Subjects Archives: Political Economy

  • Zero Hour for Venezuela’s RCTV

    The expiration of Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV‘s public concession draws near: at 11:59pm on Sunday, May 27th, RCTV’s concession will expire without renewal, and its space on channel 2 will be handed over to the newly-founded Venezuelan Social Television (TVes), which will begin broadcasts at 12:15am on May 28th.  This sovereign decision of the Venezuelan government […]

  • The Big Picture

    A People’s History of the World by Chris Harman Universal or synoptic histories are not favored by professional scholars.  As specialists, they prefer the detailed monograph to sweeping world histories.  They look askance at those naive enough to believe that global history can be encompassed in one volume.  They know better, they say. It is […]

  • The Debate Heats Up

    Atilio Borón, a prestigious leftist intellectual who until recently headed the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), wrote an article for the 6th Hemispheric Meeting of Struggle against the FTAs and for the Integration of Peoples which just wrapped up in Havana; he was kind enough to send it to me along with a […]

  • The Monthly Review Story: 1949-1984

    I wrote this as a paper for a seminar in history during my first year of grad school at the University of Washington in 1984.  It was a labor of love for me because it gave me an opportunity to read every single issue of Monthly Review , all of which were carefully kept in […]

  • Another “Reform” Fraud from Chidambaram

      Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review.  Its April 2007 issue features the following editorial. — Ed. The “reform” offensive that started in 1991 as New Economic Policy has continued 15 years with different cover stories — as “recovery from BOP crisis” or “shining India” […]

  • Capital and Nature: An Interview with Paul Burkett

    1.  The year 2007 marks the 140th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marx’s Capital.  In your perspective, what is the main contribution of that major work to the understanding of contemporary capitalism? Marx’s Capital establishes three essential contradictions of capitalism which grow in intensity as the system develops historically.  These contradictions […]

  • Imperial Sunset?

    For the first time since its rise as a superpower the United States is facing a serious threat to its hegemony across the globe. In February this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed a security conference in Munich that had 250 of the world’s top leaders and officials in attendance, including such luminaries as the […]

  • Old Distributions, New Economy

    The macro march backward of domestic income and wealth distribution has become remarkable.  At least we thought so enough to pen the following remarks.  In 2006 the corporate profits share of the national economy retouched its 1929 high.  Wage and salary income broke its 8 decade low watermark.  Our new economy increasingly replicates the distributional […]

  • Favorite Color: Red

    KARL MARX: A Life by Francis WheenBUY THIS BOOK It is fitting that a man who framed a dialectic based on violent contradiction — on thrust and counter-thrust, struggle and counter-struggle — should have lived a life fraught with contradictions.  In Francis Wheen’s biography, Karl Marx is neither hero nor nemesis, but a man of […]

  • A Historic Turn: What Is at Stake beyond the Wolfowitz Scandal?

      The Boards of the World Band and the International Monetary Fund that are meeting in Washington D.C. on 14-15 April are in dire straits.  The President of CADTM-Belgium, Eric Toussaint, explains. The Spring meetings of the WB and the IMF are taking place this weekend.  What is at stake? These two institutions are going […]

  • Straight from the Billionaire’s Mouth

    Social critics, from Ida B. Wells to Noam Chomsky, recognize that the elite press can serve as the best tool against the elite.  Today’s business magazines have no problem “naming the system,” and they write with clarity and frankness on the inner workings of capitalism and imperialism.  My good friend and correspondent Skip recently sent […]

  • Neoliberalism and Canada’s Ruling Class

    For a discipline explicitly engaged in the study of power, particularly as exercised in liberal democracies, it is striking how little Canadian political science has actually examined the concentration of private economic power, the political organization of the business classes and the extension of that power into the political realm.  Indeed, Canadian political science has […]

  • Mugabe: Talks Radical, Acts Like a Reactionary

    If you want to know what’s going on in Zimbabwe, you could try taking seriously the view commonly argued by the independent left in this region, namely that Mugabe talks radical — especially nationalist and anti-imperialist — but acts reactionary, especially to the urban poor and working people. Fortunately, we have a fresh version of […]

  • Capitalism’s Three Oscillations and the US Today

    Throughout its history and across its geography, capitalism has swung back and forth between private and state forms.  The former reduces while the latter enlarges the state’s intervention in the economy.  The economic events that precipitate swings (in both directions) have been various mixes of recession and widening inequality.  Political oscillations have paralleled the economic. […]

  • 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 […]