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Lenin

HISTORICAL MATERIALISM VOLUME 18 NUMBER 3 (2010)

Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory
Volume 18 Issue 3, 2010

http://www.brill.nl./hima

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/hm

CONTENTS

Article
Gene Ray
Dialectical Realism and Radical Commitments: Brecht and Adorno on 
Representing Capitalism

Symposium on Lars Lih’s ‘Lenin Rediscovered’
Paul Blackledge
Editorial Introduction

Ronald Grigor Suny
Reconsidering Lenin: What Can Be Said about ‘What Is to Be Done?’

Robert Mayer
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: On Lars Lih’s Lenin

Chris Harman
Lenin Rediscovered?

Alan Shandro
Text and Context in the Argument of Lenin’s ‘What Is to Be Done?’

Paul Le Blanc
Rediscovering Lenin

Lars T. Lih
Lenin Disputed

Interventions
Matteo Mandarini
Critical Thoughts on the Politics of Immanence

Mario Tronti
Workerism and Politics

Review Articles
Paul Flenley
On Oktyabr’skaya Revolyutsiya i Fabzavkomy [The October Revolution and Factory-Committees] edited by Steve A. Smith, and Oktyabr’skaya  Revolyutsia i Fabzavkomy, Volume 3, Second Edition and Oktyabr’skaya  Revolyutsiya i Fabzavkomy: Materialy po istorii fabrichno-zavodskikh komitetov, Volume 4, edited by  Yoshimasa Tsuji

Jeffery R. Webber
on Fernando Ignacio Leiva’s Latin American Neostructuralism: The  Contradictions of Post-Neoliberal Development

David Parker
on Heide Gerstenberger’s Impersonal Power. History and Theory of the  Bourgeois State

Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism
Dick Boer
The Imaginary

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Books

NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM BOOKMARKS – SUMMER 2010

The Red in the Rainbow: Sexuality, Socialism and LGBT Liberation, by Hannah Dee. £7.99 SPECIAL OFFER £7 www.tinyurl.com/getrainbow 
This inspiring story of the fight for LGBT liberation travels across continents and centuries uncovering the radical struggle for sexual freedom. It should be read by every activist who aspires to live in a world where we can all be free to love and live as we choose, free from oppression and persecution.

Chris Harman – Selected Writings. £16.99 SPECIAL OFFER £15 www.tinyurl.com/selectedwritings 
As well as writing a whole number of important books and pamphlets, including A People’s History of the World (Verso 2008) and Zombie Capitalism (Bookmarks 2009), Chris Harman produced a steady flow of commentary, journalism and major articles on a very wide range of topics – from economics to philosophy, from the contemporary state of the class struggle to cultural theory, from the history of world development to the history of the workers’ movement in many parts of the world, from women’s liberation and Islam to the defence and development of revolutionary strategy. Here we reproduce just a selection of his articles. Read, and learn.

Breaking their Chains: Mary Macarthur and the Chainmakers’ Strike of 1910 by Tony Barnsley. £6.99 SPECIAL OFFER £5 www.tinyurl.com/chainmakers
For two months in the autumn of 1910 hundreds of women chainmakers in the Black Country struck for a minimum wage that would double their incomes – and won. Tony Barnsley tells the largely forgotten story of the strike, a prelude to the Great Unrest which would sweep the country in 1911.

Redwords Revolutionary Portraits Shostakovich: Socialism, Stalin and Symphonies by Simon Behrman. £9.99 SPECIAL OFFER £8 www.tinyurl.com/portraitshostakovich
The life and career of Dmitri Shostakovich, more than any other classical composer of the 20th century, has provided the most hotly debated meeting point between politics and art. Simon Behrman recounts his struggle to maintain artistic integrity as the Revolution was replaced by a cruel dictatorship, making Shostakovich a tragic figure, but also a hero to his contemporaries, fellow musicians and audience alike.

Back in print:

The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx by Alex Callinicos. £9.99 SPECIAL OFFER £8 www.tinyurl.com/revideas
The classic introduction to Marx’s life and politics – a crucial reference for any student of revolutionary Marxism.

Lenin: Building the Party, 1893-1914 by Tony Cliff. £16.99 SPECIAL OFFER £15 www.tinyurl.com/leninvol1
Lenin’s fight to build a revolutionary organisation capable of leading the struggles to come is analysed by Cliff, who shows both the historical specifics of Russia in the death throws of Tsarism and the lessons we can learn as revolutionaries today.

