Taking notes 34: The enlightened capitalist

by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan Preamble Over the past few years, we have written a series of articles about the global crisis.[1] These papers try to break the conventional constrains of liberalism and Marxism, examining the crisis from the new theoretical viewpoint of capital as power. Capitalists and corporations, we argue, are driven not to maximize profit, but to ‘beat the average’ and increase their differential power. In this approach, the redistribution of income and assets is not a ‘societal’ side effect of the economy, but the central conflict that propels modern capitalism. And the main weapon in this … Continue reading Taking notes 34: The enlightened capitalist

Sociality, solitude, and the struggle for socialism

by Jeff Noonan The basic principle of historical materialism is that all complex socio-cultural systems and institutions are rooted in and ultimately depend upon reproductive and productive labour. Reproductive and productive labour connect human beings to each other and the sustaining natural environment. “The production of life,” Marx wrote in The German Ideology, “both of one’s own in labour and of fresh life in procreation… appears as two-fold relation: on the one hand, as a natural, on the other, as a social relation—social in the sense that it denotes the cooperation of several individuals.”[1] The second principle of historical materialism … Continue reading Sociality, solitude, and the struggle for socialism

To go beyond the capitalist state

by Steve Fraser “All that is solid melts into air” is even truer about the hyper-flux of everyday life today than it was when those words first appeared in the Communist Manifesto more than a century and half ago. Truer, that is, with one major exception.  In our political life we are fixated on the past, forever looking backward. Arguably, national politics over the last half century has polarized between efforts to defend and restore the New Deal Order and relentless attempts to repeal it and replace it with something even older.  The liberal left has fought to extend or … Continue reading To go beyond the capitalist state

Feudalism, capitalism and corporatism: How the corporation is changing the world

by Jeffrey Harrod Write about my vision of a “post-capitalist world,” I was requested. But I find this difficult. Difficult because I believe we are already in, or nearing, a post-capitalist world if by capitalism is meant the system described by Marx and his followers about 150 years ago.  In this essay I raise the possibility for future discussion and action that there is an ongoing attempt to create a system for the maintenance of privilege and the production of poverty which is so different from the past that a new name should be found for it. Because a key … Continue reading Feudalism, capitalism and corporatism: How the corporation is changing the world

Economics, Socialism, Ecology: A Critical Outline (Part 2)

by Kamran Nayeri Introduction In Part 1, I argued that economics is neither an objective science nor capable of providing a lasting solution to the contradictions of the capitalist economy and society. As a discipline it has emerged to maintain and justify the capitalist system and it will wither away with its downfall.  Also, I argued that Karl Marx’s critique of political economy (“economics” of his time) and the capitalist system is a specific application of his theory of history, historical materialism, that aims to serve self-activity and self-organization of working people with the logic of transcending the capitalist system … Continue reading Economics, Socialism, Ecology: A Critical Outline (Part 2)

Economics, socialism and ecology: A critical outline (Part 1)

by Kamran Nayeri Introduction Economics appears as the religion of modern times. As John Maynard Keynes asserted, it seems as if the world is ruled by little else than economics. Following Marx, I will argue that economics is a pseudo (ideologically driven) science that originated with the rise of the capitalist mode of production and will wither away with its downfall.  I will cite some key junctures in the evolution of economics from classical political economy to the neoclassical and Keynesian economics to illustrate this claim.  I will also argue that Marx’s critique of political economy (“economics” of his time) … Continue reading Economics, socialism and ecology: A critical outline (Part 1)