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501 West 29th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in the Chelsea, Manhattan

New York: Forest of Symbols

This article will be released in full online October 17, 2022.

New York City is facing a crisis in its urban ecosystem. As wealthy developers and real estate mega-projects rupture the connections between people and the social and spatial webs making up the city’s once-rich undergrowth, how can city-dwellers nurture and restore their metropolitan habitat? | more…

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Over the last 11,700 years, during which human civilization developed, the earth has existed within what geologists refer to as the Holocene Epoch. Now science is telling us that the Holocene Epoch in the geological time scale ended, replaced by a new more dangerous Anthropocene Epoch, which began around 1950. The onset of the Anthropocene Epoch is characterized by an “anthropogenic rift” in the biological cycles of the Earth System, marking a changed reality in which human activities are now the main geological force impacting the earth as a whole, generating at the same time an existential crisis for the world’s population. | more…

How the Workers’ Parliaments Saved the Cuban Revolution: Reviving Socialism after the Collapse of the Soviet Union

How the Workers’ Parliaments Saved the Cuban Revolution brings us to the heart of one of the most precarious and transformational moments in Cuba’s evolution. As the Soviet Union fell to pieces in the 1990s, Cuba managed to evade the fate of its primary trading ally. How was this possible, especially as Cuba endured relentless attacks from the capitalist behemoth directly to its north? | more…

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

For most economists, labor is simply a commodity, bought and sold in markets like any other – and what happens after that is not their concern. Individual prospective workers offer their services to individual employers, each acting solely out of self-interest and facing each other as equals. The forces of demand and supply operate so that there is neither a shortage nor a surplus of labor, and, in theory, workers and bosses achieve their respective ends. Michael D. Yates, in Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle, offers a vastly different take on the nature of the labor market. | more…

Panopticon

Panopticon

Capitalism’s two main underpinnings are control and exploitation/expropriation. While there are many sites of control they are all generally supportive of the interests of capital, namely, the endless drive to accumulate wealth. They all help to ensure that we behave so that the system continues to reproduce itself. Since workplaces are the sites where profits are extracted from our labor, it is here that control is most critical. | more…

An explosion caused by a police munition is seen during the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021

Giving War a Chance

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the ultimate agenda-setting, strategic planning, and consensus-forming organization of the U.S. capitalist ruling class. The latest book to come out of the CFR orbit, Strategy of Denial (2021), thus provides an opportunity to concretely observe how the monopoly capitalist ruling class is preparing the people of the United States for what could be a catastrophic world war. | more…

Eleanor Burke Leacock

Bury Class Society Before It Buries Us All: Eleanor Burke Leacock’s Vision for a Marxist Feminist Anthropology

Eleanor Burke Leacock taught that transhistorical, universal male dominance is a myth, not a fact. Writing during the grimmest period of Cold War reaction, Leacock put forward a critique of the mainstream U.S. ideology, which took for granted the idea that there were only two genders, in binary opposition to each other, and that these were the direct product of so-called male and female nature. | more…

Flooding on Laboulle avenue in Tilff, Belgium

The Planetary Rift

The widespread view on the left that Marx had adopted an extreme productivist view of the human domination of nature—and hence had failed to perceive the natural limits to production and ecological contradictions in general, giving them at most only marginal attention—was contradicted by his theory of the metabolic rift. | more…

5G technology booth

The Political Economy of the U.S.-China Technology War

One of the key components of U.S.-China strategic competition is the technology war, the essence and implications of which can be further understood in the broader context of the international division of labor and the two countries’ internal contradictions. From this front, we can decipher the antagonism between different classes/groups within and across the two countries. | more…

Paramedics take a patient into emergency center at Maimonides Medical Center during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, April 7, 2020

Racial Capitalism and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the deep structural problems affecting nonwhite racialized workers in the core and periphery. Yet, many social scientific analyses of the global political economy, at least in the pre-COVID era, are race neutral or willfully indifferent to the persistent racial pattern of global inequalities. Even if they do address legacies of colonialism, they ignore the ongoing racial logics of oppression embedded therein. | more…