Born OTD in 1942, American Marxian economist, known for his work on economic methodology, & class analysis, Richard D. Wolff. Contemporary capitalism no longer “delivers the goods” (which is understood as a rising standard of real wages) to the majority of people. That classic defense of its instability (e.g. recurrent bouts of unemployment), its deepening economic, political, & cultural inequalities, & its attendant injustices is no lon­ger plausible. In the U.S. since the 1970s, & especially since 2007, those who control the dominant capitalist enterprises have made decisions that undermined the delivery of rising standards of living to the mass of people.

Who made the key decisions and why? The ‘who’ is straightforward: large corporations’ major shareholders (shareholding is highly concentrated in … 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 1871, Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist and revolutionary socialist, Rosa Luxemburg. But she was much more than just a thinker. She made herself heard in a world inimical to the voices of strong-willed women. She overcame physical infirmity and the prejudice she faced as a Jew to become an active revolutionary whose philosophy enriched every corner of an incredibly productive and creative life—her many friendships, her sexual intimacies, and her love of science, nature and art.

Always opposed to the First World War, when others on the German left were swept up on a tide of … More

First published OTD in 1848, The Communist Manifesto. Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth (2018), at a time of deep mistrust in The Establishment, The Communist Manifesto is both a timely reminder of the politics of hope and a thought-provoking guide to the most influential work of political theory ever published.

Much of what Marx and Engels’ proposed – a state education system, a progressive income tax, the nationalisation of banks … More

We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. Rutger Bregman, a bestselling Dutch historian, explains that it needn’t be this way. Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization – from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy – was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.

This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. From … More

Governments today in both Europe & the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts―austerity―to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means & now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, & adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer.

That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices … More

Born OTD in 1820, Friedrich Engels. Much of what Marx and Engels’ proposed – a state education system, a progressive income tax, the nationalisation of banks – would continue to be at the heart of political debate into the 21st century. It is no surprise, perhaps, that The Communist Manifesto (as it was later renamed) is the second best-selling book of all time, surpassed only by The Bible.

The Guardian’s editorial cartoonist Martin Rowson employs his trademark draughtsmanship and wit to this lively graphic novel adaptation of Marx … More

Costas Lapavitsas contends that the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel, which institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable mixture of wealthy core and dependent peripheries.

These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform, particularly as its institutions are fundamentally designed to uphold the … More