Years ago, we warned you. It was only a matter of time before we capitulated to liberalism.
We’ve held out as long as we could, but that day is finally upon us. The signs couldn’t be clearer: we’re now selling tote bags and other apparel on the Jacobin site. We used to be a Marxist journal, then we became a socialist magazine, and now we’ve finally realized our final synthesis: we are a lifestyle brand.
Don’t worry though, we’ve decided to start a new Marxist journal to begin the process all over again. Does the world need another journal? Probably not — but the merchandizing opportunities are too good to pass up on.
What’s the context of this decision? We’re launching Catalyst: A Journal of Theory and Strategy, a beautiful print journal edited by Robert Brenner and Vivek Chibber, at a time of enormous tumult. The political order is being questioned on a scale we haven’t seen in decades. Neoliberalism, which only a few years ago seemed unassailable, has lost all legitimacy. Even while the revolt against it is still mostly electoral, there are signs of a reemergence of social movements, stretching across the globe. But at the same time, the traditional parties of the Left, which were once the voice of mass protest, have largely been absorbed into the neoliberal order.
Labor, once the torchbearer of progressive politics, is still largely dormant, in part due to its lack of organization, and in part owing to its own conservatism. So even while the traditional order is in crisis, it isn’t clear in what direction progressive forces will, or even should, move.
One thing is clear — discussion of capitalism is not off the table any longer. Catalyst launches with the aim of doing everything it can to promote and deepen this conversation. Our focus is, as our title suggests, to develop a theory and strategy with capitalism as its target — both in the North and in the Global South. While we are based in the United States, our hope is to be relevant to readers stretching from Kolkata to Cairo, from Pretoria to Paris. It is an ambitious agenda, but this is a time for thinking big.
Subscribe to Catalyst at catalyst-journal.com and encourage your local and university libraries to get institutional subs. Jacobin tote bags are at jacobinmag.com/store — and don’t worry, we’ll be around for at least a decade or two more.
The people demand Catalyst. They also demand tote bags. We’re proud to be here for them.