This history of the Freedom Budget offers a challenge to the mainstream retelling of the story of the Civil Rights movement as well as the neoliberal economic agenda. It does this by being an inspiring history of the movement itself and its key characters in their aim to link ‘racial justice for African Americans with the goal of economic justice for all Americans’ (p.9). By understanding the movement without the diluting and sanitizing effects of mainstream historians, it offers an insight into victories, defeats and individuals, altogether acting as a siren song to call activists to action. At the same time, the authors offer a concrete vision of what a ‘different, more egalitarian and humane society’ would look like (p.241). As such, this is a book not just for the historian but for the activist as well. It would make excellent reading for a study or book group, especially the final chapter that suggests a framework for a new Freedom Budget for the neoliberal world.
Join Alan Wieder, author of Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid, for two upcoming events in London, UK. He will be discussing the book at Housmans Bookshop and presenting at the launch of a special issue of the Review of African Political Economy dedicated to Ruth First.
In this review I discuss one particular chapter of the book, entitled ‘Dialectics and systems theory’. Though prolific writers, these two famous research biologists and evolutionists, Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin, are mostly known for their classic, ‘The dialectical biologist’, a gem more relevant today than when written in 1985. The chapter I am investigating here was written by Levins. When Hegel, Marx or Engels wrote of ‘things’, they were commenting on the dynamics of everything: all things (matter-energy) are born or emerge (from other things); they live or exist, then decay and die. These things are all that exist – everything is in permanent flux and “all that is solid melts into air” (Communist manifesto).
The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York Office recently hosted a book launch for Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement, with author Ralf Dose. Dose was joined by Steven Thrasher, a Contributing Editor at BuzzFeed. Thrasher was named Journalist of the Year 2012 by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his investigative feature writing in the New York Times, Village Voice and Out magazine. Click here for audio and photos of the event, courtesy of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
by Valeria Bruschi, Antonella Muzzupappa, Sabine Nuss, Anne Stecklner and Ingo Stützle; translated by Alexander Locascio. Reading Capital can be a daunting endeavor and most readers need guidance when tackling this complex work. PolyluxMarx provides such guidance. Developed by scholars and political activists associated with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Foundation), one of the leading political education institutions in Germany, this book has been field tested with groups studying Marx’s masterpiece over several years. It consists of a large set of PowerPoint presentations, combined with detailed annotations and suggestions for ways to discuss the material.
Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the first great pioneers of the gay liberation movement. This biography, first published to acclaim in Germany, follows Hirschfeld from his birth in the Prussian province of Pomerania to the heights of his career during the Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism. Ralf Dose illuminates Hirschfeld’s ground-breaking role in the gay liberation movement and explains some of his major theoretical concepts, which continue to influence our understanding of human sexuality and social justice today.
Is this a Bold New Era or Hard Times for Organized Labor? Find out at a Monthly Review Press book event and discussion of workers’ movements in the U.S. and abroad, on Monday, May 5, 7 P.M., at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle! Meet former CWA organizer Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions, and Arun Gupta, contributor to In These Times and Registering Class, the 2014 edition of Socialist Register. Singers from the Seattle Labor Chorus will perform!
The author of Lettuce Wars has produced a most compelling work. It will be of particular interest to other former “colonizers” who got active in the labor movement in the 1970s as members of various left-wing groups, including the RCP. Lettuce Wars should be also be read by their younger, union-backed counterparts, who are now “salting” non-union hotels, warehouses, and fast food joints in the pursuit of goals more modest than world revolution.
It has been Steve Early’s fate to chronicle in excruciating detail the decline of the labor empires that grew up in the flush years that followed the World War II — a task he takes up in his new book Save Our Unions: Dispatches From a Movement in Distress…. Union activists concerned with these questions should read Early’s book for essential background on this ongoing crisis of the US labor movement.
Does Steve Early exist? Or is his the brand name for a syndicate of crack labor journalists who in James Thurber’s words “get the story and write the story,” but write it from the perspective of working people. That’s a talent that often unappreciated, even by many unions. And, yes, he exists.