Author's posts

Postcapitalism: political economy and hope

As you may have heard, over at preparations are afoot for “DK4” — the adoption of new software for the front page, which will (in my view) hasten the fracturing of the community there into little, sectarian groups.  This will mirror (in my view) the larger phenomenon of the resurgence of tribalism in world society in light of the failure of global governance to do much more than support the forces of capital accumulation.

There are, nevertheless, still endemic social problems which are not addressed by getting together in little groups.  

Book review: James J. O’Donnell’s The Ruin of the Roman Empire

This is a book review about James J. O’Donnell’s recent volume on the 6th-century Roman Empire — it deals of course with the issue of “why did Rome fall?”  O’Donnell’s writing is amusing and makes interesting comparisons between the Emperor Justinian and George W. Bush, in that they both set the stage for the future ruin of their respective empires.  This was published previously at — but I’ve decided to bring it back to Docudharma, especially since youse guys have decided to stick around!  

Environmentalism and the cycle of commodities

One of the main reasons our era is faced with intractable environmental problems is that we tend to look at the world with capitalist eyes, as an ensemble of commodities.  Specifically, our world is forced into a cycle of commodities, in which the ultimate end of things is determined not by regeneration but by commodification.  When something can no longer be a commodity, then, it is “externalized” — made into trash.  This diary will explore the cycle of commodities, and suggest an alternative way which doesn’t present such intractable environmental problems.

(crossposted at Orange)

Sales Ethics and the Democratic Campaign ’10

This is a diary which attempts to pose a question in sales ethics to those who struggle to GOTV in November’s elections.

(crossposted at Orange and Firedoglake)

What’s the Keynesian eco-plan?

This question dates back to a conversation I had some time ago with bobswern, who advocates some form of Keynesianism, as to the efficacy of a renewed economic stimulus.  The problem here is that the current industrial society is based on a foundation of oil consumption, so more economic growth = more oil consumption = higher gas prices = more global warming.  I want to know, then, what’s the Keynesian plan for the environment?  I am not trying to attack here — but I’m curious as to how well thought out the “stimulus” plan is.  My own advocacy involves the transition to a more humane economy, rather than a mere renewal of “economic growth.”

(crossposted to Orange)

Won’t socialism be like the Soviet Union?

I am seeing the socialism = Soviet Union meme, in various guises, over at Orange.  I suppose that we are to imagine “socialism” as a meme spouted by right-wing zealots who think that Obama is a socialist, a meme that even Ron Paul had the sense to rebut.  And then you had this generous diary by Meteor Blades more than a year ago, suggesting a diversity of “socialist” visions.  MB’s concluding line:

No matter what The New York Times, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and many progressives think, socialism isn’t a dirty word. Nor an obsolete one.

This diary will attempt to address the meme head-on in an attempt to reclaim the word “socialism” from right-wing elitists.

(Hijacked over at Orange)

Anticapitalist meetup, 8/1, 3pm PT, 6pm ET: suggestions, ideas, thoughts?

So here’s the latest.  The 6/25 meetup was going to be hosted by goinsouth — the meetup itself was harassed all throughout by some sort of monkeying-around with the internal code used at .  I was going to get ramonegirl to host the 8/1 meetup, but she developed another commitment & so maybe another week.

If you’re not busy, btw, check out Diane G’s diary up now.

OK, so this is the prep session, here, now, for the coming anticapitalist meetup 8/1, 3pm PT, 6pm ET, over at Orange.  Do you have any thoughts about who would be willing to host a meetup?  Ideas for what I should post for Sunday?  People we should recruit?  General rants about what you think we can build in the era of declining capitalism?

Breathe deeply… clear the mind of distractions… and focus

So what would count as doing something effective about abrupt climate change?  This diary, then, is a thought experiment: what if we actually made abrupt climate change itself a priority rather than mere window-dressing for another legislative report?

(crossposted at Orange)  

Anticapitalist meetup 7/25 situation

goinsouth tried to post an anticapitalist meetup over at Kos today, and someone or something was monkeying with the HTML.

Anticapitalist meetup, 7/25, noon PT, 3pm ET: suggestions, ideas, thoughts?

Folks, we’re going to have another anticapitalist meetup over at Kos.  The last one (which I hosted) received 27 tips and 100+ comments.  The next one will be hosted by goinsouth, who has promised to say something about Wallerstein.  We are also going to try to form a group of diary hosts for the meetups, so that we can get someone to host the 8/1 meetup who will not be goinsouth and who will not be me.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for the next meeting?  Any volunteers for the 8/1 diary hosting?

Anticapitalist meetup, 7/18, noon PT, 3pm ET: suggestions, ideas, thoughts?

Folks, on Sunday I will post an “Anticapitalist meetup” diary over at Orange, noon PT, 3pm ET.  

Here I’d just like to ask your opinion on how I can best promote this and what I can do to make this a good event.  Should I post a bibliography, a call to action, or one of my typical diaries?  What would you like to see from me?

21st-Century Socialism: two books by Marta Harnecker

Book Reviews:

Marta Harnecker: “Latin America and Twenty-First Century Socialism: Inventing to Avoid Mistakes.”  Monthly Review 62:3 (July-August 2010), 3-78.

—.  Rebuilding the Left.  London and New York: Zed Books, 2007.

In this oh-so-brief review I shall try to convey a sense of what counts as “21st century socialism” in the ferment of leftist governance that can currently be found in certain parts of Latin America (e.g. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador).

(Crossposted to Orange)

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