Paul Mattick

March 13, 1904 — February 7, 1981

Revolt Library People Paul Mattick

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About Paul Mattick

Paul Mattick Sr. (March 13, 1904 – February 7, 1981) was a Marxist political writer and social revolutionary, whose thought can be placed within the council communist[1] and left communist traditions.

Throughout his life, Mattick continually criticized Bolshevism,[2] Vladimir Lenin[3] and Leninist organizational methods,[4][5] describing their political legacy as "serving as a mere ideology to justify the rise of modified capitalist (state-capitalist) systems, which were [...] controlled by way of an authoritarian state".[6][7]

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This person has authored 182 documents, with 937,792 words or 6,194,445 characters.

Published: Science & Society, vol. 33, no. 4. Fall-Winter, 1969. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2019. The Politics of War. The World and United States Policy 1943-1945, by Gabriel Kolko. New York: Random House, 1968. $12.95. Pp. 685. The Roots of American Foreign Policy. An Analysis of Power and Purpose, by Gabriel Kolko. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969. $5.95. Pp. 166. The great number of historians turned out by American universities produce an ever-swelling stream of historical studies, which, by the nature of things, cannot help being highly repetitive. Contemporary history seems to be a favored subject, with particular attention given to World War II and its aftermath. These histories are written from one or a... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.6, March 1935, pp 18-19. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer The pressure of class interests upon government is aptly illustrated by Roosevelt’s recent turn to the right in New Deal policies. The president came into office with a reputation for opportunism and vacillation. An astute political engineer, he lacked all knowledge of fundamental social and economic science. As a consequence, his cabinet is the most heterogeneous hodge-podge, running wild in contradictory and conflicting policies. The liberals, captivated by his radiant smile and the well-meaning platitudes he uttered, as usual placed great hopes in him and were, as usual... (From:
Source: Root and Branch, No. 3, 1971, pp. 14-18. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; Since capitalist economic policy must make no mention of the exploitation relations underlying the capitalist mode of production, economists and politicians must seek “solutions” to economic problems in terms of market phenomena. It all seems quite simple. The periodic shortage of profit which results from the laws of capitalist development appears on the market as a lack of demand, which hinders the expansion of production and so of new investments. When this state of affairs takes on a protracted character, the state jumps in to increase demand through public spending. This indeed revives production, but has no effect on the profit sit... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.5, February 1935, pp 19-22. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer With the beginning of 1935 much rumor is heard about a possible major offensive by the A.F. of L. in a number of basic industries. Some superficial observers already see the threat of a nation-wide general strike to be initiated by textile, steel and automobile workers’ unions. Vague statements about Labor's awakening, uttered by the pious Baptist who heads the A.F. of L., further alarm the backwoods shopkeepers, and 1935 opens with generally evil forebodings to the middle class and the small business men. We say middle class and small business men, because big business... (From:
Source: Root and Branch, 1971, No. 3, pp. 19-26. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; The origins of the war in Indochina are to be found in the results of the second world war. Waged in Europe, Africa, and East Asia, World War II turned America into the strongest capitalist power in both the Atlantic and the Pacific areas of the world. The defeat of the imperialist ambitions of Germany and Japan promised the opening up of new imperialist opportunities for the United States, which emerged from the conflict not only unimpaired but enormously strengthened. America’s opportunities were not limitless, however; concessions had to be made to the Russian war-time ally, which formed the basis for new imperialistic rivalries and for the e... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; First Published: in 1947 in Retort, an anarchist journal edited by Holly Cantine. Later the same year it was published by J.A. Dawson in Southern Advocate for Workers’ Councils, No. 37, Aug.-Sept. 1947, Melbourne, Australia. In 1976 it was included in Telos, number 26, Department of Sociology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130 USA. This e-version was made by Kurasje; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. The process of the concentration of capital and political power forces any socially important movement to attempt either to destroy capitalism or to serve it consistently. The old German labor movement could not do the latter and was neither willing nor able to do the forme... (From:
Source: New Politics (Old Series) 1962 Anton Pannekoek’s life span coincided with what was almost the whole history of the modern labor movement; he experienced its rise as a movement of social protest, its transformation into a movement of social reform, and its eclipse as an independent class movement in the contemporary world. But Pannekoek also experienced its revolutionary potentialities in the spontaneous upheavals which, from time to time, interrupted the even flow of social evolution. He entered the labor movement a Marxist and he died a Marxist, still convinced that if there is a future, it will be a socialist future. As have many prominent Dutch socialists, Pannekoek came from the middle class and his interest i... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; First Published: Paul Mattick, Review Article: Arms and Capital, International Socialism (1st series), No.34, Autumn 1968; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. Because government interventions in the economy ensured, for almost two decades, the growth of production and trade, it fostered the illusion that a way had been found to break capitalism’s susceptibility to crisis and depression. The fiscal and monetary means employed were seen as degrees of ‘planning,’ assuring full employment and social stability. However, in view of America’s persistent economic stagnation and the leveling-off of the West European expansion, a new disillusionment has set in. It cannot very well be... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, September-October 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Toynbee and History. Critical Essays and Reviews. Edited by M. F. Ashley Montagu. Porter Sargent Publishers, Boston, 1956, pp. 285; $5.00 Thirty experts in fields related to A Study of History here give their critical appraisals of Toynbee’s monumental work. They all admire Toynbee’s great erudition and industry even though he is full of misinterpretations, factual errors and “proves exactly nothing.” For one reviewer, the Study is “a house of many mansions, all impressive, many beautiful, but built on sand.” Although Toynbee speaks in the name of science and empiricism, he bases his work “on va... (From:
Published: Root and Branch, vol. 7, pp. 10-14 and 27-28. 1979. Source: Libcom. Transcription/Markup for Marxists Internet Archive: Micah Muer, 2018. Reflecting on the New Deal, Franklin Roosevelt once said that his government "has done everything that Hitler has done, but by other means". These other means, however, were not able to overcome the Great Depression which occasioned the large-scale governmental interventions in the American economy. It was finally only the resort to Hitlerian means — that is, participation in the imperialist war — which overcame the unrelenting crisis. Still, the internal situation in America differed greatly from those prevailing in the fascist nations. The United States remained democ... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.4, January 1935, pp 1-4. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer The spirit of Hoover, Babbitt & Company lives on, very much unimpaired. The Roosevelt Revolution came, passed over it, and finally spent itself in the vaporings characteristic of predepression Cal at his best. The manufacturers, industrialists or whatever one chooses to call them (but the word “capitalists” is taboo) have taken heart, emerged from their cellars and come forward with a “Proposed Platform for Recovery” which we understand was adopted at their annual convention at the Waldorf-Astoria, Dec. 5 and 6. Or if it wasn't adopted, that was a mere ... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism by Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. The authors of Monopoly Capital,[1] Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, attempt to overcome “the stagnation of Marxian social science” by shifting the focus of attention from competitive to monopoly capital. The Marxian analysis of capitalism, they say, “still rests on the assumption of a competitive economy”, which has, however, in the meantime, undergone a qualitative change by turning into monopoly capitalism. Marx, the authors relate, “treated monopolies not as essential elements of capitalism but rather as remnants of the feudal mercantilist past which had to be abs... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; First Published: in International Communist Correspondence, Chicago, vol. 3, no. 7-8, August 1937; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. On May 7, 1937, the CNT-FAI of Barcelona broadcast the following order: “The barricades must be torn down! The hours of crisis have passed. Calm must be established. But rumors are circulating throughout the city, contradicting the reports of a return to normality such as we are now issuing. The barricades are a contributing factor to this confusion. We don’t need the barricades now that fighting has stopped, The barricades serve no purpose now, and their continued existence might give the impre... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, July 1946; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. The failure of education. By Porter Sargent. Boston, Mass. (608pp.; $5.00). Porter Sargent is an enthusiastic believer in the almost fetishistic “intense faith of the American people in education.” Like all other faiths, the faith in education is not universal but is restricted to those for whom it seems to have practical meaning. Others merely suffer education, as they suffer religion and nationalism. Some, like the underprivileged in the South, are even prevented from suffering it. Those, however, who are strong in the faith are bound to be disillusioned. In his comprehensive descripti... (From:
