Buy Books Not Bombs

Buy books at your local bookshop (UK)
Ask for Pantomime Terror by John Hutnyk. Zero Books, 2014 ISBN-10: 1782792090
Ask for The Rumour of Calcutta by John Hutnyk. Zed books/Uni Chicago Press, 1996 ISBN: 9781856494083
Ask for Bad Marxism by John Hutnyk. Pluto Press/Uni Chicago Press 2004 ISBN: 9780745322667
Ask for Critique of Exotica by John Hutnyk. Pluto Press 2000 ISBN: 0745315496
Ask for Global South Asia on Screen by John Hutnyk. Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. ISBN  9781501324963
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De-centrifuedalised or tropicalization: Marx outside the Euro-American Circuits

So, a bit bemused at the appearance of various Marx readers or ‘companions’ filled with US and UK based scholars, mostly, I thought it worth pointing to a few other irruptions of old beardo in the world.

Saurav Kumar offers this short read about misreading Marx, the horror of Modi, and experiments between communists and Ambedkarites:  https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2018/05/marx-resonates-after-200-years/

While experiments in truth are the topic, this piece in The Hindu by Ramin Jahanbegloo, the Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace at Jindal Uni, is both trying to retrieve Marx from a bad rep and ‘nonsense’ accusations, and making some strange associations of his own about our ‘Socratic Gadfly’ walking to the British Museum every day but, allegedly, preferring dry tomes of philosophy than talking to the British masses!! Also cites Raymond Aron! Still: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/karl-marx-200-years-later/article23776934.ece

Famed scholar Armatya Sen manages to promote Satyajit Ray’s film, Agantuk in this piece. Also funny on Hamlet, the Nobel Laureate references Hobsbawn and 1955 Labour Party stuff (the days of Rajani Palme-Dutt in the CPGB should have got in here to – debates with). Sen is not yet embalmed: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/karl-marx-philosophy-200th-birth-anniversary-5163799/

As a contrast, one could ‘sharpen and deepen’ one’s understanding according to last years (199) version of this sort of thing (what is this sort of thing?) from the CPI(M): http://www.cpim.org/views/marx-today%E2%80%99s-world

OK, CMP stuff comes in various forms, but there is life in the old dog yet. Comrade Vijay Prashad, much respected, imagined Marx reading the blue books (I want to link to my forthcoming on the Blue Books, but its not out yet). LeftWord is one of the best new(ish) publishers in India so check out the blog and sales list too : http://blog.leftword.com/marx-turns-200/

The comrades of CPI M-L are serious about scholarship as well – this piece by Amitabha Chakrabarti at the 200 bicentenary commemoration is worth a read for its discussion of ground rent, agriculture and modes of production debates,though repeats a slight distortion in saying that in ‘last decade of his study Marx wrote about 30000 pages on Russian agriculture’ – Kevin Anderson is on the case, 30k notes in the last decade sure, but not all on agriculture. Yet, this is a healthy change of perspective from the Euro-Am usual fodder: http://cpimlnd.org/a-study-note-on-transition-of-agriculture-marxist-problematic-after-publication-of-capital-1867/

And just as a taster, meanwhile in Vietnam (and I do want to do a roundup for several other non-centrifuegalisms), this piece describes a presentation in Ha Noi by Nguyễn Xuân Thắng, Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council and Director of the Hồ Chí Minh National Political Academy. The text gives a bit of a flavour of how things can look quite different when you are winning. All students study Mac-Len Nin, relevant to the country and the world: http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/427407/marxism-bears-eternal-value-for-world-and-the-vietnamese-revolution.html#lOuJOpWeBRpLvlF3.97

 

Lal Salaam.

