Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jacobin magazine – Winter 2011

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

Jacobin + a magazine of culture and polemic

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

[requested] The Century by Alain Badiou

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

The Origin of Capitalism by E.M. Wood

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.


mirror 1

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Myth of Mondragon by Sharryn Kasmir

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

Debating Empire (ed. Gopal Balakrishnan)

Debating Empire (New Left Review Debates) by Gopal Balakrishnan

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 Communist Hypothesis by Alain Badiou


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.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Parallax View by Slavoj Zizek

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 by Arthur Koestler


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 by Hardt and Negri

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

State, Power, Socialism by Nicos Poulantzas

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

March 4 National Day of Action

See here for more information about the national day of action.

Related reading:

Alex Callinicos’ short book Universities in a Neoliberal World

James Turley’s review of that book

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935


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 Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir

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

Against the Law: Labour Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt by Ching Kwan Lee

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

Ends in Sight by Gregory Elliott

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

History and Class Consciousness by György Lukács

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

Who’s Gerardo?

The mildly amusing poll on the right sidebar has prompted this question a few times.  I’ve never been more disappointed in my life.

Listen and learn:

The Age of Extremes: 1914-1991 by Eric Hobsbawm

As promised….

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

The Age of Capital: 1848-1875 by Eric Hobsbawm

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)

New Left Review 61 Jan/Feb 2010

NLR cover image

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

If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? by G. A. Cohen

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)

The Making of the English Working Class by E.P. Thompson

The Making of the English Working Class.gif

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

Between Existentialism and Marxism by Jean-Paul Sartre


A classic work by the founding father of existentialism, describing his philosophy and its relationship to Marxism.