Preface to Ida Mett’s “The Kronstadt Commune” by Maurice Brinton The fiftieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution will be assessed, analyzed, celebrated or bemoaned in a variety of ways. To the peddlers of religious mysticism and to the advocates of “freedom of enterprise,” Svetlana Stalin’s sensational (and well-timed) defection will “prove” the resilience of their respective doctrines, now shown as capable of sprouting on what at first sight would appear rather barren soil. To incorrigible liberals, the recent, cautious reintroduction of the profit motive into certain sectors of the Russian economy will “prove” that laissez-faire economics is synonymous wit... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. Further corrected by Jonas Holmgren, July 2009. The following is an abridged edition of Mattick's review, originally published in Politics, Vol. 4, No. 2, Mar/Apr 1947. The full version is available in PDF format. The alleged purpose of Trotsky’s biography of Stalin[1] is to show “how a personality of this sort was formed, and how it came to power by usurpation of the right to such an exceptional role.” The real purpose of the book, however, is to show why Trotsky lost the power position he temporarily occupied and why his rather than Stalin’s name should follow Lenin&rsquo... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 26, no. 3. Summer, 1962. pp. 293-307. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. Note: A version of this text appears as chapter 17 of Mattick's Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy. The world's trade and payments dilemma dates back to the First World War and acquired an apparently insoluble character in the wake of the Second World War. The trade and payments balance of the European nations which, until recently, were quite consistently unfavorable can be traced, though not exclusively, back to the loss of these nations of most of their foreign holdings, to their indebtedness for American supplies, a change in the terms of trade, and the shrinkage of their traditional markets. The... (From:
Source:; First Published: as "Kapitalismus und Ökologie: Vom Untergang des Kapitals zum Untergang der Welt", Jahrbuch Arbeiterbewegung 4, Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main, 1976; Translated: by Paul Mattick Jr.; Transcribed: by Zdravko Saveski, for 2020. The historical character of nature follows from the Second Law of thermodynamics, discovered more than a hundred years ago by Carnot and Clausius, spelling an increase in entropy ending in heat death. Our earthly life depends on the continuous supply of energy from solar radiation, which decreases with increasing entropy, however slowly. The period of time involved is indefinite from the human point of view, too gigantic to be taken into practical conside... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.4, January 1935, pp 5-15. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer I The literature dealing with the problems of a planned economy has attained proportions comparable only with those of the crisis which brought it forth. In all this welter of thought, we may distinguish three main currents: one which stands for the possibility of capitalist planning, another which denies it on principle, and a third which hovers between these extremes and finds its champions both in the bourgeois and ‘socialist’ camps. While the first group sees in the planning tendencies a vague intimation of an harmonious capitalism, the latter hopes for a ... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.8, May 1935, pp 22-26. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer The development of the American labor movement has been different from that of Europe and England in several respects. The trade union movement here not only refrains from independent political action, but actively supports the capitalist parties. Repeatedly the socialist and communist movements have tried either to capture or to destroy the American Federation of Labor. These tactics have fluctuated between “boring from within” to outright organization of dual unions. The history of these efforts is interesting. The developments of trade unions during and since the... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.6, March 1935, pp 5-9. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer What stamps the C.C.C. as the most unique experiment inaugurated by Franklin D. Roosevelt is the almost total lack of criticism, both from capitalist political opponents, and even those self-professing “liberals” admitting a “socialistic” taint. For that very reason, the Civilian Conservation Corps demands close scrutiny. Obviously, any innovation that immediately meets with the unqualified approval of ALL the rival capitalist groups bodes no good for the Proletariat. The C.C.C. was launched amid the usual fanfare of idealistic catch-phrases. The boys were... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.2, November 1934, pp 23-24. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer In the middle of September, “La Nacion”, a leading bourgeois newspaper in Spain, wrote “that the danger growing out of this situation of strike activities can at this time only be combated by the erection of an open dictatorship”. Since then the days were marked by increasing provocations by the government against the labor organizations, as well as the whole working class. Demonstrations, meetings, organizations were forbidden, the press suppressed, elections declared illegal and communist and socialist deputies replaced by reactionary ones. The bourgeo... (From:
Published: New Essays, vol. 6, no. 3. Spring 1943. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2020. Almost three years ago, during a Hearing before the Temporary National Economic Committee, representatives of the Federal Trade Commission declared that "the capitalist system of free initiative is quite capable of dying and of dragging down with it the system of democratic government." Monopoly, they said, "constitutes the death of capitalism and the genesis of authoritarian government."[1] Since then, and because of America's official entry into the war, the discussion around the monopoly question has calmed down considerably. As far as public interest is concerned the TNEC has seemingly labored in vain. This is not at all surprising. Contrary ... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Published: as Chapter V of Anti-Bolshevik Communism, Merlin Press 1978; originally published as "Groups of Council Communists" in The Social Frontier, vol. 5, no. 45, May 1939, pp. 248-253; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. There can be no doubt that those social forces generally known as the ‘labor movement’ which rose during the last hundred years and, quantitatively, reached their widest expansion shortly before and after the world war, are now definitely on the decline. Though this situation is either happily or reluctantly acknowledged by people concerned with labor questions, realistic explanations of this phenomenon are... (From:
Source:; Published: by Herder and Herder/Merlin Press; In an address delivered in Korcula, Yugoslavia, Herbert Marcuse raised the question of “whether it is possible to conceive of revolution when there is no vital need for it.” The need for revolution, he explained, “is something quite different from a vital need for better working conditions, a better income, more liberty and so on, which can be satisfied within the existing order. Why should the overthrow of the existing order be of vital necessity for people who own, or can hope to own, good clothes, a well-stocked larder, a TV set, a car, a house and so on, all within the existing order.” (1... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 28, no. 3. Summer 1964. Pp. 286-304. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. I The THEORY of the “mixed” or “dual” economy is Keynesian. This type of economy, implying government monetary and fiscal intervention in the market mechanism, is still very much with us; but its theory, or ideology, is in crisis. Quite frequently the question is raised whether or not Keynesian economics is “outdated,” and demands are heard for either a “meta-Keynesian” approach to economic problems or for replacing the “conservative” with a more “radical” version of Keynesianism. These laments are not the outcome of any recently noticed in... (From:
Source: New Politics, Vol. 1, 1962, No. 4, pp. 19-33 Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; Marxism is often understood as a “theory of underconsumption” and as such is easily disproved by the empirical evidence of rising living standards in capitalist nations. It is also seen as a theory of crises and depressions. The present possibility of overcoming, even preventing, crisis conditions seems to prove Marxism doubly wrong. However, although Marx did draw attention to the limited consuming power of the laboring population, his theory was not a theory of underconsumption; and although he saw capitalism beset with crises, he had no definite crisis theory. The absence of the business cycle would not have invalidated his theory o... (From:
Source: American Socialist, April 1959; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. EVER since Lord Keynes’ dictum that wars—like pyramid-building and earthquakes—may serve to increase wealth, it has been increasingly recognized that war and preparation for war are necessary aspects of the prevailing economy and a condition of its proper functioning. Because, in recent history, only inflation and war have resulted in full utilization of productive capacities, the question has been raised whether this association between war and full employment is an accident or a necessity. It is usually answered with the assurance that, although it is no accident, it is not a necessity, for government expenditures can lead to full employment w... (From:
