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Sussex Political Marxism (PM) Meeting.

Michael Andrew Žmolek on ‘Rethinking the Industrial Revolution’

New PM Meeting

Thursday, 6th of November


Room: (ARTS C 333)

Michael Andrew Žmolek will be presenting his book Rethinking the Industrial Revolution: Five Centuries of Transition from Agrarian to Industrial Capitalism in England (Brill, 2013 / Haymarket, 2014).

The book offers the first in-depth study of the evolution of English manufacturing from the feudal and early modern periods within the context of the development of agrarian capitalism. With an emphasis on the relationship between Parliament and working Britons, this work challenges readers to ‘rethink’ the common perception of the role of the state in the first industrial revolution as essentially passive. The work chronicles how a long train of struggles led by artisans resisting efforts by employers to transform production along capitalist lines, prompted employers to appeal to the state to suppress this resistance by coercion.

A chapter of the book will serve as basis for discussion.

Those interested, can contact Samuel Knafo ( to get a copy of it.

The meeting will be held in Arts C 333.


Everybody is welcome!

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Now Out! The Ellen Meiksins Wood Reader

Edited by Larry Patriquin, NipissingUniversity


Volume: 40

Series: Historical Materialism Book Series



ISBN: 9789004230088

Publication Year: 2012

Edition info:  1

Version: Hardback

Publication Type: Book

Pages, Illustrations: xiii, 335 pp.

Imprint: BRILL

Language: English

Ellen Meiksins Wood is a leading contemporary political theorist who has elaborated an innovative approach to the history of political thought, the ‘social history of political theory’. She has been described as the founder, together with the historian Robert Brenner, of ‘Political Marxism’, a distinct version of historical materialism which has inspired a research program that spans a number of academic disciplines. Organized thematically, this Reader brings together selections from Wood’s groundbreaking scholarship, published over three decades, providing an overview of her original interpretations of capitalism, precapitalist societies, the state, political theory, democracy, citizenship, liberalism, civil society, the Enlightenment, globalization, imperialism, and socialism


All those interested in the history and theories of capitalism, socialism, imperialism, Marxism, liberalism, social classes, democracy, civil society, and citizenship.


Table of Contents



Introduction: The ‘Method’ of Ellen Meiksins Wood

1. Capitalism
The ‘economic’ and the ‘political’ in capitalism
Class-power and state-power
Feudalism and private property
Capitalism as the privatisation of political power
The localisation of class-struggle
England vs. the dominant model of capitalism
The bourgeois paradigm
Begging the question
Opportunity or imperative?
The commercialisation-model
Marx on the transition
Towns and trade
Agrarian capitalism
Market-dependent producers
A different kind of market-dependence?
Competitive markets

2. Precapitalist Societies
Class and state in China and Rome
Rome and the empire of private property
The city-states of Florence and Venice
Master and slave vs. landlord and peasant
Free producers and slaves
Slavery and the ‘decline’ of the Roman Empire
The ‘logic’ of slavery vs. the logic of capitalism
The ‘slave-mode of production’
Agricultural slavery and the peasant-citizen
The nexus of freedom and slavery in democratic Athens

3. The State in Historical Perspective
Class and state in ancient society
The emergence of the polis in ancient Athens
The ‘essence’ of the polis
Class in the democratic polis
Village and state, town and country, in democratic Athens
The rise and fall of Rome
The culture of property: the Roman law
From imperial Rome to ‘feudalism’
Absolutism and the modern state
The idea of the state
The peculiarities of the English state
Contrasting states: France vs. England

4. Social and Political Thought
The social history of political theory
Political theory in history: an overview
The Greek concept of freedom
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
John Locke
Revolution and tradition, c. 1640–1790

5. Democracy, Citizenship, Liberalism, and Civil Society
Labour and democracy, ancient and modern
From ancient to modern conceptions of citizenship
Capitalism and democratic citizenship
The American redefinition of democracy
A democracy devoid of social content
From democracy to liberalism
Capitalism and ‘liberal democracy’
Liberal democracy and capitalist hegemony
The idea of ‘civil society’
The civil-society argument
‘Civil society’ and the devaluation of democracy

6. The Enlightenment, Postmodernism, and the Post-‘New Left’
Modernity vs. capitalism: France vs. England
From modernity to postmodernity
Modernity and the non-history of capitalism
Themes of the postmodern left
Enlightenment vs. capitalism: Condorcet vs. Locke
The periodisation of the Western left
Left-intellectuals and contemporary capitalism

7. Globalisation and Imperialism
Globalisation and the nation-state
Nation-states, classes, and universal capitalism
The indispensable state
Precapitalist imperialism
The classic age of imperialism
Globalisation and war
Globalisation and imperial hegemony
The contradictions of capitalist imperialism

