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In: Marx Matters
In: Engaging Social Justice
In: Cosmopolitanism in Hard Times
In: Engaging Social Justice
In: Marx, Critical Theory, and Religion
American Character and its Discontents
America, beginning as a small group of devout Puritan settlers, ultimately became the richest, most powerful Empire in the history of the world, but having reached that point, is now in a process of implosion and decay. This book, inspired by Frankfurt School Critical Theory, especially Erich Fromm, offers a unique historical, cultural and characterological analysis of American national character and its underlying psychodynamics. Specifically, this analysis looks at the persistence of Puritan religion, as well as the extolling of male toughness and America's unbridled pursuit of wealth. Finally, its self image of divinely blessed exceptionalism has fostered vast costs in lives and wealth. But these qualities of its national character are now fostering both a decline of its power and a transformation of its underlying social character. This suggests that the result will be a changing social character that enables a more democratic, tolerant and inclusive society, one that will enable socialism, genuine, participatory democracy and a humanist framework of meaning. This book is relevant to understanding America’s past, present and future.
In: Constructing Marxist Ethics


For Marx, the alienation of wage labor and inherent crisis tendencies of capital would foster collective grievances and support for communist movements promising revolution and the abolition of private property, creating a society wherein “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” But a combination of material factors, the rise of the welfare state, increased wages, and later consumerism as well as ideologies such as religion and/or nationalism, thwarted revolutionary fervor in industrial societies. Nevertheless, Marxist theory provides a number of important insights that help us understand contemporary social mobilizations beginning with noting how historical legacies, materials conditions, class interests, and episodic crises dispose many movements, even those that take place on cultural terrains in public spheres and spaces while political economic/historical factors may not be evident. This can clearly be shown by understanding the nature of racism and the massive protests following the murder of George Floyd. The roots of racism, qua white ‘superiority’ were rooted in the colonial era in which the settlers enslaved Africans and forcibly displaced the native populations for clear economic gains. This was ideologically ‘legitimated’ by the dehumanization of racialized Others, it also provided ‘superior’ status and identity to Christian Caucasians. Moreover, such ideologies were sustained through violence, whether armed plantation owners, slave catchers, militias, and later police. For a variety of reasons, slavery ended but racism endures to this very day. But that said, between the growing economic and educational status of Africans Americans and the more progressive cosmopolitan/inclusive values and practices of the young, racism, for many, has waned. But police violence has not. In the face of growing inequality, the pandemic crisis that led to an economic crisis, especially onerous for the young and peoples of color, the murder of George Floyd, going viral, indicated how a number of the crises of neoliberal transnational capitalism migrated to the culture and led to massive protests and resistance against racism and police brutality.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
In: God, Guns, Gold and Glory