On May 9, 2018, Spencer A. Leonard interviewed Gregory Claeys, historian of socialism and author of Machinery, Money and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism, 1815–1860 (1987), Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850–1920 (2010), Marx and Marxism (2018), among others. The day after recording the interview it was broadcast on “Radical Minds” on WHPK–FM (88.5 FM) in Chicago. What follows is an edited version of the interview.
A letter from Frederic Rzewski published with permission as introduction to the edited transcript of an interview conducted by Jim Igor Kallenberg on August 22, 2018. Frederic Rzewski is an American composer and pianist.
On May 11, 2018, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel discussion, The Second Amendment and the Left, at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Speaking at the event were Evan Hetland, member of Platypus; Mike Rotkin, former lecturer at UCSC and ex-mayor of Santa Cruz; Bruce Thompson, lecturer of history at UCSC; and Dayton Andrews, representing Redneck Revolt. The panel was moderated by Duyminh Tran. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation.
AFTER RISING UP THE RANKS of the labor movement in the 1870s and 80s, Debs was courted by the Democratic Party of Indiana to run for state legislature in 1884, and handily won the election. Yet his career as a Democratic Party politician was short-lived.
HISTORIANS HAVE LONG GRAPPLED with the contradiction of a revolution under the banner of "all men are created equal" being largely led by slave owners. Once free of England, the U.S. grew over the next 89 years to be the largest slave-owning republic in history. But the July 4th, 1776 Declaration of Independence (DI) was in-itself a revolutionary document.
I RECENTLY ATTENDED THE 2018 LABOR NOTES CONFERENCE, which is probably the largest rank-and-file union conference of organized labor in the United States. I went to find out what labor has been doing across the country and for my own interest in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to see what struggle had broken out amongst its members. Labor Notes has a special place in my heart, not just because it has stood as a bastion for radical organizers since the 80s, but also because it represents, as I see it, the last pillar of labor in the age of Trump.
IN MAY AND JUNE 1968, somewhere around ten million workers were on strike in France. They occupied their factories and marched in the streets, singing the “Internationale” and calling for an end to the ten years of Gaullist rule. Students, too, were on strike, occupying their schools and marching in the streets, singing the “Internationale” and calling for an end to the ten years of Gaullist rule.
“THE WORD 'CONSERVATIVE' IS USED by the BBC as a portmanteau word of abuse for anyone whose views differ from the insufferable, smug, sanctimonious, naïve, guilt-ridden, wet, pink orthodoxy of that sunset home of the third-rate minds of that third-rate decade, the nineteen-sixties.” Writing for the Independent back in 1990, former Conservative cabinet minister, Norman Tebbitt, demonstrated how the 1960s counter-culture still enraged traditionalists. Hard to believe today, but for conservatives the impact of the 1960s was as problematic as trade unions and flying pickets.
FORTY-FIVE MILLION AMERICANS collectively owe upward of $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. Yet there is no need to worry. The magic of the free market has a solution for all of your problems. On July 10, 2018, "Paid Off" premiered on TruTV, a new game show that offers contestants a chance to escape a lifetime of debt peonage. “We're capitalists. That's just the way it is.”
MARXISM CONSIDERED PHILOSOPHY as “bourgeois ideology.” This meant, first and foremost, radical bourgeois philosophy, the modern philosophy of bourgeois emancipation, the thought of the revolt of the Third Estate. But pre-bourgeois philosophy, traditional philosophy, was also addressed as bourgeois ideology, as ideology. But ideology is a modern phenomenon. There’s little point in calling either Aristotle or Augustine “ideology.” It is when philosophy is invoked in bourgeois society that it becomes ideological. (Religion, too!)