Dissent Magazine

Cult Capitalism

To understand how NXIVM’s members went from the pursuit of professional success to facilitating and enduring horrific wrongs requires examining the world of contemporary business from which the cult emerged.

A Friend to the Dissidents

The late Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal said his style was a “defense against politics.” But by collecting and describing the debris of life, he made the everyday seem mythic and earned the affection of the dissident movement.

Another Lost Decade?

Introducing the Spring 2021 special section, Global Economic Disorder.

The End of Development

Discussion in the United States about secular stagnation, a long-term tendency toward weak business investment and slow growth, has mostly focused on wealthy countries. But slowing growth around the world cannot be explained as the sign of economic “maturity.”

How Inequality Distorts Economics

The growing global concentration of wealth has made basic data on household savings, the trade deficit, and overseas assets increasingly unreliable.

And a Union

It’s in moments when even the best-case scenario on the table doesn’t get us far enough that socialist ideas are most important.

Hunger at the End of the Supply Chain

The people who sew clothes for major apparel giants are facing widespread hunger and destitution as a result of falling income and job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic—even as many of these corporations continue to turn a profit.

The Rise and Fall of Multilateralism

A quarter-century ago, the multilateral system of global economic governance had reached its pinnacle. Today, the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank are experiencing a deep crisis of legitimacy.

The Global Climate Ledger

The rise of the global middle class threatens to blow up the environmental envelope. Can the link between income and emissions be broken?


Isabel Wilkerson’s account of racial oppression elides crucial differences between social inequality in South Asia and the United States—differences with real implications for emancipatory political projects.

Backlash Forever

It’s time to abandon the assumption that workers have a “natural” home on the center-left. But we should also reject the idea that social conservatism always lies latent within working-class culture, ready for right-wing politicians to activate.

Repression in Xi’s China

The tightening of state control over Hong Kong and Xinjiang reveal a consolidation of authority in Xi’s CCP, intent on stifling any signs of nonconformity.

The Price of Empire

U.S. elites are not victims of China and Germany’s export-oriented policies. They are engaged in the complex balancing act needed to maintain global hegemony.

The Austerity Politics of White Supremacy

Since the end of the Confederacy, the cult of the “taxpayer” has provided a socially acceptable veneer for racist attacks on democracy.

Comforting Myths

The 2020 election wasn’t a decisive victory, and Trump and his supporters won’t disappear forever.

The Not-So-Strange Death of Right Populism

A string of pseudo-populist conservative movements have reverted to the same agenda of tax cuts and deregulation. Why should we expect anything different?

The Desperate Need for an Immigration Overhaul

Biden could ease the suffering inflicted by his predecessors on migrants to the United States. But his administration is unlikely to resolve the structural injustices at the root of the immigration enforcement system.