Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx's Lost Theory

Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx's Lost Theory

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Mike Davis

Marx has returned, but which Marx? Recent biographies have proclaimed him to be an emphatically 19th century figure, but in this, his first book directly about Marx and Marxism, Mike Davis reveals a thinker who speaks to the present. In a series of searching, propulsive essays, Davis, the bestselling author of City of Quartz and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, explores Marx’s inquiries into two key questions of our time: who can lead a revolutionary transformation of society, and what is the cause—and solution—of planetary environmental crisis. Davis consults a vast archive of labor history to illuminate new aspects of Marx's theoretical texts and political journalism. He offers a 'lost Marx' whose analyses of historical agency, nationalism, and the 'middle landscape' of class struggle are crucial to the renewal of revolutionary thought in our darkening age.  And he critiques the current fetishism of the 'anthropocene', which suppresses the links between the global employment crisis and capitalism's failure to ensure human survival in a more extreme climate. In finale, Old Gods, New Enigmas looks backwards to the great, forgotten debates on alternative socialist urbanism (1880-1934) to find the conceptual keys to a universal high quality of life in a sustainable environment.