Friday, September 2, 2011
If we upload anything exciting, we'll inform you here, but check there for our handiwork. We'll try to update links and make sure everything we've already posted on this blog stays alive, but consider this our last communique for a while.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Expect it soon. You're welcome.
UPDATE: Made some changes, fixed a few broken links, expect a redesign and those promised new releases soon.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
In this combative, controversial book, Terry Eagleton takes issue with the prejudice that Marxism is dead and done with. Taking ten of the most common objections to Marxism—that it leads to political tyranny, that it reduces everything to the economic, that it is a form of historical determinism, and so on—he demonstrates in each case what a woeful travesty of Marx's own thought these assumptions are. In a world in which capitalism has been shaken to its roots by some major crises, Why Marx Was Right is as urgent and timely as it is brave and candid. Written with Eagleton's familiar wit, humor, and clarity, it will attract an audience far beyond the confines of academia.
Friday, April 22, 2011
A snippet preview of the new issue of Jacobin.
Citing Badiou, Žižek determines that democratic procedures, under capitalist conditions, conceal the further perpetuation of institutional domination (or violence) over the oppressed: “In “democratic” procedures (which, of course, can have a positive role to play), no matter how radical our anti-capitalism, solutions are sought solely through those democratic mechanisms which themselves form part of the apparatuses of the “bourgeois” state that guarantees the undisturbed reproduction of capital. In this precise sense, Badiou was right to claim that today the name of the ultimate enemy is not capitalism, empire, exploitation, or anything similar, but democracy itself. It is the “democratic illusion,” the acceptance of democratic mechanisms as providing the only framework for all possible change, which prevents any radical transformation of capitalist relations.”
Closely linked to this need to de-fetishize democracy is the need to de-fetishize its negative counterpart, namely violence. Badiou has recently proposed the formula of “defensive violence”: renounce violence as the principal modus operandi, and focus instead on creating free spaces at a distance from state power (like the early Solidarno in Poland); resort to violence only when the state itself uses violence to crush and subdue these “liberated zones.” The trouble with this formula is that it relies on a deeply problematic distinction between the “normal” functioning of the state apparatuses and the “excessive” exercise of state violence. In contrast, the Marxist notion of class struggle — more precisely, of the priority of class struggle over classes conceived as positive social entities — proposes the thesis that “peaceful” social life is itself sustained by (state) violence, i.e., that it is an expression or effect of the predominance of one class over another. In other words, one cannot separate violence from the state conceived as an apparatus of class domination: from the standpoint of the oppressed, the very existence of a state is a violent fact (in the same sense in which Robespierre claimed there was no need to prove that the king had committed any crime, since the very existence of the king was a crime in itself, an offense against the freedom of the people). In this sense, every act of violence against the state on the part of the oppressed is ultimately “defensive.” Not to concede this point is, nolens volens, to “normalize” the state and accept that its own acts of violence are merely contingent excesses to be dealt with through democratic reforms. This is why the standard liberal motto — that violence is never legitimate, even though it may sometimes be necessary to resort to it — is insufficient. From a radical emancipatory perspective, this formula should be reversed: for the oppressed, violence is always legitimate (since their very status is the result of the violence they are exposed to), but never necessary (it will always be a matter of strategy whether or not use violence against the enemy)
Read the entire excerpt here.
Monday, March 21, 2011
The Plague of Fantasies: Zizek explores the relations between fantasy and ideology and the intensifying antagonism between the ever greater abstraction of our lives—whether through digitization or the market—and the deluge of pseudo-concrete images which surround us.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The best new journal to come out of the left, especially the North American student left, in a while…
Burn the Constitution — Seth Ackerman
Beyond the Fields — Steve Early
The Superman Conditional — Peter Frase
Storm the Ivies! — Connor Kilpatrick
Letter to the Next Left — Chris Maisano
Reflections on the Second International — Ian Morrison
In Defense of Grand Narratives — Jason Schulman
James Petras M.I.A. — Max Ajl
on Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power by James Petras
Pessimism of the Will — Mike Beggs
on How to Change the World by Eric Hobsbawm
Lil B and the Based Mode of Production — Gavin Mueller
Lenny Bruce is Not Afraid — Jake Blumgart
a reply to James Heartfield
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
“Jacobin is a magazine of culture and polemic that Edmund Burke ceaselessly berates on his Twitter page. Each of our issue's contents are poured over in taverns and other houses of ill-repute and best enjoyed with a well-shaken can of lukewarm beer.
Published in the District of Columbia four times per year, we feature a wide-range of writers and artists who aim to inspire critical dialogue in the age of Fukuyama.”
