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Capitalist Trickle Down

REMAKING SCARCITY: FROM CAPITALIST INEFFICIENCY TO ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY

Costas Panayotakis. Foreword by Joel Kovel

Paperback | 9780745330990 | £18.99 / $30
Hardback | 9780745331003 | £60 / $95

For more information or to buy the book visit: http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745330990

‘This book combines theoretical boldness and the determination to extend Marxian theory. It deserves to be read as another impressive product of the global rethinkings of Marxism now engaged in building a Marxism for the twenty-first century.’ – Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

‘Capitalist-produced scarcity proves to be an extraordinarily enlightening vantage point from which to analyse both capitalism and its socialist alternatives. Panayotakis’s book provides an extremely scholarly, insightful and well-argued contribution – with ecology and feminism given the attention often denied them – to this crucially important literature. Highly Recommended!’ – Bertell Ollman, Department of Politics, New York University, author of Dance of the Dialectic: Marx’s Method

‘Extremely timely…Panayotakis develops a critical approach to an issue that is central to neo-classical economics but rarely the subject of critical analysis.’ – Molly Scott Cato, Reader in Green Economics, Cardiff University

As cuts and austerity deepen across the globe, Costas Panayotakis provides a timely challenge to the neoliberal idea that material scarcity is an inevitable product of an insatiable human nature. He argues that scarcity is in fact a result of the social and economic processes of the capitalist system.

The overriding logic of capital accumulation accounts for the fact that capitalism is not able to make a rational use of the productive potential at the disposal of human society. Instead, capitalism produces grotesque inequalities, a toxic consumerist culture and deepening ecological crisis.

‘Remaking Scarcity’ asserts the core principle of economic democracy as the ultimate solution to scarcity and ecological crisis.

COSTAS PANAYOTAKIS teaches Sociology at New York City College of Technology. He has published on political economy, ecology and social movements and has been interviewed by numerous radio and TV programmes in the United States and abroad. He is the Book Review editor of the international journal ‘Capitalism Nature Socialism’.

Foreword by Joel Kovel
Preface

1. Capitalism, Scarcity and Economic Democracy
2. The Neoclassical Approach to Scarcity
3. Scarcity and Capital Accumulation
4. Scarcity, Capitalist Exploitation, and Consumption
5. Economic Democracy and the Multiplicity of Social Inequalities and Struggles
6. Capitalism, Scarcity and Global Inequalities
7. Scarcity and the Deepening Ecological Crisis
8. Imagining Economic Democracy: Two Models
9. The Way Forward: Economic Democratization as a Strategy of Reforms and Fundamental Social Change

Conclusion
Humorous Appendix: Austerity Nut and His Message

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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The Lamp Post

ECOSOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL NETWORK

http://www.ecosocialistnetwork.org

June 26,  2010

Dear Friends,

As you probably know,  our network was founded in 2007,  profiting from the International Marx Conference in Paris,  which attracted scholars and activists from various countries around the world. We intend to do the same thing this year, just after the International Marx Conference (September 22-25, 2010).  It would take place on September 26-27, 2010. It will be the occasion to exchange ideas about ecosocialism, consider future initiatives, leaflets or publications, as well as to reorganize our leading bodies.

The Conference will take place at the Mairie du 2ème arrondissement (Townhall of the second Paris district), 8 rue de la Banque, first floor; nearest underground station (Metro): Bourse.  

The room is called “Salle des expositions”, and it can accommodate some 80 people.  We will have the room at our disposition on Sunday September 26 and Monday September 27 from 9.30 to 19.30 hours.

For the EIN Secretariat

Joel Kovel, Michael Löwy

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Daniel Bensaid

VIDEOS FROM THE LONDON MEMORIAL MEETING FOR DANIEL BENSAID

You can see the videos here: http://ecosocialism.blip.tv/posts?view=archive&nsfw=dc

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Peter McLaren

ACADEMIC REPRESSION

http://www.akpress.org/2010/items/academicrepression

Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex

Peter McLaren (Editor), Steven Best (Editor), and Anthony J. Nocella II (Editor)

