Showing all 17 results

  • “Not Bad for a N—, No?” / «Pas mal pour un N—, n’est-ce pas? »

    Written during the seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations of the publication of Frantz Fanon’s Peau noir, masques blancs (“Black Skin, White Masks”), “Not Bad for a N—, No?” offers reflections on the circumstances of the publication of this classic work with Fanon’s insights on what he called the attempted “murder of man” and the urgent need for humanity to become “actional.”

    Écrit lors des célébrations du soixante-quinzième anniversaire de la publication de Frantz Fanon de Peau noir masques blancs, «Pas mal pour un N—, n’est-ce pas? » offre des réflexions sur les circonstances de la publication de cette œuvre classique avec les idées de Fanon sur ce qu’il a appelé la tentative de «meurtre de l’homme» et le besoin urgent que l’humanité devienne «actionnelle».

  • The revolutionary ecological legacy of Herbert Marcuse – 2nd Edition

    Description (2188 / 2500)
    The author appeals to the energies of those engaged in a wide range of contemporary social justice struggles such as ecosocialism, antiracism, the women’s movement, LGBTQ rights, and antiwar forces. As the dialectical counterpart of Marcuse’s Great Refusal, the book, which culminates with the ‘EarthCommonWealth Project’ is keyed to what we are struggling for, not just what we are struggling against. The author argues that regressive political forces must be countered today, and this is best accomplished through radical collaboration around an agenda recognizing the basic economic and political needs of diverse subaltern communities. System negation must become a new general interest. The author discusses core ethical insights from African philosophical sources, indigenous American philosophy, and radical feminist philosophy. Humanity’s first teachings on ethics are to be found in ancient African proverbs. These subsequently served also as a critique of colonialism and neocolonialism. Long-suppressed indigenous American sources supply a philosophical and political critique of Euro-centric economic and cultural values. They also offer an understanding of humanity’s place in nature and the leadership of women and attest to modes of cooperative and egalitarian forms of community. Feminist anthropology furnishes an historical context for understanding the origins of patriarchy and how to move beyond dominator power to new forms of partnership power.

    The book envisions the displacement and transcendence of capitalist oligarchy as such, not simply its most bestial and destructive components. This is a green economic alternative because its ecological vision sees all living things and their non-living earthly surroundings as a global community capable of a dignified, deliberate coexistence. It is searching for a new system of ecological production, egalitarian distribution, shared ownership, and democratized governance, having its foundation in the ethics of partnership productivity with an ecosocialist and humanist commitment to living our lives on the planet consistent with the most honorable and aesthetic forms of human social and political fulfillment.

  • Política e cultura no pensamento emancipatório africano

    Description (2132 / 2500)
    A atual ausência de uma visão emancipatória para a África está no centro dos nossos problemas políticos relacionados à opressão racial capitalista e colonial. Qualquer tentativa de repensar a emancipação política no continente africano deve ser capaz de localizar uma concepção universal de liberdade no interior das experiências culturais singulares que as pessoas vivem. Quando esteve baseada nas tradições populares, a política emancipatória exibiu tais traços dialéticos, independentemente da maneira específica na qual cada luta pela liberdade foi pensada em diferentes contextos históricos. No entanto, apenas alguns intelectuais militantes compreenderam a importância dessa dialética no pensamento.

    O presente volume esboça e discute dois pontos de vista particularmente importantes sobre o papel e a relevância da cultura popular na política emancipatória em África. Cada um deles resulta de formas distintas de exploração capitalista e colonialista: o primeiro viu a luz do dia em um contexto colonial, enquanto o segundo é diretamente confrontado pelo estado neocolonial. Todas as políticas emancipatórias são desenvolvidas em confronto com o poder estatal, e todas começam com um processo de discussão e debate através do qual um sujeito coletivo começa a se formar. No continente africano, a construção de tal sujeito político coletivo tem sido informada, de maneira fundamental, pelas culturas populares.

    Os dois autores cujos ensaios estão aqui incluídos entenderam isso e colocaram a cultura popular no centro de suas políticas. O primeiro, Amílcar Cabral, aborda o papel central da cultura popular na luta pela independência da Guiné-Bissau nos anos 1970; o segundo, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, aborda a centralidade da cultura popular africana para uma política emancipatória endereçada à atual República Democrática do Congo. Apesar das décadas que os separam, tanto Cabral como Wamba-dia-Wamba desenvolvem, no centro de sua política, uma dialética que ativa os universais da cultura no presente. É essa característica que confere às suas visões uma importância central para o pensamento emancipatório contemporâneo.

