Theory & Struggle

Theory & Struggle

Theory & Struggle is the journal of the Marx Memorial Library. Currently published annually, it features articles that grapple with debates taking place within Marxist circles as well studying critical developments in the labour and progressive movements in Britain and internationally, including movements for gender equality, for racial equality and for peace. 

In this Issue:

EDITORIAL: Marj Mayo outlines the journal’s role in providing Marxist analysis that is accessible and relevant to the trade union and labour movement - with the current edition focusing in particular on new approaches to historical and dialectical materialism

AND Merian Jump, MML’s Archivist examines the challenges facing a Library and Workers School committed to ‘the advancement of education relating to all aspects of the science of Marxism and of the history of Socialism and the working class movement’.

In this Issue:

EDITORIAL: Marj Mayo outlines the journal’s role in providing Marxist analysis that is accessible and relevant to the trade union and labour movement - with the current edition focusing in particular on new approaches to historical and dialectical materialism

AND Merian Jump, MML’s Archivist examines the challenges facing a Library and Workers School committed to ‘the advancement of education relating to all aspects of the science of Marxism and of the history of Socialism and the working class movement’.

Commentry & Analysis

Alex Gordon:  Some Developments in 2014-15 - A politico-economic review of developments in Britain and Europe in face of the continuing capitalist crisis

Pauline Bryan: The National Question in Britain - An assessment of current constitutional options, including federalism and English regionalism, against the background of the wider resurgence of nationalism across Europe

Alan Mackinnon: ‘Bypassing the Choke Points of World Trade’ - A review of current US strategies for the containment of China and of Chinese responses

Commemoration

Mary Davis: Claudia Jones - Reviewing the work of a pioneer feminist, anti-racist and Communist on the hundredth anniversary of the her birth

Yuri Emelyanov:  The 2015 Marx Oration - Delivered at Marx’s Graveside to mark the seventieth anniversary of the defeat of fascism

Martin Rowson: ‘Charlie Hebdo’ - “This universal capacity to use mockery as a form of social control is one of the main things that make us human.  Crucially it’s also in defiance of the primary need of the powerful to be taken seriously..”

Articles

Harsev Bains: The International Working Men’s Association 1864 - A celebration of the 150th anniversary of the International Working Men’s Association drawing on the documents of the time, particularly those written by Marx, to demonstrate the continuing relevance of the IWMA’s objectives.

Pete Caldwell and Peter Templeton: Political Education and the WEA - A review of the changing and complex relationship between Workers Education Association and, respectively, government and the trade union and labour movement from its foundation in 1909 to the present.

Malcolm Chase: Chartism, Democracy and Marx and Engels - An analysis of the achievements of the Chartist movement ‘as the first mass working class party’ in light of the contemporary assessments of Marx and Engels

John Hendy QC: The Right to Strike: A Lawyer’s View - An argument for the importance of the law in defending workers’ rights and an assessment of current legislation at national and international level defending the right to strike

Leo Impett: Vygotsky and Marxist Artificial Intelligence - A survey of the increasing use of Vygotsky’s Activity Theory in research on artificial intelligence and in particular for the  Big Data ‘matching’ of social complexity.

Jonathan Michie: Economic Theory and Policy - A critique of current neo-liberal economics as being fatally detached from the complexity of social change and a call for a return to the wider assumptions of political economy as developed by Smith, Marx and Keynes.

Jonathan White: Ilyenkov and Dialectical Materialism - An evaluation of the Soviet Marxist Evald Ilyenkov and in particular his work in reconstructing the way Marx used dialectical method in writing Capital 

Discussion

 

John Ellison: The Polemical Essays of E.P. Thompson - Argues that Thompson revived the tradition of socialist humanism within Marxism – drawing especially on Thompson’s polemic against the falsely ‘scientific’ approaches of Althusser and Kolakowski.

Essays in Review

Chik Collins: Language and Discourse -A review of publications in Critical Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis which counterposes these approaches to the redevelopment of research in the tradition of the Soviet Marxist Lev Vygotsky and of Cultural Historical Activity Theory.

John Foster: British Twentieth Century History - Examines how far recent publications provide the basis for understanding twentieth century British history in terms of the relationship between classes – of exploiters and exploited, rulers and ruled.

Eric Rahim: The Two Souls of Thomas Picketty - An assessment of the empirical and theoretical validity of the work of Thomas Picketty – arguing that Picketty, despite the empirical importance of his work, accepts neo-classical explanations of inequality in terms of the supply and demand for labour and implicitly rejects Marx’s argument, as validated by Sraffa, that it is the collective bargaining strength of labour which is ultimately, in the wider politico-economic context, the determining factor.  

Reviews

Mary Davis: ‘Women against Fundamentalism’, 2014 - The reviewer stresses the enduring significance of the work of this organisation founded in 1989

"Financialisation is best understood as an epochal transformation of capitalism" WE CAN say first of all that this was a global crisis. If you look at the data, towards the end of 2008 all mature economies dived together. So, there is no question this was a global crisis, although it…
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

Developments in Britain 2013-14

Written by
"The almost universally-unacknowledged truth about the contemporary world crisis is that it is an exercise in class power" “It is precisely because the money form of value is its independent and palpable form of appearance that the circulation form M…M’, which starts and finishes with actual money, expresses money-making, the…
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

Theory & Struggle Launch Edition

Written by
"MML’s founders in the 1930s understood precisely that only the working class held the possibility of transforming their society, defeating fascism and building a socialist society" WELCOME TO this inaugural edition of ‘theory & struggle’. Our new publication continues the Marx Memorial Library and Workers’ School journal formerly published as…
BOB CROW’S shocking early death on 11 March 2014 at the young age of 52 deprives RMT members of the most inspirational and effective leader in the trade union movement at a time when workers across the world face economic attacks and imperialist aggression to an extent not seen since…
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

Globalisation: Is Marx still relevant?

Written by
"Marx’s insight into the process of globalisation arises out of the manner in which he conceptualised capitalism" FIVE YEARS ago the banking system in the United States and Britain nearly collapsed. It was saved by massive government interventions; it was capitalism that almost broke down and was rescued by the…
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

Art of the Soviet avante garde

Written by
"The dilemma of creating innovatory art which is also accessible to the masses has yet to be resolved" HOW DID the momentous Bolshevik revolution affect art and artists? It did so at every level: art education, production, patronage, distribution and reception were all transformed. Fierce debates about the form and…
As the editors of this important collection of essays explain, when the Socialist Register was launched, back in 1964, the aim was to provide annual volumes of socialist analysis and discussion. This was in the belief was that ‘the possibility of fruitful discussions is now greater than for a long…
The Contradictions of Austerity brings together a collection of studies on the impact of the 2008 crisis on the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – all of which introduced austerity policies early and before the rest of the EU. The champions of neo-liberalism have used the example of…
This book sets out to unmask the ways in which mainstream neo-classical economics has been misrepresenting economic realities, ‘systematically marketing falsehoods’ – ‘fakeconomics’ as Weeks describes this. ‘Fakeconomics’ has taken over, he argues, squeezing out alternative approaches to economics, including Marxist economics, in the process. This has profound consequences, as…

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