By Freya B. 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 […]

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 […]

Zinn's deceptively titled "A People's History" hinges on First World and White chauvinism. Even its cover is a nod and wink to "left-wing" Amerikan patriotism.

“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 the American people,” not one of those perennially trampled beneath their weight. A “People’s History,” far from being subversive, is a hallmark of typical Amerikan, First World and White chauvinism in ‘leftist’ dressing. Zinn’s work serves much of the First World fake ‘left’ well precisely by obscuring the role of conquest, national oppression and imperialism in the development of the US.

One preeminent example is Zinn’s mountainous four paragraphs of “A People’s History of the United States” dedicated to the internment of Japan-descended people living on the western coast of the US during World War II:

“In one of its policies, the United States came close to direct duplication of Fascism. This was in its treatment of the Japan-Americans living on the West Coast. After the Pearl Harbor attacks, anti-Japanese hysteria spread in the government. One congressman said: ‘I’m for catching every Japanese in America, Alaska and Hawaii now and putting them in concentration camps…Damn them! Let’s get rid of them!’ Continue reading