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Anton Pannekoek

Cooking the Books: Capitalism Goes into Space

The Dutch Marxist, Anton Pannekoek, once wrote that because the Earth’s size was limited so would capitalism be, implying that when capitalism had extended to the whole of the globe it would come to an end. This conclusion might have been reassuring, but it was never a rigorous argument. The Earth’s size has nothing to do with the lifespan of capitalism. But, if it had, Pannekoek had overlooked the possibility of capitalism extending itself beyond the Earth; surprising since he was a professor of astronomy, but he was writing in 1942.

Fast forward to today and an online article on 25 November ( suggests that we too might be behind the times when we talk of ‘world’ socialism:

‘President Barrack Obama today put his signature on a law supporting the rights of space miners to extract, use and sell resources from asteroids, the moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.’

Political Parties and the Workers

The two decades which separate the last war from the present were crowded with events which left their mark on the working-class and its political outlook. The sorry spectacle of the so-called "2nd International" of the workers, i.e., the Labour parties, splitting up into recruiting agencies for their respective national capitalisms, broke the spell for many who had hitherto accepted these organisations as "genuine Socialists."

The Russian revolution and the emergence of "Communist parties" raised working-class hopes anew, only to dash them to the ground as the true character of the Bolshevik regime and its puppet organisations revealed itself through actions and policies that aroused bitter criticism and disillusionment in many working-class quarters.

Book Review: 'Nation et lutte de classe'

Socialism is the enemy of Nationalism

'Nation et lutte de classe' by Otto Strasser and Anton Pannekoek (Union generale d'editions, Paris)

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