Source: Dissent, Vol. 3, No. 4. (Fall 1956), pp. 376-389. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; Any contraction of the Cold War and ensuing attempts to “normalize” international relations raise fresh hopes for a peaceful solution of the prevailing imperialist antagonisms. For the Western world this involves new evaluations of the Bolshevik regimes and their aggressive aspirations, A new readiness to parley with the totalitarian world is then explained by a change of attitude on the part of the totalitarian. The new post-Stalinist policies would not alone, however, suffice for a real rapprochement between the East and the West. The Bolshevik quest for peaceful co-existence, interpreted as weakness, could actually strengthen W... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, July-August, 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. THE SANE SOCIETY. By Erich Fromm. Rinehart & Company, New York, 1955, pp. 370, $5.00 I According to Fromm, and in distinction to orthodox Freudianism, man’s “basic passions are not rooted in his instinctive needs, but in the specific conditions of human existence.” These are now the conditions of capitalism. In the light of the requirements of mental health, as seen by Fromm, the prevailing society may be regarded as “insane.” Although some people are more affected than others, all behave irrationally in this irrational world. In order to change this situation, Fromm suggests the transformation of capitali... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.1, October 1934, pp 11-14. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer Any speculation regarding the possibilities of the German labor movement must take into account, not merely the aims of the various organizations, but the structural transformations in modern society during the last decade. This change in the economic setup, together with its political consequences, is likewise the indispensable key to the complete understanding of fascism. In the present crisis, the monopolist form of economy develops within itself stagnating tendencies directed economically against the laissez-faire principle and politically against "formal democracy". The ... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, August 1944; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. The Growth of American Thought. By Merle Curti. Harper & Brothers, New York, 1943. (848pp., $5.00) Well written, interestingly constructed and partly original in its researches, Curti’s book is nevertheless a dull affair. This is not the writer’s fault, but results from the fact that American thought has not grown in depth but has been a mere accumulation of detailed knowledge incapable of changing the general climate of opinion. Save in technology, the whole intellectual development from colonial times to the present war has not been very impressive. However unwillingly, Curti&r... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.2, October 1934, pp 26-28. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer A short time back the Militant expressed quite a lot of pity for some of the Lovestone group who were trying to find their way back to the Socialist Party. A few weeks ago, too, they became vehement in complaints against “the treacherous Third International” because it started a United Front from the top with the Socialist Parties, with a proposal of merging the two organizations. “The Stalinists are liquidating the Communist Movement”, cried the Unser Wort, the Trotsky organ in France. “Down with such a merger. It will weaken, not strengthen the r... (From:
Source: Partizan Review, New York, Vol. VIII, No. 4, July/August 1941, pp. 289-310. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; The democratic nations recognize in the totalitarian regimes new social and economic systems incompatible with their own ideas of freedom and progress. The fascists, too, speak of the existence of “two worlds” which must fight each other until one of them succumbs. The democracies become increasingly more “fascistic” the more vigorously they defend their system. And the fascists claim that there is more “real democracy” within their “new order” than there ever was in liberal capitalism. They see in their own rise to power a real revolution that is changing the whole o... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism by Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Also published: International Socialism (1st series), No.22, Autumn 1965, pp.14-18. Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. Like science, industry, nationalism and the modern state, humanism is a product of capitalist development. It crowns the ideology of the bourgeoisie, which arose within the social relations of feudalism, whose main ideological support was religion. Humanism is a product of history, i.e. the product of men engaged in changing one social formation into another. Because it evolved with the rise and development of capitalism, it is necessary to consider the humanism of bourgeois society before dealing with its relationship to ... (From:
Source: International Socialism, No.25, Summer 1966. Transcription: Adam Buick. Letter in reply to Robin Derricourt It seems to me that Robin Derricourt’s distinction between humanism and working-class socialism (IS 24) treats humanism not as an historical but as a universal category in the sense in which the young Marx identified humanism with communism, i.e., as the realization of the human essence. In Derricourt’s view, humanism seems to be something independent of, and different from, definite social relationships and, presently, a kind of monopoly of the “intellectual or middle-class persons.” This is a variation on the theme dear to Kautsky and Lenin, namely, that the workers themselves cannot develop a revol... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. Italics added by Jonas Holmgren, June 2009. The viewpoint of totality in the materialist dialectic is something different from the longing of the economically distracted bourgeoisie for harmony, for a self-contained system, for eternal truths and an all-embracing philosophy of the Whole ending up in the Absolute. To Marxism, there is nothing closed off. All concepts, all knowledge is the recognition that in the material interaction between man and nature social man is an active factor, that historical development is conditioned not only by objective relations arising through nature but quite as much so... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. Question: What relevance does Pannekoek’s book have in Europe today? Do you think that the analytic memory and theory of the past experience of council communism, as Pannekoek expresses them, can be “heard” and understood by workers here today? Answer: A book, such as Pannekoek’s, is not in need of immediate relevance. It concerns itself with a historical period; with past occurrences as well as possible future experiences, in which the phenomenon of workers’ councils appearing and disappearing points to a trend of development in workers’ class struggle and its changing objectives. Like anything else, forms of class... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. Question: We seem to be entering into a new period of serious economic and social crisis. Whar are the new features of this period, in comparison with the 1930’s? Answer: The basic reasons for the current crisis at the same as those which caused all previous capitalist crises. But all crises have also specific features with respect to their initiation, the reactions released by them, and their outcome. The changing capital structure accounts for these peculiarities. Generally, a crisis follows in the wake of a period of successful capital accumulation, wherein the profits produced and realized are sufficient to maintain a given rate of expansion. ... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism by Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. The reprinting of this collection of essays and reviews, which were written during the last 40 years, may find its justification in the current ferment of ideas by which a new left-wing within the socialist movement attempts to derive a theory and practice more adequate to the present situation and the needs of social change. As yet merely of a theoretical nature, this trend has led to a growing interest in the comprehension of past revolutionary movements. However, although its proponents try to differentiate themselves from the old and discredited labor movement, they have not as yet been able ... (From:
Source: Paul Mattick Home page; First Published: New Essays, Vol. VI no. 4, 1943; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. The Modern Machiavellians. By James Burnham. John Day Co., New York, 1943. James Burnham’s second attempt to purge himself of the misunderstood Marxism of his earlier years is slightly more successful than his first effort, The Managerial Revolution. In the latter book, he still tried to explain the problem of power in economic terms, although no longer from the social point of view of Marx but from that of the technocrats. Nevertheless, he insisted that not the politicians, but those who control the means of production directly, are the real rulers of society. In the present book he find... (From:
Source: International Review, New York, April 1937, May 1937; The Theory and Practice of Socialism. By John Strachey, Random House, New York; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. Writing on Strachey’s book The Nature of Capitalist Crisis (Modern Monthly, April 1935) the present reviewer had to close with the remark that anyone, like Strachey, “who does not understand capitalism is also incapable of getting at the state of society which must of necessity result from it.” This statement is well illustrated by Strachey’s new book. His Theory and Practice is essentially the last revision of the program of the Communist Party spread over five hundred pages. It re-chews ... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism. Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. In the fall of 1938, Karl Kautsky died in Amsterdam at the age of 84 years. He was considered the most important theoretician of the Marxist labor movement after the death of its founders, and it may well be said that he was its most representative member. In him were very clearly incorporated both the revolutionary and the reactionary aspects of that movement. But whereas Friedrich Engels could say at Marx’s grave that his friend “was first of all a revolutionist,” it would be difficult to say the same at the grave of his best-kn... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofread: by Chris Clayton 2006. Karl Korsch was born in 1886 in Tostedt in the Luneburger Heath and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1961. The son of a middle-class family, he attended the Gymnasium in Meiningen and studied law, economics, sociology and philosophy in Jena, Munich, Berlin and Geneva. Becoming a Doctor Juris of the University of Jena in 1911, he spent the years from 1912 to 1914 in Great Britain in the study and practice of English and International Law. The First World War brought him back to Germany and into the German Army for the next four years. Twice wounded, demoted and pro... (From:
Published: in Contemporary Issues 8, Spring 1951 Transcription: Adam Buick HTML-markup: Jonas Holmgren I Anticipating America's role in the wake of the first world war, President Wilson encouraged his fellow-citizens in 1916 by saying that 'we must play a great part in the world whether we chose it or not. We have got to finance the world in some important degrees and those who finance the world must understand it and rule it with their spirits and with their minds'. The simple message he had to bring, he added, was merely this: 'lift your eyes to the horizon of business.'[1] His anticipations were fulfilled beyond all expectations. The war destroyed Europe's dominating position within the world economy and the United St... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, January-February 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. MUTUAL AID. By Peter Kropotkin, with Foreword by Ashley Montague, and including “The Struggle for Existence” by T. H. Huxley. Extending Horizons Press, Boston, 1955, pp. 362, $3.00. This new issue of Kropotkin’s work on Mutual Aid, first published at the turn of the century, not only satisfies the need for its continued availability but — in some measure — also helps to combat the current neo-Malthusianism and the renewed, though futile, attempts to present capitalist competition as a “law of nature.” Provoked by Huxley’s belief that in nature and society the struggle for existence is one of all... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.5, February 1935, pp 1-5. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer “Sensitive souls will again lament,” wrote Rosa Luxemburg at the end of her quarrel with the pseudo-Marxists of the Second International, “that Marxists wrangle among themselves, and that approved ‘authorities’ are combated. But Marxism is not a handful of individuals who confer upon each other the right of ‘expert judgment’ and before whom the great mass of believers is expected to die in a state of blind confidence. Marxism is a revolutionary view of the world which must constantly strive for new insights, which eschews nothing so much ... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Written: by Paul Mattick, published in International Council Correspondence Vol. 2, no. 1, December 1935 and reprinted in Western Socialist Vol. 13. no. iii. January 1946. In 1978 it was included in Paul Mattick Anti-Bolshevik Communism Merlin Press, London, 1978 ISBN: 0 850 36 222 7/9. The e-version of this text was made by Kavosh Kavoshgar for Kurasje; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed and corrected: by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. Further corrected by Jonas Holmgren, July 2009. The yellower and more leathery the skin of the mummified Lenin grows, and the higher the statistically determined number of visitors to the Lenin Mausoleum climbs, the less are people concerned about the real... (From:
Source: Living Marxism, Fall 1940; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. With Leon Trotsky there passed away the last of the great leaders of bolshevism. It was his activity during the last fifteen years that kept alive some of the original content of the Bolshevik ideology — the great weapon for transforming backward Russia into its present state-capitalistic form. As all men are wiser in practice than in theory, so also Trotsky by his accomplishments achieves far greater importance than through his rationalizations that accompanied them. Next to Lenin, he was without doubt the greatest figure of the Russian Revolution. However, the need for leaders like Lenin and Trotsky, a... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism. Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed and corrected: by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. Rosa Luxemburg as well as Lenin developed from the Social Democracy, in which both played important roles. Their work influenced not only the Russian, Polish and German labor movement, but was of worldwide significance. Both symbolized the movement opposed to the revisionism and reformism of the Second International. Their names are inseparably entwined with the re-organization of the labor movement during and after the World War, and both were Marxists to whom theory was at the same time actual practice. Energetic human beings, they were – to use a... (From:
Source:; First Published: Paul Mattick, Mandel’s Economics: Another View, International Socialism (1st Series), No.37, June/July 1969, pp.35-39; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofread: by Chris Clayton 2006. In the last issue of International Socialism we printed a review of Mandel’s book[1] by Michael Kidron. We are now printing another review of the same book by the American Marxist, Paul Mattick; we do this because we think that it will be of interest to our readers, not because we necessarily agree with all of what he says. In particular we do not accept his view of the relationship between Stalinism and Bolshevism (see, for example, Tony Cliff: Russia. A Marxist Analysis and Trotsky on... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, November-December 1955; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Classical economy, whose beginning is usually traced to Adam Smith, found its best expression and also its end in David Ricardo. Ricardo, as Marx wrote, “made the antagonism of class-interest, of wages and profits, of profits and rent, the starting-point of his investigation, naively taking this antagonism for a social law of nature. But by this start the science of bourgeois economy had reached the limits beyond which it could not pass,” for a further critical development could lead only to the recognition of the contradictions and limitations of the capitalist system of production. By doing what could no longer be done by bour... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, March-April, 1958; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. MARXISM AND FREEDOM. FROM 1776 UNTIL TODAY. By Raya Dunayevskaya. New York, 1958, pp. 384, $6.00. In writing this strange book the author’s intentions were no doubt the best. But there is a wide gap between intentions and performance. And although Dunayevskaya’s interpretation of Marxian doctrine is occasionally true and eloquent, the book as a whole is an embarrassing, scatterbrained hodge-podge of philosophical, economic and political ideas that defy description and serious criticism. It may, however, serve as an example of how Marxism cannot be “reexamined” and thus recovered from the Russians. The impulse for writi... (From:
Source: International Review, vol. 2, No. 6, Aug. 1937, pp. 90-6; Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt. ASIDE FROM minor criticism directed at the series of economic studies undertaken by the Brookings Institution under the general heading Income and Economic Progress, these publications have been widely hailed as an important contribution to contemporary economic research. A few details in the studies have met with opposition on the part of some economists. The computing methods and the results have been challenged by others. Still, looking at the whole work from a general point of view, one may venture to say that even the Marxist will be ready to pay homage to the Institution and to the authors of the series, to which there has rec... (From:
Source: Living Marxism, April 1939; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. Recently the editors of Common Sense [1] have once more dealt with the “unscientific character” of Marxism by pointing out that: “Ricardo’s labor theory of value, taken over by Marx and embellished with the theory of surplus value, was abandoned long ago by all but Marxist economists, and a whole branch of ‘marginal utility’ economics developed, of which Marx could know nothing ... that even in the Soviet Union (so far as Five Year Plans go, if not at the Marx-Engels Institute) marginal utility economics have displaced the useless and misleading Marxian economics.” H... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, March-April 1957; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Contemporary Capitalism. By John Strachey, Random House, New York, 1956 (pp. 374; $5.00). This book represents John Strachey’s second major attempt to understand the society he lives in and to detect its general developmental trend. The first attempt — made prior to the second world war — brought him straight to Bolshevism. This second try is a rationalization of British Labor Party policies. Capitalism, Strachey relates, finds itself in a new stage of development, characterized by monopolization, trustification, centralization, state interferences and the divorce of management from ownership. A certain amount of controlabili... (From:
Source: Anti-Bolshevik Communism by Paul Mattick, published by Merlin Press, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. The conflict between the East and the West, although it involves different ideologies, has little to do with different concepts of physical reality. Ideologies differ because material and social interests differ; ‘physical reality’, on the other hand, is quite the same for all the combatants. Nevertheless, in both camps, the ideological struggle is carried into the natural sciences — in the East, in the form of a rearguard defense of dialectical materialism; in the West, in the assertion that dialectical materialism is “the real root of the conflict between East and West, b... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. The new interest in Marxism, as reflected in numerous publications, seems to substantiate George Lichtheim’s remark that ‘a new doctrine becomes academically respectable only after it has petrified’.[1] From this point of view the renewed concern with Marx resembles an intellectual wake over the dead body of Marxism and the disposition of some of its still-usable properties among the heirs. If nothing good can be said about past Marxian practice, the aspects of Marxian theory, at least, can be and have been assimilated into current social sciences. Marx himself, it is said, is thereby honored, for ‘the highest triumph a great sch... (From:
