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Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

Imperialism in the 21st Century: “novel forms, old problems”: International Socialism review

The significance of John Smith’s book lies in his powerful critique of mainstream economics and official statistics as he attempts a renewal of dependency theory. Mobilising Marxist value theory to this end he argues that the Global South’s formal independence masks an abiding economic and political subordination to the imperialist powers and powerful Northern capitals. The book’s impact is reflected in the critical commentary that it has provoked, including on Michael Roberts’s blog.… | more…


Cuba: Its Hidden History and the U.S. Empire: 2 MRP books reviewed in International Socialism

A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas’ Victory
By Steve Cushion
Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History
By Jane Franklin
The last year and a half have left no doubt that the history of the Cuban Revolution will need to be revisited and probably rewritten. From the moment that Raúl Castro and Barack Obama met, and the American president visited the island, everything changed.… | more…

Facing the Anthropocene

Facing the Anthropocene reviewed in Socialism and Democracy

This book underscores the depth of the environmental crisis and, with its thorough grounding in the scientific literature, situates the onset of the crisis in geological as well as historical time. These two time-scales now converge, signifying the end of the ecological conditions that allowed the human species to flourish. ¶ Herein lies the drama—and, with it, the challenge—that we are now living….… | more…

Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

“Open Veins of the Global South”: Imperialism in the 21st Century reviewed by Left Voice

Dhaka, April 24, 2013. On that day, the capital of Bangladesh hit the headlines around the world after the collapse of Rana Plaza, a monstrous eight-story building that housed several textile factories, a bank, and a few shops. It was one of the worst disasters ever seen in a workplace, causing the tragic death of 1,133 garment workers and injury of another 2,500. ¶ This crime is the starting point of the recently-published Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis, in which John Smith presents the key pillars on which the current world capitalist system rests.… | more…

The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?

“When memory yields to pride”: The American War in Vietnam reviewed by Counterfire

Professor John Marciano, long-time activist, campaigner and author, has been documenting this assault on the mind for decades. The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration? is his latest work, a slim but estimable text that offers a wide-ranging history of the war, the lies told then and now to justify and palliate it, and current perceptions of the conflict. ¶ This book truly sets the record straight, and tells the story of Vietnam as it should have been told all along – and should be forevermore.… | more…

Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

“Humanity destroys capitalism or capitalism destroys humanity”: Imperialism in the 21st Century reviewed by Political Economy

In 2002 Anne Daly produced a documentary called Race to the Bottom, provoked by a fire that killed fifty-two workers in a garment factory in Bangladesh. John Smith’s book begins with the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, when another garment factory collapsed and 1,131 workers died. Clearly, the race to the bottom continues…. ¶ Along with other examples of intensified exploitation, smartphone manufacture, and coffee-growing, John Smith connects the outsourcing of production to the lowest-wage economies with the nature of capitalism today.… | more…

Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation

Remembering Studs Terkel via Alan Wieder and Alternet

One of three sons of immigrant jews from Bialystok, Poland, Louis “Studs” Terkel was born on May 16, 1912, in New York City. In 1922, Studs moved with his parents and his two brothers to Chicago, where he lived for the rest of his life. Actor, disc jockey, author, raconteur, husband and father, Studs is probably best known as host of the The Studs Terkel Show from 1952 to 1997 on Chicago’s WFMT. The program earned him the title of ‘Mr. Chicago’ and many people in the city have said they always knew it was between ten and eleven in the morning if they caught an earful of his radio program….… | more…

Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

John Smith’s “Rigorous Exposé Of Neoliberalism” in Britain’s The Morning Star

This seminal and original study of contemporary imperialism should be on every militant’s bookshelf, not least because it is tightly argued, exhaustively researched and unashamedly Marxist throughout. ¶ John Smith’s central argument is that the decline in manufacturing in the Western industrialised countries, and its rise in the so-called Third World, are part of a deliberate strategy by transnational corporations to exploit low wages, underpinned by appalling working conditions, in order to realise super profits….… | more…

Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

John Smith “meticulously demolishes” GDP illusions: Socialist Review

Everyone remembers the 1,133 deaths from the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse. But who knows about Bangladeshi workers who earn just one euro cent for every 18 T-shirts they make, and take home €1.36 after a ten or 12 hour day? ¶ Ultimate villains of this ‘super-exploitation’ are corporate buyers from the Global North and race-to-the-bottom capitalist market competition. ¶ John Smith uses such atrocities to expose the ways that conventional statistics understate the value of outsourced commodities created in the Global South….… | more…

Facing the Anthropocene

“New Era Demands Cooperation, Not Competition”: Facing the Anthropocene reviewed in Earth Island Journal

Ian Angus’ Facing the Anthropocene is required reading. Why? Angus weds natural and social processes of planetary import in 2016. To this end, his ‘essential background and context’ advances a vital discussion. The book, short and sweet at 277 pages, joins a literature of eco-social critiques from radical writers such as Paul Burkett, Brett Clark, Rebecca Clausen, John Bellamy Foster, Naomi Klein, and Stefano B. Longo. Foster’s Foreword sets the stage…… | more…