Though I don’t place much stock in the metaphysical “insights” made particularly by the Russian Marxists (such as the endless stream of nonsense that came from Trotsky on Dialectical Materialism), I do think there is some value in their vision of quantitative versus qualitative changes. Namely, that if enough small things add up they can create a major change in the very nature of the object under discussion. However, they are quick to point out that the roots of the transformation and the post-change state must be found in the original state of affairs.
Over the last few years I’ve grown especially political on social media, not just in terms of writing angry rants (although there were plenty of those) but even going so far as to write short book reviews and disquisitions on historical topics I found of interest. While there’s no limit to Facebook status length, it still felt cramped; Facebook is not a place for these kinds of discussions. I think the time has come for a qualitative change, and thus, this blog.
As a socialist, I view Marxism as a method of societal analysis, not a dogma or a political ideology. I don’t care to identify which tendency I “belong” to, since I find the often arbitrary arguments between (say) anarcho-communists and anarcho-syndicalists to be a drain. Suffice to say, I am inspired by Polish revolutionary Rosa Luxembourg, Left-communists Paul Mattick and Anton Pannekoek, and Marxist Academic Ellen Meiksins Wood. I hope to cover much of their work in this blog, alongside working through the traditional Marxist canon (Das Kapital, The Making of the English Working Class, etc) as well as, less commonly, books of peripheral interest to Marxists (such as Wealth of Nations or the Road to Serfdom). There is much I haven’t yet read, and I hope this blog can function as a mirror and a record of my own journey through these topics and ideas, and maybe to help others in their own journey. For the record, I am also a member of the Socialist Party USA, and often organize and take action with that party.
My own interests are geared toward the origins of capitalism in the Enclosure period, the anti enclosure riots, historical materialism, and leftist literature (Victor Serge, etc.) Not everything will be from the dark corners of radical literature.
Lastly, please don’t think this blog will be solely about theoretical and historical issues. Various current events will be covered as I can cover them. I’m not a news source though, so please don’t expect comprehensive coverage on that front; more like sporadic commentary.