Reading Capital Today

Michael Roberts Blog

As we approach the exact date of the publication of Marx’s Capital Volume One 150 years ago (14 September), a host of conferences and books are coming out in the small world of Marxist study on the relevance of Capital today.  The symposium that I am organising with King’s College London will be on 19-20 September, just around the corner from the British Library where Marx did the research for his opus magnum.  But already there have been conferences in Greece on Capital; a conference in New York at Hofstra University, and next week, York University, Toronto.  All have a large participation by leading Marxist scholars.

And the books are also coming out. The first is aptly entitled Reading Capital Today edited by Ingo Schmidt and Carl Fanelli from two Canadian universities and includes contributions from various activists and academics covering the issues of class struggle, internationalism…

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Whither Saint Louis? Whither American Maoism?

Saint Louis Revolutionary Collective

“We should be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and serve the Chinese people heart and soul.” – Mao Zedong
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Saint Louis is the western hole on what is commonly known as the Rust Belt, a region that cuts a wide swath through the middle and upper United States. Cities such as Detroit, Gary, and East Saint Louis share the characteristics of being majority black, and cut to the bone by deindustrialization caused by neoliberalism’s search for cheaper labor to exploit in Mexico and China. The “black middle class”, comprised of Southern migrants who poured into the cities from the cotton fields and KKK lynching craze during the early and middle decades of the 20th century, was gutted in the ‘70s and ‘80s as capital pulled the factories and the jobs that had built this class from the cities. Now, these cities are shells of themselves, no jobs…

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Nine Days in Northern Ireland

Red Fenian

On July 6, 2013, while on vacation in Belfast, in the northern six counties of British-occupied Ireland, I visited a female political prisoner for her birthday and wound up arrested under Section 41(b) of the 2000 UK Terrorism Act, not knowing when or if I’d ever get out.

The prisoner was held in Hydebank jail on suspicion of trying to assassinate two police officers in May. Though we were allotted two hours to visit, the administration stopped the meeting short and escorted me to the visitors area. There they arrested me.

I was in complete shock. My first thought was “I’m fxcked.” The Police Service of Northern Ireland confiscated my phone, camera and other belongings. I was handcuffed and taken to the parking lot, where I was put in a car with three PSNI officers.

One male officer sat in the back with me and asked my name. After screaming…

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Summation of Our First year

What is now Portland Maoist Group and Mass Action Rose City started about one and a half years ago. From our initial formation as a group and our ensuing operations we have had many enlightening experiences. Below you will find a summation of our first year of organizing, self-criticism and lessons we’ve learned from our experience.

When we first began to organize as a group, we reached out to several Marxist-Leninist- Maoist (MLM) organizations across the country for advice. We were told by members of these organizations that forming a mass org was a good starting point. Before we even had a name, we had a small group of people together and decided to hand out donations of clothing and basic essentials to houseless people in our area. We had no clear plan of what we were doing, and we did not carry out the proper amount of investigation before…

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Socialism capitalism and population

Paul Cockshott's Blog

We are now approaching a social revolution in which the economic foundations of monogamy as they have existed hitherto will disappear just as surely as those of its complement-prostitution. Monogamy arose from the concentration of considerable wealth in the hands of a single individuals man-and from the need to bequeath this wealth to the children of that man and of no other. For this purpose, the monogamy of the woman was required, not that of the man, so this monogamy of the woman did not in any way interfere with open or concealed polygamy on the part of the man. But by transforming by far the greater portion, at any rate, of permanent, heritable wealth – the means of production – into social property, the coming social revolution will reduce to a minimum all this anxiety about bequeathing and inheriting. Having arisen from economic causes, will monogamy then disappear when…

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On the Mass Line and How it is Mangled

Red Midwest

For over twenty years our Party has carried on mass work every day, and for the past dozen years it has talked about the mass line every day. We have always maintained that the revolution must rely on the masses of the people, on everybody’s taking a hand, and have opposed relying merely on a few persons issuing orders. The mass line, however, is still not being thoroughly carried out in the work of some comrades; they still rely solely on a handful of people working in solitude. One reason is that, whatever they do, they are always reluctant to explain it to the people they lead and that they do not understand why or how to give play to the initiative and creative energy of those they lead. Subjectively, they too want everyone to take a hand in the work, but they do not let other people know what…

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