Category: Online Exclusive

Platform Capitalism and the Value Form

Matthew Cole According to the speculations of techno-futurologists, left and right, the machines are here to liberate us. Most of the discourse is dominated by the neoliberal right such as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and Andrew Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England. Their arguments, avoiding questions of exploitation, are naturally popular with the establishment. McAfee’s best-selling book The Second Machine Age has been lauded by leaders at the World Economic Forum.

Symposium on David Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism

Since the 1991 publication of The Wages of Whiteness, David Roediger’s work has fundamentally changed the shape of scholarship on race and racism in the US. In his latest book, Class, Race and Marxism, Roediger tackles the relationship between race and class in contemporary society, and questions many of the common assumptions of the Marxist left. Below are a series of critical commentaries on the book by Satnam Virdee, Alana Lentin and Charles Post. Solidarity, Race and Class by Alana Lentin Comments on Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism by Charles Post Race, Class and Roediger’s Open Marxism by Satnam Virdee

Comments on Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism

by Charles Post Over the past three decades, David Roediger’s work has fundamentally reshaped the study of race and racism, both in the US and internationally. Starting with his path breaking collection of essays, The Wages of Whiteness[1], Roediger (and his collaborator Elizabeth Esch) have illustrated how both capitalist and wage workers have participated in the creation of race and utilized the myth of intrinsic and unchangeable differences amongst humans to defend and advance their social positions in capitalist societies. Roediger has described both how fluid the social fiction of race is, plotting shifting “racial boundaries” across time; and

read more

Race, Class and Roediger’s Open Marxism

by Satnam Virdee The early 1990s was a desperately inhospitable moment for critical thought and political practice. The antisystemic cycle of protest comprising worker struggles and movements against racism and sexism had drawn to a close: comprehensively defeated through a combination of state repression and partial incorporation. And accompanying this collapse of the social movements was a crisis in socialism, particularly Marxism. In the immediate wake of these developments, Stuart Hall noted the curious emergence of the Post-Marxist intellectual – someone who had supposedly settled their accounts with the tradition and moved on but who continued to utilise Marxist

read more

Monster Terrorist F(l)ag

By Elia El Khazen In early October, the Egyptian regime arrested fifty-seven people on charges of “debauchery,” ‘inciting sexual deviancy’ and ‘joining an outlawed group’ as part of a continuing security crackdown on Egypt’s LGBTQ community, which now includes ten to fifteen years in jail for those charged as homosexuals. The raising of a rainbow flag during a concert for Lebanese band, Mashrou’ Leila – whose lead singer is openly gay – the preceding week in Cairo triggered a media frenzy that prompted the arrests. The local media supported these arrests by publishing numerous articles and interviews inciting hatred

read more

Fascism and Anti-Fascism: reflections on recent debates on the US Left

Charlie Post The election of Donald Trump and the resulting uptick of racist violence since November 2016 has placed the issue of fascism back on the agenda of the US left. In the past few months, socialists, anarchists and other radicals in the US are debating what fascism is (and is not) and how (or how not) to fight it. Among the issues this essay addresses are whether our defense of ‘free speech’ extend to fascists or do we attempt to ‘no platform’ fascists? Do we merely attempt to outnumber fascists or physically confront them as well? Do we

read more

Socialism for Jingoes

By Barnaby Raine Brexit has made immigration an impossible subject to avoid, and in several trade unions and the Labour Party socialists are divided. Three schools of thought predominate. They are all rotten. Each of them borrows from enemy arsenals rather than recovering the left’s lost language of ‘proletarian internationalism’. It is a coarse, imperfect dialect from the early years of the twentieth century, the language of Lenin and his comrades. It seems often hopelessly outdated now but in speaking about migration its central innovations – stressing that modern politics is a contingent and a necessarily transnational affair –

read more

How Syriza Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Status Quo

by George Souvlis & Leandros Fischer Two years have passed since the Greek government, composed of Syriza and the right-wing “Independent Greeks” party, bowed to the pressure of the European “institutions”, following a referendum in which an overwhelming majority of Greeks rejected further EU-imposed austerity measures. The period since then provides the necessary time distance to reflect soberly on the Greek experience during the tumultuous period between January and July 2015, as well as the meaning of the referendum and the Greek government’s hitherto record in office. From today’s perspective, it can easily be argued that Syriza’s attempt at achieving

read more

The National Question, Class and the European Union: An Interview with Neil Davidson

Neil Davidson interviewed by George Souvlis   George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, politically and academically? Neil Davidson: I was born in Aberdeen, the regional centre of the North-East of Scotland, in 1957. Of all the major cities in Scotland, it was the one which retained the closest links to the surrounding countryside well into the twentieth century. The greatest of all North-Eastern novels (and an outstanding work of Marxist Modernism), Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song, is essentially about the end of the local peasantry in the aftermath of the First

read more

Marxism, Religion and Femonationalism: An Interview with Sara Farris

Sara Farris Interviewed by George Souvlis George Souvlis: Would you like to introduce yourself by describing the formative experiences (academic and political) that strongly influenced you? Sara Farris: I grew up in a little town of 12,000 people in Sardinia (Italy). I was politicized there and it was definitely in this period – between age 12 and 18 – that I had some of the most formative political and academic experiences of my life. I come from a working class family; like many of their generation, my parents invested strongly in education in order to secure the social mobility

read more