- Hackney Flashers, Who's still holding the baby?, 1978
In the second part of his 1991 essay on the decline of the Eastern Bloc Robert Brenner provides a prescient analysis of the likely outcome of the political and economic crisis in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He correctly predicts that the future for the region would resemble less the post-war experience of Western Europe and would more closely follow the trajectory of the nations of the Global South. The essay originally appeared in the March/April 1991 issue of Against the Current and is reproduced here for the first time. Read the first part of this essay on the nature of exploitation and accumulation in the Soviet and eastern bloc bureaucratic systems and the beginnings of its crisis.
Brenner is the author of many important interventions in world economics including: The Boom and the Bubble, Merchants and Revolution, and The Economics of Global Turbulence.
The reelection of President Ronald Reagan in 1984 was not a watershed in American electoral history, but it did accelerate deep trends in popular political culture which could produce an authoritarian social order in the very near future. This chapter is an examination of various political currents and social blocs competing for power within the bourgeois state apparatus. Although there is a brief overview of the political dynamics of the Democratic Party primaries, the emergence of the Rainbow Coalition of Jesse Jackson, and the general election, my principal concern here is to examine the increased racial polarization within elements of both the American left and right as part of a broader process of electoral political realignment of the party system. Most Marxists seriously underestimate the presence of racism as an ideological and social factor of major significance in the shape of both American conservative and liberal centrist politics — in the pursuit of US foreign policies, particularly in the Caribbean and Africa, and as an impediment to the development of a mass left alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties. Although class prefigures all social relations, the burden of race is a powerful and omnipresent element that has helped to dictate the directions of contemporary politics.
Bernie Sanders led Hillary Clinton by a 22-point lead in the New Hampshire primaries, the second biggest democratic New Hampshire primary win in history!
And a recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll showed that 43 percent of Iowa Democratic caucus goers described themselves as “socialist” while only 38 percent described themselves as “capitalist.”
Bernie Sanders has tapped in to a growing popular movement that demands economic justice for all. Embrace the resurgence of socialist ideas by picking up some new and recently published books on socialist history and American politics.
All of the books on our US Politics Reading List
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