Author: Tom Brass
Debates about labour markets and the identity of those who, in an economic sense, circulate within them, together with the controversies such issues generate, have in the past been confined by development studies to the Third World. Now these same concerns have shifted, as the study of development has turned its attention to how these same phenomena affect metropolitan capitalist nations. For this reason, the book does not restrict the analysis of issues such as the free/unfree labour distinction and non-class identity to Third World contexts. The reviews, review essays and essays collected here also examine similar issues now evident in metropolitan capitalism, together with their political and ideological effects and implications.
Author: Tom Brass
The object is to assess the validity, in the light of current economic development, of the epistemology structuring different historical interpretations linking capitalism, unfreedom and primitive accumulation. Conventional wisdom is that – regarding the incompatibility between capitalism and unfreedom –an unbroken continuity links Marxism to Adam Smith, Malthus, Mill and Max Weber. Challenging this, it is argued Marxism accepts that, where class struggle is global, capitalist producers employ workers who are unfree. The reasons are traced to the conceptualization by Smith of labour as value, by Hegel of labour as property, and by Marx of labour-power as commodity that can be bought/sold. From this stems the free/unfree distinction informing the process of becoming, being, remaining, and acting as a proletariat.
Other Marxisms, Other Empowerments, Other Priorities     
Author: Tom Brass
Against the usual argument heard most frequently on the left, that there is no subject for a radical politics together with its form of political mobilization, there is – but in the absence of a radical leftist project, this subject has in the past transferred, and in many instances is still transferring, his/her support to the radical politics on offer from the other end of the ideological spectrum. The combination of on the one hand a globally expanding industrial reserve army, generating ever more intense competition in the labour markets of capitalism, and on the other the endorsement by many on the left not of class but rather of non-class identities espoused by the ‘new’ populist postmodernism, has fuelled what can only be described as a perfect storm, politically speaking.
Author: Tom Brass
Using examples from different historical contexts, this book examines the relationship between class, nationalism, modernity and the agrarian myth. Essentializing rural identity, traditional culture and quotidian resistance, both aristocratic/plebeian and pastoral/Darwinian forms of agrarian myth discourse inform struggles waged 'from above' and 'from below', surfacing in peasant movements, film and travel writing. Film depictions of royalty, landowner and colonizer as disempowered, ‘ordinary’ or well-disposed towards ‘those below’, whose interests they share, underwrite populism and nationalism. Although these ideologies replaced the cosmopolitanism of the Grand Tour, twentieth century travel literature continued to reflect a fear of vanishing rural ‘otherness’ abroad, combined with the arrival there of the mass tourist, the plebeian from home.
In: Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies
In: Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies
In: Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies
In: Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies
In: Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies
In: Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies