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Subjects Archives: Political Economy

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 […]

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Highest-Income Households Have Seen Sharp Drops in Tax Rates

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 […]

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Karl Marx

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Rick Wolff

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. […]

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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 […]

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Nabina

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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