About Michael McCarthy

Michael A. McCarthy is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Marquette University. His research broadly concerns capitalism and democracy. His book Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions was published in 2017 with Cornell University Press. The book was awarded with the Paul Sweezy Book Award as well as an honorable mention for the Labor and Labor Movements Book Award. His current book project, tentatively titled The Master's Tools: Finance Against Capital, is under contract with Verso Books. It It explores the politics of financialization and fradical financial reform. Links to his research and his popular essays can be found at https://michaelamccarthy.net. You can also find him on twitter @its_mccarthy.

To Recover From This Crisis, We Need to Defund Wall Street

Democratizing finance contrasts sharply with the panicked stimuluses states keep injecting into their zombified economies. Finance should serve a global public mandate, not a nationalistic private one, that throws its power behind productive projects that can help empower global workers and pull them back from the brink. At its heart, democratizing finance aims to reallocate flows of credit and investment away from the casino of non-productive financial assets into the production of things the people and the planet need.

By |2020-07-09T09:42:42-04:00Jun 29, 2020|

Marxist Sociology Section Election Results

It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the ASA Marxist Sociology section elections (2020). They are: Chair-Elect: Michael McCarthy, Marquette University Secretary: Leslie C. Gates, SUNY Binghamton Treasurer: Lorna Zukas, National University Council Members: Gretchen Purser (Syracuse University) and Atef Said (University of Illinois at Chicago)

By |2020-06-13T11:30:09-04:00Jun 13, 2020|

Financial Crisis, Capitalist Power and US State Exceptionalism

Capitalists exercise disproportionate political power through both the state and the market, and their power derives primarily from the productive assets they hold. However, over the last 40 years, the assets of the rich have been financialized. This has increased their ability to exit political territories through capital markets. While this increases the power of capitalists to avoid expropriation demands, unique characteristics about the American state might make it best positioned to take finance on. 

By |2020-04-29T10:34:58-04:00Apr 29, 2020|

The New Memphis

This Life is a profound tour of our inner life and purpose that deftly weaves in religion and political economy, with an eye always to the future. But it fails to appreciate the profound worth of institutional changes that might reallocate powers and capacities to exploited people here and now for its chief goal, spiritual freedom.

By |2019-08-07T12:31:02-04:00Aug 7, 2019|

Is sociology stuck in the middle? The uses of Marxist general theory

In sociology today, especially exemplified by the rise of analytical sociology, Merton’s middle range dominates. But should it? Marx probably would have viewed much of middle rage theory as residing at “the level of appearances” with deeper hidden causes. But that is not to say that appearances are inconsequential. Even things that are caused themselves carry their own weight in the world. It is just to say that Marxism argues that any particular thing cannot be fully explained without analyzing the hidden social reality behind that thing. General theory’s challenge for sociologists is to put seemingly isolated social processes into a broader whole or structure. Marxism identifies structures, processes, and mechanisms that matter for a wide range of more particular social questions. This includes revolutions, racial formation, bureaucratic organizations, the division of housework, and so on.

By |2018-10-25T12:22:18-04:00Oct 24, 2018|

Marxist Sociology Blog relaunch: Theory, research, politics

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.

By |2018-10-08T08:52:58-04:00Oct 8, 2018|