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The two Michaels (Heinrich and Roberts) in Berlin – dogmatism versus doubt May 19, 2015

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Originally posted on Michael Roberts Blog:

I have just got back from Berlin where I debated with Professor Michael Heinrich (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Heinrich and http://www.oekonomiekritik.de/, hereafter called MH) at the Marx is Muss Kongress on the relevance of Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit as a theory of capitalist crises (see http://marxismuss.de/).

Readers of this blog will know that there has been a renewal of this debate in various articles and papers in the last few years. This was partly inspired by an article by MH in the American socialist journal, Monthly Review (see at end of this post) in which he presented several (old) arguments claiming that Marx’s law was: logically inconsistent or indeterminate; that it could not be validated by empirical evidence; and anyway it was irrelevant to a theory of crises under capitalism. In sum, MH concluded that there is no Marxist theory of crises.

Several of us…

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Walter Gropius, Monument to the March Dead (1922) May 8, 2015

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Originally posted on The Charnel-House:

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Between 1920 and 1922 a monument in honor of the workers who lost their lives during the Kapp Putsch was erected in the Weimar central cemetery. It was commissioned by the Union Cartel of Weimar and built according to plans submitted to a competition by the architectural office of Walter Gropius. Although Gropius maintained that the Bauhaus should remain politically neutral, he ultimately agreed to participate in the competition staged among Weimar artists at the end of 1920. The monument was arranged around an inner space, in which visitors could stand, the repeatedly fractured and highly angular memorial rose up on three sides as if thrust up from or rammed into the earth.

In February 1936, the Nazis destroyed the monument due to its political overtones, and considered its design to fall under the category of degenerate art. Underneath the images posted immediately below, you can read an account…

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Africa for all Africans April 17, 2015

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Ferguson is Everywhere April 16, 2015

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Originally posted on Communist Workers Group (CWG-USA):

Moralists, academics and journalists, in short the occupants of the bosses ideological ivory tower have “discovered” sociological truths which are the everyday life experience of peoples of color, the working poor and marginalized people. The criminalization of poverty, the school to prison pipeline, the privatization of prisons, the disproportionate “stopping and frisking” of men of color, the fee seeking judicial rackets, the institutional structures of racist economic oppression that marginalize entire demographics and the subliminal effect the historic economic oppression and marginalization have on prejudicial, stereotyping and racist dehumanization of “the other” (in particular but not exclusively young black and brown men) by the human material that maintain those structures-the police, are unleashed as an occupying army. Thus the local tax man have a Praetorian guard engaged to “protect and serve” the system of economic exploitation and oppression which creates the poverty and the marginalization and supports ruling class hatred…

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TWSC: SYNDICALISM CLOGS THE PATH April 12, 2015

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Originally posted on Communist Workers Group (CWG-USA):

The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, composed of a handful of retired workers, some actually from the ILWU, convened a well-attended meeting (mostly by long term leftists) in SF on Tuesday, March 31st, at the church across the street from ILWU HQ. This followed the ILWU caucus to discuss and review the current tentative agreement (TA) with the Port Management Association (PMA), the bosses.

For the most part the attendees were leftish supporters of the ILWU and only a few actively working ILWU members showed up. The meeting was advertised as a discussion of the difference between business unionism and militant unionism. The executive editor for the Logistics Management (Logistics Management) Journal warned management that this meeting was the core of a Vote No campaign advocating the TA be rejected.   Reading the leaflet for this gathering, one could surmise the attendees would be shown a road forward…

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Tribute to Raj Narayan Arya March 17, 2015

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Originally posted on The New Wave (Bolshevik-Leninist):

This tribute of comrade Raj Narayan Arya, was written by the eminent historian of the Trotskyist movement in India, Charles Wes Ervin. We publish this, in remembrance of comrade Raj Narayan, a veteran of the BLPI, and a prominent labor leader in North India. Lal Salaam comrade !

RAJ NARAYAN ARYA, a veteran of the Trotskyist movement of India, passed away in
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, on June 9, 2014 at the age of 88. Born in a little rural village, he
joined the Bolshevik Leninist Party of India (BLPI), the first all-India Trotskyist party, when he
was 18, and he remained committed to revolutionary Marxism for the rest of his life. When he
was just 20, he pioneered the BLPI’s trade-union work in industrial Kanpur. He earned the
respect of the workers through his leadership of several jute and textile unions and his role in
major strikes, including an 80-day…

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Lessons of the ZIM Picket in Oakland: Class War Supplement December 13, 2014

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Organize Labor, Black & Brown Self Defense November 26, 2014

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Originally posted on Communist Workers Group (CWG-USA):

There is No Justice in the Capitalist Courts!

The Working Class Must Never Forget Michael Brown!

Organize Labor, Black and Brown Struggle!

Organized Black Self Defense Organized Black Self Defense

The majority white Ferguson Grand Jury in refusing to indict Darren Wilson  has whitewashed the summary execution of Michael Brown. This outrage will embolden every racist cop in the United States to continue their terror against the black, brown and immigrant communities. The cops know that all they require is a complaint for ‘sufficient’ cause to kill a black person; that their weight with the justice system is so great that they can routinely commit legal lynching and walk away free.

The Ferguson Grand Jury was a “Star Chamber” of the most objectionable type, with the proceedings dragging on for months, with a majority white jury that was not sequestered during the media hype and a prosecutor who made certain there would be no…

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For Labor, Black and Brown Defense Against Racist Police Terror October 22, 2014

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Piketty fest continues – some directions for the reader September 15, 2014

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Originally posted on Michael Roberts Blog:

As yet more reviews pour out on Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st century, and Piketty does video conferences galore online with an assembly of the great and good among mainstream economists, I thought that I might help the followers of my blog by presenting the following reviews that offer the most perceptive analyses that I have seen so far.

http://www.vox.com/2014/4/8/5592198/the-short-guide-to-capital-in-the-21st-century

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2014/andrews220314.html

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/kapital-for-the-twenty-first-century

and you can find all the data for his tables here:

http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/fr/capital21c

except the one that really matters, the sources for estimating the r.  The search for the r continues (see my previous post, http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/thomas-piketty-and-the-search-for-r/).

One thought: it seems that rising inequality has become both the flagship for opposition to neo-liberal economics and at the same time the explanation for crises under capitalism – although Piketty says nothing about the latter at all in 677 pages.

For my view on inequality and Piketty on inequality, see…

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