A non-partisan journal of the left.

About Thomas Riggins

Based: New York City

Articles Written

Piketty for Progressives

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 16th Sep 2014
Part 3 of Thomas Riggins's analysis of Thomas Piketty's book - Capital in the Twenty-First Century... [read more]

Piketty for Progressives

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 2nd Sep 2014
Part 2 of Thomas Riggins's analysis of Thomas Piketty's book - Capital in the Twenty-First Century... [read more]

Piketty for Progressives

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 16th Aug 2014
Part 1 of Thomas Riggins's analysis of Thomas Piketty's book - Introduction to Capital in the Twenty-First Century... [read more]
 

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empirio-Criticism Thomas Riggins

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 9th Aug 2014
Thomas Riggins talks us though the rest of Chapter 4 of Lenin's book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism ... [read more]

Lenin on the State and Revolution: The Paris Commune (1871)

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 5th Aug 2014
Thomas Riggins reviews Chapter IV of Lenin's State and Revolution (1917)... [read more]

Piketty, The Wall Street Journal, and Rational Conservatives

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 16th Jun 2014
Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the 21st Century, has almost had the effect of a tsunami on economic thinking in the United States, writes Thomas Riggins... [read more]
 

Review: VJ McGill on Russell's Critique of Marxism

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 11th Jun 2014
In the "The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell" volume in the Library of Living Philosophers (1944) VJ McGill (1897-1977) published a detailed critique of Russell's political and economic philosophy... [read more]

Lenin on State and Revolution: The Paris Commune (1871) - Replacing the Bourgeois State

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 12th May 2014
The form of state prevalent in the developed capitalist world at the time of the Commune was a state that functioned to support the bourgeoisie in its war against the working class... [read more]

Lenin on the Paris Commune (1871): An Heroic Uprising

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 4th Apr 2014
Thomas Riggins discusses Lenin's take on the Paris Commune... [read more]
 

New York City Settles Fire Department Discrimination Case

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 2nd Apr 2014
New York City settlement of fire department discrimination is a blow against racism but panned by ultra-right New York Post ... [read more]

To Smash or be Smashed? Lenin's Theory of the State

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 15th Mar 2014
In Chapter Two of State and Revolution, Lenin discusses the lessons of the European revolutionary movement of 1848-51... [read more]

US Drug "War" Destroys Rain Forests

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 4th Mar 2014
It seems that the drug war in Mexico has driven the drug gangs deep into the remotest areas of the jungles of Central America... [read more]
 

Lenin on the "Withering Away'' of the State and Violent Revolution

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 25th Feb 2014
Lenin discusses these two topics in section four of chapter one of The State and Revolution (1917)... [read more]

Bum Rap for the Rapa Nui

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 14th Feb 2014
A new report details a re-evaluation of the view that the native inhabitants of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) were responsible for the collapse of their population... [read more]

Lenin's State and Revolution: Chapter One Parts 2&3

by Thomas Riggins

Thu 6th Feb 2014
Still basing himself on Engels' work, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Lenin points out that the State is the first form of society exclusively to base itself on a given territory... [read more]
 

State and Revolution: Chapter One: Class Society and the State

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 24th Jan 2014
Thomas Riggins explains how, according to Lenin, the State is a product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms ... [read more]

The Philosophical Idealists as Comrades in Arms and Successors of Empirio-Criticism

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 20th Jan 2014
Thomas Riggins walks us through Chapter 4 of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism ... [read more]

Lenin's State and Revolution Today- The Preface

by Thomas Riggins

Thu 16th Jan 2014
The first in a series of articles by Thomas Riggins analysing Lenin's famous work The State and Revolution: The Marxist theory of the State and the tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution... [read more]
 

Waiting for Mangabe or Slavoj Zizek on Mandela's Socialist Failure

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 22nd Dec 2013
This is a reply to Slavoj Zizek's article "Mandela's Socialist Failure" published online in The Stone (a New York Times maintained philosophy blog) on December 6, 2013... [read more]

