Author Archives: Andy Merrifield

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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Notes on Marx’s “General Law of Capitalist Accumulation”

If someone were to ask me what my favourite bit of Marx’s Capital is, I’d tell them Chapter 25, on “The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation.” Not that anybody has ever asked me; but I suspect I wouldn’t be alone … Continue reading

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Grand Inquisitors in Our Midst

Demagogic chauvinism is thriving across the globe. Tolerance has undergone core meltdown. Nationalism is alive and apparently well. And just when we thought the Cold War was long over, certain political leaders now seem intent on wanting to blow up … Continue reading

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Marx at His Limits

I was in New York recently, and as per custom I like to walk its streets checking out used bookstores. Used bookstores are a species in danger of extinction in Manhattan, ever more picked off by rising rents and booming … Continue reading

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Buttoning Up With Marx

At a quarter to three in the afternoon, March 14, 1883, Karl Marx passed away peacefully in his favourite armchair. Three days later, a few miles up the road, he was buried, a citizenless émigré, in London’s Highgate Cemetery. At … Continue reading

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Encountering Marshall Berman and Mike Davis

Marshall Berman’s Nation review of Mike Davis’s City of Quartz, ‘LA Raw,’ from 1991, is an all-time favourite of mine in part because Davis’s book on Los Angeles is an all-time favourite of mine, one of the greatest urban books … Continue reading

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Surrealist Love at the Barbican

For a while now, I’ve been laughing out loud at a play about the end of the world. It seems a bit odd that I would laugh about something so serious, so seemingly dire. But then, sitting here, I started … Continue reading

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