(1) Abeng Press invites submission of original, unpublished articles and papers for its forthcoming book, The Withered State – Nationalism in the New Economy
The withering of the Marxist state turned out to be a return to a form of unregulated capitalism in the old Soviet Union, particularly for the hegemonic power, Russia. Transformation of the Chinese communist state from its Maoist roots has been to a form of state-planned, poorly regulated capitalism. While private capital precipitated the near unravelling of the US economy and the dwindling Bush and new Obama administrations propped the system with state funds, the cry from fiscal conservatives was for a reduction in state involvement and to allow ‘the invisible hand’ of the market to govern the outcome. In Western Europe, the solution to buffer old Soviet expansion and US economic dominance was for states to yield power to a supranational union to augment its international influence. For developing economies, between the IMF/World Bank and development agency prescriptions, the state’s influence on the political economy has been constantly pared since the post colonial decline began in the mid-1970s and not much is left in places like Haiti, Somalia, Bangladesh and other countries.
In conjunction with the growth of information and telecommunications technologies, what has emerged as the dominant force is a dispersed Western cultural economic hegemony that pervades even allegedly communist China where high rise glass towers are the symbols of economic and social progress.
With the decline of the American middle class, it is the old symbols of development, such as paved roads and the aesthetics of the built environment, modern appliances and access to technology that differentiates the new poor from their perennial counterparts in developing societies. The converse of this, epitomised by Mukesh Ambani’s 27 storey billion dollar home in Mumbai, is the presence of the super wealthy living with all the trappings of the modernity, in developing societies where poverty is rampant.
In this scenario with labour seemingly completely disempowered and no one but bankers and business agents rushing to learn Chinese is there reason to fear economic nationalism from Brazil, Russia, India and China as the new hegemony?
This book will address impacts of the new economic dispensation and its impacts on nations, organisations, groups and individuals. Topics for discussion and analysis will include but are not limited to:
- New interpretations of Marx and Keynes
- The relevance of classical economic thought
- Race and religion in the new dispensation
- Locating the Third World – New spatial designations of North and South
- Democracy and the power and relevance of governments
- 21st Century anarchism
- The power or the corporation
- Organised labour in the new economy
- Energy, science and technology and the environment – What drives the new economy?
Contact us for further details.
(2) Abeng Press invites submission of original, unpublished articles and papers for its forthcoming book, Ras Tafari, The Next Generation – 21st Century Impacts.
November 2, 2010, quietly slid by with little fanfare for the 80th anniversary of the crowning of Ras Tafari Makonnen as King of Kings of Ethiopia and Conquering Lion of Judah. The coronation inspired the founding in Jamaica of a new Judaeo-Christian Rastafari faith among messianists seeking liberation from oppressive British colonialism and its heritage of enslavement and dispossession. The 1935 invasion of the ancient, economically impoverished but culturally rich feudal kingdom, by the Italian Fascist imperialist leader Benito Mussolini, sparked outrage worldwide among Ethiopianists who decried the onslaught on Africa’s last independent nation to have escaped European colonisation.
Between that epoch and the decade of the 1970s, the Ras Tafari movement evolved from despised and ridiculed outcast cult, to international New Age culture bearers of peace and love, healthy life styles and advocates of racial harmony. The iconic dreadlocks hair style; red, gold and green emblematic colours and association with reggae music retains a niche in early 21st century avant-garde culture but much of the stridency of the golden age of the movement is not visible in this milieu as the old guard membership passes on and the baby boomer generation who brought it to prominence cut their dreads and move into conventional lifestyles. Indeed, unlike in its heyday when there were annual celebrations of Ras Tafari holidays (birth and coronation of Haile Selassie, his visit to Jamaica and other Caribbean territories, African Liberation Day) the main celebration of 2010, was of the first major academic/sociological study of the movement by University of the West Indies scholars in 1960, when adherents of the movement were seen as a pariah on the Jamaican colonial social order. The question arises whether a movement which does not celebrate its own history has become history itself. Some critics have argued whether Ras Tafari was ever truly revolutionary or merely a heretical form of fundamentalist Christianity.
This book will examine Rastafarian impacts on Jamaican, Caribbean and international culture. Particular topics for reflection and examination include but are not limited to:
- Ras Tafari, God and religion
- Ras Tafari, politics and liberation in the 21st century
- Commerce, economy and monetary systems
- Health and lifestyles, including gender and sexual relations
- Art and popular culture
- Ras Tafari organisation and youth – questions of succession
Contact us for further details.