Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Posted by Carl Davidson
Challenging Late Capitalism, Neo-Liberal Globalization & Militarism: Building A Progressive Majority
ChangeMaker Books, 2006
Reviewed By Mark Solomon
What committed progressive would not want to have a powerful handbook that bares the sources of today's real evil and how to defeat it? a handbook for his or her own enlightenment as well as a tool to pass on to others for educating and activating?
That's exactly what Harry Targ's Challenging Late Capitalism delivers. This briskly written book opens with an insightful, devastating critique of the Bush regime's failure to extend succor to Katrina's victims. It concludes with a powerful exploration of the need to build coalitions grounded in concrete programs. Along the way, the reader is given a clear and insightful analysis of the root causes of today's multi-faceted crises along with an illuminating path to forging a winning progressive majority.
Through a Marxist materialist prism, 'Challenging Late Capitalism' reveals the causes of inequality rooted in the capitalist system built upon the exploitation of labor.Exploitation inevitably engenders class struggle that in turn foments a broad political culture carrying the seeds of transforming change.
The book then moves to an analysis of present-day 'late capitalism' ? defining its characteristics,especially the enormous concentration of capital while describing the disastrous consequences of a global system based upon 'neo-liberal' exploitation of countries of the Global South as well as its systematic destruction of social services and labor's rights in both developed and developing countries. The alleged advantages of 'free trade' are exposed as a myth; the emergence in the world system of a highly regressive 'virtual economy' driven by speculation and paper exchanges is described; the negative impact of neo-liberalism upon employment and the general well being of workers is documented; a militarized economy and its impact upon social well being is summed up; intensified racism, sexism and homophobia is underscored; the conjunction of corporate capital and religious fundamentalists merged into a powerful right wing political movement is identified as the principal threat to progress today.
The final chapters of Challenging Late Capitalism explore the historic and present day character of resistance to the oppressive nature of contemporary corporate-dominated society. Various movements from single-issue reform campaigns to transforming multi- issue struggles are surveyed in order to provide a sound starting point and foundation for drawing various strands of battle for justice,peace and democracy into a vibrant progressive majority.
This book offers a sound basis for fighting back and turning this county and globe towards a peaceful, just and sustainable world. It deserves to be read widely and to be utilized in that greatest of battles for the liberation of all humankind.
[Mark Solomon, historian, is the author of The Cry Was Unity: Communists and African Africans, 1917-1936, University Press of Mississippi, 1998.]
Posted by Jesus Reyes at 4:42 AM