What is socialism, anyway?
One thing that should be clear to anyone who has read this book thoughtfully is that socialism cannot be refuted by easy talking points about the Gulag, the “nanny state” or any other such rhetorical excuses for thoughtlessness. To say that socialism is dead is wishful thinking on the part of its enemies.
Making sense of the senseless war in Ukraine
War in Ukraine has been referred to as a “primer” on the Russia-Ukraine war, and that is the right description for it. Yes, “primer” has connotations of something a bit too basic and boring, but this book is not boring; it is concise, to the point, and the historical material it covers casts serious doubts on the mainstream interpretation of events.
Dismantling the cult of Churchill
What is so outrageous about Churchill’s crimes is not simply the crimes themselves, but that they should have almost entirely been forgotten or, by many, not known to begin with. And this seems not to be because of hidden documents or destroyed evidence but rather, ideological hegemony that makes silence on certain well documented things extremely easy.
Byung-Chul Han and capitalism’s ‘death drive’
Capitalism and the Death Drive is a set of essays and interviews published between 2012 and 2020 by South Korean-born Swiss-German philosopher and cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han. The stress in these pieces is on such ideas as the “digital panopticon” of the internet, the surveillance state and our voluntary cooperation with it, the idea of the foreign, capitalism as death drive, and so on. Each is pervaded by a general hopelessness.
Communist love in the time of capitalist doom
We are well trained in our culture not to speak of communism and love in the same breath, or indeed, of any kind of politics and love in the same breath, but Richard Gilman-Opalsky, author of The Communism of Love, defies this taboo; he cuts through the nonsensical idea of love as necessarily apolitical, and is especially against the idea of love as something to be isolated in the tiny ghetto of the romantic-erotic duo.
God or Mammon?
The title of this both intelligent and highly accessible book made me suspect it would simply advocate an anti-capitalist theology and present a vision of Jesus as a socialist. But in effect, Jesus and the Politics of Mammon by Hollis Phelps, does something a little different than simply presenting a socialist Christ.
Critiquing capitalist spirituality
Ronald Purser’s new book, McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality is a strong account of the commodification of mindfulness by the market, and presents a stunning takedown of a mindfulness that has been hijacked and manipulated by capitalist culture to neuter its political potential and make it useful to the corporate world.