The Rumour of Calcutta – digital book

rumour-cover122 years ago my first book was typeset and laid out in the days before electronics – well, an electric typesetting machine was plugged into a wall, but no digital file was produced. Nevertheless, I had crossed out the digital rights clause in my contract with Zed so I own this. At last some kind anonymous soul has bootlegged it and set digital copy free on the nets, though its a large scanned file and the bibliography was left off (I’ve made a rough scan of the biblio but that too is a large file). Nevertheless, notwithstanding, and such like phrasings, the book is still one of which I am proud, if nothing else for trialling a way of citing tourist backpacker-informants, for its stuff on photography and maps and for the reviews it got (and indeed keeps getting discussed, for example on films – see diekmann2012) and especially for its critique of charity and what charity is for. In the context of do-gooder well-meaning hypocrisy, the effort of charity workers serves wider interests as well as their own, and only marginally any individuals they help – who would be better helped in better funded state-run facilities if the funds extracted through business-as-usual colonialism were, you know, made as reparations for the several hundred years of colonial plunder. Ah well, the critique stands up, the charity industry sadly thrives, second only perhaps to weapons in terms of so-called development, writing books does not yet always change the world as much as you’d like (and no, I did not ever think a book would single-handedly stop Mother Theresa, but…).

I would welcome new readers.

Download The Rumour of Calcutta here:  [John_Hutnyk]_The_rumour_of_Calcutta__tourism,_ch

Biblio here. Rumour biblio

And this retrieved by Toby:

party -stay or go?

Rosa writing to Henriette Roland Holst, August 2011 is firm, chastising and correct, and it seems effective, Holst forms a new group which later enters the SPD, although I know zilch about their influence after joining:

“Your long silence was all the more painful for me because I had to assume for various reasons you were dissatisfied with the general situation and consequently with your own. Now I hear: things are going well with you personally and with your health, but you want to leave the SDAP. The first things make me truly happy, but the last one—no! You certainly know I was strongly opposed to your staying in the party at the time when the others left it. I was and am of the opinion that you should all stay together—inside or outside. Fragmentation of the Marxists (not to be confused with having differences of opinion) is fatal. But now, when you want to leave the party, I would like with all my might to prevent you from doing that. You do not want to join the SPD, or so I hear. I’m not able to judge whether that is correct or not. If you want to join the SDP but can’t, enough said. But then by leaving the SDAP you are leaving the Social Democratic movement! You can’t do that, none of us can! can’t be outside the organizations of the musses, out of contact with them. The worst working-class party is better than none. And times can change. In few years a stormy period could sweep away the opportunist muck in Holland or even in all of Europe. But a person can not wait for such times from the outside, one must carry on the fight within, no matter how sterile or fruitless the effort may seem—to the very end. If you stay outside, You you are finished, dead for the political movement. Don’t do that! You also have responsibilities toward the International. Stay with the rank and file, that is our duty, we are all soldiers. I warn you against taking a false step”.

[Fn… Holst left the SDAP in 1911, founded the Revolutionair Socialistisch Verband (Revolutionary Socialist Association). and together with that group joined the SDP in 1916.]

 

Rosa on Lenin p298 Mimi’s Critique

lenin catLaugh out loud passage in Rosa Luxemburg’s letter of April 2 2011 to Kostya Zetkin (Clara’s son) about Lenin’s visits and the sharp dialectical criticism of Lenin by Mimi the cat.

While there are many who would criticise Lenin without reading or meeting him, the critical support that Rosa provides – the contestation, disagreement and solidarity, are exemplary, as is the cat.

And it confirms all I wanted to say about the politics of cats  – The Politics of Cats – first version, later published in Stimulus Respond in an article of which I am still quite pleased – available as part of Handpicked, by Pavement books.

Yesterday Lenin came, and up to today he has been here four times already. I enjoy talking with him, he’s clever and well educated, and has such an ugly mug, the kind I like to look at … Mimi [Rosa’s cat] … impressed Lenin tremendously, he said that only in Siberia had he seen such a magnificent creature, that she was a barskii kot—a. majestic cat. She also flirted with him, rolled on her back and behaved enticingly toward him, but when he tried to approach her she whacked him with a paw and snarled like a tiger.

from p 289 of ‘The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg’ eds Georg Adler, Peter Hudis and Annalies Laschitza. verso

Marx’s 200th birth anniversary is in a week. what’s planned? [please add what’s on in your city]

marx cakeThe next few pages are a quick round up of what’s on for Old Beardo’s 200th. Add more in the comments please.

Many of these are linking to Facebook, sorry, but the ungated web is gone…

[The cake in the image to the side was made by my Capital reading group/class circa 2005].

