Ajl evaluates GND proposals not only on the basis of targeted changes in physical production, but also in terms of their systemic implications. Some GNDs aim to preserve or strengthen capitalism, while others are designed to attack or abolish it. Correspondingly, the book is divided into two parts. The first one is concerned with what Ajl calls Capitalist Green Transitions or “ruling class agendas”, while the second part sketches his vision of a People’s Green New Deal.
Climate change and other severe environmental problems demand working class solutions. The productivity and creativity of workers is vital to ecological alternatives. The often forgotten history of working class environmental politics demands study.(...) Workers produce and can produce alternative sustainable futures, the concept of workers’ plans for ecological production is important
Yet much discussion of the GND lacks mooring in the political economy of the production of discourse, the environmental crisis, or shifts in capitalism. In what follows, light will be shed on why and how the GND emerged, as layers of space and time slammed together: shifts and challenges to US accumulation, the broader environmental crisis, and breakdown of capitalism as a political mode of rule in the core. The GND in its dominant anti-racist green Keynesian formulation emerges as one resolution—if not exactly a solution—to these instabilities.
We hope that this dossier, under the conditions of today’s ever-deepening ecological destruction, and the political and economic space facing general reorganization by the processes set in motion by this destruction, will reach the workers in the socialist and ecological movements and make a small contribution to the struggle on both an intellectual and practical level.
The left sees that capitalism is responsible for climate change. It recognizes the urgency of the situation. But instead of building its capacity to seize the state, it advocates small-scale, local, decentralized solutions and more protests and democracy. If we really are on the verge of catastrophe, shouldn’t we building a revolutionary party able to respond to the disaster and push forward an egalitarian alternative?
OPIATES OF THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS? ANTHROPOCENE ILLUSIONS, PLANETARY MANAGEMENT & THE CAPITALOCENE ALTERNATIVE
Climate justice politics cannot advance without a working class internationalism that confronts the climate class divide, climate apartheid, and climate patriarchy as a "rich totality of many determinations” – always with and within webs of life that have themselves been degraded and alienated. Let us remember that the affirmative dialectical corollary to Marx's oft-quoted observation on capitalism's degradation of “the soil and the worker” is this: the communist horizon is the real historical movement of the class struggle in the web of life.
Capitalism turns the ‘free gifts of nature’ into profit. And in the incessant drive to raise profitability, it depletes and degrades natural resources. And as nature is privatised and turned into private property, the owners of ‘nature’ can also extract rent from the exploitation of labour. However, there is a continual battle by capital to control and lower rising raw material prices as natural resources are depleted and not renewed, adding another factor to the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. The drive for profit has led to an uncontrolled expansion of industrialisation, energy and commodity production in agriculture that emits carbon emissions and provokes natural resource depletion that is heating up the planet to levels that threaten its very existence.
Hegemonic climate politics conceals that capitalism’s structural contradictions cause climate change, either articulating itself without confronting such contradictions or offers solutions which bring new equally sharp contradictions to the fore instead. I elaborate on the following contradictions throughout the article: capital and nature; capital and labor; time of capital and time of nature/climate; time of capital and time of labor; the necessity of effective climate policies and the demands of capital; the urgency of climate measures and postponement of targets to 2050; the climate commitments which pin its faith upon the order of capitalist economy and upon market mechanisms and emission reduction targets and the actual climate policies under operation; mitigation policies and application tools that do not have a feature for mitigation.
Today we are faced with two main strategies for solving the problem of climate change. In the first, (symptomatic) measures are applied within the capitalist system, which tend towards "energy transformation" and alleviate symptoms, rather than addressing the causes. Examples of such policies in action abound in many countries: broadly similar, they defer to the interests of capital. This may be termed the hegemonic climate politics. The second strategy is that of anti-capitalist climate politics of the people as exploited workers and oppressed segments of society. The two policies differ not only in terms of solutions, but primarily in terms of their grasp of the causes of the climate question. Unlike the first, the second acknowledges that the climate has changed due to the functional laws of capitalism
ECOLOGICAL CRISIS, GLOBAL CAPITAL AND THE REINVENTION OF NATURE: A PERSPECTIVE FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTh
This essay traces the history of the REDD-Plus initiative within a broader understanding of the changes within the international division of labour in world capitalism. It shows that the reconfiguration of nature is an important feature of resolving the crisis of accumulation within capitalism. Seen from this perspective, it is not surprising that political and economic domination is a driver of uneven development in the reordering of world capitalism itself.
