The Conquest of Bread is an 1892 book by the Russian anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin. Originally written in French, it first appeared as a series of articles in the anarchist journal Le Révolté. It was first published in Paris with a preface by Élisée Reclus, who also suggested the title. Between 1892 and 1894, it was serialized in part in the London journal Freedom, of which Kropotkin was a co-founder. In the work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the defects of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism and why he believes they thrive on and maintain poverty and scarcity.

He goes on to propose a more decentralized economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the … More

The world has finally awoken to the reality of climate breakdown & ecological collapse. Now we must face up to its primary cause. Capitalism demands perpetual expansion, which is devastating the living world. There is only one solution that will lead to meaningful & immediate change: DEGROWTH. If we want to have a shot at halting the crisis, we need to restore the balance. We need to change how we see nature & our place in it, shifting from a philosophy of domination & extraction to one that’s rooted in reciprocity and regeneration.

We need to evolve beyond the dogmas of capitalism to a new system that is fit for the twenty-first century. … More

OTD, August 1845, UK Parliament passed an enclosure act, taking away common land, & appointing enclosure commissioners who could enclose more land without submitting a request to Parliament. From the 17th to 20th centuries, the British government passed over 5,000 enclosure acts, enclosing 6.8 million acres of common land, which the public previously had rights to use. Often military force was used to crush anyone who resisted. The enclosures were a vital part of the development of capitalism, as they created a whole class of landless people who had no way of surviving other than selling their labour power – the working class.

“The law locks up the man or woman Who steals the goose off the common But leaves the greater villain … More

By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change – what was happening, why it was happening, & how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed. Nathaniel Rich’s groundbreaking account of that failure – & how tantalizingly close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all before the fossil fuels industry & politicians committed to anti-scientific denialism

It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we … More

Born OTD in 1883, economist John Maynard Keynes. A groundbreaking debunking of moderate attempts to resolve financial crises In the ruins of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, self-proclaimed progressives the world over clamored to resurrect the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes. The crisis seemed to expose the disaster of small-state, free-market liberalization and deregulation. Keynesian political economy, in contrast, could put the state back at the heart of the economy and arm it with the knowledge needed to rescue us.

But what it was supposed to rescue us from was not so clear. Was it the end of capitalism or … More

Born OTD in 1970, Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of capitalism, Naomi Klein. Klein – award-winning journalist, bestselling author of No Logo, The Shock Doctrine & This Changes Everything, scourge of brand bullies and corporate liars – gives us the toolkit we need to survive our surreal, shocking age. ‘This is a look at how we arrived at this surreal political moment, how to keep it from getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can flip the script.’

No Is Not Enough reveals, among other things, that the disorientation we’re feeling is deliberate. That around the world, shock … More

Born OTD in 1818, German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary, Karl Marx. Marx’s Das Kapital cannot be put into a box marked ‘economics’. It is a work of politics, history, economics, philosophy and even in places, literature. This illustrated introduction to the Marxist critique of capitalist production and its consequences for a whole range of social activities such as politics, media, education and religion.

  Das Kapital is not a critique of a particular capitalist system in a particular country at a particular time. … More

Where Does Money Come From? reveals how, contrary to public perception, the bulk of today’s money supply is created and allocated by commercial banks in their role as providers of credit. The authors argue that this system is inherently unstable, with little effective regulation of how much credit is provided, or whether it is used for productive or speculative purposes.

Based on detailed research and consultation with experts, including from the Bank of England, Where Does Money Come From? reviews … More

Examining a series of El Nino-induced droughts & the famines that they spawned around the globe in the last third of the 19th century, Mike Davis discloses the intimate, baleful relationship between imperial arrogance & natural incident that combined to produce some of the worst tragedies in human history. Late Victorian Holocausts focuses on three zones of drought & subsequent famine: India, Northern China; & North eastern Brazil. All were affected by the same global climatic factors that caused massive crop failures, & all experienced brutal famines that decimated local populations.

But the effects of drought were magnified in each case because of singularly destructive policies promulgated by different ruling elites. … More

In this original and provocative book Ellen Meiksins Wood reminds us that capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, nor is it simply an extension of age-old practices of trade and commerce. Rather, it is a late and localized product of very specific historical conditions, which required great transformations in social relations and in the human interaction with nature. This new edition is substantially revised and expanded, with extensive new material on imperialism, anti-Eurocentric history, capitalism and the nation-state, and the differences between capitalism and non-capitalist commerce.

The author traces links between the origin of capitalism and contemporary conditions such as ‘globalization’, ecological degradation, and the current … More