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Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

For most economists, labor is simply a commodity, bought and sold in markets like any other – and what happens after that is not their concern. Individual prospective workers offer their services to individual employers, each acting solely out of self-interest and facing each other as equals. The forces of demand and supply operate so that there is neither a shortage nor a surplus of labor, and, in theory, workers and bosses achieve their respective ends. Michael D. Yates, in Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle, offers a vastly different take on the nature of the labor market. | more…

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Magdalena was imprisoned on suspicion of being a communist

The Jakarta Method, Then and Now: U.S. Counterinsurgency and the Third World

Increasing numbers of left-wing activists around the world are turning to Vincent Bevins’s The Jakarta Method to learn more about the horrific atrocities committed by the United States against peoples’ struggles for the right to self-determination in the so-called postcolonial era. In particular, the book describes how imperialist expansion destroyed revolutionary struggles in the third world. | more…

An explosion caused by a police munition is seen during the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021

Giving War a Chance

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the ultimate agenda-setting, strategic planning, and consensus-forming organization of the U.S. capitalist ruling class. The latest book to come out of the CFR orbit, Strategy of Denial (2021), thus provides an opportunity to concretely observe how the monopoly capitalist ruling class is preparing the people of the United States for what could be a catastrophic world war. | more…

Histories of Racial Capitalism

Histories of Racial Capitalism and the Dynamics of the Capitalist System

The term racial capitalism is a bit of a shibboleth. Those who invoke the phrase draw from a longstanding tradition of radical scholarship that brings attention to the material force of racialism in systems of capitalist domination. There is, however, a mounting critique that questions the term’s usefulness, casting doubt on the scholarly project initiated by Cedric Robinson. In the face of such concerns, Histories of Racial Capitalism is a much needed contribution. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 73, Number 11 (April 2022)

April 2022 (Volume 73, Number 11)

As we write these notes at the beginning of March 2022, the eight-year limited civil war in Ukraine has turned into a full-scale war. This represents a turning point in the New Cold War and a great human tragedy. By threatening global nuclear holocaust, these events are also now endangering the entire world. To understand the origins of the New Cold War and the onset of the current Russian entry into the Ukrainian civil war, it is necessary to go back to decisions associated with the creation of the New World Order made in Washington when the previous Cold War ended in 1991. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 73, Number 10 (March 2022)

March 2022 (Volume 73, Number 10)

The struggle over schools today requires battles over both the privatization of education and the current attempts to limit its social content and meaning. Those fighting against this changing totality must align themselves with the embattled radical teachers in the trenches. In the famous words of Grace Lee Boggs, more than a half-century ago, it is necessary to create “a new system of education that will have as its means and its end the development of the great masses of people to govern over themselves and administer over things.” | more…

Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress

What 1930s Radicals Totally Knew: Scott Borchert on the Federal Writers’ Project

Scott Borchert on the Federal Writers' Project

The Great Depression is almost one century old. Today in the United States we remember this international economic collapse, and the suffering it engendered, by reading novels and essays about it, watching plays, viewing paintings—often forgetting that the U.S. government of that time encouraged and financially supported much of this art. Not only art: the Depression was one of the few times that the federal government ever stepped in to help ordinary people get on their feet. | more…