All of this writing and data analysis is a lot of work! So after more than five years of posting, I've finally launched a Patreon to help pay the bills.

7/12/19

Libertarians always try to co-opt the left. Why haven't we learned from this?

There's a simple way to recognize how class struggle is demoted to a secondary concern among the US left: look at how we fight other forms of oppression, and consider how it would look if we fought capitalism the same way. Sometimes you see parallels - for example, in left organizations that exclude avowed capitalists just as they exclude avowed racists and sexists - but quite often you see clear double-standards.

7/8/19

Global Green New Deal Media Roundup

Some coverage of my new paper for People's Policy Project, The Global Green New Deal:
Also, don't miss my follow-up post: The Global Green New Deal: Towards A Socialist Strategy! I'll be updating this list as more coverage appears.

7/4/19

Can't stop alienation by trying to end automation

An extraordinary amount of our interactions with other humans takes place in the context of economic activity - while we are consuming, working, conducting transactions, exploiting labor, and so on. And because these activities proceed according to the rules of capitalism, capitalism exercises a profound influence on our social lives. When I am shopping and I strike up a conversation with a service employee, for example, the rules of capitalism impose a powerful incentive on the way they respond to me: they need to try to get some of my money for their boss.

7/3/19

Daily polling drama isn't teaching you a thing

Seven polls of the Democratic primaries that have rolled out since the most recent debate:



7/1/19

The oligarchs won't give you peace

George Soros and Charles Koch have announced "a new foreign-policy think tank" - the Quincy Institute - that "will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing." What can we actually expect?

6/26/19

Are Sanders supporters actually equating Elizabeth Warren with Hillary Clinton?

There's a curious tension in Liza Featherstone's new piece in Jacobin on Elizabeth Warren.

6/26/19

The global fight against climate change will cost trillions - not billions

While the reception to my Global Green New Deal paper with People's Policy Project was overwhelmingly positive, I noticed three trends that confirmed a longstanding suspicion:

6/19/19

The Global Green New Deal: Towards A Socialist Strategy

People’s Policy Project has published my proposal for funding international climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts through a Global Green New Deal. In it, I propose a strategy for securing $2 trillion every year from wealthy nations for the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive plan for fighting climate change. Nor does it address all of the challenges that the GGND is likely to encounter en route. This proposal is merely a first step in what I believe will be a series of fights for to enact a green agenda that is urgent, forceful, and just.

Here, I’d like to discuss how the Global Green New Deal establishes a strategic framework that socialists can use to fight for the future of our planet - and win.

6/13/19

Bernie Sanders should obviously campaign as a socialist

Last evening, Hamilton Nolan posted a thing rehearsing the old logic-nerd conventional wisdom that all communication must begin with definitions. He thinks that "Philosophers long ago realized" this, which is true if by philosophers we mean Ayn Rand and literally no philosopher of language post-Wittgenstein.

He then insists that we cannot have coherent conversations about socialism, since it is completely undefined - which is not to say that it is merely controversial, but that it offers "no recognizable basis from which to proceed to specifics." This, despite the fact that we have field studies showing remarkable continuity in people's ideas about socialism, even down to extremely detailed policy specifics, and despite the fact that his theory that "socialism" has no shared meaning at all is patently impossible.

6/12/19

What do people think socialism is?

It's usually pretty difficult to get good information about public attitudes towards socialism, but the past month has been a real watershed. First came a Gallup poll that I covered here which asked whether various political concerns should be managed by the government or the free market. Now comes a poll by Axios asking respondents what "a socialist system" means to them. The results, I think, are pretty intuitive, though they also send a mixed message to activists and intellectuals working within the historical socialist tradition.