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Marx, Dead and Alive: Reading "Capital" in Precarious Times

Marx, Dead and Alive: Reading “Capital” in Precarious Times

Forthcoming in November 2020

Karl Marx saw the ruling class as a sorcerer, no longer able to control the ominous powers it has summoned from the netherworld. Today, in an age spawning the likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, our society has never before been governed by so many conjuring tricks, with collusions and conspiracies, fake news and endless sleights of the economic and political hand. And yet, contends Andy Merrifield, as our modern lives become ever more mist-enveloped, the works of Marx can help us penetrate the fog. In Marx, Dead and Alive—a book that begins and ends beside Marx’s recently violated London graveside—Merrifield makes a spirited case for a critical thinker who can still offer people a route toward personal and social authenticity. | more…

Leszek Kolakowski and Henri Lefebvre at a conference in the Netherlands on March 9, 1971

Mystified Consciousness

The great French Marxist Henri Lefebvre authored sixty-eight books, since translated into thirty languages, making brilliant analyses on dialectics and alienation, everyday life and urbanism, ecology and citizenship. Yet, his La conscience mystifiée(Mystified Consciousness), published in 1936, has seemingly been forgotten in every language, largely ignored everywhere. Though it may well be his most enduring political tract, it was his most prescient thesis for understanding the human condition in the twenty-first century. | more…

Greenwich Village

Endgame Marxism (and Urbanism)

Collectivity and individuality express two different aspects of Marxism’s humanist tradition, of how they ought to go together. It is another way to frame the dialectic of justice and jouissance, a radical hope for equality on the one side, plus a diversity of self-expression on the other. In a sense, this is not only what Marxism should offer; it is what any city should offer, too. Cities should reconcile problems of freedom and necessity, ought to provide affordable housing and a decent quality of life, alongside novelty of experience and scope for expansive individuality. | 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…

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