• It Takes Organizers to Make a Revolution

    It Takes Organizers to Make a Revolution

    This text will propose that we approach Lenin not as a titan, but as an equal. Not the all-conquering revolutionary, the master tactician who always made the right decision, let alone the mighty party- or state-builder, but something more prosaic and relatable, though no less important: an organizer.

Dictatorship Dies in Darkness

Dictatorship Dies in Darkness

This troublesome phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat” is a messy lump of several poorly defined concepts. To understand the word “dictatorship” as we do now – as the opposite of democracy, an authoritarian regime in which an individual or minority group exerts violent and absolute power – is an anachronistic projection which totally distorts Marx’s usage.

The Lenin Question: Organization and Mass Struggle

The Lenin Question: Organization and Mass Struggle

If we want to call the “Lenin question” the problem of organization opened in the 1970s and today newly again before us, we can certainly do so, provided that it is understood that the watchword of Lenin does not mean nostalgia or organizational fetishism, but is rather a new solution for the problems that he had posed and victoriously resolved.  

Lenin's Slogans

Lenin’s Slogans

What might “All Power to the Soviets” mean in the present moment? I sense that it means: to build a movement, to unite forces where we find them, to form coalitions, elaborate material goals to organize all those who work and are exploited, to constitute power, to articulate a hegemonic strategy.

Immigrant Struggles, Anti-Racism, and May 1968: An Interview with Daniel A. Gordon

Immigrant Struggles, Anti-Racism, and May 1968: An Interview with Daniel A. Gordon

Questions about migration have been a fundamental aspect of socialist thinking, and organizing, for well over a century. Postwar France, in particular, offers important examples of creative ways of dealing with the challenges of anti-racist organizing, and allows us to rediscover organizations that were very open to working with a plurality of immigrant communities, European and non-European alike, as well as with native-born French people.

Reading Social Reproduction into Reading Capital

Reading Social Reproduction into Reading Capital

This essay, while siding with the position that emphasizes the importance of Althusser’s theory of reading, seeks to examine both the possibilities the text opens up for a feminist reading of Marx via the use it has been made by feminist theorists since its publication, but also to point to oversights of the text itself, particularly concerning the concept of social reproduction.

Somethin’ Slick Goin’ On: The Proletarian Funk of Johnny “Guitar” Watson

Somethin’ Slick Goin’ On: The Proletarian Funk of Johnny “Guitar” Watson

Johnny “Guitar” Watson was a fascinating contradiction: a man dressed like an icon of fame and wealth whose lyrics depict the struggle of working people trying to make ends meet in an era of looming economic destitution. Though he dons a funky getup, Watson’s bleak expression of working life under economic and social oppression derives from the long blues tradition dating back to slavery and the Reconstruction era.