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Dreams and Nightmares of the World’s Middle Classes
A survey of new shifts within the world’s vast ‘in-between’ classes and their contrasting trajectories in North and South. How should their theorization—or ideologization?—by development economists and financial journalists be read?
Twilight of Swedish Social Democracy
Hailed with relief for fear of a bleaker outcome, the SAP’s poor performance in the September 2018 election underlines the malaise afflicting social democracy’s global flagship. Therborn charts the country’s SAP-led neoliberalization—and rise of the far-right Sweden Democrats—against the backdrop of recession and refugee arrivals.
An Age of Progress?
Contradictions of social evolution: climate change, stagnant incomes and social exclusion entwined with rising per capita GDP and lengthening life-spans, challenges to racism and sexism, and a mounting capacity for the human species to take control of its destiny.
Class in the 21st Century
From São Paulo to Beijing, a rising middle class has been hailed by liberal commentators as a bulwark for consumption and democracy in the decades ahead. Taking stock of these claims, Göran Therborn offers a magisterial overview of the global class landscape and the still prodigious numerical weight of manual workers within it.
The dramatic trajectories of Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan, and differing roles in the present. Göran Therborn tracks the fortunes of Georgia’s capital, seat of monarchs and Mensheviks, through alterations in its physical fabric, setting these alongside the metamorphoses of its Caucasian counterparts.
Göran Therborn offers a panoramic survey of left social theory since the fall of Communism. The vicissitudes of modernity as contested temporal narrative, and the divergent thematic paths—religion, Utopia, class, sexuality, networks, world-systems—that are emerging in the new landscape.
A Liberal Provoked?
Is patriarchy a structure of power in the family or something wider? Is it largely a pre-capitalist phenomenon? What have been the principal forces dissolving it—commodity relations, liberal ideas, or radical political action? Where are negative rates of reproduction in advanced societies likely to lead? A sharp exchange of ideas beween Nicky Hart and Göran Therborn.
Into the 21st Century
States, markets, firms, classes, movements—how are they inter-related and where are they moving in the new century? Göran Therborn offers a panorama of global politics that amounts to a powerful and original alternative to all existing readings of the state of the world.
The Limits of Social Democratic Admirableness
Donald Sassoon’s One Hundred Years of Socialism is in physical form as well as in intellectual content very suitable to its actual object of study, Western European social democracy and labourism after World War ii. It is big (943 pages plus index), heavy, attractive—from the cover to . . . read more
Dialectics of Modernity: On Critical Theory and the Legacy of Twentieth-Century Marxism
Students of parliamentary history are familiar with the idea of ‘Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition’. Marxism, as a social-historical phenomenon, has been Her Modern Majesty’s Opposition to modernity. Always critical of and fighting against her predominant regimes, but never questioning the legitimate majesty of modernity and, when needed, explicitly . . . read more
The Autobiography of the Twentieth Century
How will we and our times be remembered by our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren? What will they, the next century’s historians, and the media of their times, make of us, of our ideas, hopes, fears, efforts and illusions—of our victories and defeats? Will these last even matter? Of . . . read more
Reply to Mouzelis
To assess the complex historical experience of what has claimed to be socialism, or efforts in a socialist direction, is an enormous task, which will take a long time, deep digging and hard thinking. It will be enlivened by controversy. Nicos Mouzelis’ reply to my initial bird’s-eye . . . read more
The Life and Times of Socialism
As the light of socialist hopes and expectations fades, and the need for clear vision and historical perspective grows imperative, we might look to the owl of Minerva, trusting she will neither be dazzled by the fires of capitalist celebration (or crisis?) nor succumb to the absolute darkness . . . read more
The Prospects of Labour and the Transformation of Advanced Capitalism
Even a pair of very myopic eyes are sufficient to discern the mood of the Left today, particularly the Socialist Left, in the countries of advanced capitalism. The general picture is one of gloom, with some extra-dark strokes over the British Isles, some pale-pink touches where holding operations . . . read more
The New Questions of Subjectivity
The Dominant Ideology Thesis by Nicholas Abercrombie, Stephen Hill and Bryan S. Turner is first of all the story of a hunting exploit. It relates how the authors hunt down and finally kill a beast called ‘the dominant ideology thesis’. To save some space for due evaluation . . . read more
Why Some Classes Are More Successful Than Others
A theoretical model of class formation must undergird any serious theory of capitalist politics, just as the concrete analysis of class formation must be the prerequisite for the realistic examination of the historical development of any particular capitalist country. So far, in contemporary Marxist research, two approaches to . . . read more
The Travail of Latin American Democracy
The shifting complexity of Latin American politics baffles the observer, frustrates the theoretician and challenges both the committed endurance and the tactical subtlety of the revolutionary. Continent of military coups and dictators—but also of (male) bourgeois democracies as old or even older than some West European or North . . . read more
The Rule of Capital and the Rise of Democracy
The relationship between advanced capitalism and democracy contains two paradoxes—one Marxist and one bourgeois. Any serious Marxist analysis has to confront the following question: How has it come about that, in the major and most advanced capitalist countries, a tiny minority class—the bourgeoisie—rules by means of democratic forms? . . . read more
The Theorists of Capitalism
Even the most abstract theoretical discourses and scientific endeavours are the product of particular societies in a particular historical period. As human beings live in societies and as these societies—like the rest of the universe—have a time dimension, the products of the human mind always have some kind . . . read more
The Working Class and the Birth of Marxism
The theory of historical materialism makes it possible to situate Marxism itself—just as much as market economics or normative sociology—in relation to capitalist development and the bourgeois revolution. Historical materialism emerged in the second half of the 1840s, in the heartlands of industrial capitalism. Its birthplaces were the . . . read more
Jurgen Habermas: A New Eclecticism
Jürgen Habermas is at present the most celebrated of the successors of the Frankfurt School and the only one as yet well-known outside the Federal German Republic. In an article in nlr 63, I discussed the work of Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse, the original nucleus of the . . . read more
The Frankfurt School
In France and Italy, the post-War period has seen the emergence of new schools of Marxist thought (Althusser, Della Volpe). In the German-speaking world, on the other hand, there is a complete continuity from the pre-War years. The veterans Lukács and Bloch are still active and influential, but . . . read more
Swedish Communism--End of an Interlude
The Twenty-Second Congress of the Swedish Communist Party—since 1967 called Left Party (Communist) or VPK—on September 19th–21st put an end to a period in the history of the party, hitherto unique in the annals of the international movement. A balance-sheet of this period and of the congress . . . read more
From Petrograd to Saigon
The staggering blows that the National Liberation Front has now dealt the American military expedition in Vietnam have changed history. When some half a million American troops with enormous technological superiority are no longer capable of keeping even the us Embassy in Saigon safe, the most rabid . . . read more
The Swedish Left
The general societal setting of contemporary Swedish politics has been analysed elsewhere by the present writer in terms of the combination of—to use Gramscian categories—working-class political dominance with a continuing latent hegemony of the bourgeoisie. This situation has positive implications for left-wing action and thinking. Working-class political dominance . . . read more