Source: Marxism. Last Refuge of the Bourgeoisie? by Paul Mattick, edited by Paul Mattick Jr., published by Merlin Press, 1983; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. Proofed: by Brandon Poole, 2009. In Marx’s conception, changes in people’s social and material conditions will alter their consciousness. This also holds for Marxism and its historical development. Marxism began as a theory of class struggle based on the specific social relations of capitalist production. But while its analysis of the social contradictions inherent in capitalist production has reference to the general trend of capitalist development, the class struggle is a day-to-day affair and adjusts itself to changing social conditions. The... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; First Published: in Living Marxism vol. 4, no. 4 August 1938 and reprinted in Red & Black Notes #6 and #7; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. Economic and political changes proceed with bewildering rapidity since the close of the world war. The old conceptions in the labor movement have become faulty and inadequate and the working class organizations present a scene of indecision and confusion. In view of the changing economic and political situation it seems that thorough reappraisement of the task of the working class becomes necessary in order to find the forms of struggle and organization most needful and effective. The rela... (From:
Source: American Socialist, vol. 6, Sept. 1959, No 9, pp. 16-19; Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt. Editors’ Note: We are sure that our readers will find many valuable insights in the following article by the long-time socialist writer, Paul Mattick, whose contributions have previously appeared in the American Socialist. Mr. Mattick here argues strongly the thesis held by Rosa Luxemburg and others before the first World War, on the so-called “national question.” We do not, for our part, believe it is possible to dissociate the battle for socialism from the general revolutionary wave in the under-developed world, a wave that is powered by aspirations for national independence and a better life. The two currents d... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; First Published: as “El Nuevo Capitalismo y la Vieja Lucha de Clase”, Negaciones 1, Oct. 1976, Madrid; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. “The proletariat is revolutionary or it is nothing.” – Karl Marx Being a product of bourgeois society, the socialist movement is linked to the vicissitudes of capitalist development. It will assume different forms according to the changing fortunes of the capitalist system. In circumstances which are not favorable to the formation of class consciousness, it will not grow, or will practically disappear. In conditions of capitalist prosperity it tends to transform itself from a revolutionary to a reformist movement. In times... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, May-June 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Policies to Combat Depression. A Conference of the Universities National Bureau Committee for Economic Research. Princeton University Press, 1956. (417 pp; $8.50). The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy. Report of a Study Group sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the National Planning Association. Henry Holt & Co., New York. (414 pp; $600). According to Keynes, depressions are no longer necessary. And, in fact, instead of depression there was the second world war and the upswing of economy activity based on the probability of a new war. Government manipulations and expenditures kept unemployment at a low level; a greatly ... (From:
Source: One Big Union Monthly, August 1937, pp. 14-7, 33-34. Transcribed: by Brian Reid, Thomas Schmidt; The literature dealing with the problems of a planned economy has attained proportions comparable only with those of the depression which brought it forth. In all this welter of thought, we may distinguish three main currents: one which stands for the possibility of capitalist planning, another which denies it on principle, and a third which hovers between these extremes and finds its champions both in the bourgeois and socialist camps. In view of the depression, the surviving representatives of the laissez-faire principle have a hard time defending their theoretical postulates against the planners. It becomes increasingly ... (From:
From Partizan Review, Vol.15 No.10, October 1948, pp.1108-1124. Copied with thanks from the Council Communist Archive at Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive. As against the terror of the bombs, the actual conquest of Berlin was of lesser significance to its inhabitants. Nevertheless, the artillery tore new holes into the ruins, shot away parts of the surviving buildings, killed many people running for food and water. The spray of machine guns is visible almost on every house, every floor, every apartment door. The tanks ground down the streets and sidewalks. The battle was fought section by section, street by street, house by house. ... (From:
Review of Engels-Kautsky Correspondence. Orbis-Verlag, Prague. First Published: International Review, February 1937; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. Kautsky’s relations with Engels began in 1881. In explanation, Kautsky precedes the collection of letters with a short sketch of his own development, showing the great influence exercised by Engels in the making of Kautsky. The correspondence itself cannot contribute much to this. It contains little of theoretic matter. It sheds more light on the history of the Social-Democratic Party. Kautsky refers to Marx and Engels, in the typical social-democratic and philistine manner, as the “great masters,” the “Olympian,&... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Written: by Paul Mattick published in Anti-Bolshevik Communism in 1978 by Merlin Press, London; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. I Otto Rühle’s activity in the German Labor Movement was related to the work of small and restricted minorities within and outside of the official labor organizations. The groups which he directly adhered to were at no time of real significance. And even within these groups he held a peculiar position; he could never completely identify himself with any organization. He never lost sight of the general interests of the working class, no matter what specific political strategy he was advocating ... (From:
Source: Paul Mattick Home page; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. Our custom of omitting names has led to a misunderstanding. The article, “The Party and the Working Class,” which, after it had appeared in Council Correspondence, was reprinted by the APCF and discussed in Solidarity (Nos. 34-36) by Frank Maitland, was written by Anton Pannekoek. The latter is at present in no position to answer Maitland’s critique. Being in some way responsible for the contents of Council Correspondence, I will try to answer some of Maitland’s questions. The problems raised cannot be approached in an abstract manner and in general terms, but only specifically in regard to concrete historical situati... (From:
Source: The Council Communist Archive -; Written: by Paul Mattick, published in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no. 2, November 1934, pp. 1-20. The e-version of this text was made by Kavosh Kavoshgar for Kurasje; Transcribed: by Steve Palmer. I. According to Marx, the development of the productive forces of society is the motive power of historical development. In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production, and in changing their mode of production, their manner of gaining a living, they change all their social relations. The transformation of the spinning wheel, the hand-loom and blacksmiths sledge, into the self-tending mule, the ... (From:
Published: in Contemporary Issues (New York) No 52, Spring 1966. Transcription: Adam Buick HTML-markup: Jonas Holmgren The Orwellian principles of newspeak, which include the interchangeability of words to enable them to express the opposite of what they appear to be, dominate today's political vocabulary. Just as peace stands for war and wars are fought to maintain peace, so many other terms have come to designate their opposites. It is then not surprising to encounter a book which declares that the opposite of crisis, namely prosperity, is itself in crisis. [Prosperity in Crisis by Joseph M. Gillman. Marzani & Munsel. New York, 1965. $5.00]. Gillman's new book develops the thesis "that the capitalist economies experience ... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, June 1944; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. Reflections on the Revolution of Our Times, by Harold J. Laski. The Viking Press, New York, 1943. (410pp., $3.50) Harold Laski’s wordy and repetitious book attempts to reconcile the “liberal” ideology of the British Labor Party and the American New Deal with the power politics of the United Nations. Despite its length, this volume is a propaganda tract on the intellectual level of The New Republic and The Nation. It was undoubtedly intended to be the most brilliant of all the apologies for the Allied Nations, but instead it is a boring, hypocritical and unconvincing sort of self-d... (From:
Paul Mattick 1945 Remember the Wrapper Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, September 1945; The Economics of Control. Principles of Welfare Economics. By Abba P. Lerner. The Macmillan Company, New York, 1944 (428 pp.; $3.75); Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. It is difficult to review Professor Lerner’s study, not because it is intricate, but because it seems so superfluous. As trying as it is to read this work it is almost inconceivable that Lerner could spent twelve years on its preparation and writing; particularly these last twelve years of crisis, depression, fascism and war. And yet it is quite understandable from the academic point of view, that is, from the position ... (From:
