Left Forum: How Does Marxist-Humanism Speak to Socialism in the 21st Century?
18 April, 2009
The financial situation is the form of appearance of a crisis in production—the
financial crisis is the result of a production crisis. To many observers this is just not clear
enough, especially since the production crisis—exemplified in the accelerating job
losses—appears to have followed from the financial crisis. I think we can make a strong
case it follows that even success in stabilizing the financial crisis (which is nowhere in
sight) will not substantially resolve the production crisis and continuing high and long-
term unemployment, housing crisis, etc. far into the future. Take as an example the
situation of Black male workers as reported in the 3/16 Christian Science Monitor. The
Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston says that in terms
of job-loss rate for African-American men, “nothing comes close to this”, citing figures
• More African-American men are losing jobs than at any time since World War II
• Employment among Black men has fallen 7.8% since November, ‘07
• While the number of men (all race/ethnicities) looking for full-time work has
nearly doubled in the last year, the relative decline in Black male employment
was considerably higher than among Asians, Latinos, and whites.
• The employment rate among African-American men aged 20-24 is now just 51%
(compared to 68% during the late 1990s).
• From November ’07 (the month before the official start of the recession) to
February ’09, there was no net job loss among professional or managerial
positions: all the job loss has been among blue-collar jobs—construction,
manufacturing, and retail, where Black men have traditionally found employment.
While much of the past 20 or so years of continued U.S. global domination has been
under-pinned by a notion of its systemic “invincibility” in contrast to the ignominious
collapse of Communism, very many serious observer