Some Questions about Political Capitalism
Responding to Riley and Brenner’s ‘Seven Theses on American Politics’ in NLR 138, Tim Barker probes the analysis of global manufacturing overcapacity and declining profit rates on which their diagnosis of a new regime of ‘political capitalism’ is based. Does Bidenomics entail just another round of politically engineered upwards redistribution?
Lessons of the Podemos Experiment
A decade after the 15-M movement, how to assess Podemos’s strategy and the ‘populist hypothesis’ on which it was based? After three years in government with the Spanish Socialists, a political and intellectual balance sheet from two participants.
Fortunes of the Green New Deal
Comparative assessment of the literature of GND-ology—policy proposal, political strategy and polemic—in light of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. What is the political import of this impoverished descendant of the GND imaginary, and how might eco-strategy need to reconfigure itself in the new conjuncture?
The Meanings of Brexit
There has been remarkably little discussion of what Brexit means in theoretical terms for attempts to understand the limits of present-day national sovereignty and the character of the EU. In the first of two contributions on these questions, Cunliffe asks why UK politics has changed so little since ‘taking back control’.
Thinking Like a Member-State
In the second of two pieces on the meanings of Brexit, Bickerton examines the outcomes of the UK’s 2016–20 upheaval through the concept of the ‘member-state’, its elites tied to transnational regimes, while a void gapes between politicians and voters. Even after quitting the EU, does Britain remain a ‘member’ in this sense?
Seven Theses on American Politics
Bidenism analysed as the outcome of a bipartisan lurch towards growthless Keynesianism, in a new stage of capitalist accumulation emerging from the long downturn. Classes—and class politics—redefined in a strikingly original intervention.
Roadmaps after Corbyn
Examination of the UK’s dominant political cultures, social liberalism and national conservatism, battling for hegemony within and between the major parties, and buffeted by economic storms. A sober reckoning with the lessons of Corbynism and hopes invested in an unreformable Labour Party.
Everyone a Legislator
What is the principal legacy today of Gramsci’s writing on politics? Often taken to be a theory of the party as a ‘modern prince’ derived from Machiavelli, can this still be so in an epoch when political parties are everywhere in decline? Michael Denning argues that what now matters in Gramsci’s work is his theory of organizing as a premonitory form of democratic legislation.
Naive Questions on Degrowth
In a probing contribution to NLR’s green strategy debate, Kenta Tsuda asks what growth is and whether humanity could do without it; how resource use might be measured; what political problems the implementation of degrowth would entail. In an era of stagnation and sputtering economies, can out-of-control growth explain the climate crisis?
Climates of Capital
Against mere environmentalism, Nancy Fraser places global heating within a general interlocking social crisis. History and theory of capital’s contradictory relation to nature, and the necessity of combined struggle over energy, labour, politics and care, in the latest instalment of NLR’s eco-strategy debate.
Turkey at the Crossroads?
Reconfiguration of the AKP regime, amid domestic upheaval, economic turbulence, regional devastation and a growing gravitational pull from Eurasia. Contrasts and continuities of Erdoğan’s militarized foreign policy with the liberal-Islamic formula lauded by the West.
American politics cast as a zero-sum battle between party coalitions for state-led divisions of the spoils—cheap money, bailouts, health insurance, tax—lending the electoral battle its peculiar intensity. Dominant and recessive logics of the party system in a stagnant economy.
Granular analysis of America’s 2020 election results in rustbelt counties, the small-town Midwest, Red exurbs and Texan borderlands. With record turnouts on both sides of an otherwise immobile voter divide, the economy—not the pandemic—provides a key to the equivocal verdict on Trump’s four years in office.
Beset by simultaneous crises of class, state and nation, is the UK once again haunted by the spectre of decline? Perry Anderson presents an analysis spanning economy, polity, ideology, territory and diplomacy, testing how far the successive theses offered by NLR can be brought to bear on the present moment.
Engels’s Second Theory
The author of Buying Time detects a state-political supplement to Marxian social theory in Engels’s analyses of 19th-century militarism. The interplay of modes of production and destruction, class struggle and international warfare, from the Crimea to the War on Terror.