Identifying the root cause of the climate crisis as capitalism motivates one to do something. Motivated were many of the communists in the past. Their convictions (and perhaps also optimism) were enough to make them do something, but not the thing. We need to do the thing itself, now. We need a party to make that happen. So we need a party model. Historical experience shows that no party model successfully led two revolutions. So all of this will be messy, contingent on non-provable intuition, and full of childish mistakes. But that’s what we need. Then again, to run this discussion, we need party leaders.
By pointing to the intersection of capitalism with patriarchy, racism and speciesism on the world scale, socialist ecofeminism allows to see ecological transition as an intersection of different struggles for ‘system change’. Taking this vision seriously could help socialist organizations to free themselves from their inherited obsession with the forces of production and GDP growth – the capitalist/industrial version of modernity – and envision a true ecological revolution.
CALL FOR PAPERS #DOSSIER 9: CAPITALISM AND ECOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION: PATHS OF STRUGGLE AND ALTERNATIVES
Türkçesi için tıklayın. One of the most important elements that will determine the political course of the Twenty-First...
Ever since November 26, 2020, when over 200,000 farmers marched to Delhi, protesting farmers have been camping on the borders of Delhi, blocking highways into and out of the national capital. Farmers’ main demand is the repeal of the three farm laws that the Modi government introduced in September 2020, which ease the way for big capital in agriculture.
Mass revolutionary filmmaking can become another front of struggle - a modern form of storytelling - but only in the context of all the same struggles communists and revolutionaries have learned in all the decades and centuries of organised working-class resistance and revolt. 'Red first then expert', 'intellectualise the proletarians and proletarianise the intellectuals', 'from the masses to the masses' - and all the many lessons we've learned on how to build and lead the revolution.
REPRESENTATIONAL FRAGMENTS OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF NATION AND NATIONAL IDENTITY IN THE CINEMA OF YILMAZ GUNEY: ANALYSIS OF THE FILMS ENDIŞE, AĞIT, AND HUDUTLARIN KANUNU
Films by Yılmaz Güney provide the history of cinema in Turkey with a cinematic comprehension that is thoroughly competent at reflecting the economic, social, and political problems of the country. A remarkable part of Güney's films subjects the social problems of Anatolian peoples to an in-depth analysis approach which is equipped with class consciousness. By virtue of Güney’s class-based theoretical perspective, his films widely differ from the Social Realist cinema tradition in Turkey, which developed around 1960-65 and had an explicit humanistic emphasis on solidarity (Daldal, 2013). Thereby, in most of the artistic works by Güney, including those which mainly concentrate on individual stories of particular protagonists, it is possible to trace explicit hints of a societal examination, which sheds light on the socio-economic dynamics of Turkey.
I have sat alongside New York’s Caribbean - New York itself - handcuffed in a van, dragged to jail together, willing only to be subjected to that excruciating pain through the shared hope that a better world can still be fought for. That Walter Rodney’s legacy is still not dead, though the man himself may be.
Engels’s encyclopedic work Anti-Dühring is based on a criticism of the views of Eugen Dühring, who came up in the German workers' movement and attacked Marx's theory by declaring himself the new prophet of socialism. Dühring's program on the economic emancipation of the working class consisted of the “federation of economic communes”, which he called “the natural economic system of society”
If the Makhno Movement (Makhnovshchina) which governed southern Ukraine in the period of 1917-1921 may be accepted as a rare example of “anarchism in power” and the claim is widespread that Makhno put into practice on the basis of “free soviets” and “village communes” an alternative practice to the communism of the Bolsheviks, then the example of Makhno is an opportunity for the comparative study of these two models in practical application.
Türkçe versiyonu için buraya tıklayınız. This dossier takes up a different sort of topic from our dossiers past:...
The transition to what Marx termed a new metabolism with nature means that the system of production must be one subject to conscious planning rather than just a self-organized response to market demand. Advocacy of conscious planning in kind has been a preoccupation of mine for almost forty years now and is most prominently expressed in Towards a New Socialism. In this article, I will look at some of the computer engineering and computer algorithm problems that I had researched to provide the background to that book and how I have now returned to them to address the issue of environmental planning.
In his short but comprehensive article, Harvey poses the question “what … was Marx’s distinctive value theory and how does it differ from the labor theory of value?” And he comments on almost all concepts and discussions within Marxism, allocating at least one sentence for each. It is my opinion that there are several theoretical criticisms to be raised against Harvey’s account of the theory of value presented in his intense essay. But first, let’s give a brief presentation of Harvey’s account of the Marxist theory of value.