  • Politique et culture dans la pensée émancipatrice Africaine

    Au cœur de nos problèmes politiques issus d’un capitalisme racial et d’une oppression (néo)coloniale en Afrique aujourd’hui se trouve l’absence de toute vision émancipatrice véritable. Toute tentative de repenser une politique émancipatrice en Afrique doit pouvoir situer une vision universaliste de la liberté parmi les expériences culturelles singulières que les gens vivent. Les politiques émancipatrices quand elles existaient, bien que pensées dans les luttes pour la liberté ayant lieu dans des contextes historiques particuliers, mettaient toujours en vue une dialectique de ce genre quand elles étaient vraiment basées parmi les traditions populaires. Cependant, seulement une minorité de dirigeants intellectuels et militants comprenait l’importance d’une telle dialectique pour la pensée et l’action.

    Ce petit livre trace le contour et discute de deux points de vue très importants sur le rôle de la culture populaire dans la politique émancipatrice en Afrique. Chacun d’entre eux émane de formes d’exploitation capitalistes coloniales distinctes : le premier a vu le jour dans un contexte colonial classique tandis que le second est directement issu d’un contexte étatique néocolonial. Toute politique émancipatrice est développée vis-à-vis le pouvoir d’état et toutes commencent avec un processus de discussion ou est formé un sujet collectif. Un tel sujet politique doit être fondamentalement informé par et conçu en relation avec les cultures populaires.

    Les deux auteurs ci-inclus ont compris ce principe et mettent la culture populaire au centre de leur pensées politiques. Le premier, Amílcar Cabral se réfère au rôle principal de la culture dans la lutte contre le colonialisme au Guinée Bissau dans les années 1970 ; le second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba insiste sur le rôle central de la culture populaire pour une politique émancipatrice dans la République Démocratique du Congo aujourd’hui. Malgré la distance temporelle qui les sépare, tous les deux développent au centre de leurs politiques distinctes, une pensée dialectique qui déclenche des pensées universalistes depuis la culture populaire dans le présent. C’est pour cela que leurs points de vue sont d’une importance capitale pour la pensée de la politique émancipatrice en Afrique aujourd’hui.

  • Domains of politics and modes of rule/ Sphères politiques et contrôle étatique (en/fr)

    This work consists of a brief attempt to orient the study of the neocolonial state in Africa through an assessment of the manner in which it rules its people. It is argued that the state produces different modes of rule by deploying different politics over different parts of the population. In this manner, it can combine a genuinely democratic rule in the image of the West over some while subjecting the majority to colonial forms of domination. Imported political subjectivities from the West and its obsession with human rights discourse are reserved largely for a sphere of civil society in which the right to have rights is conferred upon citizens. In the domains of uncivil society and traditional society, the right to rights is not observed by the state so that different subjectivities, regularly including violence, govern the manner political problems and solutions are addressed both by the state and by people. In consequence, distinct political subjectivities prevail in the conceptualization of popular resistance in all three domains, and it becomes difficult to rally such different concerns and conceptions within an overall anti-neocolonial struggle.
    Il s’agit d’une brève tentative d’orienter l’étude de l’État néocolonial en Afrique à travers une évaluation de la manière dont il gouverne son peuple. On soutient que l’État produit différents modes de contrôle étatique en déployant différentes politiques sur différentes parties de la population. De cette manière, il peut combiner une règle véritablement démocratique à l’image de l’Occident sur certains tout en soumettant la majorité à des formes coloniales de domination. Les subjectivités politiques importées de l’Occident et son obsession du discours sur les droits de l’homme sont largement réservées à une sphère de la société civile dans laquelle le droit d’avoir des droits est conféré aux citoyens. Dans les domaines de la société incivile et de la société « traditionnelle », le droit aux droits n’est pas respecté par l’État, de sorte que différentes subjectivités, y compris régulièrement la violence, régissent la manière dont les problèmes politiques et leurs solutions sont abordés à la fois par l’État et par le peuple. En conséquence, des subjectivités politiques distinctes prévalent dans la conceptualisation de la résistance populaire dans chacun des trois domaines, et il devient difficile de rallier des préoccupations et des conceptions aussi différentes au sein d’une lutte anticoloniale nation

