Archive | Commentary

  • We Don’t Need Permission to Protest

    To You at Whose Side We Struggle: November 26, 2013, we saw the first implementation of a new Egyptian law effectively banning any and all protest not approved and regulated by the Ministry of Interior.  This is the same Interior Ministry whose soldiers have killed thousands of protesters, maimed tens of thousands and tortured unknown […]

  • A Critique of Heinrich’s, ‘Crisis Theory, the Law of the Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall, and Marx’s Studies in the 1870s’

    Michael Heinrich’s article is really a continuation of the argument by Monthly Review that Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (LTRPF) is not the main cause of economic crises.… Heinrich makes the following points: 1) Marx’s law is indeterminate; 2) it is empirically unproven and even unjustifiable on any measure of verification; 3) Engels edited Marx’s works badly, distorting his views about the law in Capital Vol. 3; 4) Marx himself, in writings during the 1870s, began to have doubts about the law as the cause of crises and started to abandon it in favour of some theory that took into account credit, interest rates and the problem of realisation (similar to Keynesian theory); 5) Marx died before he could present these revisions of his crisis theory, so there is no coherent Marxist theory of crisis.

  • Response to Heinrich—In Defense of Marx’s Law

    It was Marx’s ultimate purpose, as stated in the preface to the first edition of Das Kapital, “to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society.” It is clear that Marx regarded as his central achievement in this regard the “Law of the Falling Tendency of the Rate of Profit.” In vol.3, (p.303) he declares that: “The barrier of the capitalist mode of production becomes apparent

  • Critique of Heinrich: Marx did not Abandon the Logical Structure

    Heinrich’s article is mainly about the falling rate of profit and crisis theory, but another important point has to do with Marx’s logical method in Capital, and in particular with the levels of abstraction of capital in general and competition. Heinrich argues that Marx encountered difficulties in the Manuscript of 1861-63 concerning this logical structure, and as a result of these difficulties, Marx abandoned this logical structure in the final versions of Capital.

  • Heinrich Answers Critics

    For Marx, is a rising rate of surplus value (s/v) a part of the law itself (as it is presented in chapter 13 of vol. III of Capital) or is it a counteracting factor (dealt with in chapter 14)? There is an easy way to check: we just have to read chapter 13. Marx starts his presentation with a constant rate of surplus value and shows that a rising organic composition of capital leads to a falling rate of profit (pp. 317-18, all pages from the Penguin edition of Capital). Then very quickly he includes a rising rate of surplus value in his considerations (see pp. 319, 322, 326, 327, 333, 337). At pages 333 and 337 Marx even realizes the possibility of a profit rate rising with a rising rate of surplus value, but excludes such a possibility as an “isolated case” or not realistic without going into details. It is clear that he maintains the “law itself” not only with a constant rate of surplus value but also with a rising rate of surplus value!

  • Challenging Harper’s Imperialist Agenda

    It has become commonplace to observe that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has been re-making the symbols and practices of the Canadian state.  Canada, in this view, was once the social democratic heartland of North America.  But under Harper, Canada has been transformed into a hyper-regime of neoliberal market fundamentalism.  Nowhere, it is argued, […]

  • National Lawyers Guild Observers Question Validity of Honduran Elections

    November 26, 2013 Police Repress Students Protesting Against Electoral Fraud, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 26.11.13 The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) delegation of 17 credentialed international observers seriously question the validity of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal‘s (TSE) preliminary results of Sunday’s national elections in Honduras. The NLG takes issue with the United States government’s characterization of the electoral […]

  • Don’t Rush to Recognize Honduras Election “Winner”

    This is #Honduras: human rights defender murdered on Election Day and five more killed in La #Moskitia http://t.co/l7D4gCbadl — Kaelyn Forde (@kaelynforde) November 25, 2013 Photo: Military searches man at polling place #Honduras elections pic.twitter.com/hyoQE1aDZW — Laura Raymond (@laurajraymond) November 24, 2013 Military Police at Escuela Simon Bolivar voting station in Tegucigalpa, #Honduras pic.twitter.com/PDEmzyCoQJ — […]