TO ORDER ANY OF THESE TITLES go to http://www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk or call Bookmarks Bookshop on 020 7637 1848 or visit us at 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE

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Recession 2

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM 127

Out now!

http://www.isj.org.uk

This issue leads with an article on “Marxism and feminism today”. Neoliberal capitalism promised women genuine equality and personal fulfilment. But the realities of women’s oppression persist, reinforced by a debased culture of lap-dancing and cosmetic surgery that has taken the transformation of women into objects to new extremes. This has provoked a new wave of feminism in reaction.

Judith Orr gives the new feminism a critical welcome, arguing for a materialist analysis of the relationship between women’s oppression and class exploitation. Genuine liberation, she concludes, is inseparable from the struggle against capitalism.

The issue also includes interviews with Shlomo Sand (author of The Invention of the Jewish People) and Richard Wilkinson (co-author of The Spirit Level). John Newsinger looks at the great wave of sit-down strikes in the mid-1930s that broke bosses’ resistance to the unionisation of basic industry in the United States. Gonzalo Pozo looks at the theory of the permanent arms economy developed by Tony Cliff, Mike Kidron, and Chris Harman. The late French Marxist philosopher Daniel Bensaïd is remembered in an article by Sebastian Budgen. Plus analysis, feedback, reviews and pick of the quarter

Issue 127

Analysis
The mould cracks

Marxism and feminism today
Judith Orr

Interview: Zionism, socialism and nationalism
Shlomo Sand & John Rose

Interview: Reviving the spirit of equality
Richard G Wilkinson & Iain Ferguson

1937: the year of the sitdown
John Newsinger

Reassessing the permanent arms economy
Gonzalo Pozo

The Red Hussar: Daniel Bensaïd, 1946-2010
Sebastian Budgen

Empire and literature
Gareth Jenkins

Feedback

Another side of anarchism
Ian Birchall

A response to the sex work debate
Gareth Dale and Xanthe Whittaker

Book reviews

Economic development
Joseph Choonara

Sharing history
Penny McCall Howard

Gramsci rendered whole
Chris Bambery

Driving American decline
G Francis Hodge

Philosophy on the barricades
Stacey Whittle

Drama in three acts
Louis Bayman

Dispelling “the Malthus myth”
Martin Empson

Poles apart?
Adam Fabry

Irrational records
Paul Blackledge

Contesting the revolutionary tradition
Leo Zeilig

Pick of the quarter

This quarter’s selection

To order, contact the office on 020 7819 1177, email isj@swp.org.uk or visit the website at http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?s=buy

DON’T FORGET MARXISM 2010 STARTS ON THURSDAY – http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

International Socialism
http://www.isj.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7819 1177

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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Chris Harman

CHRIS HARMAN MEMORIAL MEETING

Chris Harman Memorial Meeting
There is going to be a memorial meeting for Chris Harman. The celebration of Chris’s life is open to all SWP members and supporters. 

The details are:
5pm – 7.30pm, Saturday 17 April, Brunei Gallery, SOAS (central London)

• We have booked The Lamb, in Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3LZ to get together for a drink afterwards.

Socialist Workers Party: http://www.swp.org.uk

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

MONEY

King’s College London Reading Capital Society

– – –

http://www.kclreadingcapital.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49539959 005

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1) Next session: ‘Money’

Following a fascinating session discussing the fetishism of commodities, the Reading Capital group asks…

What is money? Where does it come from? What makes certain commodities suitable as money? Could we live without it?

Joseph Choonara, former deputy-editor of International Socialism Journal (www.isj.org. uk), will introduce a discussion on:

‘Money or the Circulation of Commodities’.

Monday 23rd November ’09 (NOTE CHANGE OF DATE): 6pm F-WB Room 2.43, Waterloo Campus, King’s College London

“It is not money that renders commodities commensurable. Just the contrary. It is because all commodities, as values, are realised human labour, and therefore commensurable, that their values can be measured by one and the same special commodity, and the latter be converted into the common measure of their values, i.e., into money. Money as a measure of value, is the phenomenal form that must of necessity be assumed by that measure of value which is immanent in commodities: labour-time.” (Marx)

All welcome – whether you have been reading Capital or just want to drop in for the talk – we aim to be accessible to all.

(Those wishing to read in advance should make their way to Chapter 3!)

– – –

2) Martin Wolf & Alex Callinicos Debate:

If you haven’t already, you can watch the event:

Alex Callinicos:
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=k6CZAQvAMaY

Martin Wolf:
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=AXKqqgwAIeI

Questions & Answers:
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=hYpHLnlUrFg

or download the audio from:
http://rapidshare. com/files/ 302959451/ Wolf_Callinicos_ Full_Audio. wav
and a Palantypist’ s transcript:
http://rapidshare. com/files/ 305646664/ CallinicosWolf02 1009wholedebate. rtf

– – –

3) Chris Harman – 1942-2009

The Reading Group was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Chris Harman. Only two weeks ago, Chris gave a brilliantly accessible introduction to the first chapter of Capital for the Reading Group. That he was able to make the most abstract and difficult part of Capital so unfailingly concrete is a testament to the power and clarity of his thought. He will be greatly missed. 

http://www.guardian .co.uk/politics/ 2009/nov/ 09/chris- harman-obituary

http://www.socialis tworker.co. uk/art.php?