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  • Homestead, Homeland, Home

    This is a collection of observations and meditations by Professor Emeritus (York University, Toronto) and philosopher Ato Sekyi-Otu on events, issues, people and ideas culled from recent history and the world, from the US and Canada to Ghana. If there is a persistent thread in these entries, it is this: Virtually all of them testify to the ironic truth of the saying that there is no place like home, no place, that is to say, which looks like the lodestar called home or comes close to approximating its promise of being a just space of human flourishing. Most of the entries are, therefore, harsh, particularly those on the USA. That is because that nation, in his view, has, in recent history, made a major contribution to rendering the world and every homestead we inhabit unhomely and sabotaging attempts to better it. But no one or place is spared, certainly not the author’s native land, Ghana. Canada appears intermittently in these pages in rather fragmentary and contrastive observations. That paucity of comments may be taken to be the complement the author pays to Canada as a place of relative civility and glimmers of decency in a mad and cruel world. It is a short work of predominantly gloomy pictures. But there are a few countervailing images and invocations of hope here and there. There are 166 entries of unequal lengths arranged around 14 headings. These epigrams are contrapuntal variations on the philosopher’s searing imprecation and visionary invocation: unfinished ode, resounding with intermittent fury, to the dawn of human existence set free from all tyrannizing enclosures.

  • Politics and Culture in African Emancipatory Thought

    The current absence of any emancipatory vision for Africa lies at the heart of our political problems of racial capitalist and colonial oppression. Any attempt to rethink political emancipation on the African continent must be able to locate a universal conception of freedom within singular cultural experiences where people live. Irrespective of the specific manner in which such struggles for freedom were thought within different historical contexts, emancipatory politics always exhibited such a dialectic when it was based within popular traditions. Yet only some militant intellectual leaders understood the importance of this dialectic in thought.
    The present volume outlines and discusses two particularly important views concerning the role and importance of popular culture in emancipatory politics in Africa. Each is the product of distinct forms of colonial capitalist exploitation: the former saw the light of day within a colonial context while the latter is directly confronted by the neocolonial state. All emancipatory politics are developed in confrontation with state power, and all begin with a process of discussion and debate whereby a collective subject begins to be formed. The formation of such a collective political subject has been fundamentally informed by popular cultures on the African continent.
    The two authors whose essays are included here understood this and posit popular culture at the centre of their politics. The first, Amílcar Cabral, addresses the central role of popular culture in the independence struggle of Guinea Bissau in the 1970s; the second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, addresses the centrality of African popular culture in an emancipatory politics for the current Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the distance in time that separates them, both Cabral and Wamba-dia-Wamba develop a dialectics at the core of their politics which activates the universals of culture in the present. It is this that makes their views of central importance to emancipatory thought today.

  • Racism, Capitalism, and COVID-19 Pandemic

    he COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the deep structural problems affecting nonwhite racialized workers in the core and periphery. Yet, many social scientific analyses of the global political economy, at least in the pre-COVID era, are race neutral or willfully indifferent to the persistent racial pattern of global inequalities. This pamphlet explains how the unremitting super-exploitation of Black and other nonwhite racialized labor in the core and the periphery persisted throughout the COVID-19 crisis through the lens of Black radical scholarship on racism and capitalism.
    Edwards not only captures how people of African descent have been disproportionately impacted by COVID, but also the historical, sociological and structural roots of the inequalities that affect vulnerable groups across the world, tied to what she has described as the architecture of the global economy linked to race and gender. She represents a refreshing voice in our time and part of a Caribbean radical tradition in the spirit of Claudia Jones, Eric Williams, Oliver C. Cox, and C.L.R. James, from her native Trinidad, as well as Guyana’s Walter Rodney and Andaiye.

  • Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context

    John S. Saul, born and first educated in Toronto, Canada, moved to Tanzania almost sixty years ago and, since then, has also taught in Mozambique and South Africa as well as back in Canada at York University. In Tanzania, he discovered the centrality of the war for freedom from white rule and global capitalist dictate then taking shape further south – in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Both his scholarly interest and his activist bent drew him to support and to seek to better understand the struggles in these nations-in-the-making, a political choice that now culminates in a final trilogy of books under the general title, The Rethinking Southern African Liberation Trilogy. The first volume of this trilogy, On Building a Social Movement: The North American Campaign for Southern African Liberation Revisited, was published by Africa World Press / Fernwood Books (2017). The present book is the second in that trilogy, with a third volume entitled Class, Race and the Thirty Years War for Southern African Liberation – A History set to conclude his work to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.

    Here, Saul’s extended first chapter lays out the broad premises of the thinking that has guided his endeavours, ideas that takes the core reality of economic production and exploitation centrally but that are alive to the tangible impact on outcomes of a wide range of other social realities, including class, race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, the environment, politics and the state. A second section covers the essential unity of theory and political practice that underpins Saul’s findings. And a third and final section paints illuminating pictures of some core aspects of the diverse regional contexts — sites of both recolonization and continuing struggle, and all contexts whose trajectories will be further explored in his forthcoming third volume.

  • Social Media and Capitalism: People, Communities and Commodities

    Technology is one of the central elements of contemporary human life. The world as one knows it today is a space increasingly mediated by technological interventions, be it in the field of contemporary cultural expressions or political, organizational forms. Social media has played an important role in this transformation. Gone are the days when social media was merely a conduit for conversations. Today, it is a diverse field of operations spanning advertising mechanisms, branding processes and even direct commercial exchanges between users: the prime focus of this particular book.

    Direct user-to-user trading through social media within an institutional form is a relatively new dimension in the dynamic world of social media. Yet, just like every other form of innovation within the paradigm of market relations, social media commerce or social media trading has also created newer and diverse alterations in how individuals interact with the existing socio-political fabric within which they exist. This book analyses these alterations and critically investigates the role of Capital in creating them.

    The book analyses real-world interactions, interviews and observations through the theoretical framework provided by Marxist political economy and social theory. It draws upon the theoretical scope provided by Marx’s dialectical methods of social analysis and uses it to unearth the effects that trading and commercial activities performed through virtual communities have on society and individuals.

  • Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth

    Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth is about how new generations are discovering their mission of humanizing the world by claiming Fanon as a thinker for our times. Why Fanon, why now? For the wretched of the earth, conditions have not improved since Fanon’s time and in some cases they have worsened. Reason and revolt are inescapable, quite simply because, as Fanon wrote, it has become ‘impossible for them to breathe, in more than one sense of the word’. To mark the sixtieth anniversary of Fanon’s death (in 1961), the contributors to this book address the resonances of Fanon’s thinking on movements of resistance and mass revolutionary uprisings occurring in response to repression or state violence in Algeria, Brazil, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, South Africa, Syria, Trinidad, USA and beyond. The driving force of each chapter of this unique collection of writings is Fanonian praxis, engaging with Fanon the thinker and Fanon the revolutionary.

  • Partisan Universalism: Essays in Honour of Ato Sekyi-Otu

    The collection of essays in Partisan Universalism celebrates the work of Ato Sekyi-Otu, a scholar, teacher and friend, marking his extraordinary contribution to the philosophy, politics and praxis of liberation. As Ato Sekyi-Otu has argued in his recent book, Left Universalism, Africacentric Essays (Routlege 2019), universalism is an ‘inescapable presupposition of ethical judgment in general and critique in particular, especially indispensable for radical criticism of conditions of existence in postcolonial society and for vindicating visions of social regeneration’. Universalism must and can only be partisan.
    “Responding to the invitation ‘to re-member severed but shareable things’, these lovers of truth, freedom, and dignity celebrate the searing intellect, generosity, wit, and compassion of the person and the scholar Ato Sekyi-Otu. … this is a precious contribution. Not to be missed!” —Jane Anna Gordon, author of Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement and co-editor (with Drucilla Cornell) of Creolizing Rosa Luxemburg. /
    “Critically engaging Ato Sekyi-Otu’s notion of partisan universalism, this timely volume of essays speaks directly to the onto-metaphysical issues that will give Africana thought the new foundations that will enable it to move beyond the linguistic turn, brush aside the ashes of Afro-pessimism. … A must read for all concerned with the future of Africana theory and praxis.” —Paget Henry, author of Caliban’s Reason/
    “Ato Sekyi-Otu’s thought is one of the most important and exciting in Africa today. The texts compiled in this volume celebrate and engage with the work of Sekyi-Otu … They bear eloquent witness to Sekyi-Otu’s stature as a thinker and to his consistent commitment to the universalization of humanity in both theory and practice.” — Michael Neocosmos, Emeritus Professor in the Humanities, Rhodes University, South Africa.

  • Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism and the New Scramble for Africa

    This African Edition of Extracting Profit is available only in East Africa at www.zandgraphics.com
    The original version was published by Haymarket Books and can be ordered here

    A piercing historical explanation for poverty and inequality in African societies today, and social impact of resource-driven growth.

    A piercing historical explanation of poverty and inequality in African societies today and the social impact of resource-driven growth, Extracting Profit explains why Africa, in the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century, has undergone an economic boom. Rising global prices in oil and minerals have produced a scramble for Africa’s natural resources, led by investment from U.S., European and Chinese companies, and joined by emerging economies from around the globe. African economies have reached new heights, even outpacing rates of growth seen in much of the rest of the world. Examined through the lens of case studies of the oil fields of the Niger River Delta, the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline and the East African infrastructure boom, this period of “Africa rising” did not lead to the creation of jobs, but has instead fueled the extraction of natural resources, profits accruing to global capital, and an increasingly wealthy African ruling class.

    Extracting Profit argues that the roots of today’s social and economic conditions lie in the historical legacies of colonialism and the imposition of so-called “reforms” by global financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The chokehold of debt and austerity of the late twentieth century paved the way for severe assaults on African working classes through neoliberal privatization and deregulation. And while the scramble for Africa’s resources has heightened the pace of ecological devastation, examples from Somalia and the West African Ebola outbreak reveal a frightening surge of militarization on the part of China and the U.S.

    Yet this “new scramble” has not gone unchallenged. With accounts of platinum workers’ struggles in South Africa, Nigerian labor organizing and pro-democracy upheavals in Uganda and Burkina Faso, Extracting Profit offers several narratives of grassroots organizing and protest, pointing to the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change, in Africa and beyond.

    And in an updated Preface, the author analyses the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and escalating climate emergency, as both the crises and resistance to extraction accelerate across the continent.


    Reviews
    • “Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit – Imperialism, Neoliberalism and The New Scramble for Africa is at once historical and contemporary. It unpacks ongoing resource crimes by analytically exposing its historical roots and pointing to ways by which the oppressed can cut off the bonds that lock in their subjugation.” —Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation

      “Lee Wengraf provides an important reminder that Africa’s position within the world economy is heavily determined by its unequal insertion into the global capitalist system and ongoing manifestations of imperialism.” –James Chamberlain, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute

      “Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit provides a breathtakingly detailed account and analysis of some of the major socioeconomic ills that have been plaguing Africa for centuries. Amongst the host of issues she tackles, arguably the most consequential are mass poverty in African societies, their indefensible economic inequalities and the steady plundering of the continent’s resources, starting from the slave-trade era up till the present-day.” –Remi Adekoya, Review of African Political Economy

      “Extracting Profit offers several narratives of grassroots organizing and protest, pointing to the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change, in Africa and beyond.” Developing Economics

      “Evidently, this book is well-researched and it contributes to the expansion of the frontiers of Marxist scholarship on Africa’s development dilemma within the global capitalist order. This book lends credence to the pioneering works of such notable radical scholars as Andre Gunder Frank, Walter Rodney, and Samir Amin among several others. It should be read by students and teachers of political economy, development studies, Marxism and philosophy.” Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

      Extracting Profit provides a great arch of scutiny from the earliest carve-up of the African continent, through colonialism, war, imperialism, to the recent neoliberal takeover. The book demonstrates the continued importance of Marxist analysis on the continent, asserting the centrality of class analysis and a project of revolutionary change. Wengraf provides us with a major contribution, that highlights contemporary developments and the role of China on the African continent that has perplexed and baffled scholars. An indispensable volume.” —Leo Zeilig, author of Frantz Fanon: The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution

