Commentary

The Political Importance of Richard Lachmann

Richard was committed to the rigour necessary for any work of social science worthy of the name. The passing of anyone with such a breadth and depth of knowledge, along with a commitment to social change, is a huge loss to the political left. We will have to make do with the body of work he left behind, which will remain an invaluable resource to Marxists for years to come.

By |2021-10-20T13:12:33-04:00Oct 20, 2021|

The Dispossession-Versus-Exploitation Dilemma for Informal Workers

Over the past 40 years, however, a formidable body of literature has challenged the prevailing assumptions about informal workers, asserting that their vulnerability stems not from their lack of integration into the mainstream economy, but rather from their subordinated positions within it.

By |2021-09-15T09:27:07-04:00Sep 15, 2021|

Outcomes of the US “War on Terror”: The Afghanistan-Somalia Comparison

There is some analytical merit in comparing Somalia to Afghanistan, insofar as we are trying to locate the common—often US originated—drivers of instability in these regions. However, let’s not begin (or continue) treating Afghanistan the way we’ve been treating Somalia in terms of US politics and policy. Instead, let’s forge a Left-universalist strategy, based on solidarity, mutual aid, and assistance for all those ravaged by capitalist-empire.

By |2021-09-01T08:54:49-04:00Sep 1, 2021|

Stanley Aronowitz Knew That Freedom Begins Where Work Ends

Stanley Aronowitz died this week at eighty-eight. He hated work, loved life, and brought his overflowing, exuberant approach to social problems to picket lines, classrooms, and vacation. A fighting left needs more people like him.

By |2021-08-18T15:53:39-04:00Aug 18, 2021|

Rethinking the Russian Revolution from Across the Empire

Beyond rediscovering the lost history of the Tsarist empire’s non-Russian Marxists, my study addresses the following puzzle: Why did revolutionary processes and outcomes diverge so dramatically across time (between 1905 and 1917) and space (between the different regions of imperial Russia)?

By |2021-07-14T09:58:28-04:00Jul 14, 2021|

Theorizing “OK Boomer!” Class War or Generation War?

"OK Boomer" emerged as a symptom of late-capitalist postmodernity among a generation who, for structural reasons, may not ever realize the even modestly comfortable lifestyles of many of their (grand)parents. Rather than confront this structural issue, many engage in “fetishistic disavowal.”

By |2021-07-07T11:34:37-04:00Jul 7, 2021|

Informal Employment and the Social Reproduction of Value

Social Reproduction Theory recenters the analysis of capitalism on its reproductive architecture. Here, I further discuss the centrality of social reproduction to value generation and develop a ‘value theory of inclusion’. I identify three concrete mechanisms through which social reproduction contributes to value generation. The first reproductive mechanism is based on (migrant) workers’ living arrangements at their place of work: dormitories or informal housing in slum-like industrial villages. The second channel through which social reproduction is generative of value is through the complex process of rural-urban migration and circulation of labour, which subsidizes capital by socialising reproductive costs. The third channel is the incorporation of homeworkers into global value chains.

By |2021-07-06T08:54:43-04:00Jul 2, 2021|

Union Defeat at Amazon in Alabama Points to Need for More Organizing

After months of campaigning and weeks of voting, workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama recently voted by more than 2-1 against joining a union. First, we must recognize that the overwhelming vote against the union marks a decisive defeat, not to be underestimated.  It will undoubtedly have a [...]

By |2021-04-15T19:55:46-04:00Apr 15, 2021|

Thinking About Regulatory Extractive Instruments as Capitalist Violence

Imagined solutions to extractive sector injustices are limited by circumscribed regimes of policy "solutions" - and at times "transparency" is a fetish that results on documentation on paper and far too little meaningful change.

By |2021-04-14T10:22:54-04:00Apr 14, 2021|
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