Category: Marxism

Ultimate contradiction, Part II: Dialectical history, evolution, and consciousness

You can listen to a recording of this post here. Hello, dear friends! So, I started a series of blogposts recently by talking about my recent attempts to try to make sense of what is happening in our world right now. Clearly, some serious stuff is happening –  some horrifically, unbearably awful stuff…but also some…

WTF is going on?! Ultimate contradiction and the struggle for humanity

Dear friends, I hope that you have enjoyed your summer. I have. I’ve been off for almost all of it – first, recuperating from my injuries and, second, looking after my kids. I can’t deny that it has been tiring and occasionally exasperating being with three kids all day in what often seem to be…

Is austerity ideological?

Hello! I know this post isn’t immediately topical, particularly with the focus on the fallout from the ‘Panama Papers’. But, sadly, austerity remains topical after eight long years now and it’s a point I’ve wanted to make for a while, so here goes… Is austerity ideological? Very often we hear left-wing critics of this and…

The most important thing I’ve probably ever written in my life

Hope that blogpost title lured you in! Read on, dear friend, read on!…   FROM DEATH TO LIFE M-C-M’/C-M-C → U-I-U’/I-U-I’ I am currently organising an ‘unconference’. I’m inviting a diverse group of around 30 people to a weekend workshop in April focused on the issue of transformation. That’s intentionally left very broad. One of…

What does the economy look like? And why does it matter?

  Question: What does the economy look like?… The mainstream economist’s answer: ‘Why! GDP, of course! ‘An economy,’ a mainstream economist might retort, ‘is nothing more than the combined economic activity of all ‘households’ in any given location – say, a region, a nation, the world. So, if you want to see what an economy…

The ‘Hunt’ for surplus-value: what all ‘junior’ doctors should know about the government’s plans

We are very proud here in the UK of our National Health Service, established by the post-WW2 Labour government, that still, despite creeping privatisation, provides healthcare to all ‘free at the point of delivery’ paid out of general taxation. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it is major news that this week all hospital doctors-in-training in England (i.e. doctors…

Working tax credits: the real questions, some real answers

What is ‘hegemonic power’? One central element of hegemonic power is the power to make the root (systemic) causes of our problems invisible and largely unspeakable and unthinkable. Instead, all our debates are over ways to remedy or improve the symptoms of the disease (or even why the painful symptoms are good for us) rather…

What does this Sun/Women’s Own email really show us? And what can we do about it?

Dear reader, It’s been an interesting 24 hours since my friend Kate Evans (@iamkateevans) showed me an email by a contributing editor to The Sun newspaper and Women’s Own magazine asking charities for a very particular request… I subsequently posted this email and a few observations on Agent of History here… Since then, Kate’s been…

The Pint’s Half-Full! On knowledge, freedom, and unravelling hegemony, Part Two: Unravelling Hegemony

From the psychology of pint-buying to a political theory of hegemony In the previous post, my curious discovery that I couldn’t say with certainty why I acted the way I did regarding buying drinks in pubs led me to question the nature and limits of knowledge and how that relates to our freedom. I suggested…

Now is the time to love, to learn, and to listen; Now is the Freireian moment

I have come to realise that, whatever my political future holds, I will never be a good strategist. I am too emotional, too raw. For me, to cite the oft-used phrase coined by Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, my ‘optimism of the will’ too easily dominates any ‘pessimism of the intellect’. I can work on it,…