Commentary

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|

The Ruling Class Does Rule

Social scientists should assuredly keep the structural constraints of capitalism in mind when developing state theory in the 21st century. However, we should not lose site of the fact that individuals also make history, and that a single-minded focus on the structural constraints of capitalism may only lead to a functionalist interpretation of the state, alongside a cynical approach to politics.

By |2019-07-17T11:52:11-04:00Jul 17, 2019|

It’s Not Just Profitability: A Response to Michael Roberts

Marxism has a future only if its practitioners confront unexpected developments with a determination to find their roots using the methodology and concepts of Marxism, not by trying to show that the evidence is wrong out of a misplaced fear that any unexpected development threatens to undermine Marxism.

By |2019-06-21T11:19:09-04:00Jun 21, 2019|

Ideas and the Struggle Against Neoliberalism

The problem with the current trend of idea-centered scholarship on neoliberalism is that it seeks to isolate, and elevate the importance of ideas and experts, giving them a causal primacy that supposedly operate independently from materialist economic forces, the distribution of class power and the conduct of class struggle.

By |2019-05-08T10:14:13-04:00May 8, 2019|

The Life and Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg After 100 Years, January 1919-January 2019

Luxemburg’s 1906 pamphlet, “The Mass Strike,” analyzed the essentially spontaneous character of the gigantic strikes that accompanied the Russian revolution of 1905, and it showed that the workers learned and developed in the course of the struggle, not only strategy and tactics, but also revolutionary ideas. In a similar vein, she also wrote a stinging critique of Lenin’s more top-down concept of revolutionary organization, in a famous response to his writings on the vanguard party to lead. Also in this vein, Luxemburg penned an essay offering critical support to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, with her criticism centering mainly on the establishment of a single-party state, something she accurately predicted would undermine the democratic aims of the revolution.

By |2019-03-28T20:02:59-04:00Mar 28, 2019|