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London, July 6-9: Marxism 2017

Come to Central London, UK, to join organizers, intellectuals, and activists in a 4-day political festival of ideas, discussions, debates, art, films, and music! Speakers will include Ian Angus, author of “Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System”…… | more…

The Contradictions of "Real Socialism": The Conductor and the Conducted

OrganizeNorthCarolina.org reviews Michael Lebowitz’s The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”

The leaders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR, 1922-1991) used the terms ‘real socialism’ and ‘actually existing socialism’ to ‘distinguish their real experience from merely theoretical socialist ideas.’ Lebowitz asks how that system actually functioned, how it reproduced itself, and why it ‘yield[ed] to capitalism without resistance from the working classes who were presumably its beneficiaries’. (p. 7) ¶ Interesting questions. Especially to those of us who want to construct a more humane system than the capitalism that defeated the USSR….… | more…

Educational Justice: Teaching and Organizing Against the Corporate Juggernaut

Teachers as Agents of Change: Against the Current reviews Educational Justice

In his introduction to Educational Justice, Howard Ryan states that he and his coauthors ‘offer theory, strategy and organizing case studies to inform and inspire those who are working to rebuild public education and put an end to the corporate occupation of our schools.’ This is an apt description, and the reason anyone interested in that work should read this book. Ryan’s motivation for writing this ambitious book was his conviction ‘that the fight to defend public schools had particular potential for energizing larger movements for democracy and social justice.’ … | more…

Henry A. Giroux | “Thinking Dangerously: The Role of Higher Education in Authoritarian Times”

What happens to democracy when the president of the United States labels critical media outlets as ‘enemies of the people’ and disparages the search for truth with the blanket term ‘fake news’? What happens to democracy when individuals and groups are demonized on the basis of their religion? What happens to a society when critical thinking becomes an object of contempt? What happens to a social order ruled by an economics of contempt that blames the poor for their condition and subjects them to a culture of shaming? … ¶ What happens is that democracy withers and dies, both as an ideal and as a reality….… | more…

A Redder Shade of Green : Intersections of Science and Socialism

ResoluteReader reviews Ian Angus’s A Redder Shade of Green

This new collection of essays from one of the world’s leading Marxist environmentalists is an important contribution to discussions about how we can fight for a sustainable world, one where, as Ian Angus says quoting Marx, we live as “a society of good ancestors”. More than this however the book is an important reassertion of how to approach questions of science and politics that strengthen our ability to understand the world and change it.… | more…

Trump as Neo-Fascist? John Bellamy Foster interviewed on Law & Disorder radio

Is Trump a neofascist? Analysts on the left, such as Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, and Judith Butler think he is. But mainstream liberal commentators refuse to associate the Trump phenomena with fascism, calling him a “rightwing populist.” Does it really matter what Trump is called? The poet, playwright, and political thinker, Bertolt Brecht, asked in 1935: “How can anyone tell the truth about fascism, unless he’s willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth?” Hear Heidi Boghosian and Michael Steven Smith speak with John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, who wrote the review of the month, “This Is Not Populism” in the June 2017 issue.… | more…

The Syriza Wave: Surging and Crashing with the Greek Left

Analyzing the failures of Syriza: Systemic Disorder reviews Helena Sheehan’s book

So many put their puts hopes into Syriza; so many were bitterly disappointed. Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left proved wholly unable to resist the enormous pressures put on it and it is Greek working people who are paying the price, not excepting those who voted for Syriza. ¶ How should we analyze the depressing spectacle of what had been a genuinely Left party, indeed a coalition of leftist forces from a variety of socialist perspectives, self-destructing so rapidly? The simplistic response would be to wash our hands and condemn Syriza as “opportunists,” but we’ll learn exactly nothing with such an attitude…… | more…

Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution

On the road to socialism, Truthout reviews Rethinking Revolution

Anti-capitalism needs a viable political party. Whether it’s a big one, like the Democratic Party—which Bernie Sanders’ supporters are hoping to influence and dreaming, perhaps, of taking over—or a robust third party that’s openly socialist, it’s clear that without a party that operates in conjunction with left movements, it will be difficult to achieve goals like Medicare for All, free higher education, student loan forgiveness, environmental and climate protection, and substantially shrinking the military and the vast prison system…. ¶ That is precisely what several essays in Rethinking Revolution advocate.… | more…

Corporate farming and the new flu: Green Left Weekly reviews Rob Wallace’s book

A new influenza pandemic is quite possible, according to a study by researchers at the University of NSW’s School of Public Health. The study notes that 19 different influenza strains have affected humans in the last 100 years, but the speed with which new strains have emerged has increased over the past 15 years. There have been seven new strains in the past five years alone. ¶ In Big Farms Make Big Flu, published last year by Monthly Review Press, Rob Wallace agreed a pandemic is not just more than likely, it is probable, and echoes the necessity to prepare. But his focus is to identify why the rate of new virus strains has increased, which he sees as basic to how to effectively plan containment.… | more…