8. Socialism
The end of the welfare-state ‘compact’
There are no social democrats now
Market-dependence vs. market-enablement
Left-strategies of market-enablement
The political implications of competition
The working class and the struggle for socialism
Class-conflict and the socialist project
Socialism and democracy
The state in classless societies
Liberalism vs. democracy
‘Universal human goods’
The self-emancipation of the working class
The socialist movement
Democracy as an economic mechanism

Bibliography of Works by Ellen Meiksins Wood, 1970–2012


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Brunel University–London, 8th-9th February 2012

RIGHT OF RESISTANCE: Theory, Politics, Law (16th-21st century)

The connection between the right of resistance, the pluralism of rights, powers, and jurisdictions, weakens after the sunset of the medieval legal system in the early modern age. On the one hand, the forces that resisted the establishment of the power of the modern state and that played a major role within the political conflict of the earlier ages, were progressively ejected from the sphere of legitimacy. On the other hand, reflection on the right of resistance became the principal argument of opposition against the theoretical and legal positions supporting the construction of the modern State.

Theories of the right of resistance are very diverse, depending on the authors and the contexts within which they have been developed. Generally though, they become a theoretical point of attraction for alternative discourses that oppose the formation of the State and the establishment of an exclusive link between sovereignty and normative production.

With the crisis of the feudal world in the early modern age, the right of resistance becomes a theoretical counter-power against new forms of dominion, while the bourgeois revolutions bring the conception of resistance exercised within the constitutional framework. Here, the right of resistance finds its most evocative expression within the dialectic of the two paradigms of constituent power and constituted power.

The affirmation of the fundamental principles of liberal constitutionalism (characterized by alternative and conflicting perspectives on constitutional modernity as well as on constituent capacity causes the right of resistance to be absorbed and neutralized within the typical warranties of the rule of law. The constituent power itself is absorbed by the modern bourgeois idea of representation.

With the social tensions, struggles for recognition, and constitutional integration in the 19th and 20th century we see the rising of different theories of opposition, transferring older practices of resistance to new legal institutions and bodies. Thus: the tension between democracy (intended as power and absolute government) on one hand, and constitutionalism (intended as a theory and practice of limited government) on the other, remains latent yet present.

We witness today the crumbling of the exclusive link between the State and the production and interpretation of norms. This process is taking place within the more general crisis of the modern conception of sovereignty, intended as suprema potestas. In this crisis, theoretical lines of fracture resurface: social, ethnic, religious, and political fractures that give birth to new practices of resistance, veto, and opposition within the framework of both local and global phenomena of contestation of new and traditional forms of oppression.

Therefore, the claiming and oppositional dimension of early constitutionalism, popular sovereignity, and tutelage of fundamental rights suggests the possibility of recovering that “negative source” of sovereignity that faded away during the establishment of the modern state.

Here lies the proposal of a fresh reflection on theories of resistance between the early modern and the contemporary period. Within those theories, we aim to individuate alternative proposals to the formation of the modern state, as well as to understand the elements of affinity and continuity with today’s oppositional and conflictual practices on a global scale.


Wednesday 8th February Session 1: LC-004-006 – 9.30

Chair: Filippo Del Lucchese (Brunel University – London)

Justin Fisher (Head of School of Social Sciences) – Welcome

Mario Ascheri (Università di Roma Tre) – The Roots of the Resistance: Main Forms of Medieval Contractualism

Mario Turchetti (Université de Fribourg/Universität Freiburg) – The Right of Resistance: Classical Foundations and Modern Applications by Catholics and Protestants in the Western Christendom

Riccardo Rosolino (Università degli Studi di Napoli – L’Orientale) – Resisting Monopolists: Theological and Juridical Thought in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century

Session 2: LC-004-006 – 3.00

Chair: John Roberts (Brunel University)

Susanne Sreedhar (Boston University) – The Hobbesian right of resistance

Marco Fioravanti (Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”) – Slave Poisoner: Resistance to slave order and the invention of the inner enemy in the 19th century French Caribbean

Warren Montag (Occidental College – Los Angeles) – Kelsen, Schmitt and the question of lawful resistance to law

Thursday 9th February

Session 3: LC-004-006 – 10.00

Chair: Mark Neocleous (Brunel University – London)

Vivienne Jabri (King’s College – London) – Embodiment and Mass in the Revolutionary Subject

Hourya Bentouhami (Université de Paris VII – Denis Diderot) – Civil Disobedience and Non-Violence: a Passive, Feminine Way of Defense vs a Manly, Revolutionary Armed Resistance?

Andreas Dimopoulos (Brunel University – London) – The right to resistance “à la grecque”: IMF bail-out and social unrest in today’s Greece

Session 4: LC-004-006 – 3.00

Chair: Peter D. Thomas (Brunel University – London)

Sandro Mezzadra (Università degli Studi di Bologna) – Resisting the Margins: Border Struggles in the Contemporary World

Toni Negri (Uninomade) – Esperienze di resistenza e (nuova definizione del) potere costituente

Conference organiser: Filippo Del Lucchese (Brunel University – London)




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Industrial Revolution


The Birth of Capitalism: A 21st Century Perspective
By Henry Heller

Paperback | 9780745329598 | £19.99 / $35
Hardback | 9780745329604 | £65 / $110

For more information or to buy the book visit:

In the light of the deepening crisis of capitalism and continued non-Western capitalist accumulation, Henry Heller re-examines the debates surrounding the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe and elsewhere.

