Mass Protest Is Rising — Can It Confront Global Capitalism?

he world has entered an epoch of escalating class struggle and mass popular protest as the global economy teeters on the verge of recession and international tensions reach the boiling point in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Revolt took off around the globe in the aftermath of the 2008 world financial collapse that put an end to two decades of the “globalization boom.” Popular insurgencies have since escalated on the heels of the pandemic and, although particular movements may rise and fall, there is no letup in sight. The first four months of 2022 saw mass labor strikes and unionization drives breaking out in industries and countries around the world.

Source: Mass Protest Is Rising — Can It Confront Global Capitalism?

A Labor Movement to Challenge the Billionaires | Portside

Veteran union negotiator and labor lawyer Joe Burns has issued a bracing challenge to the U.S. labor movement in his new book, Class Struggle Unionism, one that should be read by everyone in the labor movement, and everyone who is concerned about the power that the billionaire class exercises over our society.

Source: A Labor Movement to Challenge the Billionaires | Portside

Philosophers with no clothes: A Review of ‘The War Against Marxism’ | MR Online

We have been critical of Marxism here but this is not the same as what we see in this book which, however, has some important issues. The question of the Frankfurt school is hard to resolve but as a critic of Marxism I include the Frankfurt school in the general critique. We have cited a quotation from the MR article: it is as obscurantist as anything in the Frankfurt Group. The discussion of the commodification of labor is both profound and yet sophistical. Who can understand a Marxism based on these abstractions of the Marx canon, always subjected to the confusions inherited from the Marx era. If the point however is to challenge the failure to focus on the working class, OK. But in general, Marxism doesn’t make any sense. Is the paragraph below of much help to the working class? It is very hard to know what the core of Marxism is really about. A kind of fetishism of Marx arcana seems to reign over the practical tasks of bringing about socialism. The commodification of labor is a crucial point of discussion but these renderings end up creating a peculiar metaphysics that is impossible to resolve, or for that matter even understand. And the psychology emerging from Marx is at best plain scientism, unable to resolve itself to an account of consciousness. In any case the capitalist system remains in place. A new start is needed:

We have proposed instead to simply ditch Marxism and start over beyond its theoretical confusions but also to be able to consider its class focus on class, ideology. Without complicated theory. Once we do that we can certainly put Marx in a larger perspective of the challenge to emerging capitalism of the early socialists whose work Marx annexed to a system that is flawed. We have created a recipe approach instead of theory. And we can see via a new approach to history as in the eonic model that the general understanding of evolution and history both is fallacious theory. Continue reading “Philosophers with no clothes: A Review of ‘The War Against Marxism’ | MR Online”

 A century and a half after Marx there is no US working-class party…//Working class, Universal class 

Marxists constantly preach the need for working-class parties and the proposition makes sense, but their failure to create such entities has been a singular failure, an almost total failure. Part of the problem is that while in the era of Marx the proletarian focus made eminent sense and produced a tremendous surge up through the Second International at its start, but then became a problematical set of ambiguities if not contradictions. The discussion must distinguish US, European, and global varieties, and has a long discussion. But even despite that, there is something awry in the various platforms, all by and large variants of Marxist concepts/boilerplate and the mantra of the ‘working-class’. Recently, a surge in labor activity, strikes has graced the American neoliberal wasteland for the left. But can the old-style left make any sense of this? In reality the Marxist theory of the working class was somehow flawed. Workers are to lead a revolution and create a working-class state. The only time anything like this happened was in Russia which indeed had a considerable spectrum of working-class soviets. But what was the result? A Marxist bourgeoisie creating a new class state with monopoly control of capital in its new life under Marxist cadres, the working class cashiered and unable to even form unions, all in the name of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. Continue reading ” A century and a half after Marx there is no US working-class party…//Working class, Universal class “

 Class reductionism?

One more comment on this Jacobin article on Marx: the issue of class reductionism arises and again Marx is vulnerable, but only because once again he tries to make ‘class struggle’ the dynamic of history. We have critiqued theories of history and here we see in Marx still another such theory. And it is not really true that class struggle drives history. Would that it did: we might have had socialism already by now. Again, the resolution is to be wary of theories and take ‘class struggle’ as an empirical field. Then it comes into its own without the quibbles of philosophy that haunt the attempts at ‘analysis’. The issue of class struggle in this sense are obvious and we can see that the ‘bourgeoisies’ as a core source of domination is right out front as a given of social politics and requires no theory of history. It is clear that Marx frittered away his key insight that the bourgeoisie and the proletariat engaged an epic struggle.

Source: No, Marxism Isn’t Economic Determinism