The entry of the capital relation into its epoch of structural crisis forms the basis for the development of the author’s conception of revolutionary agency. Drawing on the work and achievements of both Marx and Hungarian socialist thinker István Mészáros, May relates the emergence and deepening of the structural crisis to the decline of trade unionism as the traditional and universal form of organization deployed economistically by workers against capital. In the relationship between the «defensively-structured», universal, trade union form and the growing contradictions of the global capitalist system, May seeks to unearth the possibility of a higher form of agency which is more adequately adapted to address the immediate and long-term objectives facing millions of people today worldwide in the age of capital’s «destructive self-reproduction». Looking back in order to look forward, he also subjects the form of agency within the Russian Revolution to a critique which relates it directly to the conditions prevailing in Russia at the time. In so doing, he questions its supposed validity as a form of revolutionary agency for the struggle to put an end to the global capitalist system today.
About the author
SHAUN MAY was born in Hull, England in 1960 into a working-class family. He read Biochemistry and Chemistry at undergraduate level, followed by postgraduate studies in Education at the University of Hull. After graduating, he worked as an organic chemist, a biology lecturer in further education and later as a teacher in state schools in East Yorkshire. Now living in East Yorkshire, England, he is an independent socialist writer whose present work focuses on the urgent question of revolutionary agency. Capital-in-Crisis, Trade Unionism and the Question of Revolutionary Agency is his first book.
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