Category Archives: All

BEAT CITY 3 — 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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BEAT CITY 2 — On the Road and On the Sidewalk

THAT ARTISTIC ROMANTICISM I spoke about last time 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; how the creative energies … Continue reading

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BEAT CITY 1 — Burning Like Roman Candles

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 Robert Frank, did too. Magnum photographer Burt Glinn also … 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

This essay was reblogged by Monthly Review on May 7, 2021 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 … 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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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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