In the second part of a three-part essay on social democracy in the United States Robert Brenner discusses two cycles of attempted reform of American capitalism in the 1930s and 1960s, the decline of those reformist cycles, and the consequences of the crisis of American capitalism in the 1970s. Brenner is the author of many penetrating studies of global economics including: The Boom and the Bubble, Merchants and Revolution, and The Economics of Global Turbulence. The essay first appeared in the 1985 edition of The Year Left: An American Socialist Yearbook. You can read parts one and three of the essay here and here.
As part of our new Radical Thinkers set 12, a collection of 4 classic works of political theory, we've recently republished Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt seminal study of the limits of Habermasian liberalism, Public Sphere and Experience.
Alongside being one of the most influential German theorists of the past 50 years, continuing the Frankfurt School legacy, Kluge is also world renowned filmmaker. His early films were pioneering examples of the New German Cinema movement, and influenced the later generation of German directors of Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and Margherita von Trotta.
In 2009, Kluge set out to put to film Sergei Eisenstein's plans to produce a film of Marx's Capital. The result was a 9 hour epic entitled News from Ideological Antiquity. To celebrate Kluge's work today we're making a commentary of the film by Fredric Jameson available on the blog.
Ellen Meiksins Wood (1942-2016) was a leading political theorist and one of the world's most influential historians. Her wide-ranging and original work, covering topics which range from examinations of Athenian democracy to contemporary American imperialism, has, alongside Robert Brenner, inaugurated the 'Political Marxist' approach to history. Political Marxism is founded upon a critique of the teleology and formalism of many forms of Marxism in an attempt at rehistoricising and repoliticising the Marxist project. The influence of Ellen's distinctive work can be seen across the social sciences and has influenced generations of scholars.
To celebrate her work, we are making available one of her most influential essays, "The Separation of the Economic and the Political in Capitalism", originally published in NLR 1/127 (1981).