Give the gift of Monthly Review this holiday season! For the special price of $29, give someone a 1-year subscription to Monthly Review, along with a free book. Choose from An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Marx’s Capital by Michael Heinrich, or The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism by Samir Amin.
Long-time South African educator and President of the New Unity Movement, R. O. Dudley had a quote that he used when speaking of various iconic South African struggle leaders: He “had arms, not wings.” It is a phrase that we should remember when speaking of the late Nelson Mandela, but unfortunately, press coverage in the United States as well as throughout the world has turned Madiba into a Hallmark greeting card figure. And while Mandela’s role as a freedom fighter and the major force for reconciliation in the new democratic South Africa should be honored and celebrated, we must remember that we are talking about a complex revolutionary, and also a complex politician.
Corporate globalization is an international phenomenon by definition that is commonly opposed on nationalist lines. A process embedded in capitalist competition and advanced by the industrialists and financiers who directly benefit from it, however, transcends borders. Understanding corporate globalization is necessary to developing strategies to effectively counter it, and relying on nationalist arguments is a barrier to grasping the systemic nature of globalization, argues Martin Hart-Landsberg in his just released book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance and Alternatives.
Throughout the world, multinational firms, private investors and state corporations are buying agricultural land. Fred Magdoff is the author of the recent article “21st Century Land Grabs: Accumulation by Agricultural Dispossession,” published in the November 2013 issue of Monthly Review. He is professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont. He was interviewed on the radio show Mud and Water, broadcast by CKUW in Winnipeg, Canada.
Please join us for a Holiday Party at the Monthly Review office in New York City, on Wednesday, December 11, 5:30 to 8:30 pm, at 146 West 29th Street, Suite 6W, (between 6th and 7th avenues). No rsvp required.
The 2012 release, The Work of Sartre: Search for Freedom and the Challenge of History, delivers the long-awaited final section of Mészáros’ 1979 study on Sartre’s work. Originally intended to constitute a second volume, the analysis of Sartre’s conception of history now serves to expand and complete the original text. The stated purpose of this new edition is to fill a political lacuna inadequately addressed by postmodernism and post-structuralism, to resurrect from its bourgeois determinations the dignity of the notion of individual responsibility championed by Sartre, to pay the debt owed to Sartre by Marxists. In a time when “the future seems to be fatefully barred by capitalism’s deepening crisis”, a retrieval of the power of radical negation seems necessary so that we can admit with Sartre that “a barred future is still a future.”
What do we know about recent progressive reform in the US? Paul Le Blanc and Michael D. Yates have answers for the current moment in A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today. The authors take a critical look at the Freedom Budget of 1966. If this is new to you, read on. The Freedom Budget was “a practical step-by-step plan for wiping out poverty in America during the next 10 years.” Since private business was not up to the task, government spending would bridge the gap.
Henry Giroux is the author of America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth, recently published by Monthly Review Press. He was interviewed by Bill Moyers on the show Moyers & Company, available to watch here.
In his most recent book, America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth, social critic and author Henry A. Giroux examines neoliberal and neoconservative attacks on public education and youth in the United States of America. His central argument is that schools are becoming less capable of preparing citizens with the critical minds, willingness to challenge authority, and hope to fulfill their social commitments to advancing a democratic society.
This remarkable book brings back into view a radical vision for victory within the mainstream, armed with the kind of expectation glimpsed briefly in the 2008 election race but this time without the support of a grassroots movement long since vanished. The Civil Rights movement, rightly called “the Freedom Movement” by participants themselves, had built up a head of steam by the 1963 March on Washington recently so much in the news again recently, for fiftieth anniversary events. But even this momentum would not likely itself have accounted for the expectation, during an extended political moment, that Democrats might boldly seek to end poverty. The impulse rested also in the surprising prestige of one very unique socialist intellectual, Michael Harrington, who with his supporters glimpsed the opportunity to apply their revolutionary visions of social transformation to the practical (or seemingly practical) prospects before them.
The current chaos in Libya, with striking army units blockading oil ports, widespread violence from the militias and with a wave of bombings and kidnappings, goes largely unreported.
An excellent new account of the war, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, by Horace Campbell, places the NATO adventure firmly in the context of the global capitalist crisis. Western leaders were looking for an opportunity to intervene in North Africa.
This remarkable book bears the tale of two South African (white) Communists who threw their lives into the cause of overthrowing the tyrannical system so effectively supported by the U.S. and Israel (among others) until the veritable end. To say they were courageous is a vast understatement…. The telling of their story is an achievement for which author Alan Wieder deserves great credit. Writing as an oral history field worker and teacher, I conclude that the book could not have been done by someone who lacked the skill and patience of an oral historian such as Wieder. The entirety of this book has the personal touch and will reward reading and rereading.
Martin Hart-Landsberg thinks big. His book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance, and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013) is proof of that. A world economy of, by, and for transnational corporations (TNCs) is a problem. So what? The author’s answer is clear. TNC-led production flows from the imperatives of businesses to produce goods and services at lower prices than rivals do. A theme throughout his book documents the interests of TNCs to the detriment of working majorities experiencing declines in their living standards.
It was a stormy relationship that only a bomb planted by an apartheid agent could blow up. Ruth First was a great researcher and thorn-in-the-side of the apartheid government before her assassination by letter bomb in 1982; Joe Slovo was the lawyer turned guerilla mastermind, who blew up power stations and military headquarters before becoming a minister in Mandela’s first government, and laid to rest in Soweto’s Avalon Cemetery. Together, they were two of the most famous and important of South Africa’s anti-apartheid activists, and lived the sort of lives that made for great stories and even greater myths.
Ruth and Joe, white secular Jews in apartheid South Africa, did not have to fight against that society of skin-color privilege. Yet they did because that social system doomed scores of people to lives of misery and poverty. We discover the complexities of place, space, and time in Ruth and Joe’s lives among those with and without name recognition to overthrow white-minority rule in South Africa.