Snipers in the Kitchen
Amid ongoing political turbulence in Latin America, Juan Carlos Monedero mobilizes the resources of state theory, from Gramsci to Poulantzas, to provide a comparative critical analysis of the cycle of left governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil.
Automation and the Future of Work—2
Concluding his two-part analysis of technological development and global labour-market dysfunction, Aaron Benanav rebuts the automation theorists’ call for Universal Basic Income with a counter-proposal. Can we invent the future by working backwards from the world we want to build?
Notes for a Feminist Manifesto
Opposed to ‘lean in’ liberal iterations, three activist-scholars premise a militant feminism for the many, inspired by La huelga feminista of 8 March. The politics of social reproduction and the imperative of wider solidarities: the women’s struggle retooled for the multiple crises of late capitalism.
The Heirs of Gramsci
Transformations of the Prison Notebooks’ fertile problematic of hegemony by a quartet of thinkers—Hall, Laclau, Guha, Arrighi—from Jamaica, Buenos Aires, Bengal, Milan. Coercion and persuasion, ideology and economic interest, national and inter-state systems as means for thinking Thatcherism’s ascendancy, populist strategies, peasant rebellion, post-colonial rule and the geo-political logics of American power.
Softening Up the State
What advice might Machiavelli offer critics of the contemporary market nation-state? In this striking reconstruction, lessons on corruption, inequality, immigration, mobilization—from Rome and Sparta, Florence and the Venetian Republic—yield proposals for open borders and universal basic income.
Socialism as a Regulative Idea?
In The Structure of World History, Kōjin Karatani attempts a radical reconstruction of historical materialism, from early nomadism to post-capitalist society. Mauss, Hobbes and Marx mobilized as companion thinkers of exchange; Kant as ethico-political prophet. Rob Lucas queries the speculative history of one of Japan’s leading public intellectuals.
Spain On Edge
Responding to NLR’s questions, Pablo Iglesias discusses the regime’s counter-attack, the example of Syriza and the political geography of austerity in Spain. After May 2015’s regional elections, can Podemos forge a coalition strategy to navigate between marginalization and the lethal consequences of a PSOE embrace?
The general secretary of Spain’s new anti-austerity party sets out the strategic thinking behind its bid to become a national force. Incipient crisis of the post-Franco regime, mired in corruption and economic collapse, and opportunities for a popular-political formation, mobilizing the social discontent of the indignados.
Populism and the New Oligarchy
Tracking the terms ‘populism’ and ‘the people’ from the 19th century, Marco D’Eramo offers a striking new interpretation of their current applications—the first levelled indiscriminately at any political force that steps outside the bounds of convention, the second banished from the scene.
Grandeur and Misery of the Social State
Kafka’s day job, defending injured factory workers, as starting point for an illuminating study of the West’s social-protection mechanisms. Mixed legacies and uncertain future of a system built to mitigate the tensions of industrialization.
Political Cultures of South Korea
The presidential victory of Park Geun-Hye, the dictator’s daughter, as bid for a refurbished conservative hegemony in the ROK. Origins of the elite in colonial collaboration and anti-Communist modernization, and its attempts to re-hegemonize the country’s historical trajectory.
The Last White Election?
Panoramic survey of America’s political landscape as revealed by November’s vote, with age, gender, ethnicity and geography the volatile determinants of Obama’s victory. Within an increasingly polarized ideological force field, how will the coming struggles unfold between Democratic President and Senate and a Republican House, itself consumed by turmoil?
Order Reigns in The Hague
Daniel Finn reports on September’s Dutch election, where the Liberal and Labour parties rallied to prevent Holland following the Greek example. Origins and orientations of the Socialist Party that briefly threatened the Pax Bruxelliana, and strategic lessons for the left from its campaign.
The Andean republic’s president discusses his formation and his government’s record in office, across a range of spheres: economy, environment, education, freedom of the press. How would he respond to critics, and what are the main challenges the country faces?
For a Left With No Future
An epistle to capitalism’s immobilized opponents from the author of Farewell to an Idea. Drawing on sources from Bruegel to Nietzsche, Hazlitt to Benjamin, T. J. Clark supplies notes for a rethinking of left politics that would recognize the impasses of the present and the horrific legacies of the past, while abandoning the mirages of futurity.