      “The history of resource frontiers everywhere is always one of lethal violence, militarism, empire amidst the forcing house of capital accumulation. Lee Wengraf in Extracting Profit powerfully reveals the contours of  Africa’s 21st century version of this history.  The scramble for resources, markets, and investments  have congealed into a frightening militarization across the continent, creating and fueling the conditions for further political instability. Wengraf documents how expanded American, but also Chinese, presence  coupled with the War on Terror,  point to both the enduring rivalry among global superpowers across the continent and a perfect storm of resource exploitation. Wengraf offers up a magisterial synopsis of the challenges confronting contemporary Africa.” —Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley

      “One of the most well-known stylized facts of Africa’s recent growth experience is that it has been inequality-inducing in ways that previous growth spurts were not. Lee Wengraf, in her new book Extracting Profit , expertly utilises the machinery of Marxian class analysis in making sense of this stylized fact. Along the way we learn much about Africa’s historical relationship with imperialism and its contemporary manifestations. This book should be required reading for all those who care about Africa and its future.” —Grieve Chelwa, Contributing Editor, Africa Is A Country

      “In recent years countries in the African continent have experienced an economic boom—but not all have benefited equally. Extracting Profit is a brilliant and timely analysis that explodes the myth of “Africa Rising,” showing how neoliberal reforms have made the rich richer, while leaving tens of millions of poor and working class people behind. Lee Wengraf tells this story within the context of an imperial rivalry between the United States and China, two global superpowers that have expanded their economic and military presence across the continent. Extracting Profit is incisive, powerful, and necessary: If you read one book about the modern scramble for Africa, and what it means for all of us, make it this one.” —Anand Gopal, author, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes

      “Thorough and thoughtful, Wengraf’s book has a radical depth that underscores its significance. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone who cherishes an advanced knowledge on the exploitation of Africa as well as the politics that undermines Africa’s class freedom.” —Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, Convener, Youths Against Austerity and General Secretary of the United Action for Democracy, Nigeria

      “Extracting Profit is a very important book for understanding why the immense majority of the African population remain pauperised, despite impressive growth rates of mineral-rich countries on the continent. It continues the project of Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. And in several ways, it also goes beyond it, capturing the changing dynamics of global capitalism 45 years after Rodney’s magnus opus.

      In this book, Lee Wengraf debunks the myth of “Africa Rising” and the supposed expansion of an entrepreneurial middle-class, revealing “reforms” imposed by international financial institutions as mechanisms for fostering imperialism in an era of sharpening contradictions of the global capitalist economy. The adverse social, economic, political and environmental impact of these are elaborated on as a systemic whole, through the book’s examination of the sinews of capital’s expansion in the region: the extractive industries.

      But, Wengraf does not stop at interrogating the underdevelopment of Africa. Her book identifies a major reason for the failures of national liberation projects: while the working masses were mobilised to fight against colonial domination, the leadership of these movements lay in the hands of aspiring capitalists, and intellectuals. The urgency of the need for a strategy for workers’ power internationally, she stresses correctly, cannot be overemphasized.

      Reading Extracting Profit would be exceedingly beneficial for any change-seeking activist in the labour movement within and beyond Africa.” —Baba Aye, editor, Socialist Worker (Nigeria)

  • Transforming ourselves, Transforming the World: An open conspiracy for social change – Second Edition

    This book is for all those—community workers, adult educators, social activists of every kind—who want to overcome pessimism and play a part in changing society in the direction of peace, justice and dignity for all human beings. As author Brian Murphy points out, many of us are pessimistic about our ability to change the world when confronted by the powerful forces of big corporations and big government. Murphy reveals the social and personal dilemmas which hold people back from social engagement, and argues that the various constraints we face can be overcome.

    In this new edition, David Austin explains in his Introduction why this book, first published in 1999, is perhaps more relevant to our times than ever, offering insights from his own experiences of engaging critically with the book and with others. And in his Afterword, Brian Murphy reflects on the continued relevance of the original text, emphasizing how our humanity is being corroded and commodified. To reclaim our humanity, he argues, we must transform ourselves to transform the world.

    Brian Murphy’s immensely inspiring book,Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World, deeply challenges us to think and rethink everything we knew and thought we knew.—Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation & Right Livelihood Award Laureate in 2010

    We need more conversations like the one in this book, which are rooted in hope while honestly working through a foundational way of seeing and understanding ourselves in the bigger picture.— Christina Warner, Co-Executive Director and Director of Campaigns and Organising, Council of Canadians.

