Wang Fanxi, a leader of the Chinese Trotskyists, wrote this book on Mao more than fifty years ago. He did so while in exile in the then Portuguese colony of Macau, across the water from Hong Kong, where he had been sent in 1949 to represent his comrades in China, soon to disappear for decades into Mao’s jails. The book is an analytical study whose strength lies less in describing Mao’s life than in explaining Maoism and setting out a radical view on it as a political movement and a current of thought within the Marxist tradition to which both Wang and Mao belonged. With its clear and provoking thesis, it has, since its writing, stood the test of time far better than the hundreds of descriptive studies that have in the meantime come and gone.
In Civility, Nonviolent Resistance, and the New Struggle for Social Justice, Amin Asfari brings together scholarly contributions addressing the causes of injustice in its many forms. Predicated on the idea that violence and injustice are systemic and historical, this collection includes chapters that examine the antecedents and effects of prejudice, state-sponsored violence, policies of exclusion, and the social forces that shape and solidify their existence.
Moving beyond ad-hoc, ahistorical, and descriptive explanations of violence and injustice, this volume provides a scholarly, multidisciplinary approach to confronting them. Contributions reflect the many ways in which injustice manifests, and civil, nonviolent means of engagement are emphasized, challenging the very systems that give rise to these notions.
The Political Economy of the Spectacle and Postmodern Caste, John Asimakopoulos analyzes the political economy of the society of the spectacle, a philosophical concept developed by Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard. Using the analytical tools of social science, while historicizing, Asimakopoulos reveals that all societies in every epoch have been and continue to be caste systems legitimized by various ideologies. He concludes there is no such thing as capitalism (or socialism)—only a caste system hidden behind capitalist ideology. Key features of the book include its broad interdisciplinary-nonsectarian approach with quantitative and qualitative data.
The Political Economy of the Spectacle and Postmodern Caste is well written and clear, making it accessible to the general public.
Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina, Marcelo Vieta homes in on the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s
empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (ERTs, worker-recuperated enterprises), a workers’ occupy movement that surged at the turn-of-the-millennium in the thick of the country’s neo-liberal crisis. Since then, around 400 companies have been taken over and converted to cooperatives by almost 16,000 workers. Grounded in class-struggle Marxism and a critical sociology of work, the book situates the ERT movement in Argentina’s long tradition of working-class activism and the broader history of workers’ responses to capitalist crisis. Beginning with the voices of the movement’s protagonists, Vieta ultimately develops a compelling social theory of
autogestión – a politically prefigurative and ethically infused notion of workers’ self-management that unleashes radical social change for work organisations, surrounding communities, and beyond.