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The Civil War in the United States by Karl Marx

Marx and Slavery

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…

2020, Volume 72, Issue 03 (July-August 2020)
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Monthly Review Volume 72, Number 2 (June 2020)

June 2020 (Volume 72, Number 2)

The current massive oil glut is the product of the effects of the tight oil or shale oil revolution, which for a time turned the United States into the biggest oil and gas producer in the world. Now, suddenly as a result of an overproduction of world oil, made far worse by the sudden falloff in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing the possible euthanasia of the U.S. tight oil industry, bleeding cash even before the oil price collapse and encumbered with mountains of debt. | more…

2020, Volume 72, Issue 02 (June 2020)
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Global logistics concept illustration

COVID-19 and Catastrophe Capitalism

Since the late twentieth century, capitalist globalization has increasingly adopted the form of interlinked commodity chains controlled by multinational corporations, connecting various production zones, primarily in the Global South, with the apex of world consumption, finance, and accumulation primarily in the Global North. COVID-19 has accentuated as never before the interlinked ecological, epidemiological, and economic vulnerabilities imposed by capitalism. | more…

2020, Volume 72, Issue 02 (June 2020)
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Jair Bolsonaro

The Brazilian Crisis and the New Authoritarianism

Three decades after liberal democracy replaced the military dictatorship of 1964–85, the far right in Brazil has made a comeback, most starkly with the electoral victory of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. Bolsonaro, however, is not an isolated individual; rather, his government is characterized by an authoritarian style of neoliberalism built on a series of alliances, a prominent one of which is with the judiciary. This coalition boasts connections with the military and police forces, the evangelical religious right, and agribusiness. | more…

2020, Volume 72, Issue 02 (June 2020)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Deunification

In 2021, Angela Merkel’s fourth and last term as the chancellor of Germany will end. To understand Merkel’s domestic and foreign policy, one must understand the country she inherited. She came to power in 2005 following the first center-left government since 1982, the government of Gerhard Schröder, and was in the fortunate position of becoming chancellor after a coalition government of social democrats and Greens had done the devil’s bidding of implementing very unpopular neoliberal policies to the sole benefit of German capital and the rich. | more…

2020, Volume 72, Issue 02 (June 2020)
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Monthly Review Volume 72, Number 1 (May 2020)

May 2020 (Volume 72, Number 1)

In its wider economic, ecological, epidemiological, and public health context, the current COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the enormous dangers of the metabolic rift in human ecology and epidemiology brought on by capitalist social relations in the age of monopoly-finance capital, global agribusiness, and intricate, globe-spanning supply chains associated with the extreme exploitation and expropriation of both human beings and nature. Neoliberalism, representing the inner logic of capitalism, has left the world vulnerable to catastrophe wherever it has come into play. | more…

2020, Commentary, Volume 72, Issue 01 (May 2020)
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