Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx's Lost Theory

Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx's Lost Theory

by Mike Davis

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Is revolution possible in the age of the Anthropocene?

Marx has returned, but which Marx? Recent biographies have proclaimed him to be an emphatically nineteenth-century figure, but in this book, Mike Davis’s first directly about Marx and Marxism, a thinker comes to light who speaks to the present as much as the past. 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 the 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. Davis presents a critique of 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 a finale, Old Gods, New Enigmas looks backward 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781788732192
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,002,824
File size: 551 KB

About the Author

Mike Davis is the author of several books including City of QuartzThe Monster at Our DoorBuda’s Wagon, and Planet of Slums. He is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award. He lives in San Diego.

Table of Contents

Preface: Marx at the Chicken Shack ix

1 Old Gods, New Enigmas: Notes on Revolutionary Agency 1

2 Marx's Lost Theory: The Politics of Nationalism in 1848 155

3 The Coming Desert: Kropotkin, Mars, and the Pulse of Asia 179

4 Who Will Build the Ark? 201

Notes 223

Index 273

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