Capitalism, socialism, and everyday life in the twenty-first century

by Jeff Noonan
With new technologies, younger generations are shaped in their sense of self by the changed work and social relationships of on-line environments, so nineteenth and twentieth century forms of working class consciousness and struggle seem impossible to revive. Continue reading Capitalism, socialism, and everyday life in the twenty-first century

Advertisements

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

Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi The release of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget recently brings up once again the familiar maxim that a budget is, or should be, a moral document. I believe, however, that this statement, although true, does not convey adequately the most salient significance of a budget. I would contend that budgets not only shed light on our schemes of moral values, but also, at a still more fundamental level, bring to manifestation our guiding visions, our deepest views about the meaning of human life and the type of society we should strive to create. Moral values frame … Continue reading Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

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

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)

What does Revolution mean today?

by Jeff Noonan On May 31st what began months before as opposition to the cutting down of trees in Taksim Square in Istanbul exploded into country-wide opposition to the increasingly authoritarian rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  As was the case with the Arab Spring and Occupy, the Turkish youth and workers’ movement caught global commentators unawares.  Turkey had been held up as a model of “moderation” amongst “Muslim” countries:  tolerant, democratic, capitalist, a NATO member, and a trusted American ally.  Suddenly, the social fissures that had opened up the space for revolution in Tunisia and Egypt, for Occupy … Continue reading What does Revolution mean today?

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