Blog 

July 22, 2019

[Years ago I took notes on the book mentioned below, which I thought I'd post here just for the heck of it. Maybe someone will find them useful.]

Reading Anthony Brewer’s Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey (1980). Sometimes my living in a postmodern culture makes me forget just how obvious the economic interpretation of history is. “The motives for imperial expansi...

July 11, 2019

Here's a blog post for you masochists who are interested in the debates that go on among Marxist intellectuals over questions around revolution, strategies to get from capitalism to socialism, Leninism and its relevance or lack thereof to the present, etc.

It's kind of remarkable, actually, how much collective time is devoted to these abstract questions, how many thousands o...

December 13, 2018

Here's a list of some good leftist books I've come across over the years. Click on the titles for the PDFs. It's a somewhat arbitrary list, but I tried to keep it confined to fairly easy-to-read books, not overly theoretical or abstruse ones that might leave the beginning reader bewildered. I've been unable to find PDFs of certain excellent works, unfortunately. You can also cons...

December 9, 2018

[Old notes on David Montgomery’s great book Citizen Worker: The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market during the Nineteenth Century (1993).]

What Alexander Troup wrote in 1891 applies just as well to the present: “We prate religion… We indulge in morbid sentimentalism over ‘happy homes,’ we spread ourselves in eagle flights of oratory over o...

September 13, 2018

With regard to the period between the 1530s and 1640s, the great Marxian historian Steve Stern divides the economic system that prevailed in the area around the city of Huamanga in Peru—and, by extension, the system in much of Spanish Latin America—into three stages.

The first stage, lasting until the 1570s, was dominated by encomenderos and priests who pioneered relationships wi...

July 25, 2018

July 7, 2007.-- Reading The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, by Camus. Impressive book. Tries to answer the question I was preoccupied with for a while, to wit: given Absurdity, how ought one to live? How can one affirm life while retaining intellectual integrity? Is it possible? The answer I gave was Yes.

           

N.B.: What...

July 22, 2018

August 10, 2007.-- Here’s one of the many parallels between Marxism and Meadism [i.e., George Herbert Mead's system of thought]: “Human society, we have insisted, does not merely stamp the pattern of its organized social behavior upon any one of its individual members, so that this pattern becomes likewise the pattern of the individual’s self; it also, at the same time, gives him...

July 9, 2018

Questions Raised by 9/11, and Their Answers

[An old grad-school paper]

Lawrence Wright’s book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 is an illuminating account of Muslim terrorism prior to the attack on the Twin Towers. It describes the origins of such terrorism and specifically the rise of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. At the same time, it traces in great detail the hist...

June 18, 2018

[As an undergraduate at Wesleyan University I wrote hundreds of essays not all of which, I think, are worthless. Here's a short one on social democracy. Needless to say, the best form of 'government' is in fact socialism, in which workers democratically run the economy themselves. But in capitalist conditions, nothing beats social democracy.]  

Social Democracy Is the Best Fo...

May 28, 2018

[The following thoughts are from this book.]

It’s funny that people often deprecate Marxian materialism as an explanation of society and human behavior, given that virtually no one cares much about ideas. People think they do, but basically they’re wrong. They insist that ideas, ideological motivations, and spiritual matters are very important to them....but then proceed to ignore...

May 6, 2018

Marxism is right, and postmodernism is stupid. That's the thrust of a paper I've uploaded on academia.edu, which actually consists of excerpts from my dissertation on the unemployed in Chicago during the Great Depression. Check out that 'paper' if you want to see why it's absolutely necessary for the sake of understanding and explanation to ground scholarship in the methods of hi...

March 31, 2018

A while ago I took some notes on Gabriel Kolko’s classic The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History 1900–1916 (1963). It's a far more profound book than the vast majority of scholarship on the Progressive Era. So here they are...

One point I have to quibble with in the beginning is that he does the typical historian thing of arguing that the triumph of con...

Please reload

 Featured Posts 

Popular sanity

February 19, 2015

1/5
Please reload

 Recent Posts 
Please reload

 Search by Tags