Marxism: Dead or alive?

by Zoltan Zigedy  Twenty years ago Marxism was in retreat. Actually, it had been in retreat much earlier than the fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern European socialism a decade before the end of the twentieth century. But certainly the dissolution of the USSR marked a dramatic and, for many, a surprising finale. Communism, the revolutionary expression of Marxism, was the official ideology of states that contained roughly 40% of the world’s population as late as the nineteen eighties. At the same time, in many other countries, Communists were formidable political forces possibly in reach of political power or, … Continue reading Marxism: Dead or alive?

Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies

by Jeff Noonan In a 2007 report on the environmental and economic impact of intensified exploitation of the Alberta Oil Sands, then Chief Economist of the Toronto Dominion Bank, Don Drummond, re-affirmed orthodox economics’ faith in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of economic performance. “Gross Domestic Product,” he wrote, is the best available indicator of the overall health of the …economy, as it measures the market value of the goods and services produced.” [1] I begin with this example because the oil sands, at current global oil prices, are both hugely profitable and massively environmentally destructive. [2]  GDP … Continue reading Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies

A Marxian interpretation of the economic crisis

by Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff Two different and contending mainstream theories have explained capitalism’s repeated crises over the last century. Each time each theory proposed correspondingly different solutions. Today’s crisis is no exception. One theory—called, after one of its founders, “Keynesian economics”—claims that unregulated private markets inevitably yield price movements that react back on the decisions of businesses, workers, and consumers to produce out-of-control price spirals. These periodically push the economy into inflations, recessions, or even depressions. Without intervention from outside, capitalism’s private economy may remain depressed or inflated long enough to threaten capitalism itself. Keynesian—or now more generally … Continue reading A Marxian interpretation of the economic crisis

The decline of America

by Noam Chomsky In the 2011 summer issue of the journal of the American Academy of Political Science, we read that it is “a common theme” that the United States, which “only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal — is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay.” It is indeed a common theme, widely believed, and with some reason. But an appraisal of US foreign policy and influence abroad and the strength of its domestic economy and political institutions at home suggests that a … Continue reading The decline of America