Kerala has emerged as a shining example of how to beat the coronavirus. The first state in India to have Covid positive cases (back in January), it also became the first Indian state to nearly flatten the curve. It also has among the highest recovery rates among all Indian states. This model is so evidently effective that global publications from Washington Post to The Guardian have celebrated the success. What makes these headlines more interesting is that Kerala is ruled by a Communist party.
It is an often mentioned claim that on the eve of the Chinese Popular Revolution, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, asked Mao Zedong not to begin the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) final assault against the Nanjing Government. This claim, which rests on diverse memories and narratives of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai1 has become a cause for debate first between the historians of the USSR and the PRC, and then between Russia and China.
I am a few kilometers away from the Indian occupied part of Jammu Kashmir. I can directly contact any part of the world, but not my own home state of Jammu Kashmir whose inhabitants are living under constant curfew since 5th of August 2019, when the Indian premier Narendra Modi autocratically abrogated autonomic status of Jammu Kashmir
In addition to debunking some myths about the Latin and Arabic scripts as used for Turkish, I will make use of comparison to other cases of 20th century orthographic reforms, and situate these discussions in the broader context of political-cultural-ideological-educational hegemony.
Technological development is perceived as one of the crucial elements in determining the mode of production, patterns of...
Canadian philosopher Joshua Moufawad-Paul’s trilogy on the enlightenment, science, and hegemony, now available in PDF format.
In this controversial and thought-provoking trilogy, JMP criticizes post-modern and post-Marxist approaches, bringing a clear Marxist perspective to the chief discussions of these trends. Strongly recommended to students of social sciences!
Free to download, read, criticise, and discuss!
August 5 2019 proved to be a dark day in the history of Kashmir, the consequences of which will unfold and shape lives for decades to come. The newly re-elected Modi led Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India introduced a bill to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution which allowed greater federal autonomy to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Can we explain power relations through concepts like biopolitics, necropolitics, sovereign power? Do these concepts signify rupture with the ideology of modernity and the Enlightenment? J. Moufawad Paol's final installment in his three-part series takes up these questions.
One can only hope that the dissenting movements that exist outside the electoral sphere, in the form of farmers protests and mobilizations, Dalit protests, and student movements gain strength and rise up in what will otherwise be dark days for the people of India.
In spite of the wanton destruction which the working class and oppressed peoples are subjected to by the...
Will Modi’s BJP suffer a blow at the ballot box? What is the political and economic context in India? Literally everything you need to know about the ongoing Indian elections, the largest elections in history.
This dossier serves as a continuation to the previous one. The discussions of a new axis in some respects indicates a relative retreat of US hegemony. In this dossier which we proudly present to our readership, we grapple with the US from historical, sociological, economic and political perspectives.
Political sociologist Kumru Toktamış and journalist/sociologist Abby Scher analyze the impact of the #MeToo movement which started in the US and spread across the globe. This piece, which presents the historical development of the women’s movement in the United States through brief sketches, discusses the conditions which could facilitate the realization of the radical potential of the #MeToo movement.
Looking for a cause is scientific. But dialectically there can be causes at different levels, from the ultimate...
From the very beginning of US independence, the young nation was beset with intra-class conflict. While post-independence conflicts like Shays’ Rebellion cemented the fact that the North American revolution was unquestionably a bourgeois one, a conflict between Southern slave capitalists and Northern industrial capitalists almost immediately began to shape the political and economic motions of the new state.
Marxist Center ought to provoke enquiry by outsiders, both to understand the significance in terms of the US left represented in its recent construction, and to draw lessons about what forms new critical engagements with the “existing” left take, which may be pertinent in diverse countries. What follows is an interview with one representative of the organisation, Kate Doyle Griffiths, who helps illuminate how Marxist Center understands itself and its own social/political context.
Whereas today’s chic critical theorists uphold a variety of post-Marxist European theoretical tendencies so as to dismiss and castigate Marx, I uphold Marxism to castigate these theoretical tendencies. I am not claiming, to be clear, that we cannot borrow from some of the insights of these tendencies but only that, as tendencies, they are theoretically inferior to Marxism regardless of the latter’s purported flaws.
In the previous dossier, we discussed Russia and China in relation to the significance of their rise as...