The extreme repressive attacks on Churchill, Finklstein, Fontan, Best, Massad, the “Dirty Thirty,” and many others represented in this book demonstrate the repressive logic of “US democracy,” whereby political elites, the mass media, and the education system establish and police the parameters of acceptable discourse. Churchill became America’s own Salman Rushdie terrorized by the fatwa of the right. Unprecedented for the media coverage given to a professor (in a mass media culture that virtually ignores substantive ideas in favor of spectacle and sensationalism) the Churchill affair was, however, just one of many cases of attacks on academic freedom that eerily evoke the tyranny of the McCarthy era where actors were blacklisted and professors were fired for having even liberal views or showing dissent against state repression. While there has been much research on political repression carried out by the Bush administration, FBI, and various law enforcement agencies, there has been little discussion on political 
repression in academia and how the shockwaves of 9/11 have reverberated throughout academia. This anthology brings together prominent academics who contribute original essays commissioned for this volume. The writers are known and respected figures in their respective fields, and many have experienced academic repression first-hand.

This volume aims to be a cogent intervention in debates over free speech, culture wars, and academic freedom. Given that the importance of free speech to academic life, and the crucial role universities play in the intellectual life of cultures as a whole, a volume addressing the political environment of universities in the current period promises to make a significant contribution.

Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex (AK Press), is a much needed book on a topic that has seen little attention. Since 9/11 the Bush Administration has ventured to every campus influencing and forcing change by administration to handover faculty, staff, and student work to be flagged as possible signs of threatening behavior. While there have been numerous books on academic freedom, that topic is outdated and something that arguably does not exist on U.S. campus soil anymore. This volume addresses not only overt attacks on critical or radical thinking, it also – following socioeconomic trends unfolding for decades – engages the broad structural determinants of academic culture. Slowly but surely, the university is being transformed from a space for free thinking, experimentation, and philosophical education in the broadest sense into a narrow, restrictive, utilitarian institution that serves the technical needs of corporations, government, science and technology, and the military. Thus, as emphasized by numerous contributors, the ultimate cause of repression is not the academy itself, but contemporary capitalist society as a whole, which strongly shapes the structure, function, and priorities of higher education. This volume shows that while universities are crucial sites of socialization in capitalist ideologies and utilitarian performance, they are not monolithic citadels or homogeneous systems of thought that grind out in assembly-line fashion each and every student into the service of capitalism. For just as universities can train tomorrow’s FBI and CIA agents, so they can breed the next generation of radicals, resisters, saboteurs, and revolutionaries.

The university is a contested political space for three reasons. First, it is home to a diversity of viewpoints, ranging from far-right to far-left, from Christian to Muslim, from white to black, Indian, or Chicano/a, from speciesist to animal liberationist, and from heterosexual to gay/lesbian. Second, despite broad and growing trends of repression, there are varying degrees of tolerance for the discussion of non-mainstream or radical ideas in classrooms and campus life. Third, however uncritical, conditioned, and conformist some students might be, they have the potential (often actualized) to discuss, debate, and think critically about issues such as US colonialism, slavery, sexism, and speciesism, and professors, staff, and students – consciously or unconsciously – cannot socialize all of them into their own worldviews and politics.

— Nocella, Best, and McLaren

About the Editors:
Anthony J. Nocella, II is completing his doctoral work at Syracuse University. He is a Visiting Scholar of SUNY Cortland’s Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice (CEPS) and is teaching classes in Sociology and Criminology at Le Moyne College.

Steven Best is Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Peter McLaren is Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BOOK:

This courageous and chilling book reminds us that the Academy is always a context for intellectual exchange and political struggle. Don’t miss it! — Cornel West, Princeton University

This book takes us into the Corporate University, and it’s not a pretty sight. From firing critical thinkers to putting students in debt, the system is failing America. Time to take it back by fighting for free higher education. — Jim Hightower, populist speaker and editor of the “Hightower Lowdown”

The university should be a place of freedom not a battlefield where the military industrial complex is launching its most violent attack yet on the future of education. Nocella, Best, and McLaren shows us that education must be protected if we want peace and social justice for the world. Read now! — Cindy Sheehan, Peace Activist and Founder of “Gold Star Families for Peace”

