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Revolution Now

Teachings from the Global South for Revolutionaries in the Global North

We have entered a period of history fraught with danger but also rich with revolutionary potential. It is time to move beyond our illusions that electoral politics and reforms of the capitalist state can achieve the revolutionary changes that we all know are urgently needed. As we begin to reorient our struggles there are important lessons to be learned from the recent history of the global South. | more…

Gathering Rage

Gathering Rage: The Failure of 20th Century Revolutions to Develop a Feminist Agenda

As the smoke clears from the collapse of revolutionary societies from Eurasia to Central America, analysts are searching for the crucial points of weakness that led to the failure of these “socialist experiments.” In Gathering Rage, writer, poet, and activist Margaret Randall describes how two of these revolutions, in Nicaragua and in Cuba, addressed or failed to address a feminist agenda.

Writing as both observer and participant, Randall vividly describes how, in each case, to varying degrees, and in different ways, women’s issues were gradually pushed aside. Combining anecdotes with analysis, she shows how distorted visions of liberation and shortcomings in practice left a legacy that

June 2017 (Volume 69, Number 2)

June 2017 (Volume 69, Number 2)

In the last several years, the left has experienced a series of defeats, and the grip of capital has tightened. The recent reversals in Latin America are a warning. We live in an age where a new era of revolutionary social change, unlike any that came before it, is the only hope—not just for ourselves, but for the chain of human generations. | more…

Mauricio Macri with swastika

Old Malbec in New Bottles

The Return of Neoliberalism in Argentina

Argentina has long been plagued by cycles of economic mismanagement, including multiple failed neoliberal experiments. Before his election as president, Mauricio Macri promised resumed growth, an export boom, lower inflation, a smaller budget deficit, and less poverty. Since then, has the new neoliberalism outperformed the old? | more…

The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers (2nd Ed.)

The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers (Second Edition)

U.S. immigration has been the subject of furious debates for decades. On one side, politicians and the media talk about aliens and criminals, with calls to “deport them all.” On the other side, some advocates idealize immigrants and gloss over problems associated with immigration. Dialogue becomes possible when we dig deeper and ask tough questions: Why are people in other countries leaving their homes and coming here? What does it mean to be “illegal”? How do immigration raids, prisons, and border walls impact communities? Who suffers and who profits from our current system—and what would happen if we transformed it? | more…

Andre Gunder Frank

A Radical Invitation for Latin America

The Legacy of Andre Gunder Frank's 'Development of Underdevelopment'

Admired, followed, criticized, denounced, and rediscovered, “The Development of Underdevelopment” deserves a place among the key documents of postwar radical political economy. More than fifty years on, its ideas still illuminate aspects of recent struggles and shortcomings among left-of-center governments in Latin America. Most importantly, Frank’s work poses a bold postcolonial challenge that has yet to be fully met by Latin American scholars and social movements. | more…

Nicolas Maduro & Marta harnecker

‘A New Revolutionary Subject’

Marta Harnecker interviewed by Tassos Tsakiroglou

This article will be made available online on April 24th.

Although today there are some setbacks in the region, nobody can deny that there is a huge difference between the Latin America that Hugo Chávez inherited and the Latin America he left us. A new revolutionary subject has been created. | more…

A New Economy of Knowledge

Longtime Monthly Review and Monthly Review Press author Richard Levins died on January 19, 2016, at the age of eighty-five. A polymath, he studied agriculture, mathematics, genetics, evolution, ecology, and philosophy.… He collaborated with Cuban scientists and served as a scientific advisor for Cuba. With his close friend and coauthor Richard Lewontin he wrote a column, “Eppur´ Si Muove,” for the journal Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, and he actively participated in the progressive organization Science for the People, working to confront the misuse of science. He was, above all, a leading Marxist intellectual, ecologist, biomathematician, philosopher of science, and comrade.… Four months before his death, Levins submitted this essay to Monthly Review. In it he discusses La economía del conocimiento y el socialismo by Agustín Lage, published in 2013 by Editorial Academia del Hispanismo. The book is currently unavailable in English translation. In the pages that follow, we feature this last essay by Levins, under the circumstances substantially unedited, along with his classic article “Living the Eleventh Thesis,” an excerpt from Biology Under the Influence that first appeared in the January 2008 issue of Monthly Review.