Lenin on Freedom and Necessity

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 15th Dec 2013
Thomas Riggins Analyses The Next Two Parts Of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism... [read more]

Women, Fertility and the Rise of Modern Capitalism: Review

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 11th Dec 2013
Thomas Riggins reviews an article by Alberto Alesina from the Harvard Economics Department - Women, Fertility and the Rise of Modern Capitalism... [read more]
 

The Theory of Knowledge of Dialectical Materialism and of Empirio-Criticism

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 24th Nov 2013
Thomas Riggins continues to lead us through Chapter 3 of Lenin's book Materialism and Empiro-criticism ... [read more]

Marxism is Real Naturalism: Galen Strawson and Panpsychism

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 5th Nov 2013
Sartre once remarked that the attempt to construct a philosophy that goes beyond Marxism simply recreates a pre-Marxist view that is no longer relevant to current understanding... [read more]

New York City Mayor's Race: Living Wage or Wage Slavery: de Blasio vs. Lhota on the Dignity of Labour

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 25th Oct 2013
The election for mayor of New York City is less that a month away and Bill de Blasio's lead in the polls appears insurmountable... [read more]
 

Causality and Necessity in Nature

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 13th Oct 2013
Thomas Riggins explores Lenin's take on the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism and of empirio-criticism... [read more]

De Blasio and the Sandinistas

by Thomas Riggins

Thu 3rd Oct 2013
According to a recent article in the New York Times two of the candidates running for mayor of New York have become alarmed about the worldview of Bill de Blasio, the front running candidate of the Democratic Party... [read more]

The Theory of Knowledge of Dialectical Materialism and of Empirio-Criticism

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 18th Sep 2013
Thomas Riggins analyses Chapter 3 of Lenin's Materialism and Empiro-criticism... [read more]
 

John Gray, David Hawkes and the Myth of Progress

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 15th Sep 2013
Meliorism "is the view that the world is neither completely good nor completely bad, and that incremental progress or regress depend on human actions." This view holds that "By creative intelligence and education we can improve the environment and social conditions."... [read more]

Marx and the Muslim Brothers

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 19th Aug 2013
How should one respond to the claim that Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt are "Marx's contemporary successors"?... [read more]

Marxism, the Taliban and Plato

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 30th Jul 2013
Recently Simon Blackburn, the well known British philosopher, reviewed "Knowing Right from Wrong," the new book by Kieran Setiya, in the TLS... [read more]
 

For Whom the Cock Crows

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 26th Jul 2013
Thomas Riggins discusses Marx's 1844 article on Hegel's philosophy of law... [read more]

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empiro-criticism Part 10

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 22nd Jul 2013
Thomas Riggins analyses Chapter Two; Sections Five and Six of Lenin's Materialism and Empiro-criticism... [read more]

Stop and Frisk: What Mayor Bloomberg Really Thinks About Minority Youth

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 17th Jul 2013
New York City Mayor Bloomberg tries to defend the NYPD's massive stop and frisk program directed against minority youth... [read more]
 

Who Turned the Lights Off?

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 7th Jul 2013
Thomas Riggins reviews Jonathan Israel's analysis of Anthony Pagden's new book - The Enlightenment and why it still matters... [read more]

Materialism and Empiro-criticism (Part 9)

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 26th Jun 2013
Thomas Riggins discusses Lenin's take on the views of two materialist philosophers, Feuerbach and Dietzgen... [read more]

European Social Contract Betrayed

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 16th Jun 2013
IMF imposed austerity has resulted in millions of working people rejecting the traditional mainstream capitalist parties and voting for parties labeled by the bourgeois media as "fringe"... [read more]
 

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empiro-criticism [Part 8]

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 12th Jun 2013
Thomas Riggins leads us through chapter two: the theory of knowledge of Empirio-Criticism and of Dialectical Materialism... [read more]

Chapter One Sections Five and Six: Does Man Think With The Help Of The Brain?

