The thesis that capitalism would necessarily produce a class-conscious, revolutionary working class is almost completely absent from Marx’s mature scientific writings. Instead, he emphasized the obstacles to the formation of a united, class-conscious proletariat, including class fragmentation, the ideological mystification of class relations, and material dependence on a wage.
We are delighted to announce a relaunch of the Marxist Sociology Blog! The blog – which now has a new editorial team – is a public sociology blog aimed at publishing Marxist theory, research, commentary and debate for a general public audience. We will be regularly publishing short articles (around 1,000 words each) in accessible language with minimal academic jargon. We aim to bring you short articles summarizing cutting-edge research and theory from Marxist scholars. We also provide a forum for debate among Marxists and those who wish to engage Marxism. Much of the work published here will be commissioned by our editorial team, but we will consider publishing unsolicited articles.
The Marxist Section and Labor & Labor Movements Section are holding a joint reception. Both sections will announce their award winners there. In addition, we are co-sponsoring a film and panel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike, Dr. Martin Luther King’s last struggle.
This article examines the US political process and the duopoly party system within a vast array of state strategies and elite manipulation. It contends that analyses of the political process as a real engine of change and that significant differences within the two-party system are flawed because they do not account that they serve as mechanisms for how power and dominance in maintained and reproduced.
Central to this argument is the idea that segments of the population, including some of the most exploited and oppressed, derive material and ideological benefit from the misery associated with the inequalities that are rooted in the current established social order. It is this complexity that demands an explanation that can move beyond simple dichotomies (e.g., elite vs. non-elite) to a greater understanding to how individuals collaborate with a system that is rooted in inequality. This article examines one of the ways that the U.S. state facilitates the incorporation of millions of individuals into the rank-and-file of policing, correctional, national security, and military organizations. Coercive occupations are deeply embedded in U.S. society and contribute to a way of life for millions as premier job suppliers. Yet, allegiance cannot be reduced to economic motives and interests, because loyalty is also culturally contrived.
Paul Sweezy Marxist Sociology Book Award The Sweezy Book Award goes to the author(s) of the best book published in the past two years in the area of Marxist theory and research. The committee will select the book that best demonstrates the most thoughtful, competent, or innovative analysis of a [...]
Examination of the limit serves as a powerful tool for revealing the hidden characteristics of concepts, and also their relationship with other concepts. This article follows the processes of sovereign exceptionalism from Marx to the capitalist estrangement of labour from Marx to their limit figures. The paper builds on comparisons between the proletarian and the homo sacer; however, the focal point is not on the figures themselves, but their importance in understanding the effect of biopolitics on power relations. Building on the concept of pouvoir constituant as discussed by Carl Schmitt, this paper addresses the ways in which different types of constituent power form structures that can then be used against the constituents themselves. The limit figures suggest a process of abjection is co-created in the establishment of power structures, and that overcoming this process requires a conscious dis-agreement with the politics of policing.
Attempts to critique and problematize the inequalities embedded in international sporting codes fall short in their failure to integrate the Marxist discussion of capitalist imperialism. This paper brings into conversation current scholarship on soccer in Africa with the works of Lenin on Imperialism and emerging discussions on nonterritorial imperialism. By examining both historical and structural perspectives on the imperialist use of soccer in Africa, visibility comes to the inequalities within international sport and also the theoretical formation of capitalist imperialism.
As one of the most widely discussed and researched subjects within the field of film studies, the Hollywood blacklist makes for a difficult task to explore. Previous research in film studies generally examines how members within the Hollywood community came to become blacklisted, either on behalf of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) directly or by their fellow artists. Furthermore, previous literature has simply expressed hypotheses as to the intent of anti-communist films: as propaganda or allegory. In Film Criticism, the Cold War, and the Blacklist, Jeff Smith provides a new perspective on the phenomenon by elucidating why anti-communist films functioned as they did, regardless of propagandistic or allegorical intent.
Harry Braverman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital, although the single most influential work in labor sociology in the post–Second World War period, is often viewed narrowly as a theory of the labor process and labor degradation. However, the central focus of Braverman’s analysis was the structure and dynamics of the working class as it evolved in the period of monopoly capitalism. While the labor process was key to unlocking class dynamics, including changing class composition and increasing precariousness within the working class, Braverman never failed to emphasize how the labor process was intimately intertwined with contradictions and tendencies buried deep within contemporary monopoly capitalism. Indeed, Marx’s theory of the reserve army of labor, which Braverman used as a basis for explaining the degradation of labor and the generalization of precariousness, formed a crucial link between Braverman’s analysis and that of monopoly capital theory. In this essay, we reengage with these neglected dimensions of Braverman’s analysis making it possible to address contemporary problems such as increasing worker precariousness and the internationalization of production, in a broader and more comprehensive context. In the course of the analysis, we develop fresh perspectives on the continuing significance of Braverman’s work.