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Monthly Review Volume 74, Number 6 (November 2022)

November 2022 (Volume 74, Number 6)

The latest Review of the Month, written by Spanish geologist Carles Soriano, considers the implications of idea of the Capitalocene, the historical determinations affecting the study of the Earth Sciences, and how our views of the current planetary crisis are often shaped by inadequate narratives. Current approaches, he writes are “non-dialectic and non-materialist regarding the study of social reproduction modes, and this renders the whole understanding of the planetary crisis not only incomplete but idealist, for the capitalist mode is assumed as absolute rather than historical.” | more…

Smokestacks in Garneau, Edmonton, Alberta

Anthropocene, Capitalocene, and Other “-Cenes”: Why a Correct Understanding of Marx’s Theory of Value Is Necessary to Leave the Planetary Crisis

The perception that we are living in a critical historical period regarding the conditions of habitability on Earth—not only for humans but for many other living organisms too—is gaining more and more adepts among common people, academics, politicians, and social movements. This critical period has been typified as the planetary crisis of the Anthropocene Epoch and studies undertaken in the present century show that habitability on Earth is progressively deteriorating. | more…

A flag with the Women's Strike logo at the Krakow Equality March

What Comes after a Cycle of Protests? The Case of the 2020 Women’s Protests in Poland

Two years after the peak of the 2020 street protests for reproductive rights in Poland, Magdalena Muszel and Grzegorz Piotrowski explore the movement’s effects on Polish society. Despite the dissipating energy of the participants and continued intransigence of most major parties, this cycle of protests shifted the values and political preferences of specific gender and age groups, as well as affecting the common perception of protest movements in Poland. | more…

Supreme Court of India

Bhima Koregaon—Before the Law

Bhima Koregaon is that rare sequence in Indian politics today that can challenge reveal the true powers of being able to retroactively “change the past” in order to liberate the future, much in the manner of Marx’s historical materialism. The case, Saroj Giri writes, forces us to revisit the question of historical oppression based on caste from within the present, and beckons us to reject the capitalist accelerationist-futurist “progressive politics” of much of the left, taking us closer to the class struggle of Marx. | more…

F-16N Fighting Falcon

End of Cold War Illusions

In this reprint of the February 1994 “Notes from the Editors,” former MR editors Harry Magdoff and Paul M. Sweezy ask: “The United States could not have won a more decisive victory in the Cold War. Why, then, does it continue to act as though the Cold War is still on?” | more…

New this week!
The Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to the World Beyond Capitalism

Strategies for Degrowth

Mariko Frame reviews The Future is Degrowth: A Guide to the World Beyond Capitalism, by Matthias Schmelzer, Andrea Vetter, and Aaron Vansintjan (Verso, 2022) and its explorations of the policies, vision, and strategies for social change required for the burgeoning movement. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 74, Number 5 (October 2022)

October 2022 (Volume 74, Number 5)

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of The Limits of Growth, one of the most influential, and also controversial, environmental studies ever written. No other environmental work of the 1970s offered such a direct challenge to the underlying assumptions of capitalist neoclassical growth economics, or was responded to so vehemently by establishment thinkers. | more…

Aerial photo of Dihua, an ancient town in Danfeng County, Shangluo City of northwest China's Shaanxi Province

Ecological Civilization, Ecological Revolution

An Ecological Marxist Perspective

How are we to understand the origins and historic significance of the concept of ecological civilization? What is its relation to ecological Marxism? And how does all of this relate to the worldwide revolutionary struggle aimed at transcending our current planetary emergency and protecting what Karl Marx called “the chain of human generations”—along with life in general? | more…

In the Mir (1893)

Marx and Engels and Russia’s Peasant Communes

In the past and in his own time, Marx has been portrayed as endorsing the enclosure of the commons as a necessary historical stage on the path to socialism. However, a more accurate account, one that is critical of the enclosure movement, can be found in his response to the destruction of commons-based peasant communities in Russia—while it was actually happening. | more…

"GOELRO Plan" poster (part of the triptych), by Alexander Lemeshchenko

Some Lessons on Planning for the Twenty-First Century from the World’s First Socialist Economy

The Soviet Union’s efforts at centralized economic planning suffered greatly by neglecting to integrate cybernetics into a comprehensive model. Today, this cybernetic approach to economic planning is still blocked. The time has come to implement alternative planning in the form of an automated model that coordinates the activities of all industries and sectors of toward a prosperous and sustainable future. | more…

501 West 29th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in the Chelsea, Manhattan

New York: Forest of Symbols

New York City is facing a crisis in its urban ecosystem. As wealthy developers and real estate mega-projects rupture the connections between people and the social and spatial webs making up the city’s once-rich undergrowth, how can city-dwellers nurture and restore their metropolitan habitat? | more…