Episode 28: Lebanon’s Protest Movement Since the Beirut Explosion-Radio Free Humanity

Episode 28: Lebanon’s Protest Movement Since the Beirut Explosion

reposted from the MHI site.
Jade Saab, who previously appeared on the podcast to discuss “The Uprising in Lebanon,” returns to provide an update in the wake of the explosion in August that devastated Beirut and triggered the resignation of Lebanon’s government. He and the co-hosts discuss how the country’s protest movement has responded to these and other events; the role that the French government has been playing; and the future of Lebanon’s current political system, based on power-sharing among religious sects. The segment concludes with a discussion of the role of activity, and the role of thought, in overcoming the obstacles that the protest movement faces.

A Lebanese/Canadian writer and activist, Saab is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Glasgow. He is the editor of and a contributor to A Region in Revolt, a forthcoming book collection about recent uprisings in North Africa and West Asia.

This episode’s current-event segment discusses Trump’s succumbing to COVID-19, Glenn Greenwald’s opportunistic attempt to use this news to take a shot at Democrats, and the completely different, revolutionary-humanist, perspective articulated in MHI’s new editorial, “Trumpism, Democrats, and How to Vote from the Left.”

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Episode 27: Reading “American Civilization on Trial” in Costa Rica. Radio-Free Humanity

Episode 27: Reading “American Civilization on Trial” in Costa Rica

Reposted from the MHI site.

Raya Dunayevskaya’s pamphlet, “American Civilization on Trial: Black Masses as Vanguard” (ACOT) argues that the pivotal moments of forward movement in the US have always been those moments when white working people took their lead from the black masses and coalesced with them. When some young Costa Rican progressives read Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s (MHI’s) editorial on the uprising following George Floyd’s murder, which drew attention to Dunayevsakaya’s argument, they decided to read ACOT. They formed a study group, in which Anne Jaclard of MHI also participated.

In this episode, which leads off Year 2 of Radio Free Humanity, Anne and the co-hosts interview three members of the study group—Arturo, Ellian, and Francisco. They discuss their reasons for studying the pamphlet; what they learned about the freedom struggle of American Blacks and about the US generally; differences and points of similarity between race relations and social struggles in the US and those of Costa Rica; their thoughts about Marxist-Humanism; and more.

This episode’s current-events segment focuses on Trump and the Republicans’ mad dash to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court before the presidential election. The co-hosts make implicit reference to Anne Jaclard’s recent talk, “Desperation is Driving the Trumpite Republican Party. Prepare for the Worst.”

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Episode 26: Dialogue with Patrick Murray on the Value-Form Paradigm, Part 2

This is reposted from the podcast home page.

Brendan and Andrew continue their dialogue with Patrick Murray, the noted value-form theorist. (The value-form paradigm is a Marx-inspired strand of political economy that focuses on the market.) Patrick responds to Andrew’s arguments that Marx’s views on the origin of profit, intra-firm trade, and the quantity theory of money presuppose that commodities’ prices are determined before they are sold. And, as in Part 1, much of the discussion focuses on whether, in Marx’s theory, a commodity’s value is only potential before it is sold; whether “co-constitutive” value-form theory collapses into a more extreme version; and whether Marx held that the magnitude of a commodity’s value is determined exclusively by the amount of labor that is socially necessary to produce it.

Throughout the discussion, frequent reference is made to: a published symposium on the value-form paradigm, in which Andrew and others criticized the paradigm, while Patrick responded to them; Part 1and Part 2 of the recent RFH discussion of “The Value-Form Paradigm vs. Marx’s ‘Capital’”; and Marx’s Capital, especially chapter 1 and chapter 3 of volume 1.

