Friday April 18th, 2014

Philosophy

Socialism or Barbarism

Socialism or Barbarism

From the “American Century” to the Crossroads

István Mészáros’s bold new study analyzes the historical choices facing us at the outset of the new millennium. Drawing on the theoretical arguments of his monumental and widely-acclaimed Beyond Capital, Mészáros shows that the economic boom of the 1990s was built not only on the foundation of new, digital technologies but also on a new social and ethical basis. In the global quest for profit, capitalism has abandoned its claims to serve a larger historical cause. Even in the wealthiest capitalist economies, unemployment has become structural and conditions of life have become more onerous for most of the population.… | more |

The Amoral Elephant

The Amoral Elephant

Globalization and the Struggle for Social Justice in the Twenty-First Century

In November 1999, when more than forty thousand demonstrators in Seattle effectively shut down a World Trade Organization (WTO) conference, we saw what may well have been this country’s largest popular protest of the last twenty years or more. In April 2000, thousands converged on Washington D.C. to express opposition to the IMF and the World Bank, and more recently, massive demonstrations in Geneva, Melbourne and Prague succeeded in bringing international attention to the issues surrounding globalization. Against the backdrop of these historic events, William K. Tabb issues a comprehensive examination of the world capitalist system at the start of the twenty-first century. He confronts the prevailing view of globalization as the steamroller against which even the most powerful nations are helpless and explains the role of the state in creating the conditions necessary for capital’s dominance.… | more |

Women and the Politics of Class

Women and the Politics of Class

Women and the Politics of Class engages many crucial contemporary feminist issues—abortion, reproductive technology, comparable worth, the impoverishment of women, the crisis in care-giving, and the shredding of the social safety net through welfare reform and budget cuts. These problems, Brenner argues, must be set in the political and economic context of a state and society dominated by the imperatives of capital accumulation. Drawing on historical explorations of the labor movement and working-class politics, Brenner provides a fresh materialist approach to one of the most important issues of feminist theory today: the intersection of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class.… | more |

Law and the Rise of Capitalism

Law and the Rise of Capitalism

Against a backdrop of seven hundred years of bourgeois struggle, eminent lawyer and educator, Michael E. Tigar, develops a Marxist theory of law and jurisprudence based upon the Western experience. This well-researched and documented study traces the role of law and lawyers in the European bourgeoisie’s conquest of power-the first such history in the English language-and in the process, contradicts the analyses of such major figures as R.H. Tawney and Max Weber. Using a wide range of primary sources, Tigar demonstrates that the legal theory of the insurgent bourgeoisie predated the Protestant Reformation and was a major ideological ingredient of the bourgeois revolution.… | more |

Hungry for Profit

Hungry for Profit

The Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food, and the Environment

The agribusiness/food sector is the second most profitable industry in the United States — following pharmaceuticals — with annual sales over $400 billion. Contributing to its profitability are the breathtaking strides in biotechnology coupled with the growing concentration of ownership and control by food’s largest corporations. Everything, from decisions on which foods are produced, to how they are processed, distributed, and marketed is, remarkably, dictated by a select few giants wielding enormous power. More and more farmers are forced to adopt new technologies and strategies with consequences potentially harmful to the environment, our health, and the quality of our lives. The role played by trade institutions like the World Trade Organization, serves only to make matters worse. … | more |

Under Attack, Fighting Back

Under Attack, Fighting Back

Women and Welfare in the United States

This new edition updates a highly acclaimed work with an analysis of the most recent developments in welfare “reform” and welfare rights activism. Drawing on first-hand reports of women forced to leave welfare and other newly available data, Mimi Abramovitz documents the impact of this historic change in public policy on the lives of poor single mothers and their children. She punctures the highly publicized claims that equate successful reform with shrunken rolls, showing that if the reformers set out to improve the lives of women and children, something went dangerously awry. Abramovitz argues that welfare reform has penalized single motherhood; exposed poor women to the risks of hunger, homelessness, and male violence; swept them into low-paid jobs, and left many former recipients unable to make ends meet. … | more |

Hitting the Lottery Jackpot

Hitting the Lottery Jackpot

Government and the Taxing of Dreams

Hitting the Lottery Jackpot is a timely critique of the economic and social costs of state reliance on lotteries to generate public revenues. David Nibert highlights the conflicting role of the state as gambling promoter to show who really profits—advertising agencies, TV stations, and ticket vendors—with less than half the money wagered returned as prizes. Hitting the Lottery Jackpotalso shows who loses: lower-income groups and people of color, who spend a much higher percentage of their income on lotteries than others.… | more |

Capital Crimes

Capital Crimes

In this fact-filled, sweeping treatment, George Winslow takes on every aspect of the topic, from the streets to the suites. Unlike conventional accounts, Capital Crimes locates the problem within the context of the global economy from the Burmese heroin trade to homicide in the United States, from the capital flight that has generated crime in inner cities to corporate money-laundering schemes revealing how the occurrence, extent, and type of crime committed, as well as society’s response to the problem, are largely determined by economic forces shaped by elite interests.… | more |

In the Shadow of Empire

In the Shadow of Empire

Canada For Americans

In the Shadow of Empire: Canada for Americans invites Americans to take a closer look at their neighbor to the north, challenging the commonly held view that Canada is just like the United States. American-born but a longtime resident of Canada, Joseph K. Roberts brings into focus every major feature of Canada’s politics, from the distinctiveness of a society that does not stigmatize government action to the struggles of indigenous peoples and the quest of French-speaking Quebec for autonomy.… | more |

Making Sense of the Media

Making Sense of the Media

A Handbook of Popular Education Techniques

Making Sense of the Media is a handbook for teaching critical analysis of the mass media. Lively, clear, and richly illustrated, it is designed for classroom use in any group setting, including high school, adult literacy, ESL, labor, and community organizing. Its lessons empower students by developing their ability to understand and analyze messages found in advertising, political campaigns, television news, soaps, sitcoms, and melodramas. … | more |

Science and the Retreat from Reason

Science and the Retreat from Reason

Science fascinates us, with popularizations of it regularly heading the bestseller lists, and more people feeling comfortable with the technological applications of science which surround us. Why is it then that in the late twentieth century, “back to nature” has replaced “progress through science” in the popular imagination?… | more |