—Brett Clark

Social Movements and Progressive Governments

Building a New Relationship in Latin America

The major element missing from Latin American politics in recent decades has been, with rare exceptions, the traditional workers’ movement, beaten down by flexibilization, subcontracting, and other neoliberal measures.… The fall of the Berlin Wall and the defeat of Soviet socialism left the parties and social organizations of the left inspired by that model seriously weakened. At the same time, trade unions were hit hard by the weakening of the working class, part of the larger social fragmentation produced by neoliberalism. In that context, it was new social movements, and not the traditional parties and social organizations of the left, that rose to the forefront of the struggle against neoliberalism, in forms that varied widely from one country to another.… The situation in the 1980s and ’90s in Latin America was comparable in some respects to the experience of pre-revolutionary Russia in the early twentieth century.… [M]any of the region’s peoples said “enough” and started mobilizing, first in defensive resistance, then passing to the offensive. As a result, presidential candidates of the left or center-left began to triumph, only to face the following alternative: either embrace the neoliberal model, or advance an alternative project motivated by a logic of solidarity and human development.… [Consequently,] a major debate has emerged over the role that new social movements should adopt in relation to the progressive governments that have inspired hope in many Latin American nations. | more…

Contemporary Imperialism

Lenin, Bukharin, Stalin, and Trotsky in Russia, as well as Mao, Zhou Enlai, and Den Xiaoping in China, shaped the history of the two great revolutions of the twentieth century. As leaders of revolutionary communist parties and then later as leaders of revolutionary states, they were confronted with the problems faced by a triumphant revolution in countries of peripheral capitalism and forced to “revise”…the theses inherited from the historical Marxism of the Second International.… With the benefit of hindsight, I will indicate here the limitations of their analyses. Lenin and Bukharin considered imperialism to be a new stage (“the highest”) of capitalism associated with the development of monopolies. I question this thesis and contend that historical capitalism has always been imperialist, in the sense that it has led to a polarization between centers and peripheries since its origin (the sixteenth century), which has only increased over the course of its later globalized development. | more…

Imperialism’s Health Component

Medicine and public health have played important roles in imperialism. With the emergence of the United States as an imperial power in the early twentieth century, interlinkages between imperialism, public health, and health institutions were forged through several key mediating institutions. Philanthropic organizations sought to use public health initiatives to address several challenges faced by expanding capitalist enterprises: labor productivity, safety for investors and managers, and the costs of care. From modest origins, international financial institutions and trade agreements eventually morphed into a massive structure of trade rules that have exerted profound effects on public health and health services worldwide. International health organizations have collaborated with corporate interests to protect commerce and trade. In this article we clarify the connections among these mediating institutions and imperialism. | more…

Resisting the Imperial Order and Building an Alternative Future in Medicine and Public Health

Although medicine and public health have played important roles in the growth and maintenance of the capitalist system, conditions during the twenty-first century have changed to such an extent that a vision of a world without an imperial order has become part of an imaginable future. Throughout the world, diverse struggles against the logic of capital and privatization illustrate the challenges of popular mobilization. In addition to these struggles, groups in several countries have moved to create alternative models of public health and health services. These efforts—especially in Latin America—have moved beyond the historical patterns fostered by capitalism and imperialism…. All the struggles that we describe remain in a process of dialectic change and have continued to transform toward more favorable or less favorable conditions. However, the accounts show a common resistance to the logic of capital and a common goal of public health systems grounded in solidarity, not profitability. | more…