Theoretical research summaries

Can Twenty-First Century Fascism Resolve the Crisis of Global Capitalism?

Fascism, whether in its classical twentieth century form or possible variants of 21st century neo-fascism, is a particular response to capitalist crisis, such as that of the 1930s and the one that began with the financial meltdown of 2008. This unprecedented crisis of global capitalism has resulted in a sharp polarization around the world between insurgent left and popular forces, on the one hand, and an insurgent far right, on the other, at whose fringe are openly fascist tendencies. The class character of fascism remains the same in the 21st century as it was in the 20th – a project to rescue capital from this organic crisis – but the particular historical character of world capitalism and of its crisis is substantially different at this time than in the previous century.

By |2019-04-24T11:02:52-04:00Apr 24, 2019|

Rethinking Populism: The Political Face of Economic Crises

Populist mobilizations make legible socioeconomic cleavages that otherwise carry no innate political valence.  Or, to paraphrase Antonio Gramsci, it is political parties and movements that interpret and translate the socioeconomic into the political form.

By |2019-04-17T12:59:38-04:00Apr 17, 2019|

Breaking Through: Towards Second-Generation Neo-Marxist Class Theory

Louis Althusser famously claim that there is an ‘epistemological break’ in Marx, between a subjectivism in his early work and an objectivism in his later work. In contrast, my second-generation neo-Marxist reading demonstrates epistemological consistency and complementarity across Marx’s works, while revealing the break-in-account between the Manifesto’s class prognosis and Marx’s mature account of capitalism. In particular, while the Communist Manifesto and Capital Vol. 1 are epistemologically consistent; the analysis of the later shatters the class prognosis of the former.

By |2019-04-03T09:38:56-04:00Apr 3, 2019|

Neoliberalism After Apartheid: From South Africa to Palestine/Israel

25 years after the end of apartheid, the lives of working-class black people remain extremely precarious in South Africa. What went wrong? And how can Palestinians avoid these pitfalls as they envision a post-apartheid future?

By |2019-01-30T18:08:45-04:00Jan 30, 2019|

Why no socialism in Sweden?

The Wage-Earner Funds in Sweden is one of the few serious attempts in an advanced capitalist society to socialize the means of production. While it is commonly believed that the plan failed due to intransigent and well-coordinated capitalist opposition, its failure was primarily due to the high degree of centralization of the labor unions pushing it.

By |2019-01-23T11:28:35-04:00Jan 23, 2019|

Understanding how workplace occupations win

Workplace occupations – sometimes also known as workplace sits-ins – often take on an iconic status within the annals of the international labour movement. Many on the left simply conclude that direct action works. But this shows a deficiency in understanding the interaction of processes and outcomes at work and the specificity of the conditions under which they operate. The successful occupation and work-in at Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) in Scotland in 2017 can be used as a lens by which to reconsider the contemporary utility of the tactic and the frequency of its usage. With BiFab, there was manifest group cohesion, generation of a usable bargaining asset, ability to create political pressure, buoyant product demand, and the strategic importance of energy infrastructure.

By |2019-01-19T18:47:38-04:00Jan 15, 2019|