WORKERS’ AND STUDENTS’ GUIDES
Manifesto Press’ Workers’ and Student’s Guides aim to provide a solid foundation for informed discussion that challenges the facile prejudices and myths imposed by bourgeois hegemony. Where ideological discussions that spring from daily life, the mass media and the world of work our Guides aim to arm working people with the arsenal of ideas that serve the aim of winning working class political and state power.
This series will provide that arsenal by bridging the divide between the zeitgeist discussion and the political and cultural reality. The information provided will be applicable and relevant to the readers everyday life as a worker, influencer, negotiator, and a participant in the cultural conversation. They will also provide a means of questioning the dominant narratives fed us by the media, a tool that can undermine the bourgeois hegemony at source.
WSG1: THE TOP TEN ECONOMIC MYTHS DEBUNKED
The Top Ten Economic Myths Debunked by Stewart McGill discusses the most potent myths promoted in the capitalist world: the Luddites were thugs; the arrant nonsense about public finances and taxation; the exaggerated role of private capital in innovation; the value to the economy of the finance sector; the supposed benefits of free trade; the neglect of the importance of the manufacturing sector and the exaggerated reports of its demise; the 1970s being a time of economic disaster; capitalism “rescuing” billions from poverty and inflation being down to both natural economic laws, and working people daring to ask for a pay rise. McGill urges the reader to seek understanding beyond the myths the bourgeois media promotes, and provides people with the analytical tools and facts to do so.
WSG2: STRAIGHT LEFTS ON INFLATION
In his column for Unity Magazine, Stewart McGill revives the hard-hitting Straight Left column from the 1920s Communist Party’s paper, the Workers Weekly, the forerunner of the Daily Worker. This book is a compilation of McGill’s various writings on political economy since the start of 2022, with a focus on those dealing with inflation, the most far-reaching crisis of this period. His writing focuses on solutions that would limit the impact of inflation on the poorest, and forestall the damage inflicted by the inflationary cycle, particularly through limiting the profiteering ability of energy companies and others. This is an important compilation that exposes the myths about inflation perpetuated by a compliant and unthinking media.
WSG3: SOCIALISM OR EXTINCTION
Sunak’s abandonment of many of the government’s commitments render Socialism or Extinction – originally written before the Glasgow COP26 Climate Change
Conference and now revised - even more immediately relevant. It is being relaunched as part of Manifesto Press’ Workers’ and Students’ Guide series as (i) the planet’s prospects have not improved since the autumn of 2021, and (ii) the sector-by polluting-sector analysis remains powerful in exposing the fundamental impossibility of real change under capitalism. Socialism or Extinction considers the climate crisis sector by sector focusing on the energy, transport, agriculture, fashion, food retail, and steel. McGill considers the laws of capitalism which govern those sectors and will continue to destroy the environment; unless we destroy capitalism and replace it with a more rational economy beyond the profit imperative.
WSG4: ORGANISING IN OUR TRADE UNIONS
Nigel Flanagan in Organising in Our Trade Unions expands on chapters 7, 9, and 10 from his 2023 book Our Trade Unions. Organising in Our Trade Unions attempts to “create a new debate and new energy, with inspiration from successful trade union struggles. These are in our own history and in the Global South in countries like Kenya and Morocco.” Flanagan considers union power in Africa and argues for a revitalised role for the trade union membership.
WSG5: MARXISM & PHILOSOPHY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: MATERIALISM & IDEALISM
In Marxism & Philosophy in the 21st Century: Materialism & Idealism, C. Ritchie accessibly considers the history of philosophy in relation to Marxism. Ritchie describes the differences between Ancient Greek atomists, empiricism, 18th and 19th century idealists, metaphysics, Descartes, materialism, and post-modernism. Ritchie considers the modern understanding of freedom, and the difference between choice and variety. He also examines Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, his views on the importance of intellectuals.