In defence of Engels

by Roland Boer The reputation of Friedrich Engels has often not fared well in the Marxist tradition. At a minimal level, he is regarded as the lesser intellect in relation to Marx, while more commonly dismissed as one who seriously distorted Marx’s thought and thereby derailed the subsequent socialist tradition. According to this assumption, not only did he make a mess of his editing work, after Marx’s death, with the second and third volumes of Capital, but he also distorted the later tradition by means of his ‘Dialectics of Nature’ and his very popular ;Anti-Dühring’ and ‘Socialism: Utopian and Scientific’. … Continue reading In defence of Engels

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

India and the politics of ‘corruption’

by Anjan Chakrabarti & Anup Dhar Politics begins where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begins. — Lenin Think of all the people in Tagore’s Red Oleander, residing perhaps in post-independent India –– who did not have names and were identified as mere numbers, 21F, 79D, 84M, etc. — forming their own party with the assistance of Nandini, the female rebel protagonist (Ranjan — the other rebel protagonist had already been killed by the King) and challenging the King, the Gosain (clergy), the Adhyapak (professor) and a host … Continue reading India and the politics of ‘corruption’

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

The difference Democracy does (and does not) make to peoples’ lives

by Jeff Noonan With unnoticed irony, Roger Cohen, writing in The New York Times on Bastille Day, July 14th, 2013, lamented the weeks of protest in Egypt that culminated in the army’s removal of the government of Mohammed Morsi.  Cohen argued that since the street protests overturned the results of a free election, they were undemocratic, even though massively popular.  “When is a coup not a coup?  It seems when tens of millions of Egyptians support it and choose to portray it as part of a continuing revolution that was betrayed by the ousted President, Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim … Continue reading The difference Democracy does (and does not) make to peoples’ lives

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