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 2nd Jun 2013
Thomas Riggins continues his analysis of Lenin's Materialism and Empiro-criticism... [read more]

Materialism and Empiro-criticism [Part 6- Did Nature Exist Prior to Man?]

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 20th May 2013
Thomas Riggins guides us through the next part of Lenin's Materialism and Empiro-criticism... [read more]
 

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empiro-criticism [Part 5]

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 26th Apr 2013
Thomas Riggins continues to guide us through Lenin's Materialism and Empiro-criticism... [read more]

Marx Reloaded

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 20th Apr 2013
Thomas Riggins reviews Marx Reloaded, a film by Jason Barker... [read more]

Russian Homeland Threatened by Feminism

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 17th Apr 2013
Vladimir Putin's government's crack down on Pussy Riot may have helped save the Russian Federation from the 'peril' of creeping feminism, writes Thomas Riggins... [read more]
 

Materialism and Empirio-criticism [Part 4 ]

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 13th Apr 2013
Thomas Riggins guides us through Chapter I, Section II of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism... [read more]

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empirio-criticism [ Part 3 ]

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 26th Mar 2013
Thomas Riggins guides us through Section I, Chapter I of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism... [read more]

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empiro-criticism

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 18th Mar 2013
Part 2 of Thomas Riggins' analysis of Lenin's Materialism and Empiro-criticism... [read more]
 

The Economy: Happy Days Are Here Again! For Whom?

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 13th Mar 2013
Last week the stock market made a great leap forward. "Dow Leaps to Record" the Wall Street Journal blazoned on its front page. Thomas Riggins shows that the resurrection and coming again of the Dow is only one expression of the economy... [read more]

Reading Lenin: Materialism and Empiro-criticism

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 9th Mar 2013
Following his excellent analysis of Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Thomas Riggins prepares to guide us through another of Lenin's major works... [read more]

Federal IDs for All US Workers: A Trial Balloon?

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 3rd Mar 2013
According to an article in last Thursday's Wall Street Journal, the Senate is considering a bipartisan plan to require all working people in the US to carry a biometric ID card. Thomas Riggins reports... [read more]
 

Lessons and Conclusions from Lenin's Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 24th Feb 2013
Thomas Riggins concludes his analysis of Lenin's 'Left-Wing' Communism: an Infantile Disorder and looks at what conclusions can be drawn from the book's previous nine chapters... [read more]

Despite the NRA and the Ultra-Right Most Americans Favor Gun Controls

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 6th Feb 2013
Thomas Riggins states that the majority of Americans support more gun controls to reduce and prevent the epidemic of violence in the US ... [read more]

Lenin on "Left-Wing" Communism in Great Britain

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 25th Jan 2013
As part of our series analysing Lenin's book "Left-Wing" Communism: an Infantile Disorder, Thomas Riggins looks at what Lenin had to say about the problems of ultra-leftism in Britain in 1920... [read more]
 

New York City Stop and Frisk Police Harassment Found Unconstitutional

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 13th Jan 2013
Thomas Riggins reports on a ruling that states the "stop and frisk" policy used by the NYPD is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution ... [read more]

Lenin on the Need for Political Compromise

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 11th Jan 2013
As part of his series of articles analysing Lenin's classic work "Left-Wing" Communism: an Infantile Disorder, Thomas Riggins looks at what Lenin had to say about compromise and cooperation with political rivals... [read more]

Betrayal Without Remedy: The Case of the Missing Wages

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 16th Dec 2012
Thomas Riggins explains how the US company Hostess Brands Inc. took its workers' wages and used them to cover its own expenses ... [read more]
 

Lenin on Marxism and Bourgeois Democracy

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 12th Dec 2012
In chapter seven of "'Left-Wing' Communism: an Infantile Disorder" Lenin addresses himself to the ultra-left claim that socialists should no longer work with or be members of bourgeois parliaments. Thomas Riggins explains.... [read more]