Published: in Science & Society, Spring 1961. Vol. XXV, Nº 2 Transcription: Adam Buick HTML-markup: Jonas Holmgren Aspects of Revolt, by Max Nomad. New York: Bookman Associates, 1959. $5.00. Pp. 311. While Max Nomad's previous books were mainly biographical sketches of leading personalities of various radical movements, and the theoretical explanation of their behavior was incidental, the present book reverses the procedure; personalities are dealt with merely to illustrate his theory of history. This theory is simple and seems very convincing because of the enormous evidence that supports it. It is not properly his own but is as old as mankind itself. It consists of a well-founded skepticism regarding man's ability ... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, September-October, 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Soviet Russian Nationalism. By Frederick C. Barghoorn. Oxford University Press, New York, 1956, pp. 330; $7.00. Capitalism, although it is an international mode of production, developed within the frame of the modern nation-state. Its “internationalism” assumes the form of aggressive “nationalism.” The imperialistic expansion of nationally-organized capitalism needs such extra-nationalist ideologies as “the civilizing mission” of colonialism, or “the defense of democracy” against fascist national movements and their imperialist aspirations. The vested interests of the national state and the power of n... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 36, no. 1. 1972. Pp. 121-123. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. The Challenge to U.S. Dominance of the International Corporations, by Rainer Hellmann. New York: The Dunellen Company, Inc., 1971. $17.50. Pp. 348. Between 1950 and 1970, there was roughly a tenfold increase in American direct investments in Europe. The fear arose, and found expression in various publications, that this trend, if not reversed, would sooner or later subject Europe to the rule of American capital. Hellmann's book deals with this American dominance by way of international corporations operating in Europe and the world at large, and with the counter-moves on the part of European capital to arrest this ... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, March-April, 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. EROS AND CIVILIZATION. A PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY INTO FREUD. By Herbert Marcuse. The Beacon Press, Boston, 1955, 277 pp., $3.95. Marcuse’s book renews the endeavor to read Marx into Freud. Previous attempts, by Reich and Osborn for instance, failed miserably. Instead of overcoming a bewailed inertia, Reich’s theories hardly sufficed to sustain a ridiculous private racket. Osborn’s work, a product of the Stalinist popular-front period, designed to attract the petty bourgeois, was soon forgotten by both the Western petty-bourgeoisie and the bolshevik regime. Psychoanalysis did not become part of, or a new basis for, a radical do... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 32, no. 3. 1968. Pp. 348-350. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. The German Revolution of 1918: A Study of German Socialism in War and Revolt, by A. J. Ryder. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967. 63s. Pp. 304. Waste-production, a characteristic of present-day capitalism, displays itself in intellectual as well as material forms. Ryder's book falls in this category by telling once more the dreary story of the German Revolution of 1918. Its extensive yet selective bibliography names its numerous predecessors and, due to the strange proceedings of the academic world, it will undoubtedly find just as many successors. This is not to say that the book is not worthwhile; on the co... (From:
By Gunnar Myrdal. Assisted by William J. Barber, Altti Majava, Alva Myrdal, Paul P. Streeten, David Wightman and George W. Wilson. 3 Volumes, charts and tables, 2,284 pp. The Twentieth Century Fund, New York, cloth, boxed, $25. Pantheon Books, New York, paper, boxed, $ 8.50. 1968. Source: International Socialist Journal, July 1968, Year 5, number 26-27, pp. 385-402. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; Professor Myrdal’s vast study – the result of a decade of research – deals with the countries of South Asia, with their poverty and their developmental needs. While embracing Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, South Vietnam and the Philippines, it concentrates chiefly on India. The reg... (From:
Source: Politics, vol. 1, June 1944, no. 5, p. 156. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; This booklet is an incompetent and badly written answer by the leader of the Socialist Labor Party to such equally incompetent but literarily better-versed critics of Marxism as Lewis Corey, Sidney Hook, Edmund Wilson, and Harold Laski. Some of these critics are called “renegades” though it is difficult to establish from what they have deserted. They merely tried different enterprises, a trouble which such organizational monopolists as Petersen are spared. Of course Petersen is right in maintaining that, in comparison with his present-day critics, Marx is really a “universal genius.” But the proof he delivers in support o... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 35, no. 3. 1971. Pp. 378-380. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. Marx Before Marxism, by David McLellan. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. $6.50. Pp. 233. Here is another addition to the vast literature devoted to the young Marx and his relationship to the mature Marx of Capital--a subject which has agitated academic Marxism during the last decade. McLellan offers as justification for his book the claim that previous interpretations of Marx's early writings suffered from one or another bias, whereas his own exposition is presented "as neutrally as possible." He presents these writings "in their historical context," which has of course been extensively dealt with by other authors as ... (From:
Source: American Socialist, vol. 5, April 1958, No. 4, p. 23; Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; Hydraulic Society LIKE historians before him, Marx held that “there have been in Asia, generally, from immemorial times, but three departments of Government: that of Finance, or the plunder of the interior: that of War, or the plunder of the exterior; and, finally, the department of Public Works.” The reasons for this, he wrote, were climatic and territorial, which made “artificial irrigation by canals and water-works the basis of Oriental agriculture and of Oriental despotism.” The “prime necessity of an economical and common use of water, which, in the Occident, drove private enterprise to voluntary asso... (From:
Source: American Socialist, Vol 3, No. 8, August 1956, pp. 19-20. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; C. WRIGHT MILLS’ portrait of the top layer of America’s power hierarchy (“The Power Elite” by C. Wright Mills) is as true and unpleasing as Sutherland’s painting of Churchill. And just as the latter has reportedly been put out of sight, so Mills’ portrait is deprecatingly called a caricature rather than a work of art. In both cases, however, the artist’s object is a caricature. Mills’ canvas, done with infinite care, cannot really be challenged. This is exactly how the decision makers look and how they operate; disturbing, perhaps, to those whose well-being depends on their rule and be... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 31, no. 3. 1967. Pp. 373-375. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. A Reappraisal of Marxian Economics, by Murray Wolfson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966. $6.75. Pp. 220. Rather generously, Murray Wolfson gives Marx credit for raising economic issues which are still the real problems of mature capitalism. In his view, however, Marx did not succeed in showing that they are insurmountable within the confines of bourgeois society. Wolfson thinks them surmountable and attempts to show why and where Marx went wrong in predicting the necessity of change from capitalism to socialism. He finds Marx's errors rooted in his philosophical preconceptions and a theory of value from wh... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 31, no. 1, 1967. pp. 108-114. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. Rosa Luxemburg, by J. P. Nettl. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966. $20.20. Vol. I, pp. xvi, 450; Vol II, pp. viii, 451-984. While J. P. Nettl had to convince himself “of having good reasons for writing this book,” the work itself more than justifies his own motives for doing so. It is far more than a biography, and reveals, through Rosa Luxemburg’s life and work, a whole historical period which, far from belonging to the irrevocable past, still determines the present and the future. It would be futile to attempt an inventory of these two volumes filled, as they are, with events, people, and i... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 24, no. 3. 1960. Pp. 266-269. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. The Spartacus Uprising and the Crisis of the German Socialist Movement: A Study of the Relation of Political Theory and Party Practice, by Eric Waldman. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1959. $6.00. Pp. 248. Forty years have passed since the Spartacus days in Berlin. Four decades of political and imperialistic struggles embroiling the entire world have reduced the Spartacus week to an apparently insignificant incident. Yet, the Spartacus movement retains historical importance, for its defeat signaled the early exhaustion of the feeble world-revolutionary wave in the wake of the First World War. Waldman's book do... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 38, no. 2. 1974. Pp 220-223. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. Theories of Value and Distribution Since Adam Smith: Ideology and Economic Theory, by Maurice Dobb. Cambridge University Press: New York, 1973. $12.50. Pp. 295. According to Marx, the vulgarization of classical bourgeois economy was unavoidable. In France and in England, he wrote in the preface to Capital: The bourgeoisie had conquered political power. Thenceforth, the class-struggle, practically as well as theoretically, took on more and more outspoken and threatening forms. It sounded the knell of scientific bourgeois economy. It was thenceforth no longer a question, whether this theorem or that was true, but wh... (From:
Source: Living Marxism, April 1939; Karl Marx. By Karl Korsch. Chapman & Hall, London (6s.). John Wiley & Sons, New York (247 pp.; $1.75); Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. In conspicuous distinction to many other interpretations of Marx, this book concentrates upon the essentials of Marxian theory and practice. The author restates “the most important principles and contents of Marx’s social science in the light of recent historical events and of the new theoretical needs which have arisen under the impact of those events.” The book is not out to please the curious, nor does it correspond to any particular group interest. Because in its compactness and objectivit... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, January-February 1956; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Monopoly in America: the Government As Promoter. By Walter Adams and Horace M. Gray. The Macmillan Co., New York, 1955, 221 pp. $3.50. This latest addition of the enormous literature on monopoly and competition brings the story up to date without adding anything essential to the problem and its “solution” save the warning that monopoly will lead to totalitarianism unless stopped by government intervention. Like most authors in this field, Adams and Gray see nothing wrong with capitalism but condemn alleged violations of “proper” capitalist practices. In their view, monopoly is bad because with competition it dest... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, May-June 1955; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. The Present As History. By Paul M. Sweezy. Monthly Review Press (376 pp., $5.00); Mr. Sweezy, an editor of Monthly Review and author of a highly regarded but quite muddled Theory of Capitalist Development, presents in this book a collection of book reviews and essays written firing the last fifteen years. Aside from three short and insignificant papers, all the reprinted material is still available in its original publication in various magazines. Its reappearance in book form is difficult to understand, particularly because the review, the editorial, and even the space-restricted essay are not the best media for the consideration of comprehensive t... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.8, May 1935, pp 1-6. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer To Marxism, the determining contradiction in present-day society lies in the contradictory development of the social forces of production within the existing relations of production, or, otherwise expressed, between the increasingly socialized character of the productive process itself and the persisting property relations. In all forms of society, the general advance of humanity has been expressed in the development of the productive forces, i.e. of the means and methods of production, enabling ever greater amounts of use articles to be produced with an ever diminishing amount of dire... (From:
Published: Proletarian Outlook, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 5-10. November 1939. Source: The Internet Archive. Transcription/Markup for Marxists Internet Archive: Micah Muer, 2018. It is claimed that something essential happened in 1935. "Rugged individualism" was replaced by a new "social conscience" on the part of the people and their government. The pleasant word "profit" disappeared behind the still more pleasant word "security". The New Deal was going to change things, until everybody would be able to smile as sweetly as the President. And the magic of words almost succeeded in bringing this about. Now again, however, all faces are sour. Words, ideas, hopes cannot forever compensate for actual needs. The bluff, the make-believe is ... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; First Published: in Root and Branch #6, 1978; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. It will soon be sixty years since the mercenaries of the German social-democratic leadership murdered Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Although they are mentioned in the same breath, as they both symbolized the radical element within the German political revolution of 1918, Rosa Luxemburg’s name carries greater weight because her theoretical work was of greater seminal power. In fact, it can be said that: she was the outstanding personality in the international labor movement after Marx and Engels; and that her work has not lost its political relevance despite the changes the capitalist system and the ... (From:
Source: Science and Society, Fall 1972, Vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 258-273. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; SOMEHOW, AND FOR REASONS known only to himself, Paul A. Samuelson cannot leave Marx alone. His latest concern[1] in this respect is an attempt to have the last word in a long-drawn controversy regarding the relation between value and price in the Marxian system. He acknowledges right from the start that the criticism made by Böhmm-Bawerk and others, namely that Marx was not able to sustain the theory of value as presented in Volume I of Capital and abandoned it in favor of a price theory in Volume III, cannot be made because of the fact that the third volume was completed prior to the publication of the first. Samuelson insi... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.6, March 1935, pp 9-18. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer I Anyone unfamiliar with politics who strolls into a workers’ meeting (leaving out of consideration the gatherings of the unemployed) is surprised by the fact that the larger part of those present is not to be numbered among the most impoverished stratum of the proletariat. The best organized workers are, of course, those who belong to the so-called labor aristocracy, which takes a social position between the middle class and the genuine proletariat. These trade-unionist organizations espouse the direct vital interests of their members, bringing to them immediate adva... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, September 1946; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, August 2005. The Road to Serfdom. By Friedrich A. Hayek, University of Chicago Press, 1944 (250 pp.; $2.75). Full Employment in a Free Society. By William H. Beveridge. W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1945. (429pp; $3,75). Both these books are dedicated to the “socialists of all parties.” Hayek wants to discourage them, Beveridge tries to offer encouragement. Both writers speak in the name of science and deal with the reality of, and the need for, capitalistic planning. But what appears to Hayek as the road to serfdom seems to Beveridge the highway to a free society. Russia and Germany pro... (From:
Source: Kurasje Council Communism Site; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden. The question of organization and spontaneity was approached in the labor movement as a problem of class consciousness, involving the relations of the revolutionary minority to the mass of the capitalistically-indoctrinated proletariat. It was considered unlikely that more than a minority would accept, and, by organizing itself, maintain and apply a revolutionary consciousness. The mass of the workers would act as revolutionaries only by force of circumstances. Lenin accepted this situation optimistically. Others, like Rosa Luxemburg, thought differently about it. In order to realize a party dictatorship, Lenin concerned himself first of all with questions of o... (From:
Review of Stalin and German Communism. A Study in the Origins of the State Party. By Ruth Fischer, Harvard University Press, 1948, 687 pp., $80; Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, March-April, 1949; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. The postwar situation with the new imperialist rivalries brought forth an American boom in anti-bolshevik literature. The latest of several big volumes, starting with Trotsky’s Stalin biography is Ruth Fischer’s work on the relationship between Stalin and the German Communist Party. To deal with Stalinism in this manner us particularly apt, as the competition between America and Russia concerns control over other countries. The “rape” of smaller nations by greater powers is a mod... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, January-February, 1951; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Stalin’s Frame-Up System and the Moscow Trials. By Leon Trotsky. With a Foreword by Joseph Hansen. Pioneer Publishers, New York, 1950. (144 pp., $1.00). This booklet, published on the tenth anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination, contains Trotsky’s closing speech at the Hearing of the Dewey Commission of Inquiry first printed by Harper & Brothers in 1937. In his foreword, Joseph Hansen finds this reminder of the Moscow Trials particularly apt because of the series of trials of prominent Communists, such as Rajk and Kostov, since the end of the second world war. “Without knowing the truth about the Moscow trials,&rd... (From:
Review of Eastern Menace, The Story of Japanese Imperialism. Published by the Union of Democratic Control, London. Source: International Review, New York, November 1936; Transcribed: by Adam Buick; Proofed: and corrected by Geoff Traugh, July 2005. This document is addressed to the British “public,” which is to be warned against the wiles of Japanese imperialism. It aims to influence British policy (by which yellow imperialism was “half supported and half feared”) so that the English may come out openly against Japan. The latter, we are told, “is organizing a Yellow Empire with the avowed policy of ending the rule of the white man in the East, and if she does fight Russia, the war will probably invol... (From:
