Of Criminal Justice

  “Although a criminal justice system is necessary, the U.S. system is absurdly excessive.  The incarceration rate in the United States is five to eight times as high as in Canada or Western Europe.  Perhaps symbolic of the end of the Cold War, the...

Of Socialism Versus the Tyranny of the Market

  “Now, as humanity experiences the crises of the late twentieth century, is hardly the time for lowering socialist sights, for settling for ‘surface modifications of the old order’ by attempting a reconciliation with the market.  It is precisely...

Of the Chinese Market Miracle and the Collapse of Communism

  “Today the Chinese market miracle is hailed as capitalism’s biggest success and hope for the future, disregarding the oddity of many Chinese entrepreneurs still carrying their Communist Party cards.  This fact questions the common cliché that...

Of Capitalist State

  “As a class state, the capitalist state always intervenes for the purpose of maintaining the existing system of domination, even where it intervenes to mitigate the harshness of that system of domination.” —Ralph Miliband, Marxism and...

Of the Bourgeois Democratic State

  “The limits within which the bourgeois democratic state wields its powers of intervention are not rigidly fixed.  Police powers, for instance, vary greatly from period to period, and in the same period depending on what and who is involved.  The...

Of the State and Class Struggle

  “Whether immediately visible or not, the state is a major participant in the class struggles of capitalist society.  In one way or another, the state is permanently and pervasively present in the encounter between conflicting groups and...

Of Competitive Consumption and Working Hours

  “The spiral of competitive consumption keeps working hours long and thus frustrates the basic good of leisure; by forcing people into competitive relations with others, it also damages the basic goods of friendship, personality and security.” ...

Of Consumption and Class Status

  “An insatiable desire to consume more and more is a desire stemming in large part from consumption’s role as a marker of status.” —Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky, How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life, 2012  

Of Economic Growth

  “During a recession, with high unemployment and public debt, growth is rightly a priority.  But we must distinguish the short term from the long term.  Growth should be viewed as a kind of Prozac: useful for getting the patient back on his feet,...

Of Leisure

  “Leisure is distinguished not by lack of seriousness or strenuousness but by the absence of external compulsion.  It thus comes close to what Karl Marx called non-alienated labor, which he defined as a ‘free manifestation of life, hence an...

Of Motivation

  “Many writers would carry on writing even if they earned nothing for it, or could earn more doing something else.” —Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky, How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life, 2012  

Of Wants and Needs

  “Having discarded the concept of the good life, modern economics can make no sense of the distinction between needs and wants.  ‘Arthur needs a jacket’ must be read as shorthand for ‘Arthur needs a jacket in order to . . .,’ where the dots spell...

Of Needs and Wants

  “Needs, on the classical conception (i.e., pre-modern economic thought) are objective; they refer to the requirements of life or the good life.  Wants, by contrast, are a psychological phenomenon; they are ‘in the mind’ of the wanter.  Needs and...

Of Liberalism Against Statist Paternalism

  “Liberal economists and philosophers are strongly committed to non-paternalism, that is, to the view that individuals are the best judge of their own interests; or even if they are not, that they should be free to make their own mistakes. ...

Of Neoliberalism

Make no mistake, neoliberalism is the individualistic philosophy run amuck.

Of Unemployment and Coercive Control

  Capital will always need to discipline labor, control and coerce labor, even reprimand and penalize labor.  Unemployment is the disciplining whip of capitalism.  The threat and fear of unemployment are how capital keeps labor in line.  

Of Capitalism

“Capitalism is a system, and all systems have lives; they are never eternal.” —Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein, American sociologist, historical social scientist, and world-systems analyst    

Of Capitalism

  “Capitalism’s existence as a system for 500 years does not prove that it will last forever.” —Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian, and Craig Calhoun, Does Capitalism Have A Future?, 2013  

Of Capitalism

  “Capitalism is not merely a market economy, but a political economy.  Its institutional framework is shaped by political choice.” —Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian, and Craig Calhoun, Does Capitalism Have...

Of the Economy

  “The economy is a field of social-political activity.” —Wolfgang Streeck, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, 2014  

Of Social Science and Marxist Theories

  “Social science—especially when it concerns itself with whole societies and their development—has never really been able to do without recourse to central elements of ‘Marxist’ theories, even as it defines itself in opposition to them.” ...

Of Society and Time

  “Everything social takes place in time, unfolds over time, becomes more self-same in and over time….Everything needs time.” —Wolfgang Streeck, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, 2014  

Of Determining the Onset of a Process

  “It is inevitably more or less arbitrary where one situates the beginning of a process, because history is always interconnected and everything has a prehistory.  There are decisive breaks and formative moments, however.” —Wolfgang Streeck,...

Of the Class State

  “While the state does act, in Marxist terms, on behalf of the ‘ruling class’, it does not for the most part act as its behest.  The state is indeed a class state, the state of the ‘ruling class’.  But it enjoys a high degree of autonomy and...