Subjects Archives: Political Economy

  • As Rome Burned, the Emperor Fiddled

    As global finance’s house of cards implodes, Bush and Congress fiddle and Bernanke Fedles.  When sub-prime mortgages defaulted, debt-backed securities tanked, and credit everywhere contracted.  Business investment then shrank as did consumer spending.  Recession now looms in the US if it is not already here.  Worry deepens that it might get very bad and last […]

  • Kenya: Failures of Elite Transition

      The events in Kenya after the much criticized and controversial elections of 27 December 2007 have exposed the planned failures of our nascent democracy and the ideological rot and inadequacy across the Kenyan body politic.  This has left many wondering what actually went wrong.  I posit that an ideologically bankrupt political process that revolves around access […]

  • Class and Inflation in Australia

    Just as the slump in the US economy threatens to trigger a global recession, Australian authorities have pronounced inflation ‘public enemy number one’ and are trying to slow growth.  They tell workers to ‘exercise wage restraint’. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Industrial Relations Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan sing the same tune: workers […]

  • 2008: The Demise of Neoliberal Globalization

    The ideology of neoliberal globalization has been on a roll since the early 1980s.  It was not in fact a new idea in the history of the modern world-system, although it claimed to be one.  It was rather the very old idea that the governments of the world should get out of the way of […]

  • Indianismo and Marxism: The Missed Encounter of Two Revolutionary Principles

    This important article by Álvaro García Linera, now Vice President of Bolivia, was first published in 2005. It traces the contradictory evolution of the two most influential revolutionary currents in the country’s 20th century history and argues that Marxism, as originally interpreted by its Bolivian adherents, failed to address the outstanding concerns of the indigenous majority. García Linera suggests, however, that the evolution of indianismo in recent decades opens perspectives for a renewal of Marxist thought and potentially the reconciliation of the two currents in a higher synthesis. Although framed within the Bolivian context, his argument clearly has implications for the national and anti-imperialist struggle in other parts of Abya Yale (the indigenous name for the Western hemisphere).

  • Putting the U.S. Economic Crisis in Perspective

    It is time to take stock.  The centrality of the American economy to the capitalist world — which now literally does encompass the whole world — has spread the financial crisis that began in the U.S. housing market around the globe.  And the economic recession which that financial crisis has triggered in the U.S. now […]

  • The Failure of Climate Change Economics

    In 1896, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the likely impact of burning coal on the climate.  Arrhenius claimed that, due to human activity, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase, creating an “enhanced” greenhouse effect.  His theory did not enjoy consensus in his time, but the scientific community […]

  • Beyond Abstract Art — Reflections of Life: The Amazing World of George Brodsky

    The Cantellops Art Gallery at La Roche College will feature the first-ever exhibition of American artist George Brodsky (1901-1999) from Jan. 14-31.  “Beyond Abstract Art — Reflections of Life on Shell, Rock, Bark and Flat Surfaces: The Amazing World of George Brodsky” will be open to the public for viewing daily from 10 a.m. to […]

  • Double Standard on Divestment

    Today, two movements for the promotion of human rights in Sudan and Palestine seek to emulate the successful role played by boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in achieving democracy and equality in South Africa.  The two movements, however, have received radically different receptions on Capitol Hill.  This double standard testifies to official Washington’s selectivity when it […]

  • The Rating Horrors and Capitalist “Efficiency”

    Many aspects of our “efficient” capitalism combined to produce the credit meltdown that now threatens ever more aspects of the global economy.  One was the private rating companies’ failure to accurately assess and honestly reveal the risks of securities based on a “bundle” of loans (securities that provide their owners with a portion of that […]

  • Ghosts of Christmas Past, Rising from the Gaps of Capital

    “O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight.   By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]

  • A (Partial) Victory in the Battle Against Globalization: The NAFTA Corridor Initiative Suffers a Setback

    “O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight.   By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]

  • Emotionomics: A Noteworthy “Revelation” of Market Totalitarianism

    “O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight.   By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]

  • Neoliberal Globalization Is Not the Problem

    “O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight.   By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]

  • Critique of the Arab Left: On Palestine and Arab Unity

    The situation of the Arab Left is similar to “the phenomenon of the transformation of the Left” on the global scale and a reflection of it.  The reason is simple: the Arab Left, as a general rule though with some exceptions, was never a “Left” in the dialectical materialist sense.  It has always been a […]

  • Capitalism’s Beverage & the Obesity Epidemic

    The Los Angeles Times reports that Disneyland is retooling its boats-on-water rides because of the raging obesity epidemic in the United States, “to deal with the delicate problem of bottoming-out boats.” People are simply getting too fat for the existing rides, including the now satirically named “It’s a Small World”: “Forty-one years after the whimsical […]

  • Mapping the Human Terrain and Developing Kill Chains:Social Science in Service to Capitalism

    Author’s Note:  The appearance of General Petraeus’s Counterinsurgency Field Manual, published recently for the US book trade by the University of Chicago Press, has created a stir because of charges of pilfered scholarship, damage to the reputation of UC, and the role of anthropologist Montgomery McFate in writing the book.  The mission of social science […]

  • Globalization, 2: US Autoworkers, 0

    The recent UAW ratification of the Chrysler contract that contains many of the same provisions that were adopted in the labor agreement signed with GM last month is another major blow to the jobs and welfare of US autoworkers.  Globalization, the Big Three’s grand strategy of pitting the workers of North America against one another […]

  • Financial Capital: Crises Are Part of the Game

    Everything went well during the summer of 2007.  The economy was in an upswing and stock-market prices rose even faster.  Then the end of the housing boom in the United States triggered an international financial crisis.  Up to now it has been contained by heavy central-bank intervention; but the euphoria is gone.  The world of […]

  • Globalization Now: The North American Auto Industry Goes South

    Understanding globalization, the main trend of capitalism at the beginning of the 21st century, is critical because of the many ways that it is undermining the lives and communities of working people in North America and around the world.  Few industries in the developed nations that are not specifically location-bound have been able to resist […]