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 […]
Recently, the British television series, Fall of Eagles, was uploaded onto Youtube. Originally aired in 1974, the 13-part series mainly dramatizes power and romantic intrigues of eastern European monarchies leading up to their collapse in the early 20th century. Of particular interest is episode six, ‘Absolute Beginners,’ which stars Patrick Stewart as the exiled Russian […]
Note: I apologize to the reader for the extensive use of quotations in this article, but they are necessary as most of the Rothbardian critique is a misrepresentation of Marxian arguments which require textual evidence to be refuted. “[Marx] created a veritable tissue of fallacies. Every single nodal point of the theory is wrong and […]
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, […]
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, […]
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 an amount […]
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 3 of 3): John Smith, “The GDP Illusion: Value Added versus Value Capture.” Monthly Review. July-August, 2012. p 86-102. In two earlier reviews, I focused on the notions of economic surplus and imperialist rent as specific categories within the capitalist-imperialist world-economy. The intent was manifold: first, to demonstrate the mechanisms through which wealth […]
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 […]
The July-August 2012 issue of Monthly Review1 centers around the publication of one of two missing chapters of Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order2 by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy. Anti-Imperialism.com earlier posted about this issue and the suggestion was made that individuals who are interested in the topic of […]
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 […]
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 […]
Over the past year, the US-led imperialism and its junior partners in the region have waged a relentless proxy war against the Syrian Republic. Under the guise of a popular revolt, reactionaries have armed and trained rebel groups to carry out attacks against the Syria’s state and civilian population. One of imperialism’s most surprising allies […]
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.
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?
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 […]
Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, flips the script in this response to the Jay Z and Kanye West song, N****s in Paris. We support the appropriation of cultural forms such as hip hop for liberatory purposes. In this case, Bey challenges ideas of sitting at the table of oppressors and the adoption of […]
Why We Fight (Eugene Jarecki, 2005) is a documentary which questions from an Amerikan perspective the motives and intent of the US’s recent invasions and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the film, war mainly serves to strengthen the power of and enrich the ‘military-industrial complex,’ a term coined by former US president Dwight. […]
Captain America [sic] is an obvious work of fiction. The Nazis never had day-glow, power-of-the-gods weaponry, nor did the US have super-human soldiers. However, there is a frightening whitewashing of history that occurs in this Hollywood super-hero flick. The United States involvement in WWII is one of the only times the US has been even nominally correct in its belated efforts to curb Nazi Imperialism. However, the history of WWII is much more complicated than America = good, Nazis = bad.
The film opens with Nazi officer Schmidt discovering an ancient artifact in Norway that is possessed of the power of the gods. Schmidt intends to use this to create incredible weaponry with which he might take over the world (classic). The film’s protagonist is a small-statured young man, Steve Rogers, who is desperate to join the army to fight the war in Europe. He attempts to sign up many times, but is declined due to his numerous health problems. Dr. Erskine, who defected from Germany because he did not want his discoveries used by the Nazi regime, eventually discovers him. Rogers is sent to train for a special unit and is eventually selected for a life-changing procedure because of his exceptional determination, kindness, courage, and brains. Rogers is made into a super-human by Erskine’s serum and a machine of Howard Stark’s invention (predecessor to fictional war-criminal and arms dealer Tony Stark). He is used by the U$ as a piece of propaganda, traveling the country promoting the sale of war bonds. It is not until he arrives in Europe to perform for the troops that he enters the fray. Rogers frees several captured soldiers from the grips of the evil and crazy Nazi officer Johann Schmidt. It is revealed that Schmidt was treated with an incomplete version of the same serum used on Rogers as he rips off a mask revealing a “red skull” beneath. Rogers saves Amerika from certain destruction by crashing a plane armed with weapons into the Arctic and sacrificing himself.
One of the most important players in the war were the Red Army of the Soviet Union. It is often argued that the Soviets, who lost many millions of people (estimated between 23.4 million and 26.6 million) to the Nazi invaders, were the real reason for the defeat of the Third Reich. However, the Soviets are conspicuously absent in this film about a hero of WWII. There is not a single mention of the eastern front, or those who fought there. The war is mis-characterized as an Amerikan adventure in Europe. There is no real understanding of the social forces that brought so much of the world into a bloody war. The film is a perfect example of how Amerikans routinely glorify themselves and distort history. Continue reading