Williams and Srnicek – #Accelerate

Williams and Srnicek have put out a proverbial call to arms against neoliberalism. Let’s discuss what neoliberalism is, talk about why it needs to be overcome, what the Left has been doing that hasn’t worked, and what Williams and Srnicek think must be done instead. Neoliberalism Capitalism keeps evolving. Neoliberalism is the most recent mutation.… Continue reading Williams and Srnicek – #Accelerate

Lukacs – Leninism & the Vanguard Party

In America you probably grew up hearing and believing that Marx, Lenin and Stalin were evil. Rarely is any distinction made between the three, and they are typically described as power-hungry dictators. At best, you heard and maybe said “Communism looks good on paper, but doesn’t work in reality.” This is an idiotic thing to… Continue reading Lukacs – Leninism & the Vanguard Party

Marx – Commodity Fetishism & Surplus Value

Marx is famous for his analysis of “surplus value.” If you’re familiar with business jargon, this is just another way of translating the previously existing term that Marx used, mehrwert, which can also be translated to the more familiar term “value added.” If M is the cost of the wood, and M’ is the amount… Continue reading Marx – Commodity Fetishism & Surplus Value

Marx – The German Ideology

The young Marx was an active member of a radical leftist group called the Young Hegelians. They read Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as the historical process of emancipation brought about by Western society’s philosophers and thinkers. They saw the philosophers as humanity’s only hope for a just future. Among this group Marx was one of… Continue reading Marx – The German Ideology

Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Unless you have read Marx and/or Engels before, forget everything you think you know about Marxism. While there are many valid criticisms to make of Marx, they are probably not the criticisms with which you are familiar. Marx was an important influence in the history of the USSR and Mao’s China, but Marx and “actually… Continue reading Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Zizek – the Refugee Crisis

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18605/breaking-the-taboos-in-the-wake-of-paris-attacks-the-left-must-embrace-its For those on the Left, Zizek’s claims that capitalism is one of the (indirect) causes of the refugee crisis is not controversial. If you accept this premise, which Zizek’s audience typically does, the debate concerning the refugee crisis centers around what the (capitalist) West is obligated to do for the refugees. For Zizek the… Continue reading Zizek – the Refugee Crisis

Klein – Capitalism vs. The Climate

The Dead Parrots have been discussing justice for a couple years. Some readings have been purely theoretical. A few have been practical. This reading is somewhere in between. Naomi Klein argues that humans have not adequately addressed the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced because the reigning ideology of the day forbids considering climate change… Continue reading Klein – Capitalism vs. The Climate

West – Race and Social Theory

Cornel West proposes that a genealogical materialist methodology is necessary in order to understand African American oppression. West’s vocabulary is tremendous, and he can be quite loquacious, assuming his audience is as well read and well spoken as himself. “Genealogical” and “materialist” are two terms with specific philosophical definitions that he fails to explain. If… Continue reading West – Race and Social Theory

Engels – The Principles of Communism

The revolution will start in England, America, France, and Germany, the developed nations, and then spread to the rest of the world. It is only a matter of time before the workers rise up against their oppressors. In the past, as technology evolved, social relations consequently changed. In every era there exists a class that… Continue reading Engels – The Principles of Communism