Monthly Review <p>This site contains nearly all articles published in <em>Monthly Review</em> since its inception in May 1949. Current subscribers can access content free of charge. Learn more about <em>MR</em>&nbsp;<a title="Monthly Review" href="" target="_self">at the main website</a>.</p> Monthly Review Foundation en-US Monthly Review 0027-0520 <p>Please see <a title="Reprint Permissions" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here for reprint requests</a>.</p> Notes from the Editors, March 2019 <div class="buynow"><a title="Back issue of Monthly Review, March 2019 (Volume 70, Number 10)" href="">buy this issue</a></div> <p>The present ongoing coup attempt organized in Washington is simply the latest in a series of such attempts by the U.S. government to overthrow the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela over the last two decades. It can be seen as having three interrelated motives: (1) the destruction of Venezuelan socialism, (2) regaining control of Venezuela's oil (the largest petroleum reserves in the world), and (3) reasserting U.S. hegemony over Latin America.</p> The Editors - ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 c2 63 10.14452/MR-070-10-2019-03_0 Global Commodity Chains and the New Imperialism <p>To comprehend twenty-first-century imperialism we must go beyond analysis of the nation-state to a systematic investigation of the increasing global reach of multinational corporations or the role of the global labor arbitrage. At issue is the way in which today's global monopolies in the center of the world economy have captured value generated by labor in the periphery within a process of unequal exchange, thus getting "more labour in exchange for less. The result has been to change the global structure of industrial production while maintaining and often intensifying the global structure of exploitation and value transfer.</p> Intan Suwandi R Jamil Jonna John Bellamy Foster ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 1 24 10.14452/MR-070-10-2019-03_1 Economic Surplus, the Baran Ratio, and Capital Accumulation <p>In 1957, in the <em>Political Economy of Growth</em>, Paul Baran made a seminal contribution to our understanding of the connection between <em>economic surplus</em>—a concept he introduced into the development discussion—and growth. Given that the ruling class controls the surplus of society, how the surplus is used—whether it is invested, consumed, or simply wasted—is at its discretion. The effective utilization of surplus implies a reasonable rate of capital accumulation and economic development. In the following study of the utilization of surplus I compare the size of surplus and gross capital formation in a variety of countries starting from the mid–nineteenth century.</p> Zhun Xu ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 25 39 10.14452/MR-070-10-2019-03_2 Self-Knowledge, Estrangement, and Social Metabolism <p>Following two key themes in Karl Marx's thought—estrangement and political economy, in their relation to human self-knowledge—labor mediates the social metabolism. In this schema, organic (or functional) metabolism is distinguished from extended metabolism (or social organization). Socially extended metabolism gives rise to shared values and concepts in the same way that organic metabolism gives rise to life. On this basis, I suggest that both the subject and object of human self-knowledge is a socially extended self, which can connect to itself only when humans freely participate in socially extended metabolism—that is, economy, science, and industry. Estrangement, in contrast, is seen to result from a disruption within socially extended metabolism.</p> Boris Hennig ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 40 57 10.14452/MR-070-10-2019-03_3 The Criminal Dimension of Climate Change <div class="bookreview">Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, <em>Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival</em> (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017), 270 pages, $27.95, paperback.</div> <p><em>Unprecedented Crime</em>, a book by Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, with a foreword by leading climate scientist James Hansen, outlines the criminality of those who actively promote the continuing emission of carbon gases into the atmosphere despite having full knowledge of the consequences. These consequences include the breakdown of large ice sheets, rising sea levels, and the intensification of extreme weather events around the world, such as hurricanes, floods, and fires.</p> Andrew Glikson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 58 62 10.14452/MR-070-10-2019-03_4 Notes from the Editors, February 2019 <div class="buynow"><a title="Back issue of Monthly Review, February 2019 (Volume 70, Number 9)" href="">buy this issue</a></div> <p>Climatologist James Hansen's 2018 "Climate Change in a Nutshell: The Gathering Storm," known as the Nutshell document, is the single most important analysis currently available for general readers seeking to stay abreast of the science and politics of global warming. Nevertheless, denial of the extent of the conflict between capitalism and the climate remains pervasive. Such views were subjected to a strong refutation by Enno Schröder and Servaas Storm in a November 2018 paper entitled "Economic Growth and Carbon Emissions: The Road to 'Hothouse Earth' Is Paved With Good Intentions."</p> - The Editors ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 c2 64 10.14452/MR-070-09-2019-02_0 Capitalism Has Failed—What Next? <p>Less than two decades into the twenty-first century, it is evident that capitalism has failed as a social system. The world is mired in economic stagnation, financialization, and the most extreme inequality in human history, accompanied by mass unemployment and underemployment, precariousness, poverty, hunger, wasted output and lives, and what at this point can only be called a planetary ecological "death spiral." Many of the symptoms of the failure of capitalism are well-known. Nevertheless, they are often attributed not to capitalism as a system, but simply to neoliberalism, viewed as a particular paradigm of capitalist development that can be replaced by another, better one. A critical-historical analysis of neoliberalism is therefore crucial both to grounding our understanding of capitalism today and uncovering the reason why all alternatives to neoliberalism and its capitalist absolutism are closed within the system itself.</p> John Bellamy Foster ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 1 24 10.14452/MR-070-09-2019-02_1 New Means of Workplace Surveillance <p>Workplace surveillance and the invasion of employee privacy have always been present under capitalism. Historically, this has mostly involved the combination of visual observation and abstract time, focusing on employee performance. However, the development of new information and communication technologies has brought important changes to the manner in which employers control employee productivity. Such digitalization or datafication of employees constitutes a qualitative change in the history of workplace surveillance—a change that reduces workers, their performance and bodies, to lines of code and flows of data to be scrutinized and manipulated.</p> Ivan Manokha ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 25 39 10.14452/MR-070-09-2019-02_2 Scholarship on the Rise of the Right <p>While the explosion of studies on the rise of the right has undoubtedly enriched our understanding of these powerful forces and individuals, we are due for critical assessments of these studies from the left. Over the past few decades, dismissals of class-based interpretations of history have plagued this type of scholarship. Expressed by some of the profession's most institutionally privileged members, such dismissals have led to a narrowing of discussions and debates by limiting studies to the tensions between liberals and conservatives and by downplaying or ignoring leftist critiques of liberalism.</p> Chad Pearson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 40 55 10.14452/MR-070-09-2019-02_3 Fighting for Migrant Workers in Hong Kong <p>The precarious state of migrant workers has become a major area of concern for the contemporary global economy. In Southeast Asian regions in particular, the number of migrant workers has spiked since the 1990s. In the city of Hong Kong, domestic migrant workers, predominantly Filipino and Indonesian women, now make up around a tenth of the total working population. Since the beginning of Southeast Asia's labor diaspora, activists have been fiercely organizing against the rampant exploitation and abuse of migrant workers.</p> Eni Lestari Promise Li ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 56 63 10.14452/MR-070-09-2019-02_4