Karl Marx (1818-1883), the great philosopher, historian, political economist and father of Marxism, was born on this day in 1818. Although born in the early 19th century, the relevance of Karl Marx's ideas for analysing 20th and 21st century capitalism, as well as for understanding the political and economic struggles and changes of his own day, remain vital and essential.
To celebrate, we're bringing you an extract from one of his most famous political works, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.
Marshall Berman, urban theorist and Marxist cultural critic, was known for his lyrical defence of modernism, his love affair with Times Square, his writing on everything from gentrification to 60s counter-culture, and his groundbreaking work on modernity, All That Is Solid Melts into Air.
Completed just before his death in 2013, Modernism in the Streets: A Life and Times in Essays, is Berman’s intellectual autobiography; including early essays on the radical ’60s, New York City, literary figures from Kafka to Pamuk, and lateR essays on rock, hip hop, and gentrification. This book, along with all our books by Marshall Berman, are 40% off until April 29.
This essay was delivered as a talk at “Modernism in the Streets: Theory, Practice, and the Marshall Berman Archives”, on March 28, at Columbia University.
I will began by talking about Marshall as a political theorist, but my real subject is how he became something else—and, I am inclined to think, something better.
This piece originally appeared in Jacobin. Modernism in the Streets and all available books by Marshall Berman are 40% off until Saturday April 29th at midnight UTC. Click here to activate your 40% discount.
In the early 1990s, when I first met Marshall Berman, he told me he was working on a book called Living for the City — “after the Stevie Wonder song.”
Marshall Berman was one of the great urbanists and Marxist cultural critics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and his ground-breaking book All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is a masterpiece of the literature on modernism.
Completed just before his death in 2013, Modernism in the Streets: A Life and Times in Essays, is Berman’s intellectual autobiography; including early essays on the radical ’60s, New York City, literary figures from Kafka to Pamuk, and later essays on rock, hip hop, and gentrification.
To celebrate the publication of this brilliant new book, compiled posthumously by Dissent and Nation editor David Marcus and Berman's widow, Shellie Sclan, we have 40% off all Berman's books until April 29 (midnight UTC). Click here to access the discount!
At 79 years of age the philosopher Alain Badiou surveys the youth: the youth whom liberalism has left without a compass, the youth tempted by Daesh, and so, too, his own youth, marked by communism, to which he remains faithful. Interview by Juliette Cerf for Télérama. Translation by David Broder
Photo by Jean-François Gornet. Via Flickr.
In Alain Badiou’s essay published in the wake of the 13 November Paris killings, "Notre mal vient de plus loin," he puts things directly: "Our ills today come from the historic failure of communism."