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Books by Socialists

Book Review: 'Women & Socialism'

August Bebel, the pioneer German socialist, is almost forgotten today. The reason for this is, perhaps, that the party he helped to found has long since degenerated into an instrument of German capitalism, indistinguishable from any other capitalist party. Despite this, however, Bebel’s life and work arc still worth recalling, not least because as a key figure in the workers’ movement as it developed in the 19th century he contributed personally to popularizing the idea of socialism and the theories of Marx and Engels, most notably in his major written work, Women and Socialism, first published in 1879.

Book Reviews: 'Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising?,' & 'Slavoj Žižek - A Žižekian Gaze at Education'

Founding myths

'Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising? 1916-2016'. By James Heartfield and Kevin Rooney. Zero Books, 2015, £11.99.

Socialists will not like this book, because of its relentless pro-Irish Republican stance.  Those who took part in the  armed uprising in Dublin at Easter in 1916 were, we are told, ‘heroes’ and ‘freedom fighters’ who fought for a ‘noble cause’. Certainly, those prepared to die for their beliefs deserve some respect, but what was the ‘noble’ cause? What was the ‘freedom’ they died for?

Book Review: 'Ecology, Policy and Politics - Human Well-Being and the Natural World'

The Costing of The Earth

'Ecology, Policy and Politics: Human Well-Being and the Natural World'. by John O'Neill (Routledge. £11.99.)

This book is an attack on the philosophical basis of so-called "cost-benefit" analysis as a method for deciding whether or not some project with consequences for the environment should go ahead. Cost-benefit analysis involves giving a monetary value to the costs (e.g. loss of amenities, destruction of wildlife habitats, pollution) and benefits (e.g. some new amenity, more jobs, journey times saved).

What price the market?

Book Review: 'Survival of the Weakest'

Marxist Iconoclast

'Survival of the Weakest', by Ken R. Smith, The John Ball Press (ISBN 871240 06 9 PP336). £14.95

"Love, Science and Social Change" says the legend under the title. If these are the three points on Smith's triangle then it encompasses a wide area of knowledge. The book is a virtual political and social encyclopaedia of the twentieth century but, if it proves a point, the author is willing to sweep back to the pre-history of capitalism - especially to demonstrate his favourite theme, that Marx was in error in arguing that capitalism was an essential precondition of Socialism.

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