Subjects Archives: Political Economy

  • Capital and Empire: An Interview with John Bellamy Foster

    Q.  2007 is the 140th anniversary of the publication of Volume One of Marx’s Capital.  In your opinion, what is its main contribution to understanding contemporary capitalism? Marx’s object in Capital was to explain capital as a social relation in the fullest dialectical sense and in the process to describe its law(s) of motion.  I […]

  • The Beginnings of a New Democratic Nepal?

    John Mage of Monthly Review and Bernard D’Mello. deputy editor of Economic and Political Weekly (“EPW”) of Mumbai, India, visited Nepal in February, and trekked into Rolpa, the original base area of the revolutionary “people’s war.”  The following account appears simultaneously on MRZine and in the current (March 17th) issue of EPW. Over the last […]

  • Hotel Workers Lead the Struggle to “Upgrade” the Service Economy

    In the years preceding and immediately following the Second World War, the trade union movement served to transform work and life for industrial workers and their communities by creating the means to bargain for better wages and working conditions.  Now, in the first decade of the 21st century, North American hotel workers are engaged in […]

  • Income Inequalities, Living Wages, and Union Organizing

    It is now accepted across a wide spectrum of political thinking that the period of neoliberalism has sharpened income inequalities.  This has occurred along a number of dimensions.  The capitalist class has seen an increase in wealth from an increasing concentration of assets, a rapid run-up in asset prices, and corporate profits restored to historically […]

  • Challenging Wal-Mart

    Raising the minimum wage and increasing the level of social assistance is a component part of challenging the large, low-wage multinationals that make up the vast majority employers of the working poor.  The largest of them all is Wal-Mart. For socialists, Wal-Mart is more than just a series of big retail stores that threaten our […]

  • Leadership Development Unionism

      NOTE: The paper below was written in the early months of January 2001.  While the paper’s anticipation of the centrifugal forces pulling at the labor movement and the possibility of international unions “literally leaving the AFL-CIO” unfortunately proved prescient of the Change to Win split, it has been even more difficult than anticipated to […]

  • The Swedish Welfare State: A Model for Canadian Labor?

    When I ask Canadian trade unionists and activists fighting against lower labor and social standards about their political vision, they often refer to European welfare states, notably Sweden.  The Swedish social system, their reference implies, proves that there is an alternative to the neo-liberal politics of boosting profits at the expense of working people.  It […]

  • Where Is the German Trade Union Movement and Where Is It Going?

      Germany is the world’s leading exporter and the third largest industrial economy, following Japan and the United States.  German multi-nationals are drowning in supreme opulence, yet the wages of German workers remain severely depressed.  The Wall Street Journal, engaging in low-intensity class struggle labor journalism, confirmed in its January article “German Unions See Leverage […]

  • Ammunition against the Empire

      Need a crash course on the present state of the world?  Want to untangle the terminology, separate the victims from the victimizers, understand the dynamics of unilateralism, and deduce what can be done about it all?  I’d like to introduce you to a small literary arsenal. A good place to begin is the book […]

  • The Paris III Conference on Assistance to Lebanon: Who Aids Whom? [La conférence de Paris III pour le soutien au Liban : qui aide qui ?]

    Le 25 janvier 2007 se tenait, à Paris, la Conférence internationale de soutien au Liban, dite « Paris III », convoquée et présidée par Jacques Chirac. Etaient réunis les représentants de trente-six pays, notamment la secrétaire d’Etat américaine Condolezza Rice, et de quatorze institutions internationales dont le nouveau secrétaire général des Nations Unies Ban Ki-Moon, […]

  • The Dark Side of Bolivia’s Half Moon

    Evo Morales climbed into his presidential jeep, ducking a barrage of sticks, debris and insults thrown from members of right wing civic groups in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  Cameramen and livid activists chased him until police filled the streets with tear gas.  Bolivia’s first indigenous president, a former coca grower and self-described anti-imperialist, was not welcome […]

  • The Iraq War and America’s Economic Imperialism

    Several weeks ago, with much media fanfare, the James Baker-Lee Hamilton Committee submitted to President George W. Bush its long-awaited, bipartisan report on the U.S. war in Iraq.  On balance, the report provided Bush with a face-saving strategy for pulling out all U.S. combat forces by the beginning of 2008.  The Baker-Hamilton report favors an […]

  • How Can We Solve the Political Crisis in Lebanon? [Comment résoudre la crise politique au Liban?]

    Annual Fundraising AppealFriends of MRZine and Monthly Review! The continuing existence of MRZine and Monthly Review depends on the support of our readers.  Unlike many other publications, we make all new Monthly Review articles, as well as MRZine articles, available online, free of charge.  We do so without drawing any advertising money at all from […]

  • Act Now to Save Net Neutrality

      Annual Fundraising AppealFriends of MRZine and Monthly Review! The continuing existence of MRZine and Monthly Review depends on the support of our readers.  Unlike many other publications, we make all new Monthly Review articles, as well as MRZine articles, available online, free of charge.  We do so without drawing any advertising money at all […]

  • Marxism and Religion

    Annual Fundraising Appeal Friends of MRZine and Monthly Review! The continuing existence of MRZine and Monthly Review depends on the support of our readers.  Unlike many other publications, we make all new Monthly Review articles, as well as MRZine articles, available online, free of charge.  We do so without drawing any advertising money at all […]

  • Naked Imperialism: An Interview with John Bellamy Foster

    NAKED IMPERIALISM:The U.S. Pursuit of Global Dominance by John Bellamy FosterREAD EXCERPTBUY THIS BOOK John Bellamy Foster’s Naked Imperialism: The U.S. Pursuit of Global Dominance was published by Monthly Review Press in May 2006.  It consists of essays written between September 2001 and September 2005, addressing the origins of today’s undisguised imperialism, led by the […]

  • A Thing with Transcendental Qualities: Money as a Social Relationship in Capitalism

    An Introduction to Marx’ Notion of Money What is money?  This question hardly plays a role in everyday commerce.  What matters is that there is enough.  Bourgeois economic theories reduce money to its economic function.  But the ubiquity of money is fateful and presupposes certain conditions.  Hence, the critique of financial markets is incomplete when […]

  • When Economists Didn’t Buy the Free Market. . . : An Interview with Michael Perelman

    RAILROADING ECONOMICS: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology by Michael PerelmanBUY THIS BOOKRead Michael Perelman’s blog: UNSETTLING ECONOMICS: A Progressive Look at Economics and the Rest of the Screwed Up World. Michael Perlman is a longtime professor of economics at California State University, Chico.  A prolific author, his newest book is titled Railroading Economics: […]

  • Globalization Risks and Costs

    Critics have exposed how globalization’s benefits have been unequally distributed around the world.  Many of the world’s poorer regions have become poorer still in relation to the regions that gained.  And within regions, it turns out that globalization often worsens wealth and income inequalities.  However, critics admit and defenders boast that at least for some […]

  • All the Economics You Need to Know in One Lesson

      CHEAP MOTELS AND A HOTPLATE: An Economist’s Travelogue by Michael D. Yates ORDER THIS BOOK This essay complements my forthcoming book: Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate: an Economist’s Travelogue (Monthly Review Press). We Meet an Economist Karen and I were hiking in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the Atalaya Mountain Trail, which begins […]