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Some good reads here, in particular:
Take This Job and Share It — Chris Maisano
Why We Loved the Zapatistas — Bhaskar Sunkara
Let Them Eat Diversity — an interview with Walter Benn Michaels
Some more uploads coming soon, stay frosty my friends.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
As requested … I have some more Badiou around, not a fan personally though.
Everywhere, the twentieth century has been judged and condemned: the century of totalitarian terror, of utopian and criminal ideologies, of empty illusions, of genocides, of false avant-gardes, of democratic realism everywhere replaced by abstraction.
It is not Badiou's wish to plead for an accused that is perfectly capable of defending itself without the authors aid. Nor does he seek to proclaim, like Frantz, the hero of Sartre's Prisoners of Altona, 'I have taken the century on my shoulders and I have said: I will answer for it!' The Century simply aims to examine what this accursed century, from within its own unfolding, said that it was. Badiou's proposal is to reopen the dossier on the century - not from the angle of those wise and sated judges we too often claim to be, but from the standpoint of the century itself.
mirror 1 (some pages may be missing, mostly from Ch. 2)
Monday, September 6, 2010
In this original and provocative book Ellen Meiksins Wood reminds us that capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, nor is it simply an extension of age-old practices of trade and commerce. Rather, it is a late and localized product of very specific historical conditions, which required great transformations in social relations and in the human interaction with nature. This new edition has been substantially revised and expanded, with several new chapters. It contains extensive new material, especially on imperialism, anti-Eurocentric history, capitalism and the nation-state and the differences between capitalism and non-capitalist commerce. The author also traces links between the origin of capitalism and contemporary conditions such as 'globalization,' ecological degradation and the current agricultural crisis.
Friday, September 3, 2010
This is the first critical account of the internationally renowned Mondragon cooperatives of the Basque region of Spain. The Mondragon cooperatives are seen as the leading alternative model to standard industrial organization; they are considered to be the most successful example of democratic decision making and worker ownership. However, the author argues that the vast scholarly and popular literature on Mondragon idealizes the cooperatives by falsely portraying them as apolitical institutions and by ignoring the experiences of shop floor workers. She shows how this creation of an idealized image of the cooperatives is part of a new global ideology that promotes cooperative labor-management relations in order to discredit labor unions and working-class organizations; this constitutes what she calls the "myth" of Mondragon.
ifile.it (archived .html)
Friday, August 27, 2010
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's book Empire has been hailed as a latter day Communist Manifesto. As much as it has seduced and delighted some, however, it has enraged and frustrated others. In this collection, a series of some of the most acute international theorists and commentators of our times subject the book to trenchant and probing analysis from political, economic and philosophical perspectives, and Hardt and Negri respond to their questions and criticisms.
Ifile.it (scanned, djvu, OCR, 4.037 MB)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Meaning of Sarkozy was okay, but I don’t really mess with the man. I’ll try to parse through this new little red book at some point, but Badiou’s prose is usually too convoluted for my Anglo-American mind and post-Maoists tend to unnerve me. Here’s something generic from the publisher:
Alain Badiou’s formulation of the “communist hypothesis” has traveled around the world since it was first aired in early 2008, in his book The Meaning of Sarkozy. The hypothesis is partly a demand to reconceptualize communism after the twin deaths of the Soviet Union and neoliberalism, but also a fresh demand for universal emancipation. As “third way” reforms prove as empty in practice as in theory, Badiou’s manifesto is a galvanizing call to arms that needs to be reckoned with by anyone concerned with the future of our planet.
If anyone can convert this double-page scan into an ebook compatible single page scan, it’d be most appreciated.
Monday, August 9, 2010
The social democratic historian Tony Judt passed away last weekend. Postwar is considered his greatest work. It is an unprecedented accomplishment: the first truly European history of contemporary Europe, from Lisbon to Leningrad, based on research in six languages, covering thirty-four countries across sixty years in a single integrated narrative, using a great deal of material from newly available sources.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The Parallax View is Slavoj Zizek's most substantial theoretical work to appear in many years; Zizek himself describes it as his magnum opus. Parallax can be defined as the apparent displacement of an object, caused by a change in observational position. Zizek is interested in the "parallax gap" separating two points between which no synthesis or mediation is possible, linked by an "impossible short circuit" of levels that can never meet. From this consideration of parallax, Zizek begins a rehabilitation of dialectical materialism.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Darkness at Noon is a novel by the Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler, first published in 1940. His best-known work, it tells the tale of Rubashov, a Bolshevik old guard and 1917 revolutionary who is first cast out and then imprisoned and tried for treason by the Soviet government he once helped create.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Commonwealth, last and richest of the Empire trilogy, is a powerful and ambitious reappropriation of the whole tradition of political theory for the Left. Clarifying Foucault's ambiguous notion of biopower, deepening the authors' own proposal for the notion of multitude, it offers an exhilarating summa of the forms and possibilities of resistance today. It is a politically as well as an intellectually invigorating achievement.
