Category Archives: Book Reviews

_51549559_jex_977978_de32-1 February 10

Revolutionary Ecology Platform

This ‘Revolutionary Ecology Platform’ was originally published at Revolutionary Ecology as part of a larger critique of the Deep Ecology Platform. 1: The well-being and flourishing of human and non-human life are intimately related. The flourishing of non-human life is generally of direct and indirect utility to humans, and vice versa. 2: Richness and diversity of non-human […]

51JwgHG3ruL January 25

Summary and Review: “Marx’s Theory of Price and its Modern Rivals” by Howard Nicholas (2011)

Marx’s theory of price has been a contentious subject over the history of Marxist political economy. Controversy over Marx’s formulation on “prices of production” has led many to try to “fix” what are perceived to be failures in Marx’s theory (often producing absurd and incoherent conclusions), or to simply abandon Marxist value theory altogether. Other […]

1969_Days-of-Rage (1) October 28

SDS and Youth Liberation: A Review of SDS (1973) by Kirkpatrick Sale (Introduction)

SDS and Youth Liberation: A Review of SDS (1973) by Kirkpatrick Sale Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, was the preeminent radical student-based organization among the white sector of the US Left in the 1960s. It lasted from 1960 to 1969, when it collapsed from factional fighting that led to the birth of the […]

Average-world-wages-in-Purchasing-Power-Parity-dollars1-987x1024 September 11

Summary and Review: ‘Global Wage Scaling and Left Ideology: A Critique of Charlie Post on the Labor Aristocracy’ Zak Cope (2013)

Cope, Zak. Global Wage Scaling and Left Ideology: A Critique of Charlie Post on the ‘Labor Aristocracy.‘ Research in Political Economy, Volume 28. (89-129). 2013 Not long ago, a PDF of Charlie Post’s 2010 essay, Exploring Working-Class Consciousness: A Critique of the Theory of the ‘Labor Aristocracy,‘ was circulated around the internet. Though I was […]

Good-to-Great-946608 August 26

Review: Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Jim Collins’ Good to Great (2001) is a popular book within the business world that outlines research into what separates ‘great’ from ‘good’ companies. Differing from other popular bourgeois titles by its comparative qualitative approach, Good to Great is a great distance from crypto-oppressive titles by authors like Napoleon Hill, Anthony Roberts, and Rhonda Byrne. […]

_51211041_promo_304x171 July 24

A Loose Overview and Practical Interpretation of John Foran’s Thesis on the Causal Factors Behind Revolutions

In his book, Taking Power, On the Origins of Third World Revolutions (2005, Cambridge University Press), sociologist John Foran calculates a series of causal factors behind the development and success of revolutions. According to Foran, the necessary ingredients for nearly all revolutions in the 20th century have been: Dependent development. Exclusionary or colonial rule, or […]

51BuaGFM6dL._SL500_AA300_ April 19

Mini-Review and Commentary on Zak Cope’s ‘Divided World, Divided Class.’

Divided World, Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism is the first full-length title in over a decade to feature a Third Worldist analysis of modern political economy. It was published in September 2012 by the independent publisher Kersplebledeb and has already been reviewed by several leftist writers, including Matthijus Krul, […]

rules-for-radicals February 06

Applying Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ Against First Worldism and Reformism

Saul Alinsky’s thinking was on the First Worldist and reformist end of nominal radicalism in the United States. His 1971 ‘Rules for Radicals’ was supposed to be a manual to organize against the evils of capitalism (and though never implied, from a privileged position atop a global division of labor). As such, his political stances are […]

Matthijs Krul: Book Review: Zak Cope’s “Divided World Divided Class”

There are times when one encounters a book that is frustrating in a way particular to the intellectual life: that is to say, when one encounters a book that is precisely the book one wanted to write. Given the relative obscurity of my interests, this does not happen often to me, but Zak Cope’s Divided World, […]

images (1) December 18

Debt, Society, Morality and Imperialism

  This review of David Graeber’s 2011 book, Debt: the First 5,000 Years, was authored by Tony Norfeild and originally published at his website, Economics of Imperialism. As always, reposting here does not imply full agreement, endorsement, or affiliation.      The main value of this book is to analyse debt as a social relationship, not simply as […]

51BuaGFM6dL._SL500_AA300_ December 07

MIM(Prisons) review of Divided World Divided Class

It is with great pleasure that we announce a new release that MIM(Prisons) is adding to the labor aristocracy section of our must-read list. Divided World Divided Class by Zak Cope contributes up-to-date economic analysis and new historical analysis to the MIM line on the labor aristocracy. I actually flipped through the bibliography before reading the book […]

Review (Part 2 of 3): Samir Amin, “The Surplus in Monopoly Capitalism and the Imperialist Rent.” Monthly Review. Vol. 64 No. 3. July-August, 2012.