To the litany of claims by academics that the university is a safe haven for intellectual and political dissent, this book offers a convincing counter-argument. Academic Repression is a long overdue collective study of the long and sorry history of violations of academic freedom, iconoclastic thought and political dissent in US institutions of higher education. The editors have assembled an impressive group of scholars who, often through personal experience as much as analytic acuity, have supplied us with commentary as much as documentation of the central thesis of the book. This book should be required reading in all of the social sciences, humanities and education courses. —
Stanley Aronowitz, author of “The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning”

Absolutely and utterly indispensible as we chart a way forward and attempt to finally turn the page on an era best left in the dustbin of history. It’s a first round knock out. — Dave Zirin, author APHOS

For over half a century, matters of knowledge and education have been central to the political struggles shaping our world, and the university has been a primary battleground. This collection is a chilling and powerful survey of contemporary battles, their stakes and possibilities. We should all be scared, and we should all concerned enough to take a stand. — Dr. Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Using the tired canards of anti-semitism, terrorism and radicalism, rightwing zealots are carrying out a merciless campaign of ideological cleansing on American campuses, often with the shameful complicity of university administrators. Academic Repression takes you to the frontlines of this fierce battle for the mind, telling stories of
purges, institutional cowardice and resistance. Here at last is a strategic plan for how to fight back against the New McCarthyites. Read it twice and then throw the book at them. — Jeffrey St. Clair, author Born Under a Bad Sky, co-editor of CounterPunch

Freedom of speech in the academy is a cornerstone of democracy — fascism always creeps closely behind intellectual repression, and we are not immune from the virus. If you want to understand how rocky our freedoms are today, pick up this book, read it, and join the fight to end censorship in all of its imperialist forms. — Joshua Frank, co-author with Jeffrey St. Clair of the forthcoming Green Scare: The Government’s New War on Environmentalism

The powers-that-be are uncomfortable with academic freedom because when one investigates any political, social, economic or even scientific issue thoroughly, a leftwing analysis will tend to emerge. Thinking is dangerous for them. This book is full of the stories and observations of some of the greatest thinkers alive today. — David Rovics, Singer-Songwriter

The editors have drawn together a diverse and competent group of scholars to assess critically the climate of academic repression. This is an essential book for anyone with a deep concern for the future of the academy. It will help raise awareness of crucial issues that face the universities. We ignore this challenge at our peril. — Dr. Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, Director, Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice, SUNY Cortland

As the editors and contributors of this valuable collection make clear, American academia has long been a combat zone, and never more than today. Eternal vigilance, and constant struggle, remain the watchwords if the free expression of thought upon which a good society depends is to be realized. — Joel Kovel, author of “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine”

—————————————————

CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BOOK:

William Armaline

John Asimakopoulos

Bill Ayers

Liat Ben-Moshe

Michael Bérubé

Carl Boggs

Marc Bousquet

A. Peter Castro

Ward Churchill

Dana Cloud

Sumi E. Colligan

Maria E. Cotera

Christian Davenport

Victoria Fontan

Takis Fotopoulos

Henry Giroux

Adam Habib

Joy James

Robert Jensen

Richard Kahn

Caroline Kaltefleiter

Doug Kellner

Mark LeVine

Bill Martin

Peter McLaren

Micere M. Githae Mugo

Mechthild Nagel

Cary Nelson

Michael Parenti

Emma Perez

Mark Rupert

Rik Scarce

Deric Shannon

Stephen Sheehi

Amory Starr

Gregory Tropea

Ali Zaidi

Howard Zinn

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Marxism and Psychology

Marxism and Psychology

MARXISM AND PSYCHOLOGY CONFERENCE

 

Call For Papers

Marxism and Psychology Conference, The University of Prince Edward Island, August 5-7, 2010

Website: http://vre.upei.ca/mprg/

Contact: marfken@upei.ca

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2010

In the history of social thought, it is difficult to find a more divisive figure than Karl Marx. For many, the mere mention of his name conjures up images of totalitarian regimes dominating nearly every aspect of an individual’s existence. Yet for others, Marx’s critique of the capitalist mode of production draws attention to the fact that our beliefs, thoughts, and desires inevitably emerge against the background of specific cultural, historical, and social practices.

The purpose of this conference is to bring students, scholars, and activists together to discuss exciting issues at the intersection of Marxism and Psychology. While it is clear that a number of organizations are making important contributions to this area of study, we believe that the time is right to open up a space for students, scholars, and activists from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to reflect on the role that Marxism can play in psychological theory, research, and practice.

