Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? Should we frack? How can we take control of technology? Does it all come down to population? And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do? Fortunately, Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable. There is No Planet B maps it out in an accessible and entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis.

For the first time you’ll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in … More

An argument that under capitalism, debt has become infinite & unpayable, expressing a political relation of subjection & enslavement. Experts, pundits, & politicians agree: public debt is hindering growth & increasing unemployment. Governments must reduce debt at all cost if they want to restore confidence & get back on a path to prosperity. Lazzarato’s diagnosis, however, is completely different: under capitalism, debt is not primarily a question of budget & economic concerns but a political relation of subjection & enslavement. Debt has become infinite & unpayable. It disciplines populations, calls for structural reforms, justifies authoritarian crackdowns, & even legitimizes the suspension of democracy in favor of “technocratic governments” beholden to the interests of capital.

The 2008 economic crisis only accelerated the establishment of a “new State capitalism,” which has carried out a massive confiscation … More

Born OTD in 1930, French psychotherapist, philosopher, semiologist, and activist, Félix Guattari. He founded both schizoanalysis and ecosophy, and is best known for his intellectual collaborations with Gilles Deleuze, most notably Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia.

An early work that lays the foundation for establishing a “polemical” dimension to psychoanalysis. We certainly have the unconscious that … More

Dicken’s novel ‘Hard Times’ begins serialisation in his magazine Household Words OTD in 1854. Unusually for Dickens, Hard Times is set, not in London, but in the imaginary mid-Victorian Northern industrial town of Coketown with its blackened factories, downtrodden workers & polluted environment.

This is the soulless domain of the strict utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind & the heartless factory owner Josiah Bounderby. However human … More

Born OTD in 1873, Rudolf Rocker. Historically one of the most prominent forms of social anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism is a school of thought that views labour unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change, capable of replacing capitalism and the State with a new society democratically self-managed by the workers.

The basic idea behind anarcho-syndicalism is to create an industrial workers’ union movement based on anarchist ideas, aiming eventually to … More

In looking at the forces that brought our current administration to power one thing is clear: much of the population believes that our economic system is rigged to enrich the privileged elites at the expense of hard-working Americans. This is a belief held equally on both sides of political spectrum, & it seems only to be gaining momentum. A key reason, says Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar, is the fact that Wall Street is no longer supporting Main Street businesses that create the jobs for the middle and working class.

She draws on in-depth reporting and interviews at the highest rungs of business and government to show how the “financialization … More

Born OTD in 1900, German-born American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist, Erich Fromm. Fromm sees right to the heart of our contradictory needs for community and for freedom like no other writer before or since. In Fear of Freedom, Fromm warns that the price of community is indeed high, and it is the individual who pays. Fascism and authoritarianism may seem like receding shadows for some, but are cruel realities for many.

“Escape from Freedom attempts to show, modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of … More

First published in 1971, How to Read Donald Duck shocked readers by revealing how capitalist ideology operates in our most beloved cartoons. Having survived bonfires, impounding & being dumped into the ocean by the Chilean army, this controversial book is once again back on our shelves. Written & published during the blossoming of Salvador Allende’s revolutionary socialism, the book examines how Disney comics not only reflect capitalist ideology, but are active agents working in this ideology’s favour.

Focusing on the hapless mice and ducks of Disney, curiously parentless, marginalised and always short of cash, Ariel Dorfman and … More

The more we debate about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we continue to burn. How did we get caught up in this mess? In this masterful new history, Malm claims that it all began in Britain with the rise of steam-power. So why did manufacturers turn from traditional fuels, notably water, to steam? Overturning established theories of the transition and offering a radically new view of our warming world, this study shows how steam was adopted as a superior source of power.

Two centuries later, the inheritors of that power continue to profit from ‘business as usual’ as the world heads towards … More

Born OTD in 1961, Indian author, political activist involved in human rights & environmental causes, Arundhati Roy. In Capitalism: A Ghost Story, Roy examines the dark side of Indian democracy a nation of 1.2 billion, where the country’s 100 richest people own assets worth one quarter of India’s gross domestic product. Ferocious & clear-sighted, this is a searing portrait of a nation haunted by ghosts: the hundreds of thousands of farmers who have committed suicide to escape punishing debt; the hundreds of millions who live on less than two dollars a day.

It is the story of how the largest democracy in the world, with over 800 million voting in the last … More