Simon Clarke (1946–2022) — Jack Copley
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by Legal Form
5d ago
Simon Clarke died in December 2022 at the age of 76. Over a thirty year period, Clarke produced a stream of sophisticated analyses of topics that lie at the heart of the Marxist tradition. His work on the capitalist state breathed new life into what had become a dead-end debate. His writings on money were among the earliest and most compelling examples of so-called ‘value-form’ analysis in the English-language literature. His exhaustive knowledge of the histories of capitalism, economic policy, and social thought is obvious to anyone who picks up his books. And yet Clarke is not widely recogni ..read more
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Tactics and Legal Form: Lessons for the Left After the Defeat of Chile’s New Constitution Project — Fernando Quintana
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by Legal Form
1M ago
This past September 5th, in what was the election with the most participants in the history of Chile (voting was compulsory for the first time in many years), the new constitution was rejected by the citizenship by a wide margin of 61% against and only 38% in favour. What is striking and must be explained is that the rejected constitution contained a series of progressive elements, such as an important list of social rights in key areas like education, housing and health, women’s rights, and indigenous people autonomy; a political system designed to ensure a more just distribution of political ..read more
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Back to school or school of war?: Ontario’s Bill 28 and the Power in a Union — Cam Scott
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by Legal Form
2M ago
On November 7th, CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) spokespeople stood alongside education workers and union leaders from across the province of Ontario to announce a victory over a sweeping legal assault on their right to strike by the Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford. Not a week prior, a fraught contract negotiation had ground to a halt as the provincial government enacted an onerous piece of anti-strike legislation, imposing a four-year concessionary contract and threatening to strip the labour and human rights of workers across the province. This was quick work by a unif ..read more
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Methods Workshop on Law and Marxism
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by Legal Form
3M ago
Do you use Marxist theory in your legal studies research? What are the methodologies you use for your work? What challenges have you faced? The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context at the School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London invites doctoral students, ECRs and academics working in the field of law and Marxism to share their research and to think collectively through what Marxian methodologies look like in legal studies. What do dialectical and materialist methodologies look like in legal research? What resources and materials should we use in our methodologies? This works ..read more
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Capitalist History, Capitalist Structure: On Integrating Historical Material and Theoretical Structure (Part Two) — Bo Harvey
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by Legal Form
3M ago
[This is the second of two posts by Bo Harvey. See the first here.] V. Richard Westra is a contemporary scholar who has confronted the division between, on the one hand, structure and validity and, on the other, history and origin as it pertains to the question of periodizing the history of capitalism. In his Periodizing Capitalism and Capitalist Extinction, he describes a binary between what he describes as ‘essentialist’ and ‘ideal-type’ historical periodisations of capitalism.[1] The first, ‘essentialist’ approach, identifies capitalism as being driven by a specific inner logic or dynamic a ..read more
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The ‘90s are Back — Christine Schwöbel-Patel
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by Legal Form
3M ago
[This is the author’s response to a series of posts comprising a symposium on Christine Schwöbel-Patel‘s recently published book, Marketing Global Justice: The Political Economy of International Criminal Law (2021). See the contributions by Honor Brabazon (here), Melissa Aronczyk (here), and Eric Loefflad (here).] I am immensely grateful to Eric Loefflad, Melissa Aronczyk, and Honor Brabazon for their engagements with Marketing Global Justice. Their work has been instrumental for me in better understanding the relationship between capitalism and (international criminal) law, so it is ..read more
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Capitalist History, Capitalist Structure: On Integrating Historical Material and Theoretical Structure (Part One) — Bo Harvey
Legal Form
by Legal Form
4M ago
[This is part one of two posts by Bo Harvey. ] The elaboration of a theory requires first of all the construction of a model. It is a problem which is the cause of numerous misconceptions in the field of the human sciences in general, and in the field of economic history in particular. Most historians do not recognize the need to construct a model, and every attempt in such a direction surprises them and even calls forth their indignation. -Witold Kula [1] This lifeless bureaucratic conception, steeped in the methods of formalism, produced a history emptied of any specifically historical conte ..read more
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The Basic Contradiction in Socialist Society (Part Two) — Dimitris Kaltsonis
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by Legal Form
4M ago
[This is the second in a series of two posts by Dimitris Kaltsonis. The first post is available here.] Bureaucracy and bourgeois class The autonomy of the administrators does not render them bourgeois. The leading bureaucratic stratum should not be identified with the bourgeois class, and a socioeconomic system of this period should not be identified with capitalism.[1] None of the fundamental characteristics of capitalist society, as they were analyzed in Das Capital, existed in the former Soviet Union, for example. There was no private ownership of the means of production. Lab ..read more
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The Basic Contradiction in Socialist Society (Part One) — Dimitris Kaltsonis
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by Legal Form
4M ago
[This is the first of two posts by Dimitris Kaltsonis.] Marxist theory has provided the basic element for the interpretation of social evolution. That is, the contradiction –a dialectical relation between productive forces and relations of production which drives evolution. This contradiction is not the only one. Yet it is the fundamental one throughout the course of mankind. Thus, in order to analyze and comprehend the societies that arose from twentieth century revolutions —especially that which arose from the October 1917 revolution in Russia— we ought to start from precisely this point. Th ..read more
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Law, Capitalism, and the Power of Persuasion — Honor Brabazon
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by Legal Form
6M ago
[This is the third in a series of posts comprising a symposium on Christine Schwöbel-Patel‘s recently published book, Marketing Global Justice: The Political Economy of International Criminal Law(2021). Find the previous two posts, by Eric Loefflad and Melissa Aronczyk respectively, here and here.] Marketing Global Justice makes an essential contribution to critical studies of international law. It furthers the renewed engagement with, and development of, Marxist legal theory and continues the ‘historical turn’ in international legal research (albeit focussing on a shorter historical traj ..read more
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