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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Marxist essay collections in print
"Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction" is a collection of essays seeking to establish, or perhaps re-establish, the Marxist paradigm as the only one which can explain and analyze the broad range of important economic, social, environmental etc. phenomena we see today. With each essay being written by someone of the very highest quality of Marxist scholarship, this...
Published on 11 May 2009 by M. A. Krul

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism doesn't work!
This collection of 19 articles is divided into three parts, on Capital, exploitation and conflict, Global capitalism, and Crisis and the supercession of capitalism. The contributors, from across the world, reflect the increasingly widespread understanding that capitalism doesn’t work. They analyse the exploitation intrinsic to capitalism and recognise that in...
Published on 10 Feb 2003 by William Podmore


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Marxist essay collections in print, 11 May 2009
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M. A. Krul (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction (Paperback)
"Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction" is a collection of essays seeking to establish, or perhaps re-establish, the Marxist paradigm as the only one which can explain and analyze the broad range of important economic, social, environmental etc. phenomena we see today. With each essay being written by someone of the very highest quality of Marxist scholarship, this collection succeeds completely in its purpose, and provides an invaluable guide for analysis for every Marxist thinker.

The book is divided into three parts: the first establishes the Marxist critique of political economy and explains why Marxism, and only Marxism, can adequately explain all the phenomena of capitalism as well as its past. The Marxist theory of value is explained and defended, the meaning of money, unions, labor markets, technological change and so forth are all discussed. Lapavitsas' essay on the role of money is particularly enlightening considering the somewhat difficult subject matter, and Lev Levidow's article on technological change in agriculture is very useful, dispelling a lot of mythology about the "Green Revolution" as well as technology in general.

The second part of the collection is about "global capitalism" or 'globalization'. This goes into the history and origins of capitalism, its impetus to spread across the globe and to 'capitalize' all prior relations, as well as the position of the developing world vis-á-vis capital. Particularly interesting here for people familiar with the general arguments on development economics is Elizabeth Dore's article on social relations in the Third World: she makes a good argument that a lot of socialist movements in and about the Third World in the past have tended to overstate the 'proletarianization' of those countries, and this leads to strategic errors when trying to make socialist policies (she uses the Sandinistas as example). There's also an article by Simon Clarke on the Soviet system, but it's rather vague and poorly argued, probably the weakest essay in the book.

The overcoming of capitalism and the possibility and nature of socialism is the subject of the third part. Lebowitz here summarizes the argument made in his excellent book "Beyond Capital" (Beyond "Capital": Marx's Political Economy of the Working Class) in a short essay, and Fred Moseley has a very interesting article on the falling rate of profit and its meaning for the US economy. Chattopadhyay and Holloway finish the work with strong essays showing the use of class struggle and the possibility of socialism.

What makes this collection all the more interesting is that all the essays are not only by world-class Marxist thinkers, but they are also all short and well-written, making reading it a breeze. This is probably why the book is called an introduction, even though not all essays are at introductory level. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in the state and possibilities of Marxism today.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism doesn't work!, 10 Feb 2003
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William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This collection of 19 articles is divided into three parts, on Capital, exploitation and conflict, Global capitalism, and Crisis and the supercession of capitalism. The contributors, from across the world, reflect the increasingly widespread understanding that capitalism doesn’t work. They analyse the exploitation intrinsic to capitalism and recognise that in countries like Britain there are just the two classes, a tiny minority of exploiters and the vast majority who depend on selling their labour power to make a living.
The struggle against capitalism is rooted in the workplace, where we must fight for democracy, as Saad-Filho says in his Introduction. We need to be in work, in our union, and fighting the employer. Adding together any number of pressure groups, even infusing those groups with anti-capitalist ideology will not do what is needed to end capitalism – transform the ideology of the working class.
Ben Fine accuses our trade unions of pursuing sectional interests both nationally and sectorally, when the problem is that our unions are hardly fighting for our industries and services at all. He also sees defence workers as depending on war, and energy and car workers as depending on pollution: so to end war and pollution, all we have to do is destroy what remains of our manufacturing industry!
Targeting the IMF or McDonald’s is to attack symptoms, not the root of the problem, as Ellen Meiksins Wood shows. It is not a matter of building a bigger demo next time. It would really terrify the ruling classes of the world if all the anti-globalisation protestors turned to focus on working in their workplaces and trade unions to weaken and destroy capitalism.
We need workers’ nationalism, that is, workers deciding their own future, in their own lands and for their own interests. As Marx wrote in the Manifesto, each working class must first of all settle accounts with its own bourgeoisie. We also need workers’ internationalism, to save the future of the world and defeat the vested interest of the multinationals and the proponents of reaction and fundamentalism.
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Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction
Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction by Alfredo Saad-Filho (Paperback - 20 Dec 2002)
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