--Fredric Jameson, Duke University
I approach this skeptically, but I’m due to reread the trilogy at some point. I was introduced to Empire and Multitude by a few professors when I entered college a couple of years ago, but I was far more impressed by reading Marx, those from the Trotskyist tradition and the ‘humanist’ writing of the Praxis school and Marshall Berman. That being said, I’m willing to give it another shot. The series is too influential to be completely ignored.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=U105FFP9 (quality PDF, OCRed)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Developing themes of his earlier works, Poulantzas here advances a vigorous critique of contemporary Marxist theories of the state, arguing against a general theory of the state, and identifying forms of class power crucial to socialist strategy that goes beyond the apparatus of the state. This new edition includes an introduction by Stuart Hall, originally published in New Left Review, which critically appraises Poulantzas's achievement.
11.8mb rar, expands to 13mb pdf scan, OCRed
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Can’t take credit for the scan and the upload, but I’ve been looking for Gramsci’s selected writings forever so I thought I’d share it. Use it well and make the man proud (no ‘Eurocommunist’ bastardizations please).
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The book follows the personal lives of a close-knit group of French intellectuals from the end of WWII to the mid fifties. The title refers to the scholar-bureaucrats of imperial China. The characters at times see themselves as ineffectual "mandarins" as they attempt to discern what role, if any, intellectuals will have in influencing the political landscape of the world after WWII. As in De Beauvoir's other works, themes of Feminism, Existentialism, and personal morality are explored as the characters navigate not only the intellectual and political landscape but also their shifting relationships with each other.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
In a superb recent piece in the London Review of Books, Perry Anderson described this work as the following: “Although quite different in mode and scale, in power nothing like it has appeared since E.P. Thompson’s Making of the English Working Class. In fact, it could well have been called The Unmaking and Remaking of the Chinese Working Class. The product of seven years’ research and interview work on the ground, it is an ethnographic and analytic masterpiece.” High enough praise for me. Be sure to buy a hardcopy if you can afford it. Comrade Lee’s scholarship should be supported.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Reading through this now, also planning to read Elliott’s older work on Perry Anderson at some point. Description and links below…
Following the disappearance of the Soviet Union, scholars across the political spectrum tackled the world-historical significance of the end of communism. This book addresses the balance-sheets of modern political history offered by three writers -- Francis Fukuyama, Eric Hobsbawm and Perry Anderson -- comparing them with the future projected by Marx in The Communist Manifesto. Gregory Elliott argues that Marx is central to all three accounts and that, along with the Manifesto, they form a quartet of analyses of the results and prospects of capitalism and socialism, which are of enduring significance for the Left. This book provides a readable survey of key historical and political thinkers that will appeal to anyone interested in modern political thought.
rapidshare (formatted, ebook-ready PDF)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
In between hitting on other people’s girlfriends I’ve spent a portion of my Valentine’s weekend reading Louis Althusser and buying his "epistemological break" argument. I’m more of a fan than I should be, perhaps I should reread this 1923 classic to cleanse my system? See Wikipedia for more info.
ifile.it (scanned PDF)
Friday, February 12, 2010
British historian Hobsbawm is most noted for his three-volume history of the "long 19th century" (1789-1914). Here he turns his attention to what he terms the "short 20th century" ( 1914-1991), which roughly coincides with his own life. It also corresponds to the lifespan of Soviet Communism, which naturally receives a major share of attention in this account. But Hobsbawm covers ideas more than events in this book, which is international in scope. In a work addressed to "the non-academic reader with a general interest in the modern world," he assimilates mountains of information from all over the century and tries to arrange it into a cohesive whole. The result is certainly not light reading, but it is a book that most libraries will need.
rapidshare (DJVU format)
Sunday, February 7, 2010
In this book, Eric Hobsbawm chronicles the events and trends that led to the triumph of private enterprise and its exponents in the years between 1848 and 1875. Along with Hobsbawm's other volumes, this book constitutes and intellectual key to the origins of the world in which we now live.
