Subjects Archives: Literature

  • Submissions to the We Are the 99 Percent Tumblr, 2011–2013

    The kids aren’t alright

    When we talk about generations, we tend to talk as if history has always been divided up into them. But the idea of distinct eras of cohorts each defined by some unique spirit is not timeless. The notion of a generation was borne of a conception of history as a machine of progress—a claim central to Enlightenment ideology

  • US-based socialist Tithi Bhattacharya responds to questions from rs21 on her new book about social reproduction theory.

    Capitalism’s life source: the domestic and social basis for exploitation

    Social reproduction theory (SRT) sounds quite intimidating, but the (rather grandiose) anthology of big words masks a relatively simple question: if capitalist production is fundamentally the production of commodities, and it is workers who produce such commodities, who ‘produces’ the worker?

  • Engels’ “theoretical moment”?

    In Marx and Engels’ Collected Works volume 47, I found a very interesting letter written by Engels to August Bebel. It was written about a month and half after Marx’s death, April 30 1883. Bebel seems to have suggested Engels to move somewhere else in Europe. Engels’ justifications to continue staying in England is quite remarkable.

  • The queen has been implicated in the revelations (Pic: DurhamDundee/Flickr)

    Paradise Papers: Tax havens show the hypocrisy of the rich

    Another glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous has come to light.

  • W. E. B. Du Bois and others with hands linked and raised at the Afro-Asian Writers Conference in Tashkent in October 1958. W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

    The Afro-Asian Writers Association and Soviet engagement with Africa

    This post is part of our online forum, “Black October,” on the Russian Revolution and the African Diaspora

  • writers congress

    The Popular Front Novel

    I became interested in literary relationships with communism and anti-fascism when I was an undergraduate student. I was curious about how modernist writing, often thought to have peaked by the mid-1920s, was transformed by the rise of fascism and the coming of the Second World War.

  • Marx in today's world (NewsClicks)

    Why read “Capital”, 150 years later?

    Out of all his works, the reputation of Karl Marx as theorist of the socialist tradition is undoubtedly based primarily on his magnum opus, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy.

  • Che Guevara stamp

    Che Guevara stamp sells out first run in ‘unprecedented’ public demand

    THE Che Guevara stamp produced by An Post to mark the 50th anniversary of the Latin American freedom fighter’s murder on 9 October 1967 by CIA-backed Bolivian state forces has sold out its initial 120,000 print run.

  • Nazi flag flies from Austrian legation in Washington, D.C. on March 12, 1938 (New York Public Library) .

    How American racism shaped nazism

    Depending on the reader’s perspective, Whitman’s central argument seems either modest or bold, as he claims, “What all this research unmistakably reveals is that the Nazis did find precedents and parallels and inspirations in the United States” (10). The most radical Nazis were often the most enthused about American legal precedents. More moderate, less anti-Semitic members of the Nazi Party tended to be more skeptical of American approaches. For some Nazis, “American race law looked too racist” (5). America “was the leading racist jurisdiction” in the 1930s (138).

  • International Congress of Intellectuals for Peace (Wroctaw, Poland, 1948).

    Red scientist: two strands from a life in three colours

    An exploration of Bernal’s contribution to the politicization of science and scientists, above all the development of the Social Relations of Science movement.

  • Writing while socialist

    With each workshop the broad outlines of socialist writing become clear to me. I am now able to better distinguish between capitalist writing—which typically emerges from the liberal, mainstream media and is intended to produce commodities—and socialist writing—which is intended to produce a confident community of struggle.

  • White people; Viewing the Performance of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor’ in the Globe Theatre (1840) by David Scott. Photo courtesy the V&A Musuem

    How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

    The Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton invented the concept of ‘white people’ on 29 October 1613, the date that his play The Triumphs of Truth was first performed. The phrase was first uttered by the character of an African king who looks out upon an English audience and declares: ‘I see amazement set upon the faces/Of these white people, wond’rings and strange gazes.’

  • Das Kapital Karl Marx

    Soft shell, hard core: on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s Capital, Vol. 1

    In bourgeois economic theory, competition, commodity production, profit seeking, and growth express something like the human essence. They are ahistorical constants, not the results of specifically capitalist relations that have historically emerged and can therefore be overcome. This is exactly what makes Marx’s critique of economics highly topical.

  • “Marx was not a profet nor a creator of uthopias, he was a rigorous theoricist” claims the professor / Credit: Youtube

    Capital is not a bible nor a cookbook”, says José Paulo Netto

    The work of Karl Marx, Capital, considered “the Bible” of the revolution, was first published 150 years ago. Many political and ideological battles are fought until this day in the name of the German intellectual and his biggest work.

  • Past continuous: Karl Marx’s Capital can help unravel the perplexities of modern-day capitalism

    On September 14, it will be exactly 150 years since the publication of Capital: Critique of Political Economy, the first volume of Karl Marx’s epochal Das Kapital. The historicity of the book can be gauged by the fact that this first of three bulky tomes was published by a Hamburg publisher two years after the American Civil War but well above a decade before the incandescent bulb was invented. Capital however, literally acted as the bulb that shone a light on many a way.

  • All Exxon Mobile worries swept under the rug.

    Slick maneuvers

    Both ExxonMobil and the Wall Street Journal have been engaged in pretty slick maneuvers in order to protect their profits by failing to publish any opinions critical of ExxonMobil.

  • James Baldwin

    Forgetting to remember

    It is a devastating fact that James Baldwin is our contemporary; so much so, that the matter of his relevance seems either pressing or redundant depending on to whom one speaks. Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, a “cinematic séance” (The Guardian), is being taken as the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished Remember This House, […]

  • Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro rally to support him while carrying pictures of late Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas, Venezuela, May 8, 2017.

    Standoff in Venezuela

    Venezuela has been rocked in recent weeks by almost daily protests and counter-protests, as right-wing opponents of socialist President Nicolas Maduro seek to bring down his government.

  • We Stand with Palestine in the Spirit of “Sumud”

    At a moment of growing resistance to state violence and injustice the world over, a delegation of nineteen anti-prison, labor and scholar-activists from the United States traveled to Palestine in March 2016.  Our delegation included former U.S.-held political prisoners and social prisoners, former Black Panther Party members, prison abolitionists, trade unionists and university professors.  We […]

  • “Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Albert Einstein

    Why should one seek socialism?  It is common to adduce that socialism would be more just and fair than capitalism, but that does not fully resolve the issue, since people are not always motivated by social justice.  Moreover motivation — especially for undertakings that are difficult and risky, such as changing a whole society! — […]