Archive | March, 2018

  • Real Kumar David

    Is Marxism science? Part 1: Darwin, Marx and the scientific method

    Ringa Ranga Rajah, a London devotee of recently departed Ambalavanar Siva, complained bitterly last year when 14 March went by and I neglected Marx and Einstein. The former died on 14 March 1883 and the latter was born on 14 March 1879. I promised to make amends and this year Sundays 11 and 18 straddle the date.

  • British ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, leaves after a meeting at the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow,Tuesday March 13, 2018. Russia will only cooperate with Britain on the investigation into last week's poisoning of an ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia if it receives samples of the nerve agent that is believed to have been used, Russia's foreign minister Lavrov said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    The Skripal poisoning: What lies behind UK-US ultimatums against Russia?

    To those who say it is obvious that Russia poisoned Skripal, it is worth recalling the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, in which a deadly strain of anthrax was mailed to many U.S. officials in Washington, killing 5 people and infecting 17 more, shortly after the September 11 attacks. There again, media immediately blamed the attacks on obvious targets of U.S.-UK war threats—the Iraqi regime’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program and its alleged ties to Al Qaeda. These all proved to be lies, serving Washington’s foreign policy interests as it sought to go to war in Iraq.

  • Margaret Thatcher

    Willetts the conqueror (part 1): market populism

    This is Part 1 in a five-part series on Willets: Introduction; part 2; part 3; part 4. In the first installment of this multi-part critical review of David Willetts’ (2017) A University Education, we look at his ‘revisionist’ history of the university as it is modernised through successive historical periods – medieval, modern and neoliberal […]

  • Never again. Photo: Getty

    The market can’t solve a massacre

    The massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one month ago today, left seventeen children and school staff dead. It was the third highest-casualty mass shooting at an educational institution in American history (after Virginia Tech—32 dead—and Sandy Hook—27) and the ninth highest-casualty single-shooter mass shooting in modern American history.

  • Chōsen Zenzu (Korean Peninsula)

    Dossier 1: Crisis in the Korean Peninsula

    The crisis is not merely geopolitical. It is human. 75 million people live in the peninsula. This is about their lives and futures.

  • Cold War.

    Washington’s century-long war on Russia

    The United States has launched a three-pronged offensive on Russia. First, it’s attacking Russia’s economy via sanctions and oil-price manipulation. Second, it’s increasing the threats to Russia’s national security by arming and training militant proxies in Syria and Ukraine, and by encircling Russia with NATO forces and missile systems.

  • Money.


    Capitalism has been the subject of too many conflicting definitions for any of the claims that follow to have any purchase on truth — understood as an adequation to the real. Beneath the numerous disagreements, however, a common substratum can be gleaned between the liberal Smithian, and the classical Marxist and Weberian positions: capitalism is a system geared at fostering accumulation for its own sake.

  • OSS Society- Gina Haspel.

    New CIA director Gina Haspel oversaw torture at a black site then lost evidence of it

    As “chief of base” of a CIA Black Site in Thailand, Haspel oversaw the torture and waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah, who still hasn’t been charged with a crime.

  • Teaching by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

    Willetts the conqueror (part 3): human capital

    The following post is the third instalment of the multi-part review of David Willetts’ ‘A University Life’, you can find here the Introduction; Part 1 and Part 2. Parts 3 and 4 take a slightly different approach, diving deeper into the fundamental principles of marketisation, which centre on the conversion of qualitative experience and practice into quantitatively measurable outcomes, which can in turn become proxies for higher education’s exchange value.

  • Cape Town Water.

    Notes from the future

    What’s happening in Cape Town now might soon happen to many places in the world. To prevent socio-ecological crises like this we need to manage our resources more rationally and collectively.

  • Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

    New faces and not policies

    There have been some militant strikes in recent months, some are still going on. Can they help in developing healthy antidotes to foul-egg policies of the new government?

  • Scene from The Young Karl Marx

    A Review of The Young Karl Marx

    The success of The Young Karl Marx derives from Peck’s ability to demonstrate the relevance of Marx for the present.

  • We are students not customers

    2008 financial collapse all over again…? We need to understand the student loan speculation bubble

    For those who may have missed it, a major economic indicator emerged regarding student loan debt last week. Excessive debt, like student loans, has become one of the biggest barriers to current economic growth in the United States. On Thursday, March 1, 2018, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, appeared before U.S. Congressional representatives.

  • Eye of the snow storm.

    Willetts the conqueror (part 2): creative destruction

    Welcome to Pt. 2 of the multi-part critical Review of David Willetts’ ‘A University Education’. This part of the Review focuses on Willetts’ plans for so-called ‘alternative providers’ – a euphemistic term which should be read as synonymous with for-profit colleges and universities – and his reflections on wanting to see a British higher education (HE) monopoly rise up to compete with global HE mega-corporations.

  • Cuban Woman

    Cuban women: A revolution within the revolution

    It is almost impossible to talk about future projects in Cuba or the work done over all these years to construct a socialist society, without mentioning the role of women in decision making and their contribution in key spaces since the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

  • Leopoldo Lopez.

    The New York Times’ uncanny comparison of Leopoldo Lopez with Martin Luther King

    Journalistic standards simply don’t apply when it comes to the NYT’s coverage of Venezuela’s radical right-wing opposition, argues University of Oriente Professor Steve Ellner.

  • Health Care for the People.

    Utopia and healthcare (part 1)

    I’ve written quite a bit about the U.S. healthcare dystopia over the years—including a seven-part series back in 2016.* But I haven’t yet addressed the utopian dimensions of healthcare reform.

  • David Willetts

    Willetts the conqueror: introduction

    Before Jo Johnson and Sam Gyimah, there was David Willetts. As the Minister of State for Universities and Science from 2010 until 2014, under the Tory-led ‘coalition’ government, Willetts oversaw the introduction of a market into the English higher education system – often referred to as ‘marketisation’.

  • Free public transit

    The case for free public transport

    Transport has undergone enormous changes in recent decades, both in Scotland and across the world. Some have been cyclical: in Scotland’s capital, trams were built, dismantled, and then reintroduced. In other areas, we have seen consistent trends like the steady deregulation and privatization of services, which has left Edinburgh as the sole city in Scotland with a municipal bus operator.

  • Trump graffiti

    The U.S. can’t revive the Monroe Doctrine or expel China from Latin America, but it can inflict pain on the region

    In this MPN exclusive, we speak to Monthly Review editor John Bellamy Foster and Latin America studies scholar Harry L. Simón Salazar about the U.S. fight to maintain hegemony in Latin America, the rise of the right wing, and the danger of “regime change” in Venezuela.