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.
In the past ten years, we’ve also seen state repression of movements coming out of Occupy Wall Street, the Ferguson uprising, Standing Rock, Line 3 and various anti-Trump movements. Green and Red has had numerous episodes on radical movements and state repression of political movements from antifascists in Portland and Austin to water protectors at Line 3 to DAPL saboteur Jessica Reznicek.
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But, before that, we had the era known as the “Green Scare,” where radical environmental and animal rights activists were targeted by the “state” (corporations, politicians, law enforcement) for its anti-capitalist politics and escalating tactics that included sabotage, animal liberation, property destruction and arson. The FBI called their operation to stop these radical movements “Operation Backfire.” After 911, they labeled people taking action “domestic terrorists.” Congress passed corporate lobbyist written legislation, such as the Animal Enterprise Terror Act and the Patriot Act, to stop them.
Gil Scott-Heron said: “Turn around, turn around, turn around, And you may come full circle, And be new here again”
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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. A year after Trump and we’re no better off than we were. As Omicron numbers soar and Wall Street bankers and coal barons continue to run the table politically, the Honorable Bob Buzzanco and the Honorable Scott Parkin look back on 2021 and talk about what 2022 might bring us.