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Washington's New Cold War: A Socialist Perspective

Washington’s New Cold War: A Socialist Perspective

As the American people delude themselves once more into thinking of the United States as a liberating force for peace in the world, Waging a New Cold War invites us, instead, to think for ourselves. Behind the scenes the plans to wage war have been laid—either by proxy, as in Ukraine, or directly, against the U.S.’s old twentieth-century foes. Waging a New Cold War: A Socialist Perspective makes a strong case that, as the official story is laid out by government propagandists, and as the mainstream media provides cover, the aim of this latest set of American military escapades remains the same as ever: Maintenance of U.S hegemony in the global financial system. Foregrounded with an introduction by Vijay Prashad, this cogent collaboration puts forth three essays that illustrate clearly that, while the Cold War against the Soviet Union ended, the “cold war” against the “enemies” of the United States did not. Furthermore, its authors lay out evidence that the U.S. establishment has been willing to risk nuclear winter—in other words, mutual annihilation—to hold onto economic primacy. And they show that, while Russia and China can each be criticized, justifiably, for their violations of human life and dignity, neither, on its own, threatens the eruption of a Third World War and the end of the human race as we know it. Just in time, we have in our hands an intelligent text that strengthens our struggle against the cynical machinations of the American military behemoth and its propaganda machine. | 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…

Radek: A Novel

Radek: A Novel

Through this dramatic history by Stefan Heym, we become intimate with the story of the maverick and internationalist Karl Radek, known as the editor of the newspaper of record throughout the Soviet era, Isvestia. Beginning as Lenin’s companion at the dawning of the October Revolution, Radek later became Stalin’s favorite intellectual – only to find himself entangled in the great purges of the late 1930s and scripting his own trial. In this, his last historical novel, Heym reveals Radek as a brilliant Bolshevik journalist and politician who found himself at every turn of the wheel of fate. | 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…

Tractor factory in the Soviet Union in 1972

Crisis of Socialism and Effects of Capitalist Restoration

The main criticism leveled at the socialist economies was that a planned economy was inherently less efficient than a market one, due to the sheer scale of the bureaucratic task involved with planning a major economy. But the collapse of the Soviet and later the Russian economy under Mikhail Gorbachev and then Boris Yeltsin was an economic disaster that was otherwise unprecedented during times of peace. The world’s second superpower was reduced to the status of a minor bankrupt economy with a huge decline in industrial production and in living standards. | more…

Evald Ilyenkov

On the Coincidence of Logic with Dialectics and the Theory of Knowledge of Materialism

In this reprint of “On the Coincidence of Logic with Dialectics and the Theory of Knowledge of Materialism,” Evald Ilyenkov discusses the idea of the coincidence of dialectics, logics, and theory of knowledge—one of the hallmarks of the Ilyenkovian current in post-Stalin Soviet philosophy. Ilyenkov was a renowned and controversial Soviet Marxist philosopher who contributed substantially to the Marx Renaissance that emerged in the so-called Thaw Period, aiming to reconstruct Marx’s original methodology. He was known as an ardent critic of technocratic tendencies in the Soviet Union and stressed that socialist society should express humanist values and not merely be an engineering project. | more…

The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce

The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce

Karl Marx famously wrote in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon that history repeats itself, “first as tragedy, then as farce.” The Cold War, waged between the United States and Soviet Union from 1945 until the latter's dissolution in 1991, was a great tragedy, resulting in millions of civilian deaths in proxy wars, and a destructive arms race that diverted money from social spending and nearly led to nuclear annihilation. The New Cold War between the United States and Russia is playing out as farce—a dangerous one at that. The Russians Are Coming, Again is a red flag to restore our historical consciousness about U.S.-Russian relations, and how denying this consciousness is leading to a repetition of past follies. | more…

Section of the Diego Rivera's mural "From the conquest to 1930" focusing on Marx and the class struggle

The Multiple Meanings of Marx’s Value Theory

The Marxian critique of political economy is inseparable from the “labor theory of value.” But what exactly does this theory mean? This article considers Marx’s value theory from five perspectives: as a monetary value theory, a theory of exploitation, a macro-monetary theory of capitalist production, a theory of individual prices, and a theory of crises. | more…