Articles tagged “David Black”

Summary –British Prime Minister Theresa May, having lost her Parliamentary majority in the June 2017 election, is now grappling with the prospect of national humiliation and economic disaster in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union. Does Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party now have a chance to present an alternative to austerity and neoliberalism? – Editors

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Ada Colau

Summary: This article is based on a presentation for the 2016 convention of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization on Philosophic Perspectives on Anti-Capitalism  — Editors

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Alfred Sohn-Rethel located the origin of philosophical abstraction in the “false conciousness” brought about by the new money economy of Greek Antiquity. In the Enlightenment the conceptual barrier Kant put between phenomenal reality and the “thing-in-itself” expressed, in Sohn-Rethel’s view, the reified consciousness stemming from commodity-exchange and the division of mental and manual labor. Because Sohn-Rethel saw the entire history of philosophy as branded by a timeless universal logic, he dismissed Hegel’s concept of “totality” as “idealist” and Hegel’s critique of Kantian dualism as irrelevant to Marx’s critique of political economy.

David Black, in the title essay of The Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism, suggests, contra Sohn-Rethel, that Marx’s exposition of the fetishism of commodities is historically-specific to capitalist production, and therefore cannot explain the origins of philosophy, which Black shows to have involved various historical developments in Greek society and culture as well as monetization. Just as Hegel’s critique of Kantian formalism informs Marx’s critique of capital, Hegel’s writings on how the proper organization of labor might abolish the barrier Aristotle put between production and the “Realm of Freedom” prefigure Marx’s efforts to formulate of an alternative to capitalism.

Part Two, Critique of the Situationist Dialectic: Art, Class Consciousness and Reification, begins with Surrealism, whose “disappearance” as a revolutionary artistic and social force Guy Debord and the Situationists sought to make up for by superseding the poetry of Art with the poetry of Life. As well highlighting Debord’s achievements in both theory and practice, Black points to his philosophical shortcomings and relates these to Debord’s later “pessimistic” assessment of the possibility of revolutionary class consciousness within globalizing capitalism. The four essays in Part Three cover the Aristotelian anarchism, the ambivalent legacy of Lukács’ theory of reification, Raya Dunayevskaya’s Hegelian-Marxist concept of “absolute negativity” as “revolution in permanance”, and Gillian Rose’s philosophical challenge to both postmodernism and “traditional” Marxism.

[The paperback will appear in 2015]

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Labour Party election poster, 1909

Summary—The remarkable and decisive victory of the socialist Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election appears to revive the Left-Right divisions of the 1980s. But there are other historical precedents for the current surge of radicalism, in particular the birth of the Chartist movement nearly two centuries ago—Editors.

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Michaeler Square, Vienna, during the 1848 Revolution

Michaeler Square, Vienna, during the 1848 Revolution

Summary: Dave Black and Ben Watson celebrate the publication of the collected writings of Helen Macfarlane and her translation of the Communist Manifesto, serialized in the Chartist Red Republican in 1850. First published in Radical Philosophy, issue 187 (Sept/Oct 2014) /  Reprinted in The Assassin: an Unkant Reader (2015).  – Editors

Booklet PDF      Article PDF

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Black-Dave-Greece-Persian-1Summary: This article was translated into Persian by students. The original, entitled “Syriza’s Stormy Greek Spring: Buying Time by ‘Saving Capitalism from Itself’,” was published in the International Marxist-Humanist, March 1, 2015 and can be accessed HERE.

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greeceWith a last-ditch, compromise deal worked out with the European Union, the Syriza coalition government of Greece led by Alexis Tsipras has bought some time for its anti-austerity program, but still faces massive challenges. The challenges come not just from the European Union, in which Angela Merkel’s Germany has clearly shown its hand as the most powerful force in European capitalism. Syriza’s climbdown from key parts of its radical program may also test the staying power of its radical wing, especially the Left Platform, led by the economy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, and the economist, turned MP, Costas Lapavitsas.

(Persian Translation)


 

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Denver ProtestSummary: Protests in the USA over the police murders of Black youth have exposed the great divides in American society. Has a critical mass been formed that raises the possibility of real movement against the system? — Editors

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dbbookcoverSummary: Philip Walden’s review of David Black’s Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism: Essays on History, Culture, and Dialectical Thought in Marx & Philosophy Review of Books, and Black’s response — Editors

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