Jacobin #39 -Failure is not an option

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Jacobin is a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.

Contents of issue 39

VULGAR EMPIRICIST
America the Laggard
By virtually any measure, people in the United States are worse off than those in other rich countries. There’s no disputing the impact of our weak entitlements and paltry labor protections.

TRANSITIONS
The Great Divergence
It used to be better to be a low-wage worker in the United States than in France. That hasn’t been the case for a long while.

UNEVEN & COMBINED
Mapping the Decline
How the neoliberal project’s very own fifty-state strategy left poverty and low wages in its wake.

FIELD NOTES
America’s Railroad to Nowhere
We know the US rail network is no match for trains in France or Japan. But Barack Obama’s plan for high-speed rail couldn’t even match that of Morocco or Uzbekistan.

CANON FODDER
PHILIP ROCCO

Ending Federalism as We Know It
A new book shows how the fragmented American state arrests democracy. What we need is nothing short of a reconstruction.

CANON FODDER
LUKE SAVAGE

A Very British Dystopia
A Very British Coup embraced the intrigues of class war, but its sequel falls prey to the mundanities of culture war.

The New American Exceptionalism
FEATURE
RICHARD LACHMANN

Effective states can enforce discipline on elites. The United States is not one of them.

American Capitalism Is Working  —  That’s the Problem
FEATURE
NICOLE ASCHOFF

The United States is not a failed state — just ask any American capitalist. But we desperately need something better for everyone else.

Where’s Our Gorbachev?
FEATURE
JONATHAN STEELE

The United States today isn’t on the verge of a Soviet-style disintegration — but neither is there any force at the top willing and able to reform our political system.

Message in a Bottle
FEATURE
MEAGAN DAY

In the United States of 2020, millions are desperate for help, and they’re forced to compete for scraps from Twitter philanthropists.

RED CHANNELS
EILEEN JONES

John Carpenter, Apocalyptic Filmmaker
John Carpenter’s movies provide visions of societies falling apart. No wonder his work is resonating now more than ever.

WAYS OF SEEING
BEN DAVIS

The Collision of Self-Importance and Despair
In the United States today, as in 1990s Russia, for a lot of intellectuals, total nihilism seems more plausible than hope for even modest reform.

WAYS OF SEEING
OWEN HATHERLEY

From Your House to Our House
America’s experiment with public housing was far less successful than Europe’s — but this hasn’t made it any less influential.

GIRONDINS
ABI WILKINSON

On Being a Mother in America
Within ten days of giving birth, a quarter of us are forced to return to work. If liberals truly want to support parents’ choices, they need to back the subsidies and employment legislation that are vital to child-rearing.

THERMIDOR
BRANKO MARCETIC

Stories for the End of the World
From the mutant animals of Chernobyl and Marie Antoinette’s perverted orgies, to QAnon and Russiagate, conspiracy theories flourish in times of crisis and collapse of political legitimacy.

POPULAR FRONT
PETER FRASE

Blue Order
In an increasingly unstable country, what if a “deep police state” threatens to undermine our electoral gains?

DUSTBIN
MATT KARP

How Abraham Lincoln Fought the Supreme Court
It is not enough to question the decisions, the justices, or even the structure of the current court — we need to challenge, as Abraham Lincoln did, the foundation of its power to determine the law.

DUSTBIN
AMBER A’LEE FROST

Socialists Should Be Republicans
The first generation of the GOP tried — and failed — to build a modern republic. Socialists today won’t get very far unless we finish their work.

PROLETOCCULT
DONALD HUGHES

Your Quarterly Horoscope
Real left strategy isn’t found in socialist magazines. It’s found in the stars.

MEANS AND ENDS
VIVEK CHIBBER

Celebrating Ten Years of Jacobin
And our decades to come.

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