Celebrating 200 Years of Karl Marx

Karl Marx, in full Karl Heinrich Marx (born May 5, 1818, Trier and died March 14, 1883, London, England) was a philosopher, revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist. Marx and Freud have influenced life and literature in the twentieth century more deeply and extensively than the earlier great thinkers and scientists like Copernicus and Darwin influenced the life and literature in their own respective eras.. He published The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, anticapitalist works that form the basis of Marxism. It was Capital’s 150th anniversary in autumn 2017, the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto will be in February 2018, and it would have been Karl Marx’s 200th birthday in May 2018. The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all Filipino workers to start a year-long commemoration and celebration of Marx’s 200th birthday on May 5, 2018. The whole revolutionary movement must salute Karl Marx’ and Marxism’s great role in history and in the continuing world struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat and the entire humanity. This celebration is of great relevance to the working class, from politics to philosophy to academics as Karl Marx made a lasting imprint on the face of history. The Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS) has also an intention to commemorate the 200 years of Karl Marx by various activities including essay competition, seminar, special issues and books on this great thinker.

 

National Level Essay Writing Competition on “The Philosophy of Karl Marx”

Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS)

Pehowa (Kurukshetra)-136128 Haryana
http://positivephilosophy.webs.com or http://www.cppiskkr.com

Celebrating 200 Years of Karl Marx

National Level Essay Writing Competition on “The Philosophy of Karl Marx”

5th May, 2018

cropped-images

The Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS) Pehowa (Kurukshetra) on the occasion of the World Philosophy Day-2017 and 200th Birth Anniversary of Karl Marx, going to organize a National Level Essay Writing Competition on “The Philosophy of Karl Marx”. The competition aims at giving an opportunity to the youth of country to come across the various aspects of the philosophy of Karl Marx and his contribution to the world of knowledge.

About Karl Marx:

”Karl Marx, in full Karl Heinrich Marx (born May 5, 1818, Trier and died March 14, 1883, London, England) was a philosopher, revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist. Marx and Freud have influenced life and literature in the twentieth century more deeply and extensively than the earlier great thinkers and scientists like Copernicus and Darwin influenced the life and literature in their own respective eras.. He published The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, anticapitalist works that form the basis of Marxism. It was Capital’s 150th anniversary in autumn 2017, the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto will be in February 2018, and it would have been Karl Marx’s 200th birthday in May 2018. The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all Filipino workers to start a year-long commemoration and celebration of Marx’s 200th birthday on May 5, 2018. The whole revolutionary movement must salute Karl Marx’ and Marxism’s great role in history and in the continuing world struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat and the entire humanity. This celebration is of great relevance to the working class, from politics to philosophy to academics as Karl Marx made a lasting imprint on the face of history. The Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS) has also an intention to commemorate the 200 years of Karl Marx by various activities including essay competition, seminar, special issues and books on this great thinker”.

Eligibility: All students pursuing any Undergraduate or Post Graduate courses from recognized college/institute/university. Age limit is 25 years or below for this competition.

Prizes: Prizes will be given to top 5 entries and a certificate also provided to those who follow proper guidelines.

Submission Guidelines:

The essays submitted by the participants must be in ‘English and Hindi’ language only.

The essay must be typed in Microsoft Word with Times New Roman, Font size 12, 1.5 linear spacing.

Co-authorship is allowed.

Word Limit: 2000 Maximum words including footnotes.

The participants submitting an entry in this essay contest need to affirm that the entry is his/her own work. Plagiarism can lead to outright rejection of submission.

Criteria of Evaluation:

The criteria to be applied in evaluating the entries are:

• Originality of the content

• Creativity and Rationality

• Style and Presentation of content

• Clarity and proper citations

Registration and Submission:

There is no registration fee for this essay competition. Participants should submit their essay with 10th class certificate and institutional ID proof along with registration form till 31st March 2018 on the given address. An advance copy of all documents should be submitted before last date via email id cppiskkr@gmail.com

For any details, Contact:

Dr. Desh Raj Sirswal,

Department of Philosophy, P.G.Govt. College for Girls,

Sector-11, Chandigarh-160011. Mobile No.08288883993

Download details:

Essay Competition 2017-18

Registration Form Essay Cometition 2017-18

Celebration Page Link:
https://karlmarx200.wordpress.com

_______________________________________

Also:

https://rg.ru/2018/04/25/reg-szfo/v-peterburge-otkrylas-vystavka-k-200-letiiu-karla-marksa.html

_____________________________________

and in Brisbane:

Marx 200 Brisbane

https://www.facebook.com/events/440430439739049/

  • 12 May – 13 May
    12 May at 13:30 to 13 May at 17:00 UTC+10

    74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia

May 2018 signals 200 years since the birth of German revolutionary theorist Karl Marx. Famous for his call to revolution in the Communist Manifesto and his thorough critique of the capitalist system in Capital, Marx’s ideas had a huge impact on the political, social and cultural landscape of the 19th and 20th centuries.

But are Marx’s ideas relevant today in the era of the internet, automation, and climate change? Is clinging to Marx a sign of dogmatism or fetishisation of outdated ideas of social change?

We don’t think so – in an age where we are told that capitalism’s global dominance is virtually complete, yet seems increasingly incapable of offering a future for all of us, Marx has a lot to offer those who want to change the world today. This weekend of seminars, discussion sessions and forums will provide an introduction to Marx’s ideas, how they were conceived in his own time and what relevance they have for today’s burning political questions.

Instead of a rigid dogma, Marx’s ideas can be seen as a set of important tools for understanding our society, in its political, economic, ecological and cultural dimensions. These tools can then help us shape how we think about strategies for changing this society towards a vision of equality and freedom.

***Stay tuned for details on program and speakers***

This is a free event – though we’ll pass around a donations bucket at the event to help cover some basic costs.

DRAFT PROGRAM (a full program with speakers and session descriptions will be posted soon):

Saturday 12 May
1:30pm Opening Panel: Marx After the End of History

3:15pm Parallel Session 1:
– How Capitalism Works
– Marx and the Environment

5:00pm Parallel Session 2:
– Understanding Capitalist Crisis
– Colonialism, Imperialism, Marxism

6:30pm Marx’s 200th B’Day Bash (+ film screening)

Sunday 13 May
11:00am Parallel Session 3:
– Social Class, Class Identity, Class Struggle
– The Philosophy of Marx and Engels

12:45pm Lunch

1:30pm Parallel Session 4:
– The State, Elections, and Social Struggle
– Marx and Gender

3:30pm Closing Panel: Automate This: Marx and Labour in the 21st Century. Featuring:
– Humphrey McQueen, socialist historian and cultural commentator, author of ‘A New Britannia’, ‘The Essence of Capitalism’, amongst many other titles
– Alison Pennington, unionist and political economist
– Feargal McGovern, organiser with Anti-Poverty Network Queensland and unite
– Max Chandler-Mather, state strategist for the Queensland Greens

________________________

Marx 200 at marx Memorial Library London.

A major international conference celebrating Marx’s work and exploring the significance of Marxism in the world today

Organised by the Marx Memorial Library on the bicentenary of Marx’s birth

9.45 – 10.45
Plenary: Marx’s contribution to political economy and its relevance today – why Marx was right
Chair: Harsev Bains
Speakers:
Ben Fine, Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London
Luo Wendong, Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Anne-Kathrin Krug, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin

10.45 – 11.15 Coffee (refreshments not provided)

11.15 – 12.30 Parallel sessions
Marxism and the present as history
Chair: Vijay Prashad
Speakers:
John Foster, Emeritus Professor, Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland
Isabel Monal, Editor of Marx Ahora, a Cuban theoretical journal

Neoliberalism, austerity and Marx
Chair: John Foster
Speakers:
Ben Fine, Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London
Denise Christie, Scottish Secretary, Fire Brigades Union

Capitalism and new technology – has Marx been eclipsed?
Chair: Ann Field
Speakers:
Ursula Huws, Professor of Labour and Globalisation. Hertfordshire School of Business
Alan Blackwell, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Class, race and gender: Marxism, exploitation and oppression
Chair: Will Sullivan
Speakers:
Mary Davis, Visiting Professor of Labour History at Royal Holloway, University of London
Sarah Mosoetsa, Associate Professor of Sociology, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, CEO National Institute for Humanities & Social Science

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch (not provided)

13.30 – 14.45
Plenary: Marx, philosophy and human development – Marxism and the battle of ideas
Chair: Alex Gordon
Speakers:
David McLellan, Visiting Professor of Political Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London
Isabel Monal, Editor of Marx Ahora, a Cuban theoretical journal
Li Xiaoxiao, Deputy Director of Marxism Department at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