In bringing together scholars at the forefront of research in Marxism and Psychology, we also hope to give new students and activists an opportunity to interact with individuals who have made significant contributions within this area. By organizing an impressive collection of plenary participants, we hope to foster an environment where students, activists, and scholars can identify potential graduate advisors, research assistants, and participatory investigators.

This year, confirmed plenary participants include: John Cromby, Raquel Guzzo, Lois Holzman, Gordana Jovanovic, Joel Kovel, Athanasios Marvakis, Morten Nissen, Ian Parker, Carl Ratner, Hans Skott-Myhre, Thomas Teo

Biographical information for the plenary participants can be found on the conference website.

We welcome submissions for individual papers and panel sessions. For individual papers, please submit an abstract (150-200 words) no later than January 15, 2010. For panel submissions, please include an abstract (150-200 words) for each paper as well as a brief description of the panel (150-200 words). Please submit all materials to marfken@upei.ca. Abstracts should either be in the body of the email or sent as an attachment (DOC or PDF format).

While the conference poster is available at the conference website, we also have color posters that need to be distributed widely. If you are interested in receiving some posters, please send us an email (marfken@upei.ca) with your mailing address.

For further information, please visit the conference website: http://vre.upei.ca/mprg/

Sincerely,

Michael Arfken, PhD. Director, Marxism & Psychology Research Group (MPRG), Department of Psychology, University of Prince Edward Island, marfken@upei.ca, http://sites.google.com/site/marfken/

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LEFT FORUM – CALL FOR PAPERS

 

 

Call for Papers: Left Forum 2009, New York City, April 17-19

 

 

Please Circulate

 

 

Calling all Ecosocialists, Left Greens and Green Lefts:

 

 

This is a call to join the Praxis Research and Education Center and other groups in presenting a series of ecosocialist panels at the Left Forum in NYC next April. Green anticapitalist speakers/presenters are needed on a variety of topics, from the gravity of the ecological crisis and capitalism’s inherent inability to reverse it, to Green Left and ecosocialist strategies and solutions.

 

 

For those who aren’t familiar with this annual event, the Left Forum (formerly the Socialist Scholars’ Conference) has been bringing together “intellectuals and activists from around the world to address the burning issues of our times” for at least forty years. It is sponsored by an array of Left journals and institutions from Monthly Review, to the National Lawyers Guild, New Politics, Radical Teacher, Rethinking Marxism, and URPE to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Regular participants at the Forum include Cornel West, Stanley Aronowitz, Frances Fox Piven, Manning Marable. The Forum puts on nearly a hundred panels over two days and is regularly attended by several hundred activists and left academics from across the U.S. and abroad.

 

 

In 2007, ecosocialists like Joel Kovel, Michael Löwy, Heather Rogers, Richard Smith and myself presented panels, but the issue was apparently off the agenda at the 2008 Left Forum — partly due to lack of initiative on our part. This year, the Forum’s theme is ‘TURNING POINTS’, but sad to say the prospectus, while talking about the economic crisis and the new ‘moment’ epitomized by the Obama victory, fails even to mention the environmental crisis which threatens to engulf humanity within the next twenty or thirty years.

 

 

In our opinion it is essential that we awaken the Left to the immanence of ecological collapse and the urgency of an ecosocialist solution. Our ambition is to propose a series of panels under the heading: “Turning Points: Ecosocialism or Capitalist Ecocide” and mobilize our best speakers so as to attract a serious audience. The deadline for submission of panels (including speakers and topics) is January 1, and the number of panels we are able to put on will depend on the availability of speakers (generally three to a panel). Since at every Left Forum Session there are several competing panels, it is important that we present a series of panels to reach participants who may have conflicts at a given Session.  If you are interested in participating, please send us your proposal (topic) and some sort of CV or identification as soon as possible. Also, your organizational affiliation if you wish to co-sponsor these panels. Finally, please recommend any speakers you would like to hear, especially if you have personal relation or a contact address where we can invite them.

 

 

Hoping to hear from you,

 

 

Another world may still be possible.

 

Yours, Richard Greeman

Contact : rgreeman@gmail.com

 

 

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