Derek Wall

Ian Parker has a track record as an ecosocialist political activist in Britain. He is a committed but non-dogmatic Marxist and a psychoanalyst so, unsurprisingly, anything he writes is likely to be serious and challenging.

Despite a strong theoretical and academic background, however, Parker writes in a very engaging and interesting fashion.

Omnia Sunt Communia: On the Commons & the Transformation to Postcapitalism
By Massimo De Angelis
Zed, 2017
456 pp, $20.76

Massimo De Angelis, an Italian academic based at the University of East London, has produced a thought-provoking guide to “commons” as a means of transforming and ultimately displacing capitalism. Commons, referring to collective forms of ownership, are increasingly seen as a way of moving beyond both oppressive states and exploitative markets.

“The general idea of this little book is to understand and explain why Marx will still be read in the twenty-first century, not only as a monument of the past, but as a contemporary author — contemporary both because of the questions he poses for philosophy and because of the concepts he offers it,” French philosopher Etienne Balibar writes in The Philosophy of Marx.

With some reservations, I feel he achieves this goal. It is a thought-provoking book, but it may disappoint readers who seek either an introduction to Marx’s philosophy or a straightforward account of how Marx’s ideas can inspire focused political action in the 21st century.

Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy & Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan
By Michael Knapp, Anja Flack & Ercan Ayboga (translated by Janet Biehl)
Pluto, 2016
285 pp., $38.95

Rojava, which is Kurdish for the “west”, is to be found in Northern Syria. In the middle of a conflict zone, marked by the war against the Assad regime, a Turkish invasion and ongoing conflict with the brutal jihadists of ISIS and al-Nusra, the Kurds and their allies are creating a new kind of democratic system.

British politics is being dominated by the June 23 referendum on whether Britain leaves the European Union (EU) — the so-called Brexit.

This is a question that has, over recent decades, threatened to fatally divide the British right. But left forces also hold contradictory perspectives on the question.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Green Party of England and Wales and Left Unity are calling for a “yes” vote to remain in the European Union, but are demanding an alternative to the neoliberal EU.


Jeremy Corbyn's success is one sign, and perhaps the most dramatic, of a wider movement challenging the British establishment.

Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour Party leader has already had a dramatic effect on British politics.

All of us on the left in Britain need to ask how we can support him — and consider what the long term implications of his success may be. Those outside Britain, especially on the green left, need to ask whether there are lessons that can be learned.

Britain's May 7 general elections, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority, produced a couple of silver linings on a very large black cloud.

One was the success of the Green Party of England and Wales. While the party did not sweep into Westminster, it made progress politically and in terms of votes.

A Green Surge has hit Britain. Thanks to an ongoing growth spurt, the Green Party of England and Wales has now hit 54,000 members, on top of nearly 10,000 members in the Scottish Green Party.

Opinion polls put the party on the rise, frequently beating the Liberal Democrats, who are governing in coalition with the Conservatives. The Greens now have more members than the far-right anti-immigrant UK Independence Party (UKIP), whose growing support has generated much media attention.

Beyond Capitalism? The Future of Radical Politics
Luke Cooper & Simon Hardy
Zero Books, 2013

Luke Cooper and Simon Hardy should be congratulated on producing a thoughtful contribution as to how we build a movement capable of defeating capitalism and creating a socialist society.

From climate change to the financial crisis and austerity, the neo-liberal project has failed. Where it once promised prosperity, it can only deliver ashes.

With Italy being the latest European country to reject nuclear power in a June 12-13 referendum, a coalition of anti-nuclear groups in Britain has announced plans to hold a mass non-violent blockade of Hinkley Point nuclear power station on October 3.

The plant, near Bridgwater in Somerset, is expected to be the site of the first new nuclear power station.

Hundreds of campaigners are expected to take part in Gandhi-style civil disobedience, risking arrest by blockading the access road to the site in protest over the threat posed by nuclear power.

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