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Monthly Review Volume 72, Number 3 (July-August 2020)

July-August 2020 (Volume 72, Number 3)

Notes from the Editors

The entire United States has been upended by weeks of protests, extending to over 150 cities, sparked by the racist police murder of George Floyd. The present special issue of Monthly Review is devoted to exploring the complex interweaving of the classical Marxian critique with the rapidly developing critique of racial capitalism. | more…

A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia

Colonialism, Migration, Pandemic

The Immutable Evidence that Capitalism Is Racist and Misogynist

This article will be released in full online July 27, 2020.

Capitalism is a global racialized structure. Although many of the exploited working class are white peoples, people of color, especially women of color, have generally borne the brunt of the human suffering inflicted by capitalism. There is no doubt that colonialism and U.S. slavery were economic systems, but they were also brutal attacks on non-Western peoples. | more…

Virus also reawakens Wests racism

The Yellow Plague and Romantic Anticapitalism

This article will be released in full online August 3, 2020.

COVID-19 is a great revealer, laying bare the structures of racial disposability that have sacrificed people, from migrant detainees to meat packers. We are also witness to the rise of anti-Asian violence. Brutal attacks against Asian Americans have exposed the fraudulence of the model minority myth and the assimilationist paradigm that legitimizes state violence against Black and Brown bodies. | more…

Walter A. Rodney: A Promise of Revolution

Racial Capital from Pan-Africanism and Coloniality to Epistemic Rupture

New Directions in a Life with Marxism

This article will be released in full online August 10, 2020.

The history and nature of racial capitalism remain primary questions of our times. Its true significance and gravity threaten to reveal everything about our contemporary world, from our immediate social arrangements to the global system. Within this, corporate power and the hegemonic culture shape the world at the limits of our perceptions. We must simultaneously engage the contemporary politics of knowledge production around these issues, both within the academy and in popular culture. | more…

Caste Class and Race A Study in Social Dynamics by Oliver Cromwell Cox

Oliver Cromwell Cox’s Marxism

This article will be released in full online August 17, 2020.

Oliver Cromwell Cox insisted on dealing with the crucial issues of his time and on telling the truth as he saw it, regardless of whose toes may have been stepped on or whose sensibilities may have been injured. He has aided in preventing the complete stultification of academic social science and in the long run exercised an immense influence on American life. | more…

The Civil War in the United States by Karl Marx

Marx and Slavery

This article will be released in full online August 24, 2020.

The rise to prominence of analyses of racial capitalism represents a breakthrough in Marxian theory. This has necessarily been accompanied by a critique of previous Marxian analyses, which all too often ignored or minimized the relation of slavery to capitalism. In recent years, however, these criticisms of orthodox Marxist treatments of slavery have been extended, much more problematically, to the work of Karl Marx himself. Although Marx never wrote a treatise on slavery, the issue of slave labor was woven into his analysis of social formations, both ancient and modern, and was inextricably intertwined with his treatment of wage labor. | more…

Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19 by Rob Wallace

Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19

Forthcoming in September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world. It shouldn’t have. Since this century’s turn, epidemiologists have warned of new infectious diseases. Indeed, H1N1, H7N9, SARS, MERS, Ebola Makona, Zika, and a variety of lesser viruses have emerged almost annually. But what of the epidemiologists themselves? Some bravely descended into the caves where bat species hosted coronaviruses, including the strains that evolved into the COVID-19 virus. Yet, despite their own warnings, many of the researchers appear unable to understand the true nature of the disease—as if they are dead to what they’ve seen. Dead Epidemiologists is an eclectic collection of commentaries, articles, and interviews revealing the hidden-in-plain-sight truth behind the pandemic: Global capital drove the deforestation and development that exposed us to new pathogens | more…

Venezuela, the Present as Struggle: Voices from the Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuela, the Present as Struggle: Voices from the Bolivarian Revolution

Forthcoming in October 2020

Venezuela has been the stuff of frontpage news extravaganzas, especially since the death of Hugo Chavez. With predictable bias, mainstream media focus on violent clashes between opposition and government, coup attempts, hyperinflation, U.S. sanctions, and massive immigration. What is less known, however, is the story of what the Venezuelan people—especially the Chavista masses—do and think in these times of social emergency. Denying us their stories comes at a high price to people everywhere, because the Chavista bases are the real motors of the Bolivarian revolution. This revolutionary grassroots movement still aspires to the communal path to socialism that Chavez refined in his last years. Venezuela, the Present as Struggle is an eloquent testament to their lives. | more…

Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan, second edition

Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan, second edition

Forthcoming in December 2020

Marxist economic thought has had a long and distinguished history in Japan, dating back to the First World War. When interest in Marxist theory was virtually nonexistent in the United States, rival schools of thought in Japan emerged, and brilliant debates took place on Marx’s Capital and on capitalism as it was developing in Japan. Forty years ago, Makoto Itoh’s Value and Crisis began to chronicle these Japanese contributions to Marxist theory, discussing in particular views on Marx’s theories of value and crisis, and problems of Marx’s theory of market value. Now, in a second edition of his book, Itoh deepens his study of Marx’s theories of value and crisis, as an essential reference point from which to analyze the multiple crises that have arisen during the past four decades of neoliberalism. The promise of Marx’s theories has not waned. If anything—given the failure of Soviet-style socialism and the catastrophe of neoliberalism—it grows daily. | more…

Beyond Digital Capitalism: New Ways of Living: Socialist Register 2021

Socialist Register 2021: Beyond Digital Capitalism: New Ways of Living

Forthcoming in December 2020

Every year since 1964, the Socialist Register has offered a fascinating survey of movements and ideas from the independent new left. This year’s edition asks readers to explore just how we need to live with new technologies. Essays in this 57th Socialist Register reveal the contradictions and dislocations of technological change in the twenty-first century. And they explore alternative ways of living: from artificial intelligence (AI) to the arts, from transportation to fashion, from environmental science to economic planning. | more…

Between Capitalism and Community

Between Capitalism and Community

Forthcoming in January 2021

Karl Marx, in Capital, focused on capital and the capitalist class that is its embodiment. It is the endless accumulation of capital, its causes and consequences that are central to Marx’s analysis. In taking this approach, Marx tended to obscure not only the centrality of capital’s “immanent drive” and “constant tendency” to divide the working class but also the political economy of the working class (“social production controlled by social foresight”). In Between Capitalism and Community, Lebowitz demonstrates that capitalism contains within itself elements of a different society, one of community. If we are to escape the ultimate barbarism portended by the existing crisis of the earth system, the subordination of the system of capitalism by that of community is essential. | more…

Capital and Imperialism: Theory, History, and the Present

Capital and Imperialism: Theory, History, and the Present

Forthcoming in February 2021

Those who control the world’s commanding economic heights, buttressed by the theories of mainstream economists, presume that capitalism is a self-contained and self-generating system. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this pathbreaking book—winner of the Paul A. Baran-Paul M. Sweezy Memorial Award—radical political economists Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik argue that the accumulation of capital has always required the taking of land, raw materials, and bodies from noncapitalist modes of production. They begin with a thorough debunking of mainstream economics. Then, looking at the history of capitalism, from the beginnings of colonialism half a millennium ago to today’s neoliberal regimes, they discover that, over the long haul, capitalism, in order to exist, must metastasize itself in the practice of imperialism and the immiseration of countless people. | more…