Over the course of my work, I have inferred that the general rate of exploitation has increased along with the development and maturation of capitalist-imperialism, thus forestalling the tendency of the rate of profit to fall while allowing a minority First World section of the working class to have a ‘cut’ in imperialist superprofits and […]

Understanding and Changing: A discussion with Zak Cope, author of ‘Divided World, Divided Class,’ on the stratification of labour under global capitalism

Zak Cope is the author of Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism, which was just published this past August by Kersplebedeb Press as part of their recently launched Kalikot series. The book “charts the history of the ‘labour aristocracy’ in the capitalist world system, from its roots […]

Book Review: “Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry”

Bourgeois history is typified by its appreciation of particulars.   In turn it rejects larger narratives regarding fundamental social relations.  The effect of this is obscuring unflattering trends in the history of the capitalist world-system and particular dominant countries therein. Though highly accessible, Scott Reynolds Nelson’s Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry: The Untold Story of an American Legend adds […]

564585-26716-44 June 19

Bell hooks’ ‘Feminist Theory, from Margin to Center’ and the modern western ‘Left,’ a Marxist critique

Bell hooks was a leading figure in establishing ‘third-wave feminism’: a philosophical and practical branch of feminism centered around the history, experience, and interests of ‘women of color.’ Her writings are directly critical of previous feminist movements which favored white middle-class women, and she is generally critical of the standard feminist framework while finding cause in altering the scope of its discourse. Her central thesis in Feminist Theory, from Margin to Center is that the objective of feminism is not simply for equality between sexes but for an end to sexist oppression and the broader “ideology of domination” which supports it. In the process, she gets many things right in regards to the struggle against oppression while bringing a lot of detail and nuance into the discussion. In some regards, her critiques of feminism are applicable to nominally left-wing movements in the US today. Yet her explicit understandings of larger economic questions are lacking. Though she raises many salient points, these ideas are best understood as part of a broader yet more incisive critique of general social practice and relations between classes and groups.

Bloody_US_Empire30 May 01

Settler-Imperialism and Stolen Lands: Radical Interpretations of United States History

The history of the United States is far from idyllic. Yet today, US history is viewed positively by those of a variety of political and philosophical persuasions. More surprisingly, this position taken up by many on the Amerikan left. How is this accomplished, and why? What underlies a ‘left-wing patriotic’ view of history, and what are the effects and larger ramifications of such a view? Conversely, what is a radical interpretation of history and what does it entail? What do these differe historical analyses tell us about the past, and why is the latter so important for future revolutionary struggles?

defiantnahanee April 18

Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir’s Conflicting Ideas on Women’s Empowerment

Betty Friedan is often credited with founding second wave feminism, what is today sometimes mockingly referred to as ‘white, middle-class feminism’ or ‘bourgeois feminism.’ Beyond whatever rhetorical value can be found in such phrases, what do they mean? What is the implication of Friedan’s work in relation to other outstanding social relations besides gender? More […]

Dear Anti-Imperialists…What Are Some Anti-Racist, Collective Liberation Resources, part 1

Recently, the question was posed to myself and other activists, “A lot of (white) people I know are asking about resources where they can educate themselves about antiracism and collective liberation. Got any website/book/podcast suggestions for beginners?” Here is a slightly expanded version of my response: As books go… J. Sakai’s ‘The Mythology of the […]

Howard Zinn’s Chauvinism Versus Real People’s History

“A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, is acclaimed within and without Amerikan academia and ‘left-wing’ circles as a hallmark of narrative history. It is required reading in many university History Departments and widely recommended by ‘progressives’ and ‘radicals’ of various shades and stripes. Beyond these accolades however, lies a narrative “of […]

Robinson Crusoe and the Secret of Primitive Accumulation

The following, recently re-published online at Monthly Review, is an interesting materialist and allegorical analysis of Robinson Crusoe, an 18th century English novel in which a 17th century merchant becomes shipwrecked and stranded on an Caribbean Island, only to later ruler over a number of subjects. The essay, as interesting as its analysis of the […]

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