Reading Thomas Piketty: A Critical Essay

by Zoltan Zigedy I should perhaps add that I experienced the American dream at the age of twenty-two, when I was hired by a university near Boston just after finishing my doctorate… Here was a country that knew how to attract immigrants when it wanted to! Yet I also realized quite soon that I wanted to return to France and Europe… One important reason for my choice has a direct bearing on this book: I did not find the work of US economists entirely convincing… To put it bluntly, the discipline of economics has yet to get over its childish … Continue reading Reading Thomas Piketty: A Critical Essay

Class and need: Social surplus and Marxian theorization of development

by Anjan Chakrabarti We know that there have been two paths of development, paths that are not always considered complementary to one another. The first and still the dominant path would contemplate economic growth as the basic indicator of capturing the increase in standard of living (either measured as GDP per capita or GDP per worker) which represents development of a nation or region; thus poor and rich countries are differentiated in terms of, say, the level of GDP per capita and resultantly, the path to development of poor countries lie in expanding the latter as fast as possible. High … Continue reading Class and need: Social surplus and Marxian theorization of development

Taking notes 8: Class consciousness (from a Marxist perspective) today

by Chris Cutrone Modern classes are different from ancient separations between castes, such as between the clergy or priestly caste, and the noble aristocracy or warrior caste, and the vast majority of people, “commoners,” or those who were ignorant of divinity and without honor, who, for most of history, were peasants living through subsistence agriculture, a mute background of the pageantry of the ancient world. Modern, “bourgeois” society, or the society of the modern city, is the product of the revolt of the Third Estate, or commoners, who had no property other than that of their labor: “self-made” men. During … Continue reading Taking notes 8: Class consciousness (from a Marxist perspective) today

Radical criminology: A manifesto

by Jeff Shantz In this period of state-sponsored austerity and suppression of resistance there is a great need for criminologists to speak out and act against state violence, state-corporate crime, and the growth of surveillance regimes and the prison-industrial complex. Criminologists also have a role to play in advancing alternatives to current regimes of regulation and punishment. In light of current social struggles against neo-liberal capitalism, and as an effort to contribute positively to those struggles, the Critical Criminology Working Group at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver (Canada) has initiated the journal Radical Criminology. We hope you will enjoy our … Continue reading Radical criminology: A manifesto

Nightfall: Dimming of the dream and search for an alternative

by P. J. Laska Given the emphasis on imposing hegemony by military means, it is a splendid irony that ‘American Way of Life’ should share its acronym (AWOL) with the military term “Absent Without Leave.” — http://www.laetusinpraesens.org Ronald Reagan in the famous “Morning-in-America” speech that was part of his 1984 re-election campaign took credit for the improvement of the economy since his election in 1980.  By 1983 the inflationary spiral of the 70’s had been brought under control by Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker, who was originally appointed by Carter and then reappointed by Reagan in 1983.  Reagan could also … Continue reading Nightfall: Dimming of the dream and search for an alternative

Getting serious about politics

by Zoltan Zigedy Economic relations clarify politics just as politics can return the favor. In truth, it is impossible to fully understand one without an understanding of the other, and especially without a grasp of their inter-relationship. No doubt that explains the wisdom of the classical economists (and Marx and Engels) in describing their studies as “political economy.” Similarly, the failure to systematically integrate the two social domains explains the frustration of the modern-day academic economists, even Nobel laureates, who fume about the politicians standing in the way of their ready solutions to the current global economic crisis. A case … Continue reading Getting serious about politics

Capitalism, anarchism and Black liberation

by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin The Capitalist bourgeoisie creates inequality as a way to divide and rule over the entire working class, but it is deeper than that. White skin privilege is a form of domination by Capital over White labor as well as oppressed nationality labor, not just providing material incentives to “buy off” White workers and set them against Black and other oppressed workers. This explains the obedience by White labor to Capitalism and the State. The White working class does not see their better off condition as part of the system of exploitation. After centuries of political and social … Continue reading Capitalism, anarchism and Black liberation

Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy movement

by Henry A. Giroux A group of right-wing extremists in the United States would have the American public believe it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of a market society.  Comprising this group are the Republican Party extremists, religious fundamentalists such as Rick Santorum, and a host of conservative anti-public foundations funded by billionaires such as the Koch brothers[1] whose pernicious influence fosters the political and cultural conditions for creating vast inequalities and massive human hardships throughout the globe. Their various messages converge in support of neoliberal capitalism and fortress … Continue reading Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy movement