From International Socialism 2:96, Autumn 2002.
Copyright © International Socialism.
Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
WORKING CLASS self emancipation lies at the heart of Marxism. But this idea has always been contentious, and in recent years it has become fashionable to argue that the working class is disappearing. Chris Harman, whose books include A People’s History of the World, argues exactly the opposite – on a global scale the working class is larger than ever before. He goes on to examine the relationship between the working class and other classes, the urban poor and the peasantry. He concludes with an assessment of the kind of socialist strategy that flows from the current make-up of the class structure.
MARX’S ACCOUNT of socialist organisation and its role in the class struggle is given a brilliant outline by August Nimtz in a piece that is simultaneously a critique of Toni Negri and Michael Hardt’s Empire. Nimtz draws on his pioneering work in his recent book, Marx and Engels: Their Contribution to the Democratic Breakthrough.
JOHN BELLAMY FOSTER also draws on his excellent recent book, Marx’s Ecology, in order to give a devastating reply to those who argue that Marx and the Marxist tradition have had little to say on environmental and ecological issues.
CAPITALISM’S CAPACITY to waste resources grows as it ages, argues Mike Kidron, as he returns to themes that he first addressed in this journal over 20 years ago. But his arguments have renewed relevance in the age of the global anti-capitalist movement.
EMILE ZOLA’S work is analysed by Ian Birchall as a contribution to the discussion provoked by the centenary of the novelist’s death. And Jim Wolfreys looks at recent debates in French philosophy.
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