Youth Vs Apocalypse

September 29, 2021

As part of the ongoing Fridays for Future, on Aug. 27 several hundred, mostly youth, gathered in San Francisco to call attention to environmental racism, the climate crisis, and public health.

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New focus on Hegel’s ‘naturalism’ impels another look at Marx

In conversation with Karen Ng’s book “Hegel’s Concept of Life,” Ron Kelch takes up the concept of life and “naturalism” and their relationship to freedom in Hegel, Marx, and Marxist-Humanism. Whether one takes Marx’s starting point of freedom with respect to human life activity that is inextricably part of nature or Hegel’s beginning again from Nature as mediation, the self-determination of the unifying Idea cannot be taken for granted in the face of the spontaneous self-bringing forth of liberty.

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Review: Outward: Adrienne Rich’s Expanding Solitudes

September 6, 2021

Ed Pavlić’s ‘Outward: Adrienne Rich’s Expanding Solitudes’ is the first critical book to appear after Rich’s Collected Poems (2016) and thus the first covering all of Rich’s poetry. The book is especially welcome because Pavlić attends to the latter half of Rich’s career, and acknowledges her Marxism, largely unexplored territory even now.

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Readers’ Views: July-August 2021, part one

July 2, 2021

Readers’ Views on: What Is Socialism?; What Is Marxist-Humanism?; Nuclear Socialism?; Nuclear Capitalism; Flat Earth Society; Indigenous Genocide; Indigenous Liberation; Racism Takes its Toll; Rape Culture; Coming Out in Sports; Colonialism and Liberation

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World in View: COVID-19, philosophy, and revolution

June 29, 2021

The ruling class response to the pandemic was to lie, obfuscate, and manipulate the public in its own interest. The possibility that COVID-19 may have been a lab leak illustrates how capitalism can turn our deepest insights into our own nature towards our own destruction.

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Thoughts From the Outside: Capital is out of control

Where I work among the homeless on the street, I see the infinite degradation experienced by those discarded by capitalist society and barely surviving on its margins. There were always those who live on the edge. Karl Marx was describing the lack of transparency in social relations: what appears to be a free decision to sell your labor is nothing of the kind. Yet people stay away from thinking about how all labor, even paid labor, is forced labor.

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The people of Myanmar unite against the military coup

May 8, 2021

Defying Burma’s coup has provided time for the forces of old revolutionaries, youth, workers and women to work out what they are fighting for, beyond deposing the military caste that has ruled them, and an opportunity to bridge long-time divisions between the Burmese-speaking majority and the peoples long fighting for self-determination.

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Youth: Marx speaks to youth alienation

Young people keep taking matters into our own hands. Our time of total crises calls for a philosophy to help us understand the problems at the root of our misery and give us hope we can create a new society. This makes Marx a contemporary for youth, looking for a way out of life under capitalism’s hopeless future.

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Climate obstruction unplugs Texas

The way business and government prepared—or failed to prepare—for the Winter Storm Uri disaster and the way they responded to it tell a bloody tale of climate obstruction, greed, indifference and cruelty.

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Detroit Dispatch #5: Education and individualism

May 14, 2020

Susan Van Gelder reports on Detroit including: a Supreme Court ruling saying Detroit children have been “deprived of access to literacy”; how children are faring in obtaining internet access so they participate in distant learning; and how “individualism” needs to be framed in relationship to society as a whole.

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COVID-19 has generated a lot of “free time” for workers, but how can we create full, human “free time”?

May 12, 2020

The measures adopted in the face of the spread of COVID-19 in the world have caused billions of people to suddenly have excess “free time.” But this is not a full “free time,” conducive to the enjoyment and development of new skills, but a “time without work” that is exacerbating the enormous economic contradictions already existing in our society. Is it possible to imagine and bring about a form of free time that is truly human time?

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Meatpacking workers sacrificed

May 1, 2020

Workers in meatpacking plants across the country are being sacrificed to what Karl Marx called capital’s “werewolf hunger for surplus labor” as packing companies try to reap the benefits of the prevailing level of automation—but substituting intensified sweated labor for the capital investment of automation. If workers die from COVID-19, the capitalist doesn’t care.

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IV. What to do in the face of compounding crises—medical, economic, political, and the philosophic void

April 30, 2020

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part IV: In the absolute opposite of today’s society, one based on freely associated labor instead of slavery to capi­tal’s production for production’s sake, we can leave behind pervasive misery, precarity and antagonism, and self-development and cooperation can flourish, as can a rational relationship to nature. We can see the beginnings in self-organization from below and the ever-growing rejection of capitalism. Against the large part of the Left that focuses on the power of the state to combat disasters, we must bring out the self-activity of mass­es in motion and not disarm ourselves by separating mass struggles from dialectical philosophy of revolution.

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III. Pandemic sets in motion the latent economic collapse

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part III: The Great Recession intensified the crises but also the revolt and, because of that, the counter-revolutionary trends that led to the Tea Party, Trumpism, and their analogues internationally.

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Capitalism is the real pandemic

April 6, 2020

Neither the coronavirus nor the ongoing climate changes are merely “acts of nature.” Rather both have emerged at this moment because humanity is grounded—entrapped—in the economic-social-political system(s) of capital/capitalism. It is the behemoth that we must examine: the monster we must free ourselves from.

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Revolution in Permanence in Syria, After the Uprisings

March 22, 2020

Review-essay (longer version) on the book ‘Syria After the Uprisings: The Political Economy of State Resilience’ by Joseph Daher. With a combination of ruthless criticism and consistent solidarity, the author situates the Assad regime and Syria’s three counter-revolutions into a broader trend of global neoliberalism.

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COVID-19: A world-historic threat

March 7, 2020

Gerry Emmett analyzes the meaning of the current coronavirus pandemic from the point of view of what Karl Marx called humanity’s metabolism with nature, which formed the basis of his critique of capitalism.

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COVID-19 and the specter of pandemic

January 27, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus cannot be viewed in isolation from the corruption of China’s state-capitalism and the danger the virus poses especially to the poor, homeless and refugees.

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