state

The state and capitalist society - Ralph Miliband

The Houses of Parliament

Marxist academic Ralph Miliband's extensive and detailed analysis and critique of the role played by the state in advanced capitalist society. It examines each part of the state, including the government, civil service, legal system and armed forces and their relationships with business, the media, religion and trade unions. Written in 1969, most of the tendencies he points to are even further advanced today, so while there is little mention of race and gender this remains an invaluable text.

Revolution and counterrevolution in Catalonia - Carlos Semprún Maura

First published in France in 1974, a “critical analysis of the bureaucratization of the CNT, with regard to both the political as well as the economic terrain”, bureaucratization which the author claims was “total and complete”, with discussions of certain historical turning points and watershed moments (e.g., the militarization of the militias, the May Events and the overthrow of the Council of Aragon), and extensive passages quoted from eyewitness accounts (e.g., Marcel Ollivier’s Les journées sanglantes de Barcelone), newspaper articles and official documents that have not previously appeared in English translation.

War on time: Occupy, communization and the military question - Benjamin Noys

War on Time

Noys examines the contrasting conceptions of military struggle of Theorie Communiste and Paul Virilio, and the absense of such concepts from the Occupy movement.

Origins of the police - David Whitehouse

Five points in New York, 1827 painted by George Catlin

Excellent text examining the creation of the first police forces, which took place in England and the US in just a few decades in the mid-19th century. And explaining that they were not brought into being to prevent crime or protect the public, but primarily to control crowds: the working class, white and black.

Nostalgia for origins - Miguel Amorós

A 2007 essay on nationalism, whose “most progressive” historical variant “in the human sense” stood for the defense of “old customs and traditions, communitarian institutions, egalitarianism [and] the rejection of the industrialization process”, a tendency that is currently “being jettisoned in favor of an extreme economic modernization” in which “local oligarchies that are intimately linked with world finance” dominate ethnic and regional separatist movements and the real historical foundations of “peoples” in the old sense have been suppressed and replaced with fake “nationalist paraphernalia, neo-folklore, flags, anthems … and subsidized culture”.

The UN climate talks - a series of last chances

"Politicians Discuss Global Warming", sculpture by Issac Cordal, Berlin

A brief primer on the ongoing UN climate talks, as delegates meet in Lima.

What every radical should know about state repression - Victor Serge

Victor Serge's exposé of the surveillance methods used by the Czarist police reads like a spy thriller.

World economic crisis, social movements and socialism - 12 theses - Robert Kurz

In this 2009 text presented at a Marxist conference in Saxony, Robert Kurz discusses the significance of the world economic crisis of 2008, the erroneous assessments of the meaning of this crisis by the bourgeois mainstream and the left, the positivist “ontologization of labor” by traditional Marxism, Marx’s crisis theory and its basis in “categorical analysis” on an “abstract conceptual plane”, and the failure of most leftists to cultivate a perspective that goes beyond the basic categories of capitalism, instead of volunteering to perform crisis management services on capitalism’s behalf.

What will we do if the system can no longer create jobs? An interview with Anselm Jappe – Alexandra Prado Coelho

A 2013 interview with Anselm Jappe in which he discusses the crisis of the society of labor, the logic of the commodity and exchange value and its disastrous consequences for an increasingly larger part of humanity, and perspectives for positive social change.

The historical cycle of the political rule of the bourgeoisie - Amadeo Bordiga

In this article first published in Prometeo in 1947, Amadeo Bordiga examines the history of the political forms of bourgeois rule and posits that it has passed through two stages (the early “heroic” period followed by the “golden age” of bourgeois democracy) and is now entering its third stage, characterized by the eclipse of “private initiative” and the rise of totalitarianism, as was demonstrated by the forces at work in World War Two, concerning which he says that “the fascists lost the war; fascism, however, was victorious”, because the victors are compelled to employ the “authoritarian and totalitarian methods that were first tested in the defeated countries”.