Plus: current-events segment on our attitudes to the Democratic Party and Jill-Stein voters, in response to a listener’s comments.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Dialogue with Patrick Murray on the Value-Form Paradigm, Part 1. Radio-Free Humanity Ep. 25

 

Brendan and Andrew welcome Patrick Murray, the noted value-form theorist, onto the podcast. (The value-form paradigm is a Marx-inspired strand of political economy that focuses on the market.) Patrick responds to the recent, two-episode RFH discussion––“The Value-Form Paradigm vs. Marx’s ‘Capital’”––and enters into extended dialogue with the co-hosts. Much of the discussion focuses on whether, in Marx’s theory, a commodity’s value is only potential before it is sold; whether “co-constitutive” value-form theory collapses into a more extreme version in which actual values are ultimately determined only in exchange; and whether Marx held that the magnitude of a commodity’s value is determined exclusively by the amount of labor that is socially necessary to produce it. (Part 2 of this discussion will be released in the near future.)

Throughout the discussion, frequent reference is made to: a published symposium on the value-form paradigm, in which Andrew and others criticized the paradigm, while Patrick responded to them; Part 1and Part 2 of the recent RFH discussion, in which Andrew replied to Patrick; and Marx’s Capital, especially chapter 1 and chapter 3 of volume 1.

Plus: current-events segment on the Republican and Democratic national conventions—or, perhaps, infomercials.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Combating Tankie Denialism: Specialist in Soviet History Rebuts Grover Furr. Radio-Free Humanity. Episode 24

Brendan and Andrew interview Lesley Rimmel, a professor emerita of history at Oklahoma State University who specializes in the history of Russia under Stalin. Rimmel pushes back against the efforts by Grover Furr––a Maoist writer newly popular among pro-Stalinist (“tankie”) youth––to “normalize” and defend Stalin. She and the co-hosts discuss Stalin’s direct role in the mass repression campaign of the late 1930s––which Furr has characterized as a rogue anti-government operation!––as well as Furr’s contention that Stalin persistently attempted to “democratize the government of the Soviet Union.” The discussion then turns to considering Furr’s work, and young tankies’ embrace of it, as an instance of denialism, and to exploring how to fight this and other forms of denialism.

During the discussion of the mass repression campaign, reference is made to the infamous 1937 Politburo order No. 00447. For further information, see: an image of its first page; a Russian transcription of the order’s full text; and historian Nicolas Werth’s account of it. Elsewhere in the interview, reference is made to Rimmel’s doctoral dissertation; to Furr’s book Khrushchev Lied and his two-part article alleging that Stalin struggled for democratic reform; and to short pieces in which Deborah Lipstadt and Robert P. Crease discuss denialism and how to fight it.

Plus: current-events segment on how to de-Trumpify America after Trump. The co-hosts intervene in a discussion recently kicked off by John Feffer and Paul Rosenberg.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Episode 23: The Rise of the Extreme Right in Europe

The co-hosts interview Ralph Keller, who has been studying the resurgence of the extreme right in Germany and elsewhere in the European Union. They discuss the extent of the resurgence; why the resurgence is taking place; the influence of far-right ideas on ordinary people; and mainstream political parties’ appropriation of far-right ideas. Although no extreme-right group is yet in government anywhere in the European Union, Keller argues that the resurgence of the extreme right should nonetheless be an urgent matter of concern now, because its influence extends far beyond its hard-core adherents. He and the co-hosts also discuss the relationship between right-wing “speech” and right-wing violence.

During the discussion, reference is made to Keller’s article, The Rise of the Extreme Right in Germany.

Plus current-event segment on the battle in Portland—protesters and moms and vets vs. Trump and Barr’s stormtroopers. The soft-on-Trump “left” long ridiculed our warnings about fascism; where does it stand now?