Chris’s session for the Reading Group:
http://rapidshare. com/files/ 299965681/ Chris_Harman_ 27Oct2009. mp3

– – –

KCL Reading Capital

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Chris Harman

Chris Harman

CHRIS HARMAN 1942-2009

 

A message from Sebastien Budgen (07/11/2009 15:24:57 GMT Standard Time, Historical Materialism list)

Chris Harman 1942-2009

Supporters and readers of Socialist Worker as well as socialists from around the world will be sad to hear the tragic news that Chris Harman died last night in Cairo where he was speaking.

Our condolences go out to Talat, his partner, his children and all his family and friends.

Chris Harman was a towering figure on the left in Britain and he made an immense theoretical and personal contribution to the Socialist Workers Party. He was editor of International Socialism Journal and was previously the editor of Socialist Worker for over two decades.

He was also an influential and highly respected figure on the international left.

He was greatly loved and will be sorely missed. We will let comrades know about the funeral as soon as we know any details.

There will be a full obituary in the next issue of Socialist Worker.

If you would like to send any messages of condolences please send them to martins@swp.org.uk and we will make sure they are forwarded to Talat and his family.

In comradeship

The SWP Central Committee

© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated)

You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

Socialist Worker Online (statement): http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=19502

Socialist Resistance: http://socialistresistance.org/?p=728

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Harman

Arabist.net: http://arabist.net/arabawy/2009/11/07/chris-harman-rip/  

Dave’s Part (David Osler): http://www.davidosler.com/2009/11/chris_harman_19422009.html  

Chris Harman was a valiant socialist who had an eye for the ‘big picture’ as well as the salient details in the struggle for socialism. He was also an astute and insightful Marxist analyst. His latest book, Zombie Capitalism will become a defining text regarding the current crisis of capital – Glenn Rikowski

Capitalism in Crisis

Capitalism in Crisis

TOWARDS A MARXIST ANALYSIS OF THE GLOBAL CRISIS

 

The International Institute for Research and Education: http://www.iire.org

Seminar: Towards A Marxist Analysis of the Global Crisis

On 2-4 October, the IIRE held its first international Economy Seminar on the Global Crisis. Thirty-six participants, economists and non-specialists, from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America attended the three-day event which was open to activists from different tendencies of the radical left.

The objectives of the seminar were to analyse the nature, characteristics and consequences of the current global economic crisis, from perspectives relevant to social activists, and to fortify the global network of Marxist economists. All talks will be available at the IIRE podcast, which we expect to launch with the next newsletter. For now it is possible to download all the talks in one file (original languages, more than 500MB).

Three main questions guided the various sessions of the weekend. First, what is the nature or cause of the crisis? Second, what are the social, economic and political consequences? Finally, what are the links between the current economic crisis and the global ecological and food crises? A solid look at Keynesianism, Ernest Mandel’s contribution on long waves and economic cycles and a (self-) critical take on discourse and propaganda were activities that peppered the debates.

The seminar kicked off with a well-attended public meeting on the crisis with guest speakers Chris Harman of the SWP in Britain and IIRE fellows Michel Husson of the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies and Claudio Katz of the University of Buenos Aires.

François Chesnais (France) opened the seminar itself with an introduction on the role that the so-called financialisation of the economy had in the global crisis. He stated that the crisis cannot be labelled either financial or financialised. Rather, the current crisis has its roots deep in the process of capital accumulation, which, revealing its contradictions, should lead us to look at the dynamics of productivity, the rate of profit and its distribution. The discussion that followed generated a debate between over-accumulation versus under-consumption as explanations for understanding the crisis.

Ozlem Onaran (Turkey), Claudio Katz (Argentina) and Bruno Jetin (France) presented reports on the conditions of the European, Latin American and Asian economies. The debates paved the way for a deeper understanding on how the crisis is perceived and dealt with in the different regions. Participants concluded that an essential characteristic of the crisis is the lack of de-linking tendencies among countries and continents; on the contrary, the efforts to save capitalism have been concerted and almost unanimous.

Michel Husson (France) and Klaus Engert (Germany) analysed the crisis in the framework of the theory of long waves. According to this theory, elaborated by IIRE founder Ernest Mandel, it is possible to use important endogenous factors, i.e. related to the logic of capital and its internal contradictions, to explain the general fall in accumulation that began during the 1970s and has not yet concluded. This discussion left open the possibility of a new ascending wave of economic growth and capitalist accumulation dependent on such exogenous factors as a radical change of the relationship of forces between the classes. One of the conclusions, therefore, was that another wave of attacks on the working class is most likely on its way.

