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To re-create Marxism, but not repeat Marx (The Dialectics of Dependency reviewed in Journal of European Economic History)

At the end of the postscript, Marini again emphasises the central concept of his work, namely that “dependent economy – and therefore the super-exploitation of labour – appears as a necessary condition of world capitalism” and that therefore “capitalist production, by developing labour’s productive powers, does not eliminate but rather accentuates the greater exploitation of the worker”… | more…

“A lasting tribute to meticulous journalism” (The Hidden History of the Korean War: New Edition reviewed in ‘Asian Affairs’)

Stone, as always working from open-source materials, condemned the continuation of the bombing of the north even though there were no viable military targets left…These days, the Stone’s ‘Hidden History,’ while still viewed with hostility in certain quarters, is regarded as one of his best works. But given that it appeared long before the archives were open and while the conflict in Korea continued, is there merit in republishing it? The answer is yes. Stone may not have got everything right, and occasionally lapses into conspiracy theories, but his broad picture was accurate enough at the time and remains so. It is a lasting tribute to meticulous journalism. | more…

This war is causing mass trauma. How we respond matters. (Contributor to A Land With A People featured in ‘The Nation’)

I was asked to write this essay in response to the plea for grief and recognition of Palestinian traumas in the pages of this magazine, beautifully written by the Palestinian journalist Mohammed R. Mhawish, who is now being personally targeted by the Israeli government, along with his family. I admittedly tremble at the responsibility involved in that request… | more…

If capitalism is ‘natural,’ why was so much force used to build it? (War Against the Commons reviewed in ‘Systemic Disorder’)

….devised two centuries before Marx’s concept of communism as “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs,” Winstanley’s ideas bore significant resemblances to the latter’s ideas, although Marx could not have known of Winstanley as the Diggers’ ideas were ruthlessly stamped out and were only re-discovered late in the 19th century… | more…

UAW fails to win back pensions for newer workers

The UAW strike against Big Auto succeeded in winning impressive wage gains, but it failed to obtain a little-reported demand: that the auto companies reinstate defined benefit pension plans for new employees… | more…

Listen: Chris Gilbert’s Commune or Nothing! featured on ‘Cosmonaut’

Recently the podcast Cosmonaut hosted Chris Gilbert for a discussion of his new book ‘Commune or Nothing!’ They covered topics such as: The history of communes, the Venezuelan cooperative movement and the drive to build state-run industry; István Mészáros’ perspective on how the commune centers the communal control of the labor process; the problem of attracting the youth to communes today; the mystical side of communes in relation to human development, and more… | more…

Offering hope to the left (Until We Fall reviewed in ‘Morning Star’)

Already in the early 1980s if not before: “It was clear to most of us that socialism couldn’t survive without radical democratisation … it had to be based on consent.” Nevertheless, for Sheehan as for many of us on the left, the demise of the socialist bloc represented a defeat and the restoration of capitalism. It was “the most dramatic upheaval, politically and psychologically,” Sheehan says. | more…