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Inextricable connections: war and fascism abroad and threats to workers at home (!Brigadistas! reviewed in Portside NY)

!Brigadistas! is a valuable, accessible textual and visual representation of history. It is recommended for those who are familiar with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the Spanish Civil War, and the left of the 1930s and would find refreshing a reminder of its history. And, even more, !Brigadistas! can serve as a vibrant tool for political education for those who would be new to the subject. | more…

LISTEN ! MR CONVERSATIONS: Capitalism in the Anthropocene by John Bellamy Foster (Plus: EXCERPTS)

…For many, willing to resign humanity to its “fate,” the idea of a way out of our current dilemma, fundamentally altering society in order to avoid the socioecological chasm before us, will undoubtedly sound utopian. But utopia, a pun coined in the sixteenth century by Thomas More meaning both “nowhere” and “good place,” and therefore often seen as representing a kind of dream state or wishful projection into the future, loses its idealistic connotation in the context of a planetary dystopia where catastrophe, measured against historical precedents, has now become normal and threatens to become irreversible on a planetary scale, due to the inherent apocalyptic tendencies of the current mode of production… | more…

Notice what Kohei Saito is reading?

In this image, Saito holds a copy of “Monopoly Capital,” by Baran and Sweezy. Kohei Saito’s book “Capital in the Anthropocene” (Editor’s note: Not to be confused with John Bellamy Foster’s book by a similar name) has become an unlikely hit among young people and is about to be translated into English, possibly by Monthly Review Press. | more…

Labor can be used to create wealth for others…or to create life (“Work Work Work,” in ‘Truthout’)

On this Labor Day, perhaps it is time for all members of the world’s working class, to ask themselves, why is work so often a “torment,” an “affliction,” done under “compulsion”? Why does it feel as if our bosses are “persecuting” us? Why does it wreck our bodies? Why does it seem so meaningless? It certainly doesn’t have to be and was not for most of our time on Earth…. | more…

Marxism and the Climate Crisis (John Bellamy Foster on the ‘Historical Materialism podcast’)

In this wide-ranging interview with Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar of the Historical Materialism Podcast, John Bellamy Foster discusses, among other things, his lecture on “The Return of the Dialectics of Nature,” the influence of mechanistic worldviews on the field of ecology and 20th century Socialist thought, fundamental assumptions on the part of many Western Marxists regarding the nonexistence of a “dialectics of nature,” misunderstandings about Lukács’ supposed rejection of a dialectics of nature, Leibig’s work on the “soil crisis” and the ways that this steered Marx’s concept of the “metabolic rift,” etc. – and moves on from there. | more…

Work could be different (Yates featured in ‘Labor Notes’)

…From the employer’s point of view, our labor power is simply a commodity, no different than the inanimate buildings, machines, tools, and raw materials purchased by businesses. Given our circumstances, we must sell this commodity to survive. But after we do, the employer has no guarantee that our capacity to toil will be converted into actual work effort. Workers have always resisted their commodity status… | more…

Grappling with “Capital’s” entirety: Not just for first-time readers (Heinrich reviewed by ‘Marx & Philosophy Review of Books’)

Heinrich’s close attention to the original German, contrary to many anglophone scholars, is another element of his textual approach that strengthens the accuracy of the interpretation…..to say that “How to Read Marx’s ‘Capital’” is not only for first-time readers may be to state the obvious. It is a commentary that is straightforward in its exposition and indispensable for beginners, yet still challenges those who have already long dedicated themselves to a study of ‘Capital’…. | more…