Next to EP Thompson, whose opus I posted a few days ago, Hobsbawm is the historian of the 20th century. The Age of Extremies is forthcoming sometime next week.
rapidshare (DJVU format)
I’ve held back on posting my New Left Review archives since I’d like to encourage people to subscribe to that journal, despite some of their recent political shortcomings (I personally can’t stand much of Tariq Ali). However, this issue was particularly loaded with prime contributions… so enjoy. As always, support the site the obvious way if you’re so inclined. Or don’t. I’m sure my liver will thank you.
rapidshare (.pdf in a .zip file, no password)
Monday, February 1, 2010
This book presents G. A. Cohen's Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1996. Focusing on Marxism and Rawlsian liberalism, Cohen draws a connection between these thought systems and the choices that shape a person's life. In the case of Marxism, the relevant life is his own: a communist upbringing in the 1940s in Montreal, which induced a belief in a strongly socialist egalitarian doctrine. The narrative of Cohen's reckoning with that inheritance develops through a series of sophisticated engagements with the central questions of social and political philosophy.
4shared.com (PDF, 5 x 8 ebook)
We all love and miss Howard Zinn, but if he’s your favorite historian and you’ve never read this classic…
“I am seeking to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the "obsolete" hand-loom weaver, the "utopian" artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southcott, from the enormous condescension of posterity.” ~ (Thompson, 12)
ifile.it (RARed,DJVU… this isn’t my scan, can’t take credit for it)
Monday, January 4, 2010
A classic work by the founding father of existentialism, describing his philosophy and its relationship to Marxism.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Merry Christmas. I thought that this would be an appropriate time to remind people of the existence of this work. We don’t have to do the whole warm-and-fuzzy liberal thing where we name every convictable other holiday people might be celebrating around this time of year, but needless to say, best wishes to all. I’ll end with a plea for you to ignore the psuedo-leftist call for a “Xmas of restraint”. Fuck that. Be epicureans.
In his foreword, Kautsky expressed his hope that the book would be 'a powerful weapon in the struggles of the present, in order to hasten the attainment of a better future'. He began his analysis by looking for evidence that 'the person of Jesus' existed at all, using pagan and Christian sources. The next dozen chapters are then taken up with a materialist description of the ancient Roman society from which early Christianity sprang. Kautsky then went on to describe the history of the Jewish people, up to the point where Christianity began.
Having set the scene, Kautsky described the beginnings of Christianity. The next five sections are called 'The Primitive Christian Community', 'The Christian Idea of the Messiah', 'Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians', 'The History of Christ’s Passion' and 'The Development of the Christian Community'.
Kautsky contended that Christianity was born out of a group of Jewish proletarians in a decaying Roman empire, who sought to defeat the Romans through a violent insurrection.
mirror 1: rapidshare (6 x 9 .rtf, pre-formatted for ebook readers)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I haven’t finished it yet, but so far it’s much more thoughtful than Bill Ayers’ mess of a memoir. I have little faith that Mark Rudd can fully answer the political questions that arose out of the New Left of the 60s, but it’s an enthralling account nonetheless.
With the war in Iraq provoking memories of Vietnam, Rudd gave up a 25-year silence on his role in the radical student movement of the 1960s when he lead the Weathermen. The group grew out of the Student for Democratic Society behind massive anti-war and social-justice protests at Columbia University. Rudd recalls his personal journey from idealistic freshman to student radical and the escalating violence that led to the riot during the 1969 Democratic party convention in Chicago and the bombing of a townhouse in Greenwich Village. Rudd spent seven years, from 1970 until 1977, living underground as a federal fugitive before turning himself in. Rudd writes from the perspective of a middle-aged teacher living in New Mexico, still concerned about social justice and heartened by the new administration and growing involvement of young people in politics and civic engagement. He admits shame and guilt about some of the excesses and violence of the radical 1960s, but maintains an enduring pride in the passion and idealism of the time. An engrossing look back at a turbulent time by an iconic figure.
mirror 1: rapidshare (PDF ebook 6 x 9, perfect quality)
Saturday, December 19, 2009
"Imagine a time when women lived together, worked together, sang and danced together, and our lives, work rhythms, songs and dance rhythms were all governed by the cycles of the moon. Imagine a time when all our skins were dark, Europeans having newly arrived from Africa. Imagine a time when women had the power and solidarity to make men leave their warm hearth-sides, go out into the howling wastes of Ice Age Europe to hunt giant and ferocious mammoths and then transport their kills proudly back to the women's camp.
