Author Archives: Andy Merrifield

About Andy Merrifield

Writer, Urbanist, Marxist, Educator

Goofing at the Table

My favourite Beat diner image is an inspiring black & white shot, taken in a long lost Lower East Side diner. In the photo, we can see Kerouac (left, front on) sat at a booth with poet friends Allen Ginsberg … Continue reading

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On the Road and On the Sidewalk

THAT ARTISTIC ROMANTICISM I spoke about last time was somehow urban: it evoked the thrill and possibility of urban life. Inscribed in the art, in the activity of that age, in its human poetry, was something about the city itself; … Continue reading

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Burning Like Roman Candles

BURNING LIKE ROMAN CANDLES: Burt Glinn’s Beat Night Vision One of the many amazing things about the Beat generation is just how photogenic its protagonists were. They liked taking pictures of themselves, and celebrated photographers of their age, such as … Continue reading

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Marx, Dead and Alive

This essay originally appeared at Monthly Review online (November 26, 2019) It’s late November, nine months since I last stood in Highgate cemetery, beside Marx’s vandalised grave. It’s a chilly autumnal morning, damp and grey, and even before midday the light … Continue reading

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Marx on Technology

The longest chapter in Capital is the fifteenth, on “Machinery and Large-Scale Industry.” At almost 150-pages, it’s really a book in itself, a staggeringly dense and expansive discussion that could easily standalone—not only as a brilliant exegesis of capitalist machinery, … Continue reading

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Marx in the Museum

Essay originally blogged on September 20, 2019 at Monthly Review Perhaps it’s not hard to visualise a ragged and moth-eaten Marx traipsing from Dean Street to his British Museum hide out. He’d be shuffling along, incognito, through Soho’s crowded backstreets, … Continue reading

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Marx’s “Dangerous Classes”

Most Marxists know that Marx infamously dismisses the lumpenproletariat — those band of “vagabonds, criminals, prostitutes,” “the demoralised, the ragged,” swindlers and tricksters, ragpickers and pickpockets, tinkers and beggars (all Marx’s words). These ruffians, he says, “dwelling in the sphere … Continue reading

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