Source: Western Socialist, Boston, USA, July 1947; Transcribed: by Adam Buick. Hammer or Anvil. The Story of the German Working-Class Movement. By Evelyn Anderson (207pp.; V. Gollancz, London). This short history of the German labor movement from the time of Bismarck’s anti-socialist laws to its extinction under the Hitler regime deals with both the political and trade-union aspects of the movement and is written from the same point of view that prevailed in those organizations. There is little criticism and what there is is directed only to the late phases of the movement. Some errors of fact appear here and there with regard to issues that are of no real importance. For instance, Liebknecht is said to have been the only m... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.1, October 1934, p 16. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer The present strike wave is characterized by defeats and betrayals. The workers suffer defeats because of their insufficient and treacherous organizations on the one hand, and because the capitalist class and its state cannot permit a victory to the workers on the other. Capitalism in the period of general crisis, must combat to its fullest extent any attempt by the workers to improve their conditions. Victory for the workers would mean endangering the position of capitalism. Every strike is practically lost in advance. But this does not exclude the necessity of workers fighting ev... (From:
Published: Root & Branch: The Rise of the Workers' Movement, 1975. Pp. 173-207. Source: Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2019. The origins of the war in Indochina are to be found in the results of the Second World War. Waged in Europe, Africa, and East Asia, World War II turned America into the strongest capitalist power in both the Atlantic and the Pacific areas of the world. The defeat of the imperialist ambitions of Germany and Japan promised the opening up of new imperialist opportunities for the United States, which emerged from the conflict not only unimpaired but enormously strengthened. America's opportunities were not limitless, however; concessions had to be made to the Russian wartime ally, which for... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.1, October 1934, p 15. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer According to the Militant (#37) the organizational unity of the groups is close at hand. The political bargainers are almost sure to put their deal through to the satisfaction of all concerned. The membership of both groups will be very happy, and they will be proud of a larger and more important organization. The Trotsky bodyguard will easily forget that only yesterday the Musteites were fakirs and political scoundrels. The Muste crowd will soon agree that Trotsky on the same side with their "American Lenin", the former and present Priest Muste, is not so bad. Together they will fi... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.2, November 1934, pp 24-26. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer Two years ago, in relation to Sinclair and the Eisenstein movie, Thunder Over Mexico, the critics already tried to point out that his ideology was of a fascist character. With his attitude towards the cutting up of the movie, he had lost his prestige as a socialist and was considered on the road to the class enemy. A good business man, however, is not necessarily also a fascist, and the noise about Sinclair’s perversion soon died out. He ran for governor several times on the Socialist ticket, and now he enters the Democratic Party with his Epic Platform (End Poverty In... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 23, no. 4 (Fall, 1959), pp. 289-297. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. Marx based his theory of capital accumulation on the labor theory of value and surplus-value, although he was fully aware that commodities rarely are exchanged at their value. This “contradiction,” of which so much is made in anti-Marxian theory, he resolved for himself by pointing to the competitive market mechanism which, in his view, transforms values into prices of production. Actually, of course, there is no way of discovering the commodity price in its value, or, by a reverse procedure, to discover its value in its price. There is no observable “transformation” of values into prices a... (From:
Published: Science & Society, vol. 23, no. 1. Winter 1959. Pp. 27-51. Transcription/Markup: Micah Muer, 2018. Notes on Joseph M. Gillman’s The Falling Rate of Profit: Marx’s Law and Its Significance to Twentieth-Century Capitalism (New York, 1958). The interest shown by readers of SCIENCE & SOCIETY in the article by Jacob Morris on Joseph Gillman’s The Falling Rate of Profit has led the editors to invite the opinions of economists on the questions discussed in Dr. Gillman’s book. Their comments will be published beginning with this issue.—Editors. Marx’s theory of capital development evolved out of his criticism of the value theory of laissez-faire capitalism. In order to yield re... (From:
Source: The Modern Quarterly, Fall 1938, pp. 16-20. Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt Proofed: by Jonas Holmgren The Questions Did the Bolshevik Revolution achieve its proletarian objectives? Is the dictatorship of the proletariat consonant with Party Dictatorship? Can a proletarian State arise on the basis of the wage system, managed by a Party-State? What constitutes the abolition of capitalism? Does Lenin’s thesis that in the imperialist epoch the proletariat alone can lead a revolution to complete the “Bourgeois task” claim validity in view of the course pursued by Cardenas in Mexico, Kemal Pacha in Turkey, etc.? Viewed in retrospect, did the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks retard the World Prolet... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.1, October 1934, pp 1-9. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer In communism, the process of production is no longer a process of capital expansion, but only a labor process in which society draws from nature the means of consumption which it needs. No longer are values produced, but only articles for use. As an economic criterion, the necessity of which is undeniable, since both production and the productive apparatus must be made to conform to the social need, the only thing which can still serve is the labor time employed in the production of goods. It is no longer the 'value' but the calculation in terms of use articles and the immediate l... (From:
Source: Modern Monthly, Vol. IX. No.5. September, 1935, pp. 267f Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; The Questions What will you do when America goes to war? Will your decision be altered if Soviet Russia is an ally of the United States in a war with Japan? Would a prospective victory by Hitler over most of Europe move you to urge United States participation in opposition to Germany to prevent such a catastrophe? 1. Personally, I take neither pleasure nor interest in going into any war whatever; still, to declare oneself against war seems to me silly and useless. One has to set material forces against it, not mere attitudes, and anyone who fails to take part in shaping those forces is also not against war, however much he may prote... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.3, December 1934, pp 18-22. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer The New Deal is no harbinger of a “new social order”, nor is its apostle, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, self-proclaimed Messiah for the “forgotten man”, the really unselfish and public-spirited individual he is portrayed. Roosevelt’s election was engineered, just like all other previous elections, by a group of individuals whose economic interests required urgent governmental aid. The fall of 1932 saw the complete collapse of American industry and a rising tide of agrarian discontent. The current occupant of the White House, Herbert Hoover, place... (From:
Source: Kurasje Archive; Written: by Paul Mattick in 1967. Later it was included in The New Left: A collection of essays ed. Priscilla Long. Boston: Porter Sargent, 1969. In 1978 it was included in Anti-Bolshevik Communism Merlin Press, London, 1978, ISBN: 0 850 36 222 7/9. The e-version of this text was delivered by Kavosh Kavoshgar for Kurasje. Transcribed: by Andy Blunden, for 2003. According to socialist theory, the development of capitalism implies the polarization of society into a small minority of capital owners and a large majority of wage-workers, and therewith the gradual disappearance of the proprietary middle class of independent craftsmen, farmers and small shop-keepers. This concentration of productive prop... (From:
Published: in International Council Correspondence Vol. 1, no.7, April 1935, pp 7-18. Source: Antonie Pannekoek Archives Transcribed: by Graham Dyer We have received the following theses from Prague, as reported by Neue Front No. 20. They are issued under the title Revolutionary Marxism and Socialist Revolution by a group of revolutionary marxists “who organizationally belong to the German Social Democracy”. Their conception of the way that leads to socialism is here expressed. Our criticism follows. 1. The experience of all revolutions during and since the War has shown that a reformist and opportunistic policy leads to the defeat of the working class. The preliminary work for the socialist revolution, the winning ... (From:
Source: pamphlet published by the United Workers Party, 1604 N. California Ave, Chicago, Ill. ( Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; PREFACE. In a period of world-wide crisis constantly deepening; during a process of general and absolute pauperization of the working-class through-out the world; in the face of the imperialistic tendencies towards a new world scale butchery; with the sight of the march of fascism covering the globe before us; in spite of the temporary triumph of the capitalist forces on the grave of a once powerful international labor movement, after the most serious defeat of international Communism, the UNITED WORKERS PARTY OF AMERICA presents this small pamphlet to all serious revolutionists, to help ... (From:
Source: One Big Union Monthly, Nov. 1937, pp. 32-4; Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt; Proofed: and corrected by Jonas Holmgren To those readers who are already acquainted with Trotsky’s ideas and the publications of his movement, his present book will be a disappointment as it contains little new material. In this review we shall therefore limit ourselves to those portions of the volume which indicate that even in the mind of the party-intellectual changes do take place. But, it must be said, even such changes as Trotsky sees are only matters of emphasis – an effort to adapt his “theoretical line” to the new situation which has obviously contradicted previous postulates of his theory. Any serious student... (From:

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