This is not a feminist matriarchalist dream. This happened somewhere between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago, according to the latest scientific account of human cultural origins given by male Marxist anthropologist Chris Knight in Blood Relations. The 'Human Revolution', as archaeologists call it, sparked an explosion of symbolic culture that was carried from Africa into Europe, Asia and all the way to Australia 40,000 years ago, and later all over the planet"
mirror 1: rapidshare (scanned PDF)
mirror 2: ifile.it (joined, cropped and OCRed) best version
Thursday, November 19, 2009
A trenchant and witty dissection of the French political scene by the leading radical philosopher.
Alain Badiou, in this sharp and focused intervention, claims that, in and of itself, the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President is not an event, nor is it the cause for wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. To understand the significance of "Sarkozy," we have to look behind the insignificance and vulgarity of the figure and ask what he represents, namely a reactionary tradition which goes back to the early nineteenth century. To escape from the ambience of depression and fear that currently envelops the Left, Badiou casts aside the slavish worship of electoral democracy and maps out a communist hypothesis that can lay the basis for emancipatory politics in the twenty-first century.
download (3.8 pdf scanned)
mirror 1: megaupload
Saturday, November 14, 2009
From the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown—but underlying both is the irrationality of global capitalism. In this bravura analysis of the current global crisis—following on from his bestselling Welcome to the Desert of the Real—Slavoj Zizek argues that the liberal idea of the “end of history,” declared by Francis Fukuyama during the 1990s, has had to die twice. After the collapse of the liberal-democratic political utopia, on the morning of 9/11, came the collapse of the economic utopia of global market capitalism at the end of 2008. Marx argued that history repeats itself—occuring first as tragedy, the second time as farce—and Zizek, following Herbert Marcuse, notes here that the repetition as farce can be even more terrifying than the original tragedy.
The financial meltdown signals that the fantasy of globalization is over and as millions are put out of work it has become impossible to ignore the irrationality of global capitalism. Just a few months before the crash, the world’s priorities seemed to be global warming, AIDS, and access to medicine, food and water—tasks labelled as urgent, but with any real action repeatedly postponed. Now, after the financial implosion, the urgent need to act seems to have become unconditional—with the result that undreamt of quantities of cash were immediately found and then poured into the financial sector without any regard for the old priorities. Do we need further proof, Zizek asks, that Capital is the Real of our lives: the Real whose demands are more absolute than even the most pressing problems of our natural and social world? .
mirror 1: rapidshare
mirror 2: ifile.it
related reading on The Activist “In Defense of Slavoj Zizek”.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Taking stock of contemporary social, cultural, and political currents, Timothy Brennan explores key turning points in the recent history of American intellectual life. He contends that a certain social-democratic vision of politics has been banished from public discussion, leading to an unlikely convergence of the political right and the academic left and a deadening of critical opposition. Brennan challenges the conventional view that affiliations based on political belief, claims upon the state, or the public interest have been rendered obsolete by the march of events in the years before and after Reagan. Instead, he lays out a new path for a future infused with a sense of intellectual and political possibility.
Mirror 1: KewlShare
Friday, September 18, 2009
As usual… support the site if you have a moment, because I guarantee you won’t find this anywhere else. Trust me I tried.
The Rebel (French title: L'Homme révolté) is a 1951 book-length essay by Albert Camus, which treats both the metaphysical and the historical development of rebellion and revolution in societies, especially Western Europe. Camus relates writers and artists as diverse as Epicurus and Lucretius, the Marquis de Sade, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, and André Breton in an integrated, historical portrait of man in revolt.
Mirror 1: Rapidshare
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The Myth of Sisyphus is a philosophical essay by Albert Camus. It comprises about 120 pages and was published originally in 1942 in French as Le Mythe de Sisyphe; the English translation by Justin O'Brien followed in 1955.
In the essay, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man's futile search for meaning, unity and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus answers: "No. It requires revolt." He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. The final chapter compares the absurdity of man's life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. The essay concludes, "The struggle itself...is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."
Mirror 1: Rapidshare
Friday, September 11, 2009
Within the next week:
- Albert Camus Collection:
The Stranger, The Rebel, The Myth of Sisyphus and others
- The New Masses Archive
Within the next month:
- The New Left Review Archive
- A bunch of newish book releases
REQUEST: (please submit if you have a scan)
Jews without Money by Michael Gold
Hope all you comrades have a wonderful weekend,
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I like Zizek. He might be full of shit 99 percent of the time, but it’s very entertaining shit. And it is refreshing to hear a good defense of the metanarrative and the concept of revolution.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Peter Osborne, How to Read Marx
Norton | 2006 | ISBN 0393328783 | 144 Pages | PDF OCR | 1.4 MB
Drawing on passages from a wide range of Marx’s writings, and showing the links among them, Osborne refutes the myth of Marx as a reductively economistic thinker. What Marx meant by “materialism,” “communism,” and the “critique of political economy” was much richer and more original, philosophically, than is generally recognized. With the renewed globalization of capitalism since 1989, Osborne argues, Marx’s analyses of the consequences of commodification are more relevant today than ever before.
