Seven new books on the new terrain of class war, social reproduction theory, limits to NGO radicalism, ideas for change, shrinking the technosphere, technology and inequality, and property formation in colonial North America
Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with brief descriptions. Titles listed here may be reviewed in future.
Please note: Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) the book says.
ON NEW TERRAIN
How capital is reshaping the battleground of class war
by Kim Moody
Haymarket Books, 2017
Recent changes in capitalism have altered both the composition of the working class and the economic and political ground on which it struggles. Kim Moody challenges conventional wisdom about a disappearing working class, and shows how recent developments in capitalist production impact the working class and argues that the transformed industrial terrain offers new possibilities for workplace organization and grassroots, independent political action.
SOCIAL REPRODUCTION THEORY
Remapping class, recentering oppression
Tithi Bhattacharya, Editor
Pluto Press, 2017
Marxist essays on child care, health care, education, family life and the roles of gender, race and sexuality, all of which are central to understanding the relationship between economic exploitation and social oppression. Social Reproduction Theory offers a sophisticated alternative to intersectionality, ideas that have important strategic implications for anti-capitalists, anti-racists and feminists.
THE AUTHORITY TRAP
Strategic choices of international NGOs
by Sarah Stroup and Wendy Wong
Cornell University Press, 2017
To maintain their power and influence, leading international nongovernmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Amnesty International refrain from expressing radical opinions that severely damage their long-term reputation. Stroup and Wong contend such NGOs must constantly adjust their behavior to maintain a delicate equilibrium that preserves their status.
WE CAN DO BETTER
Ideas for Changing Society
by David Camfield
Fernwood Publishing, 2017
David Camfield lays out a reconstructed historical materialism treats capitalism and class as inextricably interwoven with gender, race and sexuality. Arguing that the key to achieving change for the better is social struggle, he analyzes a range of issues that face our world today, including climate change, growing social insecurity and the persistence of sexism and racism, and offers ideas about moving from social theory to social action.
SHRINKING THE TECHNOSPHERE
Getting a grip on technologies that limit our autonomy, self-sufficiency and freedom
by Dmitry Orlov
New Society Publishers, 2017
Many technological advances cause more harm than good. The damage to the environment, society, and even to our own personalities, is brushed off with hollow claims about efficiency and progress. Shrinking the Technosphere is about regaining the freedom to use technology for our own benefit, and is critical reading for all who seek to get back to a point where technologies assist us rather than control us.
THE BLEEDING EDGE
Why technology turns toxic in an unequal world
by Bob Hughes
New Internationalist, 2016
Bob Hughes argues that unequal societies are incapable of using new technologies well. Wherever elites exist, self-preservation decrees that they must take control of new technologies to protect and entrench their status, rather than satisfy people’s needs. Any political programme that tries to arrest climate change while tolerating inequality is as doomed as trying to climb Mount Everest by the downhill route.
PROPERTY AND DISPOSSESSION
Natives, empires and land in early modern North America
by Allan Greer
Cambridge University Press, 2018
Allan Greer examines the ways in which Europeans remade New World space as they laid claim to the continent’s resources, extended the reach of empire, and established states and jurisdictions for themselves. The book’s geographic scope, comparative dimension, and placement of indigenous people on an equal plane with Europeans makes it unlike any previous study of early colonization and contact in the Americas.