The piece that follows serves as a modest introduction for interested readers into the historical development and current implications of national identity in Taiwan. Although this is a fertile area of research in East Asian political studies, it is nonetheless rarely discussed elsewhere when the politics of the region are the topic at hand.
While it is largely forgotten today, one of the important events of the Cold War period was the split between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China of the year 1960 and on, maintains its' key role in the comprehension of the history of socialism as well as the state of contemporary political affairs. What were the causes, implications, and results of various phases of the rivalry between Moscow and Beijing when both countries claimed to be at the vanguard of the world revolution?
As a former British colony, Hong Kong is pivotal to European imperialism and offers far higher wages. Consequently, Indonesian women are leaving villages for Hong Kong for high-wage jobs that are nearly three times that trained office workers can earn in Jakarta.
The People’s Republic of China had, for a long time between the mid-1950s and early 1980s, a socialist rural economy run by rural communes and collectives. In the early 1980s, China started dismantling its rural communes and collectives. The post-Mao leadership believed the rural collective institution was a major obstacle for the capitalist oriented reform they were launching at the time.
Concepts such as “immaterial or digital labor”, “post-industrial society” and “cognitive capitalism” are widely discussed by contemporary scholars. This piece will set the scene for further examination by providing a theoretical framework for the discussions on digital labor. While some argue that the emergence of immaterial labor through technological developments caused a radical change in the relations of production and created a “post-industrial” era, the first aim of this article is to open these points to the discussion.
This piece will attempt to briefly outline from a Marxist perspective the development of a separate territory in the US south, and the struggle of the downtrodden Afro-American people who populate it, a story which is crucial to understanding the dynamics of US imperialism “within the belly of the beast”.
In the last section of the piece we argued that socialism—both as conceived by its founding thinkers and as a historical project—is possible only in a planned economy that goes beyond the market and commodity production and abolishes the law of value.
We have seen that where it comes to resource allocation without waste, generation of new methods and technologies, and adapting the planning and production structure to changing conditions, there is no technical or theoretical reason why a socialist economy should lag behind a market economy based on private property.
Through establishing a connection between McDowell and Marx I will be able to show how we don’t have to accept Feenberg’s bifurcated and antinomial position on the relation of human meaning and the natural world. I argue that McDowell’s philosophy shows that Marx is entitled to unite human meaning and nature in the way he does.
Why has the Venezuelan experiment, which in the 2000's was the primary source of interest for the global left, lost most of its shine today?
In this piece, we attempt to analyse why the Bolivarian process developed under the leadership of Hugo Chavez and after his untimely death, led by Nicolas Maduro, had entered an impasse.
The rise of China as an economic power, and Russia as a military power, are among the most significant facts of the past decade. The winds of a “new Cold War” that followed Trump’s election can be viewed as the US’s response to Russia and China’s attempts to counter US Hegemony.
Today, as the contradictions in human society between imperialists and the colonised nations, between capitalists and the impoverished masses, between patriarchy and women and LGBT, between all oppressors and oppressed become sharper and clearer before our very eyes, we must look to the generations which are inheriting this world which runs on profits, which is wracked by war and choked by pollution.
The general “post-modern” critique is that the Enlightenment’s claim to universalism, with humanity as central to making society and history, is intrinsic to murderous projects such as colonialism and capitalism; communism, and the claims made by every form of Marxism, are seen as cut from the same cloth. Hence it is tempting to respond to this anti-communist criticism by upholding the Enlightenment and modernity with mild qualifications.
Our goal is not to stop austerity alone, but to use the quantitative process of the fight against austerity as an educational process for the masses to learn how they can fight for political power in their own hands, and as a means to expose the ruling elite as robbers and parasites, who just as they now try to tear basic needs from the proletariats that benefit most from imperialism, so too do they rob and exploit and oppress and kill the oppressed peoples who these imperialist proletariats are taught to view as their enemies: oppressed nations, colonised and semi-colonised people across the world, from Palestine to Kurdistan to Bolivia to Chiapas.
In summary, the revolution aims to supplant the capitalist economy through the communal economy, just as it seeks to make the state redundant by organising the community in communes and bringing everyone into positions of power.
The model of communal economy provides both political and economic opportunities for organisation, and aims to fend off colonialism. Even so, espousing this as more than a tactical-strategic move would mean ignoring class struggle, and a project of cooperativism without the aim of a socialist regime would be confined to a very limited area in Turkey and quickly get absorbed by the capitalist system.