David McNally is one of the more important Marxist scholars in the world, and we talked to him today on the anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth–May 5th, 1818. McNally discussed a wide array of topics, including his introduction to Marxist thought, important texts to use to discover Marx’s writings, the importance of Marx’s concept of “alienated labor,” his formulation of class struggle, and why democracy is essential to socialism.
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We also discussed the history of Marx’s influence in European politics and how Americans came to discover Marx in the late 19th Century. And we finished with a discussion of why Marx remains relevant today and why Marxism is seeing a resurgence.
David McNally is the Cullen Distinguished Professor of History and Business at the University of Houston. He specializes in the history and political economy of capitalism. The author of seven books and over 60 scholarly articles, Professor McNally taught political economy at York University in Toronto before joining the Department of History at the University of Houston. He holds his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. from York University. His research has addressed issues of race, migration, gender and social reproduction in the development of global capitalism. Professor McNally has won the Paul Sweezy Award for his book, Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance, and the Deutscher Memorial Award for Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism. Professor McNally’s latest book, Blood and Money: War, Slavery, Finance, and Empire (2020) is now being translated into German. He is also the founder of the Project on Race and Capitalism at UH and working closely with George Floyd’s family on various community projects.