Prof. Martin E. Jay. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You wrote “Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from Lukacs to Habermas”. Why, in your opinion, has totality been at the center of the thought of early Marxist philosophers such as Lukács, Korsch, Gramsci and Bloch?
Prof. Martin E. Jay: The category of totality, whose importance for Marxist theory Lukács emphasized in History and Class Consciousness (1923), was introduced to overcome the exaggerated role given to the economy by traditional, Second International Marxism. Although under capitalism, the economy as a distinct sub-sphere of society as a whole did play an exorbitant role, it was never simply a “base” or “substructure” on which a “superstructure” of culture, politics, religion, etc. was entirely dependent. Even more importantly, in the transition away from capitalism, which the theorists you mention hoped was actually happening, the relative autonomy of culture and politics within the totality of social relations would grow. Lire la suite »
Etienne Chouard. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your very powerful manifesto book « Nous ne sommes pas en démocratie!” (We are not in a democracy!), you make a relevant observation. Is it not rather a plutocracy?
Étienne Chouard: Yes, absolutely. We have been in the plutocracy for two hundred years since the revolutions of England, America, France, since the advent of the representative government which designates the political players by the procedure of the election among candidates that one can help. This procedure, since one can help, gives all the power – because when one win the elections, one exercise all the power during the mandate – to those who have the most resources to help, that is, the richest. Lire la suite »
Dr Tomasz Pierscionek. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You have worked on the theme of the Western Left. According to you, can we say that this left is in crisis?
Dr. Tomasz Pierscionek: The past decade of austerity, which has seen the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else and demonstrated that capitalism is a failing system unable to solve major global problems, provides an opportunity for the Left to demonstrate alternate programmes that benefit the majority rather than a wealthy and powerful minority. In Western Europe and the US, affected by years of indoctrination about the ‘failures’ of socialism, left-wing politicians and parties of labour have been cautious not too appear too left-wing and face the wrath of the rich and their media auxiliaries. In this way, they have failed to realise the potential of the Left to explain and advocate for socialist ideas and directly challenge capitalism. Far from being Marxists, as demonised by the media, the leaders of the Western Left have adopted the half-baked ideas of left of centre social-democracy – ie: let’s tinker at the edges of capitalism and smooth out its rougher bits whilst leaving its fundamental principles unchanged. Lire la suite »
Dr. T. J. Coles. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your masterful book « Britain’s Secret Wars », you demonstrate the hidden face of British politics and its direct involvement in major conflicts via its intelligence services. Do not you think that Britain is responsible, like its US ally, for the chaos that reigns in areas like the Middle East and the Sahel?
Dr. T. J. Coles: Yes. Britain has both historic and contemporary responsibilities for much of the carnage in the Middle East, Central Asia, and elsewhere. There are different degrees of responsibility. When a gang commits a crime, for example a murder and armed robbery, each member of the gang is sentenced by a court of law in accordance with the degree of their participation in the crime. The person who pulled the trigger is the murderer, their associate is the accomplice, and so on. The same principle applies, or if we care about morality should apply, to international affairs. At the moment, the US is the global superpower, so the US bears most of the responsibility for invading Afghanistan, firing drones at Pakistanis, Somalis, and Yemenis, invading Iraq, and using proxy terrorists in Syria and Libya. Lire la suite »
We sadly learn of the death of our friend William Blum, a great man, a pioneer of the alternative press, and a man who has never stopped fighting for a better world. This free voice that is extinguished is a great loss for all humanity. He fought to the end, despite his illness.
We send our condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.
We publish the link to the interview he gave us in October 2013:
Sam Pizzigati. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain that in front of the unprecedented ultraliberal offensive, we see weakened worker movement and trade unions?
Sam Pizzigati: By the traditional benchmarks for measuring union strength, unions in the United States — particularly in the private sector — haven’t been as weak as they rate right now since the 1920s. Just 7 percent of workers in the private sector carry union cards. Across large swatches of the United States, these numbers suggest, private sector unions barely exist anymore. Lire la suite »
Mike Ferner: “It is a function of our lack of democracy that the U.S. foreign policy is so militaristic and destructive.”
Mike Ferner. DR
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your opinion, is the United States of America a true democracy or is it a plutocratic regime?
Mike Ferner: The U.S. was never intended to be a true democracy.
First of all, it is a republic, meaning elected representatives, not people directly,institute the laws. This was modified somewhat when some states instituted initiative and referendum laws, allowing citizens to put proposed legislation directly to the voters by getting large numbers of signatures on petitions. Lire la suite »