Extracts are taken from the full breadth of Marx’s writings, including Notebooks on Epicurean Philosophy, the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, and The Communist Manifesto to Capital.
the promised Camus is coming later today or tomorrow.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
100 years on, still no power for the world proletariat. Certainly there needs to be a reassessment, but there is a lot that still can be gleaned from Kautsky’s finest work. It’s important to note that historically the parties of the left have fallen into the trap of class coalitionalism or mass strike fantasies and haven’t practiced the Kautsykan “strategy of patience”. How realistic this strategy is in the 21st century is an open question. Certainly new tactics will need to be devised, but the general principles of this piece though, in my opinion, are unassailable.
Mirror 1: Direct
I only have mirrors for the 1909 A.M. Simons translation. I am looking for the Raymond Meyer 1996 translation.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Is there like a new COINTELPRO directed at anarchist and anti-war groups? I suppose dreary “orthodox” Marxists like myself aren’t the threat to the ruling class at the moment :)
If readers want to advertise any campaign or petition related to this state interference with non-violent protest, feel free to use the comment box below.
Some new releases will be coming in around a week or so, support the site if you can be bothered to. If not, I’m not complaining.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
At the 1st annual international convention of the Platypus Affiliated Society, in Chicago, June 12-14, 2009, the concluding plenary event, a discussion on the Platypus's theoretical stance, its raison d'etre, and where the project will be going.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This book by Alan Woods is a polemic against a well-known (in Latin America) intellectual Heinz Dieterich. Dieterich claims to have invented a new "Socialism of the 21st Century" and much else into the bargain. He offers a great deal of advice to those involved in the Venezuelan Revolution dressed up in all manner of revolutionary rhetoric. However, when you clear away all the verbiage that surrounds his "new" socialist philosophy, there remains nothing new at all, simply a rehash of stale petty-bourgeois ideas of the past. The author of "Reformism or Revolution" seeks to answer Dieterich's extravagant claims and in doing so defends the real ideas of Marxism on a whole host of questions and in particular the way forward for the Venezuelan and world revolution.
Mirror 1: Direct
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Memories of Underdevelopment is the classic film of Cuban cinema. Directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, the story is based on a novel by Edmundo Desnoes. It was Alea's fifth film, and probably his most famous worldwide. The film gathered several awards at international film festivals.
Sergio, a wealthy bourgeois aspiring writer, decides to stay in Cuba even though his wife and friends flee to Miami. Sergio looks back over the changes in Cuba, from the Cuban Revolution to the missile crisis, the effect of living in an underdeveloped country, and his relations with his girlfriends Elena and Hanna. Memories of Underdevelopment is a complex character study of alienation during the turmoil of social changes. The film is told in a highly subjective point of view through a fragmented narrative that resembles the way memories function.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I haven’t read this book, not sure if I’ll get around to reading this book, but it’s getting a lot of attention so I figure I would post it here. I assume it reads like a Crimethinc neo-Situationist work and contains lifestyle anarchist drivel, but I could be wrong. I use the term “neo-Situationist” loosely, due to my respect for the original grouping. I’ll have more (bigger) releases coming, but please support the site.
Monday, June 15, 2009
This extended essay is a MUST read for anyone who claims to be a leftist or a socialist of any stripe. He was however in my estimation a bit too harsh and generalizing in his appraisal of anarchism. It doesn’t hurt the credibility of his other points.
The Two Souls of Socialism is a socialist pamphlet written by Hal Draper and published in the journal New Politics in 1966. An earlier version of the pamphlet was published by Draper in 1960 in the socialist student magazine Anvil. In his work Draper rejects what he calls "Socialism-from-Above" in favor of "Socialism-from-Below". According to Draper, the divide between these two souls of socialism is the "fundamental" one that underlies other divisions such as "reformist or revolutionary, peaceful or violent, democratic or authoritarian, etc."
Among Socialism-from-Above, Draper includes such varied forms of socialism as utopian socialism, Communist dictatorship and Stalinism, social democracy, and anarchism. Confessing that Socialism-from-Below "has had few consistent exponents and not many inconsistent ones", he nevertheless identifies it with Marx, "whose notion was from the very beginning that the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself."
