NYT: Review of Swing

It was a pleasure to read the very positive review of  Fishamble’s Swing (co-written by regular contributor Gavin Kostick and currently at the Irish Arts Center in New York, together with Beowulf) in the New York Times: here.

14 replies on “NYT: Review of Swing”

@Gavin Kostick & all involved

Well done!

@all – fyi

The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism (New Edition)
An Elaboration of Marxian Political Economy

by John Bellamy Foster

In 1966, Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy published Monopoly Capital, a monumental work of economic theory and social criticism that sought to reveal the basic nature of the capitalism of their time. Their theory, and its continuing elaboration by Sweezy, Harry Magdoff, and others in Monthly Review magazine, influenced generations of radical and heterodox economists. They recognized that Marx’s work was unfinished and itself historically conditioned, and that any attempt to understand capitalism as an evolving phenomenon needed to take changing conditions into account. Having observed the rise of giant monopolistic (or oligopolistic) firms in the twentieth century, they put monopoly capital at the center of their analysis, arguing that the rising surplus such firms accumulated—as a result of their pricing power, massive sales efforts, and other factors—could not be profitably invested back into the economy. Absent any “epoch making innovations” like the automobile or vast new increases in military spending, the result was a general trend toward economic stagnation—a condition that persists, and is increasingly apparent, to this day. Their analysis was also extended to issues of imperialism, or “accumulation on a world scale,” overlapping with the path-breaking work of Samir Amin in particular.

John Bellamy Foster is a leading exponent of this theoretical perspective today, continuing in the tradition of Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital. This new edition of his essential work, The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism, is a clear and accessible explication of this outlook, brought up to the present, and incorporating an analysis of recently discovered “lost” chapters from Monopoly Capital and correspondence between Baran and Sweezy. It also discusses Magdoff and Sweezy’s analysis of the financialization of the economy in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, leading up to the Great Financial Crisis of the opening decade of this century. Foster presents and develops the main arguments of monopoly capital theory, examining its key exponents, and addressing its critics in a way that is thoughtful but rigorous, suspicious of dogma but adamant that the deep-seated problems of today’s monopoly-finance capitalism can only truly be solved in the process of overcoming the system itself.


Thanks, Philip.

Very decent of you.

These two shows are part of a ‘Show in a Bag’ strand that Fishamble developed with Dublin Fringe and the Irish Theatre Institute. So far, since 2010, we have made nineteen shows which will have given some 500 performances by the end of the year entertaining over 22,000 people: it’s hard to keep up.

Acting is a precarious profession and the recession and savage cuts in the Arts sector wasn’t going to make that any easier, so the thinking was to work with the actor’s impulse to help them make a show that communicates something they feel strongly about and they can then own and tour or work with other producers if they wish. I’ve written, co-written and/or helped the actors to write their own.

Other current Shows in Bags include Katie O’Kelly’s ‘Counter Culture’ (about the threat of zero-hours contracts, economics fans) at Draíocht on Saturday and Pat McGrath’s ‘Small Plastic Wars’ touring now as part of the Bealtaine festival. Information and the excellent reviews for these can easily be found on line.

‘Beowulf: The Blockbuster’ will also tour through the summer as will ‘Swing!’ which after New York and Paris, I think, is coming to the Peacock stage of the Abbey as part of Dublin Dance Festival.


@Gavin Kostick,

Well done! You’re telling our story to the world, our real story, and doing so to great effect and with dignity.

That discussion ronan linked to is worth reading – if you are interested in more than an annual cited papers count, that is.

also, for anyone interested, that book that p lane recomended recently (the power of innaction) is available on kindle at the min for 1.89 (for limited time etc)
also, congrats to gavin k (of course)

Thanks all. This is one of those threads that hung around for a bit so naturally the comments were going to diversify. But thanks and if you fancy seeing ‘Swing!’ it will be on tour in Ireland from May.


Good pointer on the Tony Yates post.

Yates got a well deserved kicking in those comments (the piece was a “quasi-theological textual interpretation ” of economics, the suggest course should be titled “Last Minute Attempts to Rescue Mainstream Economics from Its Unavoidable Demise”).

He also seems to have made himself a bit of a punching bag representing the smug incompetence of the new classicals/austerians (which, though it is the school that dare not speak its name, is where he seems to lie.) I feel a small amount of sympathy for him – he is just articulating the position of most of the economics profession who are waiting for the whole inexplicable global financial crisis and prolonged recession thing to blow over so we can return to those self evident truths.

Simon Wren Lesis: Yes, economic policy did fail

I suspect that Wren Lewis is on the same philosophical journey as the Krugmanator where he goes from a reasoned and sympathetic attempt to reconcile new classical economics as it is practised with the stubbornly Keynesian real world to dismissing most of it as useless in policy terms and reactionary in political intent.

I would boil down the Yates analysis to three points:

* Everything is fine in economics (the microfounded parts). It really is. More math, more ratex. