Marxist Left Review 1


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Marxist Left Review

The lessons of Syriza need to be learned and absorbed. In conditions much more favourable for a militant, working class fightback than the US or Britain today, Syriza's reformist leadership sold out in record time. This article reflects on these experiences and makes an argument for clear, revolutionary organising. This surprisingly good documentary discusses the rise and fall of the Workers' Party in Brazil She was right. Today is the 50th anniversary of the first federal decision on equal pay for women in Australia.

Far from being brought in by benevolent Labor leaders or industrial commissions, it had to be fought for bitterly by radical women and men, via their unions and socialist organisations. A good time to share this article that labor historian Katie Wood wrote on the decades-long campaign.

Historical Materialism: A Marxist Theory of History

This series of articles is a crucial resource for those trying to build a principled, interventionist revolutionary left. Morrison and the Liberals won the election and we have no choice but to fight! Be a part of key discussions on the many st Available from Socialist Alternative events and stalls; and online at www.

Worth rereading this very good article on the Politics of law and order in the latest edition of the Marxist Left Review. An excellent new piece on the revolution in Finland in , and the impossibility of the parliamentary road to socialism. Follows on from work in this journal by Duncan Hart. Another in our series of translations, this time of the article on Podemos from back in William Ferguson: The life of an Aboriginal rebel.


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Mick Armstrong critically assesses the experience of the Workers' Party, concluding that a far more independent approach was required by revolutionaries who participated. Marxism and state theory. In this fascinating lecture given just a few years before he died, the late Colin Barker makes the case for a revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeois state and for further Marxist theorising about its complex dynamics.

Launching Victorian Socialists: An anti-capitalist electoral alliance. The federal election: Why did Labor lose and what next? Tom Bramble surveys the election results and puts forward an explanation for Labor's surprising defeat that rests on the party's long-term shift to the right. As an emerging American left struggles with powerful strategic challenges, Daniel Taylor argues that this new book by the publisher of Jacobin promotes a distorted vision of the history of the socialist movement, leading to fundamentally conservative conclusions.

Revisiting the roots of anti-Chinese racism. The next edition of the Marxist Left Review is our biggest yet! Check out the full listing through the link below and pre-order your copy now!

Marxist Left Review Issue No. A really useful starting point for those engaged in the growing environment movement. Marxism and the natural world. There is a logic inherent in the humanism of Marxism that generates an overarching commitment to environmental conservation, writes Michael Kandelaars. The broad left party question after Syriza. Mick Armstrong revisits the question of broad left parties to draw some conclusions after the experience of Syriza in Greece. Happy watching! The Edge of Democracy releases globally on Netflix on June 19, Except for the very rich, who can hire someone to do it, there is for most women, an irreducible minimum of necessary labor involved in caring for home, husband, and children.

Household work remains a matter of private production. This has produced continual conceptual shifts defining an evolving feminism, such as the shift from women to gender and from inequality to difference. A possible way for Marxist feminism to remain a distinctive theoretical and politically relevant perspective might be to return to class, in the Marxist sense, theoretically reexamining the relationship between class and oppression, particularly the oppression of working-class women, within capitalist social formations.

On the one hand, she reiterated the classic Marxist-Leninist argument concerning the precapitalist, premarket character of domestic work. On the other, she so strongly insisted on the importance of this work for the stability and perpetuation of the capitalist system that she not only anticipated some of the theses later argued by theorists in the Wages for Housework Campaign, but often fell into apparent contradictions.

Gender is not just about women; it is about the social relationship between men and women and the dialectical, reciprocal, and cultural construction of femininity and masculinity. Recognition of a unique historical experience concerning gender informs the perspectives of African Americans of various political persuasions.

This history incorporates a land of origin with certain common principles about gender and family. Hence asserting the right to assume gender-based roles of husband, father, wife, and mother paradoxically was an act of resistance. Essentially it is because Political Marxists cannot conceive of people willingly choosing to become capitalists rather than doing so only when the role was imposed on them. Stephen Miller makes the point that. But there are as many problems with a conception of human nature that sees it as being uninterested in economic development as there are with a definition of capitalism based on the existence of market compulsion.

The rejection of one form of bourgeois ideology should not blind us to the dangers of accepting another, albeit with the inversion of its value system. No mode of production is intrinsically alien to human nature. Human beings may not have a propensity for capitalism but they can develop such a propensity under certain conditions and without compulsion.

What I am suggesting, therefore, is that the entire elaborate edifice of the Brenner thesis is based upon a conception of human nature in which it is seen as innately opposed to capitalism—indeed, in which it is seen as innately opposed to economic development as such—and will only be induced to accept capitalist relations under duress. While this may allow us the comforting thought that capitalism need not have happened, it also has certain other implications.

For if capitalism is essentially a contingent or accidental historical outcome, then so too is the possibility of socialism. One does not have to accept, in Second International or Stalinist style, that human social development has gone through a succession of inevitable stages to reject the ascription of absolute randomness to key historical turning points as a viable alternative.

Crisis and ‘law of motion’ in economics: a critique of positivist Marxism

How did the new, capitalist way of organizing production first emerge? The elements that would eventually combine to create the capitalist mode of production—not only market competition but also wage labor and commodity production—preexisted it by many centuries. Political Marxists are therefore right to insist that the existence of these elements does not in itself indicate the existence of capitalism as such. One can further agree with them that the socioeconomic activities that ultimately ended up producing capitalism were not, initially at any rate, necessarily undertaken with capitalism as a conscious goal.

Neither of these observations should be taken to mean, however, that capitalism was an unlikely outcome. There are very few ways in which exploitation or the social relations of production more generally can be organized. Carling identifies two characteristics of feudalism as crucial to this outcome: political decentralization and the demographic cycle. The first meant that no state was in a position to impose a uniform system of production, with the result that new systems could develop in the spaces where sovereignty did not hold sway. The second meant that population collapse was regularly of such severity that it left spaces of this type following the desertion of hitherto occupied land, for example , which could be filled by property and productive relations of an ultimately capitalist nature:.

And England only has to happen once for capitalism to become established. That is why it is not as fanciful as one might suppose to suggest that the transition from feudalism to capitalism was almost inevitable—almost indeed a natural necessity of history. It is not the demographic cycle in general that is significant here, but rather the specific downturn associated with the general crisis of the fourteenth century, which was in turn massively intensified by the incidence of the Black Death.

A Marxist critique of the Australian Greens

Why did this catastrophe lead people to turn to new ways of economic organization? Political Marxists do not believe that anyone under precapitalist modes of production has any incentive to develop the productive forces. One consequence of this denial that there might have been any positive incentives to embrace capitalist production is a tendency to portray peasant life before capitalism as essentially based on a natural economy of self-governing communities, which have no incentive to develop the productive forces, and into which the lords or the church only intrude superficially and occasionally in order to acquire their surplus.

I do not recognize this picture. I labor night and day with my hands to feed lazy and useless men, and they repay me with hunger and the sword. I sustain their life with the toil and sweat of my body, and they persecute my body with hardship, until I am become a beggar.

Post‐Marxist Project: An Assessment and Critique of Ernesto Laclau

They live through me and I die through them. Four centuries later the power of that final sentence is undiminished. People have wanted to do the former since the transition to agriculture; they have only had to do the latter since the transition to capitalism. The wish to better the circumstances in which we live has been one of the main impulses behind the attempts to develop the productive forces and it is intimately bound up with class society, not least because in situations where the direct producers have to hand over part of what they have produced to someone else, there is a very real motive—one might almost say, an imperative—to increase their output, a motive that need have initially nothing to do with market compulsion.

Peter Musgrave, like Brenner, assumes that risk is the main factor preventing peasants from opting for profit maximization.

"Nicos Poulantzas and Marxist Theory" by Ian Campbell, Harry David et al.

What could overcome these concerns? Musgrave argues that it could only have been such insecurity that the risk was worth taking because it could scarcely be worse than current conditions. As a rule, capitalism can leave political territories intact. Contracts are concluded, in principle, between private actors in the pre-political sphere of global civil society. In this case, the danger is compounded by convergence with one of the key ideological positions of the bourgeoisie, now attaining something like its purest expression under neoliberalism, which is precisely that politics and economics are, or at least should be, separate realms.

Throughout the history of the system capitalists have employed extra-economic means to recruit, retain, coerce and control labor.

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War and preparations for war involving imperialist states throw these issues into the sharpest relief. Political Marxists have two explanations for the World and Cold Wars of the twentieth century.

One is that the world as whole was not completely dominated by the capitalist mode of production: between and , conflicts were between capitalist and precapitalist powers; between and , conflicts were between capitalist powers and those which at least claimed to be postcapitalist.

Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1
Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1
Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1
Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1
Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1
Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1
Marxist Left Review 1 Marxist Left Review 1

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