Urgent Action Needed to Combat European Climate Change

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 3rd Dec 2012
What we need is binding international agreements that reduce and eliminate the use of all chemicals that endanger the lives, health and well being of human beings and other life forms making up the biosphere, writes Thomas Riggins.... [read more]

Lenin on "Reactionary" Trade Unions: Chapter Six of "Left-Wing" Communism: an Infantile Disorder

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 1st Dec 2012
In his latest article analysing “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder, Thomas Riggins looks at Lenin's views on what sort of relations a Marxist party should have with the trade union movement... [read more]
 

Extreme Weather: The Maya and Us

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 19th Nov 2012
Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey and New York thousands of people are still without power, food or portable water and are dependent on the city, state and federal government, and increasingly on Occupy Sandy (the volunteers from Occupy Wall Street and related groups) for basic survival goods, writes Thomas Riggins.... [read more]

Lenin on the Role of a Marxist Party in Relation to the People: Chapter Five of 'Left Wing' Communism an Infantile Disorder

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 13th Nov 2012
In 1920, Lenin produced an analysis of the political conditions in Germany after the failure of the Communist uprising in 1918. The Communists had split into two rival factions. The issues facing the German Marxists were somewhat analogous to those facing Marxist movements today, writes Thomas Riggins.... [read more]

Troubled Children Adopted by Homo/Heterosexual Parents Flourish Equally Well

by Thomas Riggins

Mon 29th Oct 2012
Anyone concerned about the anti-gay agenda of the radical right in the US will find scores of websites dedicated to the proposition that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children, writes Thomas Riggins.... [read more]
 

Lenin on Anarchism and Opportunism: Chapter Four of 'Left Wing' Communism: An Infantile Disorder

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 27th Oct 2012
Thomas Riggins gives an analysis of Chapter Four of Lenin's 'Left Wing' Communism: an Infantile Disorder and describes the Bolsheviks' struggle against both 'opportunism' and 'petty-bourgeois revolulutionism'... [read more]

Principal Stages in the History of Bolshevism 1905-1917 and their Relevance Today

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 2nd Oct 2012
Lenin, in his book "'Left Wing' Communism: An Infantile Disorder," written in 1920, maintained that lessons from the Russian Revolution were of interest to those outside Russia. Thomas Riggins provides an analysis. ... [read more]

The Russian Revolution: An Essential Condition of Success

by Thomas Riggins

Sun 5th Aug 2012
Mass Support + Iron Party = Socialist Revolution? Thomas Riggins analyses chapter two of Lenin’s Left Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder... [read more]
 

The Russian Revolution and its relevance today

by Thomas Riggins

Tue 31st Jul 2012
In 1920 Lenin expressed his views on the international significance of the Russian Revolution. A lot of water has gone under the bridge in the last 92 years. Thomas Riggins asks are any of Lenin's views on this issue relevant today?... [read more]

Racism By Any Other Name Smells

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 27th Jul 2012
Thomas Riggins reveals the results of a poll conducted by ScienceDaily examining attitudes to the new voter identification laws in the US... [read more]

Coming to Grips with Zizek

by Thomas Riggins

Thu 12th Jul 2012
Two new books by Slavoj Zizek have recently been reviewed by John Gray in the The New York Review of Books, here Thomas Riggins reviews Gray's article. ... [read more]
 

US Dictat to Pakistan Not Working

by Thomas Riggins

Wed 30th May 2012
Thomas Riggins explains how America's haughty treatment of its ally is leading to a spectacular own goal... [read more]

The future for Tunisia

by Thomas Riggins

Fri 24th Feb 2012
Thomas Riggins examines the background and ideology of the Ennanah Party, now heading the governing alliance in Tunisia following the overthrow of President Ben Ali ... [read more]

Behind the Scenes: The Secret NATO Report on the Taliban

by Thomas Riggins

Sat 18th Feb 2012
The secret NATO report, "State of the Taliban 2012," commissioned by the US and NATO was never supposed to see the light of day. Unfortunately for the US war party it was leaked to the press, writes Thomas Riggins ... [read more]