The Big Myth About Inequality: It Just Happened!

The standard line in policy circles about the soaring inequality of the last four decades is that it is just an unfortunate outcome of technological change. As a result of technological developments, education is much more highly valued and physical labor has much less value. The drop in relative income for workers without college degrees is unfortunate and provides grounds for lots of hand wringing and bloviating in elite media outlets, but hey, what can you do?

Source: The Big Myth About Inequality: It Just Happened! – CounterPunch.org

Harrington a victim of Marxist confusions…

We discussed this useful review below, along with the book about Harrington. I read the book quickly this afternoon, and found it very interesting, but Marxists are stubbornly convinced they have the ultimate standard to judge a figure like Harrington, in the negative. I would say rather that it is almost tragic that a thinker with the talents of Harrington ends up thrashing about in Marxism only to succumb to terminal confusion, and obsessive yet understandable detestation of communism, viz. Stalinism. Harrington actually tries to survive/resolve the economic determination muddle with a defense of Marx, and thrashes around in the whole debate. It is clear that Marx’s economic determination thesis is flawed even as Marxists over and over and over rush to his defense by saying that Marx didn’t really mean what he said and that critics get him wrong, and perhaps blaming Engels. One leftist after another founders in this totally useless debate and ends up in confusion, with a choice, confession of faith or heretical banishment. This quagmire has gone on too long ( I have suffered almost fifty years of this morass and find it increasing crazy) and needs to stop: the only way to do that is to wrest the idea of socialism/communism from its Marxist monopolists and start over, fighting one’s way out of the jungle of Marxist idiots, and Marx himself. And none too soon: we are running out of time and any chance of a leftist rescue package from planetary ecocide is dwindling fast.

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A cogent critique of Harrington but is the mainstream Marxist left any better here, beyond chanting the mantra of a revolutionary working class and then adjourning for lunch? Harrington reflects the impotence of the conventional sloganeering but the larger left steeped in Marx is unable to apply a relevant analysis of economics, history, or revolution and is stuck forever in the treadmill of Marx chapter and verse citation and homily. And it won’t work anymore. The focus in mature capitalist society on the working class fails to really find any such class save as blended with the middle class. The recent resurgence of a union movement visible with Amazon, Starbucks, et al. hopefully can contradict that statement. The great tide of labor into unionization in parallel to Marx’s initiative has seen a great success, followed by its cooptation, and destruction at the hands of capitalist attacks, what to say of Mafia penetration, class struggle indeed, but very little toward the transformation beyond capitalism.
The issue of the working class is mostly a handful of cliches capped with the vain hope that the working class will take over the government and rule with justice at last. How is that to happen? The only real exemplar here is the Bolshevik case which failed on day one and produced not the dictatorship of the proletariat but the dictatorship of a Marxist bourgeosie, and a working-class deprived of their labor organizations. Marxism is unique in the way, unlike most ideologies where its proponents carry out a program, it tries to get another class to carry out the program as they stand by and kibbitz with Marx quotations. That creates a tricky complication on the order of doing a yoyo standing on your head. Harrington’s plight is therefore not surprising. Continue reading “Harrington a victim of Marxist confusions…”

Book review: Biography of Michael Harrington exposes his ‘Failure of Vision’ – Workers’ Voice/La Voz

A cogent critique of Harrington but is the mainstream Marxist left any better here, beyond chanting the mantra of a revolutionary working class and then adjourning for lunch? Harrington reflects the impotence of the conventional sloganeering but the larger left steeped in Marx is unable to apply a relevant analysis of economics, history, or revolution and is stuck forever in the treadmill of Marx chapter and verse citation and homily. And it won’t work anymore. The focus in mature capitalist society on the working class fails to really find any such class save as blended with the middle class. The recent resurgence of a union movement visible with Amazon, Starbucks, et al. hopefully can contradict that statement. The great tide of labor into unionization in parallel to Marx’s initiative has seen a great success, followed by its cooptation, and destruction at the hands of capitalist attacks, what to say of Mafia penetration, class struggle indeed, but very little toward the transformation beyond capitalism.
The issue of the working class is mostly a handful of cliches capped with the vain hope that the working class will take over the government and rule with justice at last. How is that to happen? The only real exemplar here is the Bolshevik case which failed on day one and produced not the dictatorship of the proletariat but the dictatorship of a Marxist bourgeosie, and a working-class deprived of their labor organizations. Marxism is unique in the way, unlike most ideologies where its proponents carry out a program, it tries to get another class to carry out the program as they stand by and kibbitz with Marx quotations. That creates a tricky complication on the order of doing a yoyo standing on your head. Harrington’s plight is therefore not surprising. Continue reading “Book review: Biography of Michael Harrington exposes his ‘Failure of Vision’ – Workers’ Voice/La Voz”

Seventy Five Years Later, Toll of Taft-Hartley Weighs Heavily on Labor 

Despite a valiant effort by millions of rank-and-file workers to prevent its passage, Taft-Hartley became law on June 23, 1947 when the Senate overrode President Truman’s veto. Taft-Hartley halted what had been a remarkable decade of progress for working people, tamed union militancy, and set the stage for the long decline of the U.S. labor movement. We are still feeling its effects today.

Source: Seventy Five Years Later, Toll of Taft-Hartley Weighs Heavily on Labor | Portside

Email from Verso…

I am not too familiar with Verso as such, but one can tell a bourgeois capitalist org without too much effort. This is a prime bastion of the ‘leftist/Marxist’ bourgeoisie and as such off limits to me. Fifty or so books a year (or more) to sell to libraries and the authors mostly unpaid, nice work if you can get it. They would never publish anything by me: I expose the Darwin racket, even among Marxists, among other heresies.
Times have changed: NO MORE BOOKS ON THE LEFT EXCEPT SELP_PUBLISHED books with free versions. Consider Descent of Man Revisited: after the whole university professariat waffles on Darwin, a lone ranger has to write an expose of the scientific fraud. No Marxist, let alone Verso, could manage that. Consider The Last Revolution (and/or Last and First Men): self-published, in Kindle, and paperback, with free copies. This book actually takes the work of Marxists and does it for them: what are the prospects of revolution, what are the problems with the Marxist legacy, why was Marx such a dogmatic authoritarian, why can noone on the left critique Marxism, why are all the Verso celebrities too scared to discuss revolution? Could Marxists please stop blabbering about the working class and actually examine that. I spent fifteen years wandering the west, examining the working class, riding freight trains, eating out of dumpsters, working at working class jobs, and at the end of that, completely broke.
The publishing format is actually superior despite amateurish goofs to that of professional publishers who can’t expend effort beyond the routine methods of printing: too expensive. An outsider can do a lot better with the software now available, e.g. Adobe Indesign. Big publishers can’t make money unless they just dump text into boring format.

I recommend breaking through the Marx cult/monopoly to rethink the left. The world is about to self-destruct and noone can seem to respond beyond still more books from verso.
Anyway the idea that marxists represent the working class is actually insulting.

Verso Books is the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world.

Source: Verso