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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A Post-Capitalist Future-Not By Politics Alone. Radio-Free Humanity. Episode 22

 

 

Brendan interviews Andrew about his With Sober Senses essay, “Not by Politics Alone: Thinking Through a Post-Capitalist Future.” They discuss what’s wrong with thinking that we can transcend capitalism simply through decentralized decision-making, or experimentation, or by putting different people, with different priorities, into power—and why it’s dangerous to put the whole burden of working out answers on the backs of the completely “new people” that revolution will supposedly create. The discussion calls attention to the economic problems that will need to be solved, such as the need for economic coordination, and why they will need to be solved in a different way than under capitalism. Brendan has Andrew explain why he rejects claims that the economic problems can be solved simply through income redistribution and overcoming the wastefulness of capitalism, and why, instead, a new liberatory mode of production needs to be worked out.

The episode’s current-events segment focuses on the Trumpite drive to re-open US schools in the midst of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Episode 21: Consigned to the Jaco-dustbin of History. Radio-Free Humanity

Owing to the leading role of African-Americans, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign imploded, and now an uprising for Black lives and against police violence has swept the US and the world. The co-hosts lay out the case that these events have delivered body blows to the theory and strategy of Jacobin magazine and others on the anti-neoliberal “left,” consigning them to the Jaco-dustbin of history.

Brendan and Andrew argue that the recent upsurge constitutes mass repudiation of so-called “class-based”—economistic and color-blind––politics. They also argue that Sanders’ campaign imploded, not because of directives issued by Democratic Party bosses, but because voters, led by millions of Black “neoliberal shills,” wanted to end Democratic Party infighting in order to concentrate on removing Trump from office. And they discuss why it is so difficult for the anti-neoliberal “left” to learn from its repeated errors.

The discussion refers to works by Raya Dunayevskaya (American Civilization on Trial), Sydney Ember (New York Times), Dustin Guastella, Tucker Carlson, MHI’s 2018 Perspectives, Zack Beauchamp (Vox), Nathan J. Robinson, Matt Karp, Edward-Isaac Dovere (The Atlantic), Daniel Denvir, and Meagan Day (Vox interview by Sean Illing).

In a related current-events segment, the co-hosts discuss the struggle to remove Confederate monuments and other symbols. Is a struggle over symbols always a merely symbolic struggle?

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Episode 20: Cockshott versus Marx––Interview with “RV”

 

Scottish computer scientist Paul Cockshott and his devotees have frequently portrayed Marx as a proponent of their own “labor theory of value.” But a recent essay by “RV,” a young Belgian activist and theorist, has exposed sharp differences between Cockshott’s theory and Marx’s actual theory. In this interview, RV explains to the co-hosts what the differences are, why they are important, and what impelled him to push back against the efforts to “force Marx, at all costs, to hold” Cockshott’s theory. They also discuss RV’s suggestion that we should let these two different theories contend, to “see which one better stands the test of reality,” how Cockshott is likely to respond to this suggestion, and why RV rejects the “empirical evidence” that supposedly supports Cockshott’s theory.

In the current-events segment, the co-hosts discuss the calls to “defund the police” and proposals to reform policing in the US. Can policing indeed be reformed? If so, what reforms are possible?

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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Episode 19: Spanish Edition of “Reclaiming Marx’s ‘Capital’”––Interview with Translator- Radio Free Humanity

Episode 19: Spanish Edition of “Reclaiming Marx’s ‘Capital’”––Interview with Translator

The co-hosts interview Guillem Murcia López, a translator of the just-published Spanish edition of Andrew’s book Reclaiming Marx’s “Capital’: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency. They discuss the book’s political and intellectual relevance to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, the work involved in translating it and securing its publication in Spain, the phenomenon of academics building their careers around their own clever “corrections” of Marx, and more. Later in the interview, Brendan has Andrew explain how the temporal single-system interpretation of Marx’s value theory eliminates the theory’s alleged internal inconsistencies.

In the current-events segment, the co-hosts discuss US Explodes with Protests over Police Murder of George Floyd. This new MHI editorial argues that the mass interracial uprising shows that the cops aren’t invincible, and that police rioting has radicalized a whole generation within a week.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

Click here for more episodes.

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