I recently purchased a subscription to Jacobin magazine, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that its print version was well worth reading. While I have long appreciated how Jacobin provides its articles online and free of charge, as a strong believer in paid subscriptions it was gratifying to explore the quality of the magazine itself, full of interesting tidbits and bite-size discussions on the side as well as the detailed analysis which Jacobin is famous for.
My first reaction after having read roughly half of Issue #27, The First Red Century, is that there is a slightly stricter editorial line with the content of the magazine than the website. This is to be expected and not necessarily criticised. Jacobin’s contribution to American and global discourse has been profound, providing fertile ground for debate and engagement in a largely accessible format. It is difficult to imagine any website which has helped more in the recent past to popularise left-wing theory and open up the scope for debate. Beyond some obscure ‘social fascist’ accusations, those who disagree with one opinion on Jacobin are genuinely likely to encounter many analyses they respect, across class, race and gender lines. Nonetheless, founding editor Bhaskar Sunkara and recurring columnists such as Vivek Chibber (now editor of sister publication Catalyst) do make their vaguely-Trostkyist worldview clear in what is an interesting if somewhat pessimistic (perhaps appropriately?) review of the progress of socialism since 1917. Continue reading “Socialism, Politics and Revolution: Reading Jacobin Issue #127”