14.45 – 15.15 Coffee (refreshments not provided)

15.15 – 16.30 Parallel sessions
Marxism and culture
Chair: Bruni de la Motte
Speakers:
David Margolies, Emeritus Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London
Christine Lindey, Art historian and visual arts critic

Populist Nationalism
Chair: Nisar Ahmed
Speakers:
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Francisco Dominguez, Head of Brazil and Latin American Studies, Middlesex University London

Marxism and the environment
Chair: Richard Clarke
Speakers:
Ted Benton, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex
John O’Neill, Hallsworth Chair in Political Economy, University of Manchester

The role of the state
Chair: Marj Mayo
Speakers:
Luo Wendong, Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Vijay Prashad, Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

16.30 – 17.45
Plenary: Into the 21st century: Marxism as a force for change today
Chair: Mary Davis
Speakers:
John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Sarah Mosoetsa, Professor of Sociology, at the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Johannesburg

____________________________
2 May at 12:3019:00 EDT
In celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, the History & Theory Workshop at the University of Virginia is hosting a conference of 4 panels to discuss the continuing relevance of Marx’s writings to our world today. No invitation or ticket is required, anyone who is interested is welcome, and you are encouraged to come ready to ask questions and engage with both panelists and other attendees.

Panels

Marx & Activism: 12:30-1:30
1. Gillet Rosenblith (History), “To Lose Your Housing is Double Jeopardy: Public Housing in the United States, 1969-2001.”
2. Monica Blair (History), “Charlottesville’s General Strike: Teaching Local Histories of Black Reconstruction.”
3. Anup Gampa (Psychology), “Implicit and Explicit Racial Attitudes Changed During Black Lives Matter”
4. Lou Cross (Political & Social Thought), “The Virginia Student Environmental Coalition and Environmental Justice”

Marx & (Anti)Fascism: 1:40-2:40
1. Robert Stolz (History), “Tosaka Jun: The Uses and Abuses of Feudalism”
2. Charles Hamilton (History), “Solidarity Not Surrender: British Anti-Fascism Since 1970.”
3. Nick Scott (History), “Revolutionary Space: Cordon Industrial Vicuna Mackenna and the Chilean Road to Socialism, 1972-1973”
4. John Tiernan Low (History/Linguistics), “The Center’s Tepid Friendship with the Alt-Right and its Historical Precedents”

Marx & Social Movements: 3:00-4:00
1. Crystal Luo (History), “Asian America and the Specter of Immigration Reform, 1968-1975.”
2. Sree Sathiamma (Global Studies), “The ‘Maintenance’ of Women”
3. Gio Senzano (Philosophy), “The Proletarization of the Puerto Rican”
4. Abeer Saha (History), “Animal Factory: The Rise of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, 1945-2000.”

Marx & Culture: 4:10-5:10
1. Brooks Hefner (English, JMU), “Political Economy and Popular Culture”
2. Chris Ali (Media Studies), “Marx and the Study of Media policy: Methodologies and Expectations”
3. Jordan Bridges (Political & Social Thought), “Marx as Moral Philosopher”
4. Justin McBrien (History), “Charlton Heston: Prophet of Eco-Apocalypse or Propagandist of Eco-Resilience?”

Keynote: English Faculty Lounge, Brooks Hall, 5:30-7:00,
1. Matthew Garrett (Wesleyan University), “Reading Is Theft”

Mushies

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing has written an amazing book. The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015) is all about forests and foraging and revitalising teaching and diasporas and and and – it’s a dense thicket and forest of meanings. There is much in it, but towards the end where generalities are I guess expected, it is only possible to nod sadly in agreement:

“ONE OF THE STRANGEST PROJECTS OF PRIVATIZATION and commodificarion in the early twentieth-first century has been the movement to commoditize scholarship. Two versions have been surprisingly powerful. In Europe, administrators demand assessment exercises that reduce the work of scholars co a number, a sum total for a life of intellectual exchange. In the United States, scholars are asked to become entrepreneurs, producing ourselves as brands and seeking stardom from the very first days of our studies, when we know nothing. Both projects seem to me bizarre — and suffocating. By privatizing what is necessarily collaborative work, these projects aim to strangle the life out of scholarship” page 285

The book is very much worth a look and could be a model for research presentation on global commodity chains and/or Trinketization.