MARX NEWSLETTER #1
January 19, 2020
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
My randomly collected Marx readings appear under the general heading of “Marx,” except for everything on Marx, enviro, and climate and on Marx, gender, women, and feminist which are in separate docs in preparation for newsletters. The increasing global identification of US capitalism (exploitation of natural resources and people for profit, endless growth, unrestricted competition, deregulation, lower taxes for the rich) with climate chaos makes this newsletter one of our most important.
Table of Contents: Marx Newsletter #1, January 19, 2020.
Ideas, the Larger Concepts and Practices
Capitalism Today, Review of Money and Totality
More Specific Critiques
Dutch East India Company
Marxists, Marxism, Socialism
In the Red Corner: The Marxism of Mariàtegui
Abby Martin and Richard Wolff Converse
Film Sorry to Bother You
Cultural Logic: A Journal of Marxist Theory and Practice
Marx’s Ideas, the larger prospects
Marx’s concept of socialism. Mronline.org (1-2-2020)
The discussions and debates that have accompanied the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth since 2018 have provided an important opportunity to re-examine heretofore neglected aspects of his political and philosophical legacy. Foremost among them is the extent to which his body of work provides conceptual resources for developing a viable emancipatory to capitalism in […]
Review of Money and Totality by Fred Moseley. Mronline.org (8-29-19).
Today, as the global economy flounders from crisis to crisis, Marx’s analysis of capitalism is the essential basis for a correct understanding of what is going on. Moseley’s book reaffirms key elements of this analysis.
More specific writings
Marx on British politics … and cab drivers. Mronline.org (1-18-20)
If you get nauseated by the perverse state of contemporary world politics and the slavish way in which mainstream media help to sustain the spectacle that is Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Rodrigo Duterte or their local variants, here is the perfect antidote: read Marx’s journalistic articles for the New York Daily Tribune.
“Marx and the Dutch East India Company. “ Mronline.org 6-23-19.
In the final part of Capital, Volume I on “the so-called original accumulation”, Marx gives a dazzling overview of the often violent historical phenomena that contributed to the birth of the capitalist system, “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.” Source
MARXISTS, MARXISM, SOCIALISM
“Remembering Samir Amin: a Marxist of the South. “ Mronline.org (8-27-19).
With the passing of the great anti-imperialist and Marxist intellectual Samir Amin on August 12 of last year, the international communist movement lost a giant.
In the Red Corner:
The Marxism of José Carlos Mariátegui by Mike Gonzalez
The first English-language biography of one of Latin America’s most important, innovative, and enduringly relevant, Marxist thinkers.
José Carlos Mariátegui (1894-1930) is widely recognized across Latin America as one of the most important and innovative Marxist thinkers of the twentieth century. Yet his life and work are largely unknown to the English-speaking world. In this gripping political biography—the first written in English—Mike Gonzalez introduces readers to the inspiring life and thought of the Peruvian socialist. As one of the first modern thinkers to discuss what Marxism has to offer, and to learn from, the struggles of Indigenous peoples, his ideas have an immediate relevance in the context of Standing Rock and other native-led fights challenging pipelines across North America.
“Mariátegui’s Marxism involved a deep, almost archaeological, appreciation for the deposition and accumulation of Peruvian history's sedimentary layers. In his brief life he probed the complex particularities of that social formation across economics, history, politics, literature, and ideology. He intervened tirelessly in local affairs. At the same time, he knew these immediate, local concerns did not exist in pristine isolation from wider relations. With unparalleled determination, he insisted Peruvian reality could only be grappled with insofar as its innumerable entanglements with the rest of Latin America, and indeed the world—through the history of colonialism and capitalism—were fathomed and assimilated into revolutionary strategy. Latin America's socialist revolutions would never be a mere copy of European traditions, but they were nevertheless bound up in a shared universal project of emancipation. Mariátegui’s heretical Marxism involved a utopian-revolutionary dialectic, in which select elements of indigenous communal traditions of the pre-capitalist past were combined with a forward-looking post-capitalist future, where the difference of the particular wasn't cancelled by the project of the universal. This impressive book by Mike Gonzalez turns Mariátegui’s dialectic back on its author, parsing Mariátegui’s life and work with all the necessary attentiveness to time and place, while simultaneously borrowing selectively from its riches to help reinvent a living Marxism and revolutionary politics adequate to our present."
—Jeffery R. Webber, author of The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left
ALSO by Gonzalez
Praise for Hugo Chavez: Socialist for the Twenty-first Century:
“Mike Gonzalez possesses a extraordinarily rich knowledge of the Latin American left, has engaged critically with the politics of modern military institutions, and has an abiding interest in independently-minded public figures. He has brought these singular attributes together in this lucid portrait of Hugo Chavez. “ —Professor James Dunkerley, Queen Mary University
“For activists and scholars alike, this is an excellent biography, which mirrors in its nuances and subtleties the complexity of the Bolivarian process and the figure of Chavez himself.”
—Jeffery R. Webber, Queen Mary University of London, author of The Last Day of Oppression and the First Day of The Same
“A seminal work on the ideological and political formation of the former Venezuelan President and leading figure of twenty-first century socialism.”
—Francesco Di Bernardo, LSE Review of Books
Abby Martin & Richard Wolff Discuss Socialism in 2019
Abby Martin sits down with renowned Marxist Economist Richard Wolff to discuss the growing popularity of socialism under Trump and its historical roots in America, misconceptions about Russia and China’s economic success and Marx’s theory of alienation and monopoly capitalism.
Watch Abby's last interview with Richard Wolff in May: "Debunking Jordan Peterson’s 'Cultural Marxism'", and her first interview in 2016: "Marxism 101"
Cultural Logic: A Journal of Marxist Theory & Practice
Current Issue Vol 23 (2019)
History, Class Consciousness, Imperialism
Re-visiting Carlos Bulosan’s "America is in the Heart" by E. San Juan, Jr.
Anthropology and the Moscow Trials by Dennis Bartels
Some Remarks on Marx’s Philosophy and Philosophical Methodology by Matthew McManus
END MARX AND MARXISM NEWSLETTER #1, January 19, 2020