Skip to main content

Introductory Essay for Newsletter of Marxist Sociology Section of ASA

Below is the introductory essay that I wrote for the recent relaunching of the newsletter for Marxist Sociology Section of the American Sociology Association, which can be seen here.

Over the years, the intellectual agendas of critical social scientists have taken a decidedly pluralist turn. Leading thinkers have begun to move beyond established alternative paradigms opening up new lines of analysis, manifesting a turn to a more cross fertilization of ideas, which seemingly suggests that the once powerful embracement of Marxism by the infamous Radical Caucus has waned. The relaunching of the newsletter of the Section on Marxist Sociology of the American Sociological Association is a testament to the fact that this supposed decline in radical scholarship is certainly not the case. On the contrary, the praxis of the Sociology Liberation Movement carries on as unquestionably substantive in the assessment and articulation of pertinent contemporary and historical social, political, economic, and environmental problems.

Hence, the ambition of the newsletter is to accentuate the perseverance of Marxist social scientific enquiry, especially since it is quite clear that in today’s day in age the oppressive forces of capitalism perpetually act as battering rams that subject humanity to a “dis-embedded” social world, in which collective action problems ensue persistent socioeconomic inequity. We wish to make palpable how the insights of Marxism widely make apparent how the global socioeconomic system does not automatically generate efficient situations whereby unique organizations of production, exchange, and distribution guarantee the attainment of maximum social welfare.

The idea that humans are simple instrumentally rationalists, who supposedly oscillate like a homogenous globule of Hobbesian brutes, is conclusively a fiction. The radical political economy of Karl Marx is ripe to concretely expose the underlying complex fractures embedded in capitalism, which limit the capability of humans to safeguard social assets, social claims, and social ties requisite for sustaining an institutional nucleus of society for human survival. It is our goal to embrace first-rate scholarship that evinces capitalism’s impingement upon the accruement and management of resources vital for catholic cogitation, and realization, of conscious desires for humans to reach their full potential.

The relaunching of the newsletter is thus an attempt to make clear how the Marxist Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association offers not only the effective communicative space, but matchless intellectual tools, capacities, and resources that enable radical social scientists to formulate the methodological lenses that critically challenge the nature of current world dynamics. The general inclination is to pave that tortuous royal road to an emancipated sociological imagination.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A few brief comments on Brexit and the postmortem of the European Union

Another end of the world is possible
There will be a lot of postmortems for the European Union (EU) after Brexit. Many will suggest that this was a victory against the neoliberal policies of the European Union. See, for example, the first three paragraphs of Paul Mason's column here. And it is true, large contingents of working class people, that have suffered with 'free-market' economics, voted for leaving the union. The union, rightly or wrongly, has been seen as undemocratic and responsible for the economics woes of Europe.

The problem is that while it is true that the EU leaders have been part of the problem and have pursued the neoliberal policies within the framework of the union, sometimes with treaties like the Fiscal Compact, it is far from clear that Brexit and the possible demise of the union, if the fever spreads to France, Germany and other countries with their populations demanding their own referenda, will lead to the abandonment of neoliberal policies. Aust…

A brief note on Venezuela and the turn to the right in Latin America

So besides the coup in Brazil (which was all but confirmed by the last revelations, if you had any doubts), and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, the crisis in Venezuela is reaching a critical level, and it would not be surprising if the Maduro administration is recalled, even though right now the referendum is not scheduled yet.

The economy in Venezuela has collapsed (GDP has fallen by about 14% or so in the last two years), inflation has accelerated (to three digit levels; 450% or so according to the IMF), there are shortages of essential goods, recurrent energy blackouts, and all of these aggravated by persistent violence. Contrary to what the press suggests, these events are not new or specific to left of center governments. Similar events occurred in the late 1980s, in the infamous Caracazo, when the fall in oil prices caused an external crisis, inflation, and food shortages, which eventually, after the announcement of a neoliberal economic package that included the i…

What is the 'Classical Dichotomy'?