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The Fiction of a Thinkable World: Body, Meaning, and the Culture of Capitalism

The Fiction of a Thinkable World: Body, Meaning, and the Culture of Capitalism

In the culture of the modern West, we see ourselves as thinking subjects, defined by our conscious thought, autonomous and separate from each other and the world we survey. Current research in neurology and cognitive science shows that this picture is false. We think with our bodies, and in interaction with others, and our thought is never completed. The Fiction of a Thinkable World is a wide-ranging exploration of the meaning of this insight for our understanding of history, ethics, and politics.… | more…

Windows on the Workplace: Technology, Jobs, and the Organization of Office Work

Windows on the Workplace: Technology, Jobs, and the Organization of Office Work

In this eye-opening book, Joan Greenbaum tells the story of changes in management policies, work organization, and the design of office information systems from the 1950s to the present. Windows on the Workplace takes us behind the news stories of the highly efficient, high-tech workplace and shows us the ways in which technologies—computers, mobile phones, the internet—have been adapted by management to reshape the way work is done. In tracing the introduction of new technologies, Greenbaum reveals how organizations use them to benefit from both increased profits and more intense control over the workforce.… | more…

The Rosa Luxemburg Reader

The Rosa Luxemburg Reader

Among the major Marxist thinkers of the period of the Russian Revolution, Rosa Luxemburg stands out as one who speaks to our own time. Her legacy grows in relevance as the global character of the capitalist market becomes more apparent and the critique of bureaucratic power more widely accepted within the movement for human liberation.… The Rosa Luxemburg Reader will be the definitive one-volume collection of Luxemburg’s writings in English translation. Unlike previous publications of her work from the early 1970s, this volume includes substantial extracts from her major economic writings—above all, The Accumulation of Capital (1913)—and from her political writings, including Reform or Revolution (1898), the Junius Pamphlet (1916), and The Russian Revolution (1918).… | more…

The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, and the Making of a New Political Subject

The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, and the Making of a New Political Subject

John Sanbonmatsu’s Postmodern Prince is an work of political theory with a focus on questions of strategy. At the same time it provides an original and illuminating intellectual history of the Left from the 1960s to the present. It examines the politics of the New Left in the 1960s, showing how its expressivism led to political division and also prepared the ground for postmodernism. It shows also how the political economy of academic life in an increasingly commodified society strengthened the basis of postmodernism.… | more…

The Making of a Cybertariat: Virtual Work in a Real World

The Making of a Cybertariat: Virtual Work in a Real World

The workplace has been changed in recent decades by the rise of digital technologies. Parts of a single labor process can be moved around the world, with implications not only for individual workplaces or firms, but for the working class as a whole. Computer operators in India process medical transcriptions for doctors in the United States at one-eighth of what U.S. computer operators would earn, and at four times the salary of an Indian schoolteacher.… | more…

Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education

Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education

Is the Internet the springboard which will take universities into a new age, or a threat to their existence? Will dotcom degrees create new opportunities for those previously excluded, or lead them into a digital dead-end? From UCLA to Columbia, digital technologies have brought about rapid and sweeping changes in the life of the university—changes which will have momentous effects in the decade ahead.… | more…

On Gender and Class in U.S. Labor History

The relationship between gender and class, central to understanding the history of the labor movement, raises important issues for Marxist analysis in general. Grappling with the complexities of this relationship forces us to confront a wide range of theoretical and practical questions. What is the connection between “material conditions” and “identity”? What role do culture, discourses, sexuality, and emotions play in shaping people’s responses to their material conditions? How are the varieties of consciousness of class related to other identities and affiliations? These questions challenge us theoretically and politically, as we seek to develop a working-class politics that incorporates struggles against all forms of oppression … | more…

Socialist Register 2003: Fighting Identities

Socialist Register 2003: Fighting Identities

Why do racial, religious, ethnic and national identities have such purchase on the lives of so many people, and why are they still at the center of so many major conflicts at the beginning of the twenty-first century? What form is racism taking amidst the inequalities, refugees and mass migrations of today’s global capitalism? How does the American state—as both the manager of the world capitalist order and as the embodiment of an all-too-often chauvinist national identity—fit into the picture of ‘Fighting Identities’?… | more…

The Socialist Feminist Project: A Contemporary Reader in Theory and Politics

The Socialist Feminist Project: A Contemporary Reader in Theory and Politics

Socialist feminist theorizing is flourishing today. This collection is intended to shows its strengths and resources and convey a sense of it as an ongoing project. Not every contribution to that project bears the same theoretical label, but the writings collected here share a broad aim of understanding women’s subordination in a way which integrates class and gender—as well as aspects of women’s identity such as race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation—with the aim of liberating women.… | more…

Censorship, Inc.

Censorship, Inc.

Soley shows how as corporate power has grown and come to influence the issues on which ordinary Americans should be able to speak out, so new strategies have developed to restrict free speech on issues in which corporations and property-owners have an interest. From the tobacco industry’s attempts to prevent information about the effects of smoking on health from becoming public to corporate lawyers advising tire manufacturers not to disclose that their products are causing death on the roads, what are often seen as legitimate business practices constantly narrows our right to free speech.… | more…

Dialectical Urbanism: Social Struggles in the Capitalist City

Dialectical Urbanism: Social Struggles in the Capitalist City

Life in the city can be both liberating and oppressive. The contemporary city is an arena in which new and unexpected personal identities and collective agencies are forged and at the same time the major focus of market forces intent on making all life a commodity. This book explores both sides of the urban experience, developing a perspective from which the contradictory nature of the politics of the city comes more clearly into view.… | more…

The Women Who Organized Harvard

A Feminist Model of Labor Organization?

Balloons transformed Harvard Yard on May 17, 1988, the day the “servants of the university,” as workers were originally called, voted on whether to join the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW), an affiliate of AFSCME. “Ballooning” lightened the tension, but Kristine Rondeau, lead union organizer, had a grim warning for her staff: “You did a wonderful job. But we don’t have it … It’s very likely we didn’t win.”1 In fact, by a slim margin, they did have it. One of the most influential universities in the world had been outsmarted by some of its unknown employees, mostly women… | more…

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