  • Full Text of Iran-P5+1 Nuclear Deal: “Joint Plan of Action,” Geneva, 24 November 2013

    Via Mehdi Mahmoudi @mehdimahmudi, Fars News Agency, . | Print

  • White Earth Nation Adopts New Constitution

    Welcome sign — “Aaniin” (Hi) and “Biindigen” (Come in) — to the White Earth community of Rice Lake, at the entrance to Lower Rice Lake, a popular site for harvesting wild rice.  Photo by David Thorstad. In a historic vote, on November 19, 2013, the White Earth Nation in northwestern Minnesota became the first member […]

  • Do What You Must (Tum Apni Karni Kar Guzro)

    Laal is a revolutionary band from Pakistan.  Lyrics by Faiz Ahmad Faiz (13 February 1911-20 November 1984).  Directed by Taimur Rahman. | Print

  • Listen to Afghan Peace Volunteers

    I’ve been a guest in Colorado Springs, Colorado, following a weeklong retreat with Colorado College students who are part of a course focused on nonviolence.  In last weekend’s Colorado Springs Gazette, there was an article in the Military Life section about an international skype phone call between U.S. soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan and sixth-grade girls […]

  • Never Forget, Always Remember

    “As the cops try to absolve themselves of the crimes they committed two years ago today, remember this. . . .” — Sherief Gaber, 18 November 2013 “@mosireen video challenges the army’s attempt to erase its role in Mohamed Mahmoud massacre. . . .” — Sonali Pahwa, 18 November 2013 Mosireen is an independent media […]

  • Voices From the Drone Summit

    Last weekend, I participated in a panel on the illegality of drones and targeted killing off the battlefield at the conference “Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance” in Washington DC.  Nearly 400 people from many countries came together to gather information, protest, and develop strategies to end targeted killing by combat drones.  I found […]

  • Refrigerator Wars: The Revolution Goes Back in Action

    The Venezuelan state is intervening in retail businesses around the country, principally those that trade in domestic appliances.  This apparently modest decision, taken a week ago, has set in motion an interesting process of push and pull.  Long lines outside the intervened stores and some disorder inside meet with predictable outcry about “mobs” and “communism” […]

  • The Epochal Crisis, Unequal Ecological Exchange, and Exit Strategies

    John Bellamy Foster: My talk is called “The Epochal Crisis.”  The term “epochal crisis” was introduced by Jason Moore to deal with periods in which economic and ecological crises intersect or merge.  We are certainly in the greatest epochal crisis in the history of the world. . . .  Now, we can also talk about […]

  • A Lesson from South Africa: Are Construction Cartels Dramatically Increasing Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Infrastructure Costs?

    Introduction The 2008 report of the Competition Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the construction sector found that “[u]nfortunately the construction industry has tended to suffer from cartel activity, as shown by the spate of well-publicized recent matters around the world.”  There were 19 countries included in this OECD roundtable, […]

  • Nepal and Qatar in the World Turned Upside Down . . . and in a World Turned Right Side Up

      Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review.  Its October 2013 issue features the following editorial. — Ed. When the last of the British army departed on February 28, 1948, they marched to the Gateway of India — not yet obstructed by yellow concrete barricades — […]

  • A New Phase of Neoliberalism in Iran: The Untold Story of Iran’s “Moderate” Government

    An Iranian economic delegation, headed by Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Ali Tayyebnia, held intensive talks with their counterparts from other countries on the sidelines of the joint annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 11-13.  The talks followed the little noticed meeting between Iran’s new president Hassan […]

  • Statement of Support to Middle East Technical University’s Resistance Against the Government’s Unlawful Environmental Massacre on Their Campus

    Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party), has, despite opposition, initiated a road construction project that goes through a forest area located in Ankara’s inner city, which is also property of Middle East Technical University (METU). University students, the University presidency as well as the residents of the neighborhood located right […]