    This is one of the coolest, enjoyable and important books I have read in recent years. Written from the heart as well as the head, it is a breathtakingly visionary, unique and insightful take on the life of the ultimate activist.—Hope Chigudu, Feminist activist

  • Fanon and the rationality of revolt

    We inhabit extraordinary times: times in which we are acutely aware of the intensity of what revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon called “the glare of history’s floodlights.”  The velocity and scale at which the revolt against police murder that began in Minnesota after the death of George Floyd on May 25th and moved throughout the US, and then other parts of the world, was astonishing. It was impossible to predict, but then, in retrospect, it is George Floyd’s death becomes a nodal point: calling for action as well as rethinking and self-clarification. Thinking about this moment with the world revolutionary Frantz Fanon, we need to be aware of continuities and discontinuities — or, as he puts it, opacities — between the ages, his and ours. Fanon is always speaking to us, but often in ways we cannot hear. We have to work to listen to him and to understand the new contexts and meanings in relative opacity. It is this constant dialogue that helps illuminate the present and enable ongoing fidelity to Fanon’s call in the conclusion of The Wretched of the Earth the necessity to work out new concepts to confront one of Fanon’s greatest concerns, the betrayal of the revolutionary movement. In this pamphlet we consider how Fanon’s idea of liberation is connected with “the rationality of revolt.” The practice of engaging Fanon not only with revolt but with the reason or rationality of revolt connects with Fanon’s idea of how this liberated humanity is a product of a new consciousness of collectivity open to rethink everything.

  • Dialectics of revolution : Hegel, Marxism, and its critics through a lens of race, class, gender, and colonialism

    This book collects four decades of writings on dialectics, a number of them published here for the first time, by Kevin B. Anderson, a well-known scholar-activist in the Marxist-Humanist tradition. The essays cover the dialectics of revolution in a variety of settings, from Hegel and the French Revolution to dialectics today and its poststructuralist and pragmatist critics. In these essays, particular attention is given to Lenin’s encounter with Hegel and its impact on the critique of imperialism, the rejection of crude materialism, and more generally, on world revolutionary developments. Major but neglected works on Hegel and dialectics written under the impact of the struggle against fascism like Lukács’s The Young Hegel and Marcuse’s Reason and Revolution are given full critical treatment. Dunayevskaya’s intersectional revolutionary dialectics is also treated extensively, especially its focus on a dialectics of revolution that avoids class reductionism, placing gender, race, and colonialism at the center alongside class. In addition, key critics of Hegel and dialectics like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Antonio Negri, Pierre Bourdieu, and Richard Rorty, are themselves analysed and critiqued from a twenty-first century dialectical perspective. The book also takes up the dialectic in global, intersectional settings via a reconsideration of the themes of Anderson’s Marx at the Margins, where nationalism, race, and colonialism were theorized alongside capital and class as key elements in Marxist dialectical thought. As a whole, the book offers a discussion of major themes in the dialectics of revolution that still speak to us today at a time of radical transformation in all spheres of society and of everyday life.

  • Class, gender, race & colonialism: The ‘intersectionality’ of Marx – Thinking Freedom Pamphlet

    Description (1600 / 2500)
    It is important to see both Marx’s brilliant generalisations about capitalist society and the very concrete ways in which he examined not only class, but also gender, race, and colonialism, and what today would be called the intersectionality of all of these. His underlying revolutionary humanism was the enemy of all forms of abstraction that denied the variety and multiplicity of human experience, especially as his vision extended outward from Western Europe. For these reasons, no thinker speaks to us today with such force and clarity.

    It is clear today that the emancipation of labour from capitalist alienation and exploitation is a task that still confronts us. Marx’s concept of the worker is not limited to European white males, but includes Irish and Black super-exploited and therefore doubly revolutionary workers, as well as women of all races and nations. But, his research and his concept of revolution go further, incorporating a wide range of agrarian non-capitalist societies of his time, from India to Russia and from Algeria to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, often emphasising their gender relations. In his last, still partially unpublished writings, he turns his gaze Eastward and Southward. In these regions outside Western Europe, he finds important revolutionary possibilities among peasants and their ancient communistic social structures, even as these are being undermined by their formal subsumption under the rule of capital. In his last published text, he envisions an alliance between these non-working-class strata and the Western European working class.