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Political Economy

Refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea on a boat, heading from Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, 29 January 2016

Return of the Atlantic Route from West Africa to Europe: Imperialism and Regional (De-)Integration

As dangerous trans-Atlantic crossings between Africa and Europe continue to rise, Hannah Cross examines the roots of the ongoing crisis. The discussion around migration, she notes, “overlooks the imperial role of Europe and the United States over borders, migration regimes, regional (de-)integration, and national development projects within Africa.” The solution, therefore, can only be found through genuine liberation and autonomy across the continent, rather than internationally imposed mechanisms benefitting the powerful in the Global North. | more…

New this week!
Demonstration opposing the practices of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on Sunday, April 26, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

The IMF and Class Struggle in Latin America: Unveiling the Role of the IMF

The International Monetary Fund, part of the Bretton Woods Agreement that helped establish the current rules of the U.S.-dominated international capitalist system, claims to aim for a world of prosperity through so-called free trade. In Latin America, David Barkin and Juan Santarcángelo write, the IMF has contributed to the impoverishment of the working class and destruction of these countries’ ecological legacies. But what does the future hold for the IMF in Latin America? | more…

Monthly Review Volume 52, Number 4 (September 2000) [PDF]

Socialism—A Time to Retreat?

The Perspective of 'Monthly Review' at the Opening of the Twenty-First Century

This article will be released in full online May 27, 2023.

In this reprise from September 2000, Harry Magdoff, John Bellamy Foster, and Robert W. McChesney look forward to the future of Monthly Review in the twenty-first century: “Despite mistakes, setbacks, and recognition that the road is long and arduous, we must not waver as we continue to study, educate, and be missionaries for the transcendence of the social system of capitalism and the development…of a society of equals.” | more…

French people went on strike and joined enormous marches across the country on January 19, 2023

Old Age but No Rest: A Political-Economic Reflection on Delayed Retirement Policy

As populations worldwide grow older, politicians are clamoring to raise the retirement age, thus extending people’s working lives at their own expense. Using the lens of political economy, Cai Chao examines the false narratives behind capitalists’ claims that delayed retirement is necessary to maintain society’s productive capacity, and proposes solutions to promote human development at all life stages. | more…

Young people call for action on climate change in London

The Necessity of System Change: An Ecological and Marxian Synthesis

In a world of convergent crises, leading voices have called for radical changes to food, financial, and energy systems. However, these fail to account for a deeper systemic crisis: unfettered and accelerating of capital accumulation. In this article, M. Graziano Ceddia and Jacopo Nicola Bergamo provide a more comprehensive narrative, one which emphasizes capital as a social relation—and the potential of the environmental proletariat to dismantle its dominance. | more…

A gas pipeline burns after a collision with a barge and the tugboat Shannon E. Setton near Perot Bay in Lafourche Parish, LA on March 13, 2013

The Ecological Crisis of Capitalism and Human Survival

In this remarkable reprise reprinted from Monthly Review‘s October 1992 issue, Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy look ahead to the ecological crisis that has continued to unfold into the twenty-first century. Presaging the critical juncture at which we find ourselves today, they write that “only a change in the in the nature of power structures on a global scale could bring a realistic hope for the long-term continuation of human civilization…. If you think that is true, what do you think are the implications?” | more…

New this week!
Migration is Economic Imperialism: How International Labour Mobility Undermines Economic Development in Poor Countries by Immanuel Ness

The Political Economy of Migration

In this review of Immanuel Ness’s Migration as Economic Imperialism, Torkil Lauesen illuminates the links between the migration of labor to theories of equal exchange, which have traditionally focused on international trade. These connections, Lauesen writes, relate to transfer of labor power from the periphery to the core, and the concomitant exploitation of vulnerable workers from the Global South. | more…

Paul Burkett

Eleven Theses on Music

This lyrical vignette from the recently departed Paul Burkett is the author’s final, posthumously published piece for Monthly Review. In it, the eminent ecological economist and jazz musician muses on the nature of creativity, technology, and the corporatization of music—and the struggle to decommodify it, freeing musicians and their craft from the confines of capitalism. | more…

The vegan flag coat of arms

The Case for Socialist Veganism

There is a paradox, Benjamin Selwyn and Charis Davis write, at the heart of corporate veganism in the Global North. While vegan products are sold to consumers as environmentally conscious alternatives to meat and dairy, the world’s largest producers of such products are rapacious, ecologically destructive, and exploitive of populations in the Global South. The authors argue that a turn toward socialist veganism can advance the goals of decommodifying and democratizing our food system. | more…