The pamphlet is organized primarily as a brief history of socialism and important socialist thinkers, beginning with a critical glance at "ancestors" such as Plato, Pythagoras and the Gracchi before turning to Babeuf, Saint-Simon and utopians such as Fourier and Owen. Draper then lauds Marx as the first champion of Socialism-from-Below, "who finally fettered the two ideas of Socialism and Democracy together".
The next sections of the pamphlet consider in turn anarchists (specifically Proudhon and Bakunin), Lassalle, the Fabians, Eduard Bernstein, and American socialists such as Edward Bellamy, all of whom are criticized for being Socialists-from-Above. The final sections separate out "six strains of Socialism-from-Above" (philanthropism, elitism, plannism, communionism, permeationism, and Socialism-from-Outside) and conclude with a call to intellectuals "to choose the road of Socialism-from-Below".
Wobblies and Zapatistas offers the reader an encounter between two generations and two traditions. Andrej Grubacic is an anarchist from the Balkans. Staughton Lynd is a lifelong pacifist, influenced by Marxism. They meet in dialogue in an effort to bring together the anarchist and Marxist traditions, to discuss the writing of history by those who make it, and to remind us of the idea that "my country is the world." Encompassing a Left libertarian perspective and an emphatically activist standpoint, these conversations are meant to be read in the clubs and affinity groups of the new Movement.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009
Rosa Luxemburg was a revolutionary socialist who fought and died for her beliefs. In January 1919, after being arrested for her involvement in a workers' uprising in Berlin, she was brutally murdered by a group of right-wing soldiers. Her body was recovered days later from a canal. Six years earlier she had published what was undoubtedly her finest achievement, The Accumulation of Capital - a book which remains one of the masterpieces of socialist literature. Taking Marx as her starting point, she offers an independent and fiercely critical explanation of the economic and political consequences of capitalism in the context of the turbulent times in which she lived, reinterpreting events in the United States, Europe, China, Russia and the British Empire. Many today believe there is no alternative to global capitalism. This book is a timely and forceful statement of an opposing view.
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Friday, June 12, 2009
What do anarchists want? It seems easier to classify them by what they don't want, namely, the organizations of the State, and to identify them with rioting and protest rather than with any coherent ideology. But with demonstrations like those against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund being blamed on anarchists, it is clear that an explanation of what they do stand for is long overdue. Colin Ward provides answers to these questions by considering anarchism from a variety of perspectives: theoretical, historical, and international, and by exploring key anarchist thinkers, from Kropotkin to Chomsky. He looks critically at anarchism by evaluating key ideas within it, such as its blanket opposition to incarceration, and policy of "no compromise" with the apparatus of political decision-making. Can anarchy ever function effectively as a political force? Is it more "organized" and "reasonable" than is currently perceived? Whatever the politics of the reader, Ward's argument ensures that anarchism will be much better understood after experiencing this book.
Also highly recommended: Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism
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Michael Newman examines and explains the successes and failures of modern socialism by taking an international perspective -- ranging from communism in Cuba to social democracy in Sweden. Discussing its evolution from the industrial towns of the 19th century to its response to the feminist, green, and anti-capitalist movements today, Newman concludes that, with its values of equality, solidarity, and cooperation, socialism remains as relevant as ever but that it needs to learn lessons from the past.
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Understanding Power is a wide-ranging collection of transcribed and previously unpublished discussions and seminars (from 1989 to 1999) with sociopolitical analyst Noam Chomsky.
The chapters, each covering discrete sessions with Chomsky, arrive in a question-and-answer format that at times becomes delightfully contentious. Chomsky holds forth on such disparate topics as American third-party politics, the stifling of true dissent, the illusion of a muscular media, heavy-handed American imperialism (from Southeast Asia to Mexico), a dysfunctional and self-destructing United States political left, the gilding of the Kennedy and Carter administrations, and the impotent state of labor unions.
The relatively accessibility of Understanding Power is a welcome balance to Chomsky's often formidable scholarly writings. This is a book best taken in doses: a sort of bedside reader.
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Here’s Chomsky speaking this week on the Brian Lehrer Show.
