The (partial) unoriginality of Marx’s anticapitalism

Much commentary lately on the Pope’s critique of capitalism. Some even describe it as ‘Marxist’, this is silly, but so also are many of the evocations of the Marxist legacy on the left. Marx wasn’t the first or the last critic of capitalism. The originality of Marx’s work does not lie in his moral critique […]

Reasons to be cheerful

Some valuable words from Brad de Long: If all goes well in China and India in the next generation—and if nothing goes catastrophically wrong in the rich post-industrial North Atlantic core of the global economy—then the next generation will see a real milestone. For the first time ever more than half of the world will […]

Communism and history

Thinking of of writing a book on the modest topic of the past and future of socialist politics. Much Australian left commentary sees the history of socialism as irrelevant, in particular the Communist movement is either an embarrassment or else the product of malign individuals.

Rembering Jerry Cohen

Cohen cover

Reviewing my lecture on Marxism for Modern Political Ideologies I looked over Andrew Heywood’s valuable Political Ideologies. To Heywood any future for Marxism rests on ‘post-Marxism’ in the Laclau-Mouffe sense. There was a time when an alternative road was proposed: that of analytical Marxism. Jerry Cohen’s Karl Marx’s Theory of History was one of its […]

Primaries or collective self-governance

Primaries are back in the news in Australia following  media reports of their use by the British conservatives to endorse a candidate. Primaries seem to attract sympathy from the left judging by Larvatus Pradeo. I doubt however that the current uninspiring quality of Labor MPs would be much improved by primaries, although some of the […]

Tugan-Barnovsky and China

Discussion of the Chinese economy often centers on the idea that Chinese economic growth is fundamentally unbalanced due to low levels of domestic consumption and a reliance on exports. Yet China seems to have weathered the global financial crisis particularly well. Zacharay Karabell: China’s path, of course, is hardly without skeptics. The common argument against […]