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Jessica Locked account

Joined 1 year, 7 months ago

Marxist nerd. I will never finish a book.

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Mutual Aid (2020, Verso) 4 stars

Mutual aid is the radical act of caring for each other while working to change …

A Mixed Bag

3 stars

This book swings wildly from idealizing failed movements (Occupy, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, etc) to having really solid advice for group dynamics and holding meetings.

I'm sure all of the good bits can be found in other books, but this book is short enough to just deal with the junk.

Reform or Revolution and Other Writings 5 stars

Social Reform or Revolution? (German: Sozialreform oder Revolution?) is an 1899 pamphlet by Polish-German Marxist …

Lots of shit talk, and I like that

5 stars

I don't always agree with Luxemburg but she's got some bangers for sure. She ruthlessly tears apart her contemporaries, and whether I agree with her criticism or not it's definitely entertaining. Not to mention I get to see a non-Leninist but still Marxist perspective on revolution.

Her criticisms of the Bolsheviks and their organization, especially in "Leninism or Marxism?" definitely need to be taken with a grain of salt considering her decentralized party had her executed by Nazis (she criticizes centralism and promotes decentralized organizing), but they shouldn't be written off.

Capitalist Realism (EBook, 2009, Zero Books) 4 stars

Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? explores Fisher's concept of "capitalist realism," which he takes …

Sometimes insightful, mostly incoherent

2 stars

I will admit that I didn't finish this. I got about 3/4 the way through and decided that it was a waste of my time.

What is a "liberal communist"? What is "market Stalinism"? Why would you imply that dyslexia is because we've been brainwashed into only recognizing brand logos and that it can make you a better business executive?

It's very clear that "Stalinism" means something negative that isn't explained and is often oxymoronic (as well as calling George Soros and Bill Gates "liberal communists").

He obviously looks down on the students he used to teach.

He's right that mental health needs to be politicized (and not in the way it usually is in the US, by demonizing the mentally ill and manufacturing consent for the police to execute people on the street), and he's right that we need to look into the social reasons people are ill rather …

Dialectical and historical materialism (1941, Lawrence & Wishart,  ltd.) 3 stars

Extremely Basic

3 stars

If you already agree with the concept of materialist dialectics then this starts off strong and immediately plateaus. It's more an argument in favor of using materialist dialectics than it is an explanation of the concept. There are definitely better introductions to DiaMat than this, although with almost a century of development of Marxism I'd hope so.

The Metamorphosis (1972) 5 stars

The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella written by Franz Kafka which was first …

Gregor's sister got hot while he was a bug

5 stars

Content warning This review contains spoilers

The Raven Tower (Paperback, 2019, Orbit) 4 stars

Listen. A god is speaking. My voice echoes through the stone of your master's castle. …

I enjoyed it

4 stars

This was a pretty good book, I'd give it 5 stars but the conversation about how it's okay to be trans was patronizing and cringey and forced. Coulda had more than one trans character instead of having a cis character ramble about her trans aunt. It was cool to have a trans character whose story didn't revolve around being trans, though.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Paperback, 2020, Text Publishing Company) 3 stars

I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. …

Won't say it's a bad book, but I wish I hadn't read it.

1 star

Content warning This review contains spoilers.

Wage Labour and Capital (EBook, 2006, Marxist Internet Archive) 3 stars

"Wage Labour and Capital" (German: Lohnarbeit und Kapital) was an 1847 lecture by the critic …

Written by Young Marx, and it shows

3 stars

This is a pretty good introduction to Capitalist economics from a Marxist perspective, but even with the updates provided by Engels it definitely shows some naiveté. Later works by Marx are much better, although I do appreciate the flowery language Marx uses.