In this highly readable, heavily footnoted critique of American foreign policy from the late 1950s to the present, Chomsky (whose 9-11 was a bestseller last year) argues that current U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are not a specific response to September 11, but simply the continuation of a consistent half-century of foreign policy-an "imperial grand strategy"-in which the United States has attempted to "maintain its hegemony through the threat or use of military force." Such an analysis is bound to be met with skepticism or antagonism in post-September 11 America, but Chomsky builds his arguments carefully, substantiates claims with appropriate documentation and answers expected counterclaims. Chomsky is also deeply critical of inconsistency in making the charge of "terrorism." Using the official U.S. legal code definition of terrorism, he argues that it is an exact description of U.S. foreign policy (especially regarding Cuba, Central America, Vietnam and much of the Middle East), although the term is rarely used in this way in the U.S. media, he notes, even when the World Court in 1986 condemned Washington for "unlawful use of force" ("international terrorism, in lay terms" Chomsky argues) in Nicaragua. Claiming that the U.S. is a rogue nation in its foreign policies and its "contempt for international law," Chomsky brings together many themes he has mined in the past, making this cogent and provocative book an important addition to an ongoing public discussion about U.S. policy.
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An absolutely brilliant analysis of the ways in which individuals and organizations of the media are influenced to shape the social agendas of knowledge and, therefore, belief. Contrary to the popular conception of members of the press as hard-bitten realists doggedly pursuing unpopular truths, Herman and Chomsky prove conclusively that the free-market economics model of media leads inevitably to normative and narrow reporting. Whether or not you've seen the eye-opening movie, buy this book, and you will be a far more knowledgeable person and much less prone to having your beliefs manipulated as easily as the press.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009
The World We Wish to See presents a sweeping view of twentieth-century political history and a stirring appeal to take political culture seriously. Samir Amin offers a provocative analysis of resistance to capitalism and imperialism and calls for a new politics of opposition. Capitalism is a global system, so ultimately any successful challenge to it must be organized on the same level: an “internationalism of peoples.”
Throughout the twentieth century the socialist and communist internationals, national liberation movements, and great revolutions have presented challenges to the world order. Amin provides a succinct discussion of the successes and failures of these mobilizations, in order to assess the present struggle. Neoliberalism and the drive for military hegemony by the United States have spawned new political and social movements of resistance and attempts at international organization through the World Social Forum. Amin assesses the potential and limitations of these movements to confront global capitalism in the twenty-first century. The World We Wish to See makes a distinction between “political cultures and conflict” and “political cultures of consensus.” A new politics of struggle is needed; one that is not afraid to confront the power of capitalism, one that is both critical and self-critical.
In this persuasive argument, Amin explains that effective opposition must be based on the construction of a “convergence in diversity” of oppressed and exploited people—whether they are workers, peasants, students, or any other opponent of capitalism and imperialism. What is needed is a new “international” that has an open and flexible organizational structure to coordinate the work of opposition movements around the world.
The World We Wish to See is a bold book, calling for an international movement that can successfully transcend the current world order, in order to pursue a better world. Amin’s lucid analysis provides a firm basis for furthering this objective.
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The Liberal Virus examines the ways in which the American model is being imposed on the world, and outlines its economic and political consequences. It shows how both citizenship and class consciousness are diluted in "low-intensity democracy" and argues instead for democratization as an ongoing process—of fundamental importance for human progress—rather than a fixed constitutional formula designed to support the logic of capital accumulation.
In a panoramic overview, Amin examines the objectives and outcomes of American policy in the different regions of the world. He concludes by outlining the challenges faced by those resisting the American project today: redefining European liberalism on the basis of a new compromise between capital and labor, re-establishing solidarity among the people of the South, and reconstructing an internationalism that serves the interests of regions that are currently divided against each other.
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The CIA and the British secret service MI6, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services set up a network of clandestine anticommunist armies in Western Europe after World War II. The secret soldiers were trained on remote islands in the Mediterranean and in unorthodox warfare centers in England and in the United States by the Green Berets and SAS Special Forces. The network was armed with explosives, machine guns and high-tech communication equipment hidden in underground bunkers and secret arms caches in forests and mountain meadows. In some countries, the secret army linked up with right-wing terrorists who in a secret war engaged in political manipulation, harassment of left wing parties, massacres, coup d'etats and torture.
Haven’t read this, can’t comment on it, here’s a link to the Amazon
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Written in 1970 by a prominent Marxist philosopher and student of Georg Lukács, this book argues that alienation is the central idea in all of Karl Marx's work. To distinguish Marx's original concept from its use by other writers over the years, the topic is approached in three different ways. First, the origin of the idea of alienation is discussed along with an analysis of the way Marx structured it into a theory. Then alienation is explored beyond its political aspect, as it has been used in economics, ontology, moral philosophy, and aesthetics. The contemporary usefulness of the term is covered in the last section of the book, which concludes that current debates about the individual in society and the role of education can be fruitfully discussed in terms of alienation.