Focusing on arguments about the origin, nature and sustainability of capitalism, Heller offers a new reading of the historical evidence and a critical interrogation of the transition debate. He advances the idea that capitalism must be understood as a political as well as an economic entity. This book breathes new life into the scholarship, taking issue with the excessively economistic approach of Robert Brenner, which has gained increasing support over the last ten years. It concludes that the future of capitalism is more threatened than ever before.

The new insights in this book make it essential reading for engaged students and scholars of political economy and history.

HENRY HELLER is a Professor of History at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He is the author of ‘The Cold War and the New Imperialism: A Global History, 1945-2005’ (2006); ‘The Bourgeois Revolution in France’ (2006) and ‘Labour, Science and Technology in France 1500-1620’ (1996).


Preface and acknowledgements
Introduction: problems and methods

1. The Decline of feudalism
2. Experiments in capitalism: Italy, Germany, France
3. English capitalism
4. Bourgeois revolution
5. Political capitalism
6. The Industrial Revolution: Marxist perspectives
7. Capitalism and world history



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Hilton Reading Postone


Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society Volume 
22 Issue 3


In Memoriam
JULIE GRAHAM (1945–2010)

Editors’ Introduction

The Common and the Forms of the Commune
Guest Editors’ Introduction: The Common and the Forms of the Commune
Anna Curcio and Ceren Özselçuk

On the Common, Universality, and Communism: A Conversation between 
Étienne Balibar and Antonio Negri

Subjectivity, Class, and Marx’s “Forms of the Commune”
Jack Amariglio

The Common and Its Production
The Common in Communism
Michael Hardt

Five Theses on the Common
Gigi Roggero

A Common Word
Aras Özgün

Free Association/Means in Common
16beaver group

Commodity Fetishism and the Common
Rethinking Socialism: Community, Democracy, and Social Agency
Antonio Callari; David F. Ruccio

The Common without Copies, the International without Cosmopolitanism: 
Marx against the Romanticism of Likeness
Deborah Jenson

The Nature of the Common
Federico Luisetti

“Modes” of Community
Engendering Feudalism: Modes of Production Revisited
S. Charusheela

On Producing (the Concept of) Solidarity
Kenneth Surin

Pedagogies of the Common
Kathi Weeks

Difference in Common
Translating Difference and the Common
Anna Curcio

Jouissance and Antagonism in the Forms of the Commune: A Critique of Biopolitical Subjectivity
Yahya M. Madra; Ceren Özselçuk

Subjectivity and Visions of the Common
Alvaro Reyes

Rethinking Marxism: http://www.informaworld/rm


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Dialectics of Class Struggle in the Global Economy

Dialectics of Class Struggle in the Global Economy

Clark Everling

(Routledge, 2010)

Dialectics of Class Struggle restores Marx’s emphasis on class struggle as the dialectics of human social production. Humans’ reproduction makes them subjects for their activities in two forms:

* Their objective forms (e.g., capitalists and workers), which are necessary to their reproduction as classes, and

* Their social forms (e.g., shared urban existence), in which they are subjects within social production in certain cooperative ways.

This is a dialectical relation, a social opposition and unity that inheres in the same individuals at the same time. Western Marxism and Social Democracy only repeat the positive categories necessary to the reproduction of classes.

Much ink has been spilled in attempts to prove that humans are only animals and are, like other species, only aggressive. Marx distinguishes both class and cooperative relations as inorganic: humans create their subjectivity through their mutual social production. They build upon previous forms of social production and, with capitalism, become not only an opposition of classes, but have the capacity for urban individualism and cooperation.

Dialectics of Class Struggle examines the historical development of classes from ancient times to present. It analyzes the development of ancient slavery into feudalism and the latter into capitalism. It focuses upon the laws and limits of capitalist development, the contradictions inherent in the capitalist state, and revolutions in the twentieth century and the possibilities for human freedom that they revealed. It concludes with an examination of class struggles in the global economy and shows the human deprivations as well as the human possibilities.

Clark Everling is Professor Emeritus at Empire State College at the State University of New York, USA.

Contents: 1.   Marx’s method 2.   Marxist theory: from class struggle to political economy 3.   Pre-capitalist social formations 4.   Capitalism and social production 5.   Capitalist state and society 6.   Imperialism and world wars 7.   The dialectics of world working class struggle 8.   International working class revolution 9.   Globalization and class struggle 10.  Dialectics of the present struggle: the laws of capitalist development

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