exposes bitter facts related to workers’ life.Read More »
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 150 years on from the publication of CapitalVolume I.
1. One hundred and fifty years ago, Karl Marx published his book Capital, an intellectual effort of great breadth, with the aim of revealing the logic of capitalist production and providing workers with theoretical instruments for their liberation. Having discovered the logic of the system, he was able to foresee with great anticipation much of what is happening in the world capitalist economy today. But, we cannot mechanically apply what is outlined in Capital to the current reality of Latin America.Read More »
BEN COWLES recommends an excellent Marxist critique of the video-games industry
Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers and Class Struggle
by Jamie Woodcock
(Haymarket Books, £12.99)
ON THE face of it, Marxists might not seem to have all that much to say about video games and gamers might not necessarily have all that much interest in Marx. But Jamie Woodcock’s brilliant book explains why they both should.Read More »
Nineteenth-century England had a delightful social ritual called ‘Confessions’. It was a perfectly ‘secular’ practice, meant to relax rather than cleanse the mind. It was one of the common drawing-room diversions where participants answered a semi-jocular questionnaire about themselves – some kind of a Victorian equivalent of what modern-day management lingo would describe as an individual’s ‘vision and mission statement’. You had to answer questions about what and whom you liked or hated, your favourite books, authors, heroines, virtue and so on. As long-term residents of London, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were not immune to its charms. Marx’s daughters and their friends quite relished the idea of getting these two ‘serious’ gentlemen to make their confessions. Read More »
May 1871: The statue of Napoleon I was pulled down along with the Vendome Column on which it stood in a ceremony during the reign of the Paris Commune. Bearded painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right. (Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The Paris Commune fell bloodily at the hands of French troops on 28 May 1871. A prototype social republic ushered in by the proletariat and citizens from other classes of the city, the Commune lasted 72 days, from its birth on 18 March until its brutal demise.
Two days after the Communards were massacred and captured, Karl Marx read The Civil War in France to the General Council of the First International (also known as the International Working Men’s Association). It was the last of Marx’s political pamphlets, supplemented later by Friedrich Engels for publication in 1891. Significantly, Marx accorded the Commune the status of the first historical occurrence – albeit brief – of effective government by the proletariat.Read More »
“If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.”1 —Russian revolutionary Inessa Armand
The classical Marxists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, V. I. Lenin, Alexandra Kollontai, and Leon Trotsky—developed a theoretical framework tying the fight for women’s liberation to the struggle for socialism. While their theory requires updating,2 their enormous contributions have too often been dismissed or ignored.Read More »
An international conference on Karl Marx, held in Patna between 16-20 June under the title “International Conference on Karl Marx—Life, Ideas, and Influence: A Critical Examination on the Bicentenary” had a reflex of what has been coined as ‘Marxian renaissance’. It was organised by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in memory of Pijushendu Gupta and Radha Krisna Chaudhury who had jointly organised a national seminar in 1967 on the 150th birth anniversary of Karl Marx and the centenary of Das Capital at Begusarai, a small town in Bihar.Read More »
As the world commemorates the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx, the author reminds us of how this great German political philosopher was and still is a divisive figure on all sides of the political divide.
At the end of January 2018, the rollercoaster ride that is the Trump presidency took another unexpected turn: the leader of the free world claimed that the United States could reenter the 2015 Paris climate agreement—if the US were given a “completely different deal.” As Trump told ITV host Piers Morgan, “I believe in clean air. I believe in crystal-clear, beautiful . . . I believe in just having good cleanliness in all. Now, with that being said, if somebody said go back into the Paris accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal.” Trump also stated his (factually incorrect) opinion that polar ice caps are at “record levels.”1
Are we Marxists? Do Marxists exist? Stupidity, thou alone art immortal. The question will probably be taken up again over the next few days, the period around Marx’s centenary, and will bring forth rivers of ink and idiocy. Wild mumblings and stylistic affectation are the incorruptible heritage of man. Marx did not write a nice little doctrine, he is not a Messiah who left a string of parables laden with categorical imperatives, with absolute, unquestionable norms beyond the categories of time and space. The only categorical imperative, the only norm: ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ The duty of organizing, the propagation of the duty to organize and associate, should, therefore, be what distinguishes Marxists from non-Marxists. Too little and too much: who in this case would not be a Marxist?Read More »