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The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now

The Socialist Imperative reviewed by Systemic Disorder

If socialism is to be that better world, what structures might be necessary? Socialism can be defined as a system in which production is geared toward human need rather than private profit for a few; where everybody is entitled to have a say in what is produced, how it is produced and how it is distributed; that these collective decisions are made in the context of the broader community and in quantities sufficient to meet needs; political decision-making is the hands of the communities affected; and quality health care, food, shelter and education are human rights. There is no class, vanguard or other group that stands above society, arrogating decision-making, wealth and/or privileges to itself.
A blueprint for such a future is not possible; a better world will be created in its making. But neither can we leap to a different world empty-handed or without a compass. Tangible counter-examples and concrete ideas are necessary if working people — the vast majority of humanity — are to break free from their acceptance of capitalism as “common sense” or the “only alternative.” When ideas become rooted in masses of people, they become a natural force, argues Michael Lebowitz in his latest book, The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now. He uses the example of the “socialist triangle” to explicate a structure for a better, democratic system….… | more…

Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual Biography

Deutscher Memorial Prize-winner, Reconstructing Lenin, reviewed by ResoluteReader

In recent years there has been a intense discussion about the ideas of the Russian revolutionary Lenin. Some of this has its roots in the class struggle – the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement both threw up questions about the nature of revolutionary organisation. Others have attempted to re-examine Lenin to critique existing organisations and ideas. There have been some excellent books, articles and events debating these questions.

Tamás Krausz’s important new biography must be seen as part of this debate. His work is very much an attempt to re-examine Lenin’s ideas as part of a resolute defence of Lenin and his work. Krausz is clear that this is intended to take forward the revolutionary movement that can challenge and defeat capitalism.… | more…

Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement

Silvertown reviewed by ResoluteReader

In 1889 nearly 3,000 workers at Silver’s, an enormous factory in East London, in Silvertown went on strike. The men and women who walked out were inspired by the New Unionism that was sweeping the city. They’d seen mass strikes by dockers in the East End that had won major victories and they wanted improvements too.

Their twelve week strike has almost been forgotten today. Perhaps because it ended in defeat. But John Tully’s important book rescues the struggle for readers today, and, perhaps surprisingly, the reader will find that we can learn much from those brave men and women.… | more…

Socialist Register 2016: The Politics of the Right

JUST OUT! Socialist Register 2016: The Politics of the Right

This fifty-second edition of the Socialist Register explores right-wing political forces and parties around the globe, bringing to bear the Register’s reputation for detailed scholarship and passionate engagement on some of the most troubling developments in world politics today. Contributors examine mobilizations of the right in a variety of countries by analyzing their social bases, their relationships with state institutions, and the reach of their influence on mainstream parties and opinion. This volume also addresses the historical transition from right-wing nationalism to ethnicism, the question of resurgent fascism, and how left parties should respond to challenges from the far right.… | more…

The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now

“Trump Entertains; Lebowitz Enlightens”—The Progressive Populist reviews The Socialist Imperative

According to Donald Trump, a former front-runner to be the GOP presidential nominee, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, is giving everything away, a partial truth. For a fuller treatment of what a radical break with capitalism entails, read The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now by Michael A. Lebowitz (Monthly Review Press, 2015).
A retired economics professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, his two-part book doesn’t end there. That is a positive thing, as the public is open to socialism, in no small measure due to the Great Recession… | more…

Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual Biography

Reconstructing Lenin by Tamás Krausz Wins Deutscher Memorial Prize 2015

Reconstructing Lenin by Tamás Krausz – wins Deutscher Memorial Prize 2015

Named for the historian Isaac Deutscher and his wife Tamara, this prize is awarded each year for a book demonstrating “the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.” Previous prize winners include Mike Davis, Robin Blackburn, Ellen Mieksins Wood, Eric Hobsbawm, and Monthly Review Press authors Michael A. Lebowitz and István Mészáros.

Announced Friday, November 6, at Khalili Lecture Theatre, University of London… | more…

Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014

David Swanson of Talk Nation Radio interviews Laurence Shoup, author of Wall Street’s Think Tank, on the Council on Foreign Relations

“Laurence H. Shoup has taught U.S. history at the university level and has been a historical consultant on California history for over 30 years, authoring or co-authoring over 200 reports for a variety of clients. His new book which we discuss is Wall Street’s Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014. Among his past books is Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy….”… | more…

Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic

Hear Gerald Horne speak about his new book, Confronting Black Jacobins, at Tamiment Library, New York University, October 30

Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic

Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, Gerald Horne, recorded by Mitchel Cohen for WBAI-FM radio at New York University’s Tamiment Library, talks about why a study of the 1804 Haitian Revolution might be relevant to today:

“It’s mandatory to tease out the contemporary repercussions of historical events, and I say this particularly standing here in New York in the United States of America, where there is an ongoing crisis. We need deeper thinking, not least on of this spate of televised, almost pornographic, murders

Confronting Black Jacobins by Gerald Horne

New! Gerald Horne’s Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic

The Haitian Revolution, the product of the first successful slave revolt, was truly world-historic in its impact. When Haiti declared independence in 1804, the leading powers—France, Great Britain, and Spain—suffered an ignominious defeat and the New World was remade. The island revolution also had a profound impact on Haiti’s mainland neighbor, the United States. Inspiring the enslaved and partisans of emancipation while striking terror throughout the Southern slaveocracy, it propelled the fledgling nation one step closer to civil war. Gerald Horne’s path breaking new work explores the complex and often fraught relationship between the United States and the island of Hispaniola….… | more…

The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now

The Socialist Imperative reviewed in Counterfire

The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now
by Michael Lebowitz
Reviewed by Kit Klarenberg

The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now is Michael Lebowitz’s latest work, a gathering of eleven ruminations on the nature of socialism in the present day. In many ways, this is a refreshing volume that helpfully adds its voice to a suddenly resurgent and more confident left….

Suffice to say, Lebowitz does not believe socialism a hopeless cause. In fact, as modern capitalism increasingly threatens not only the stability of the environment, but our very species survival, he considers it a more morally crucial objective than ever. In attempting to establish a framework for