Eric Toussaint (Belgium) emphasised that there is no automatic link between the fact that the crisis is being paid for by workers and the popular masses, and an increase of social struggles. Political, ideological and organisational factors will also play a role in the development of the struggles.

Esther Vivas (Spain) and Daniel Tanuro (Belgium) brought in a fundamental analytical dimension with their introductions: the economic crisis cannot be observed in isolation from the global ecological and food crises. Vivas presented the causes and structure of the food crisis: the current model of agricultural and livestock production is in a large measure responsible for climate change. Tanuro demonstrated how the official, ruling class responses to climate change are insufficient, unreal, irrational and even put us in more danger. He argued that eco-socialists should push for and end to unnecessary production, the retraining of workers in affected sectors and the development of a new agricultural model instigated by radical anti-capitalist measures.

Overall, the analyses revealed that the crisis is systemic, that those who are paying for it are the popular and working classes, and that now, more then ever, it is necessary to build an emancipatory, global anti-capitalist and eco-socialist project.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Karl Marx - 1872

Karl Marx - 1872

COMMODITIES AND VALUES

 

King’s College London Reading Capital Society

October 20th 2009

– – –

http://www.kclreadingcapital.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49539959005

– – –

Thanks to all who attended our re-launch meeting with Ben Fine (apologies for those who had to sit on the floor and stand by the door!). There is an mp3 of the meeting (http://rapidshare.com/files/293932707/Ben_Fine_13Oct2009.mp3) for download along with older sessions on the blog. It’s a big file, but worth the wait!

We hope that everyone found the meeting interesting and will consider reading Capital with us. Details of our first meeting are below:

’Commodities & Values’

The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an ‘immense collection of commodities’.

Marx begins Capital by looking at the elementary building block of capitalism, the commodity.

Marx identifies in the commodity a dual aspect, use-value and exchange value. One gives the commodity its usefulness for the consumer, the other commensurability with other commodities.

– – –

Chris Harman, editor of International Socialism Journal (http://www.isj.org.uk), introduces a discussion on:

‘Commodities & Values’
Tuesday 27th October 2009
6pm
Room 2.42 F-WB
Waterloo Campus
King’s College London

N.B. We will be reading the first 3 sections of Chapter 1 in preparation.

All welcome!

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Zombie Capitalism

New from Bookmarks Publications

Zombie Capitalism: Global crisis and the relevance of Marx, by Chris Harman

A major new study of capitalism from Marx to the 21st century

Praise for Zombie Capitalism:

“A powerful, comprehensive and accessible critique of capitalism from one of the world’s pre-eminent Marxist economists. This book needs to be read far and wide. It is a clear, incisive warning of the massive dangers posed by a ‘runaway system’ and the threat it poses for the future of humanity.” Graham Turner, author of Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles, Globalisation and the Worldwide Economic Crisis 

“Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the present crisis and its place in the history of capitalism and an important contribution to Marxist political economy” Alex Callinicos, Professor of European Studies, King’s College London

To read an interview with Chris about his new book, click here

To read Chris’s article “The Rate of Profit and the World Today”, click here

ISBN: 9781905192533; July 2009 428pp; £16.99

To order Zombie Capitalism for the special offer price of £15, click here

To request a review copy, email: publications@bookmarks.uk.com

Chris Harman is the editor of International Socialism journal (http://www.isj.org.uk). His previous books include A People’s History of the World (Bookmarks 1999 and Verso 2008), Revolution in the 21st Century (Bookmarks 2006), Economics of the Madhouse (Bookmarks 1995), The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After (Bookmarks 1988), Explaining the crisis (Bookmarks 1984) and The Lost Revolution: Germany 1918 to 1923 (Bookmarks 1982).

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Marx and the Credit Crunch

 

Public Meeting
Tuesday October 21st
7pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London


MARX AND THE CREDIT CRUNCH

SPEAKERS:

 

Istvan Mezsaros, author of Beyond Capital
Chris Harman, editor, International Socialism journal
Richard Brenner, author of The Credit Crunch – a Marxist Analysis

A global credit crunch. Banks collapsing. Prices soaring. Recession looming. Conventional economic theory appears to have no coherent explanation. Government stumps up hundreds of billions to rescue the bankers – and demands that working people’s pay be held down and spending cut on public services.

At this meeting, three Marxist writers examine the roots of this great crisis in the nature of capital itself. Tracing the current crisis to its origins, they show how workers can resist paying the price for a crisis they never made, and set out the case for systemic change.

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk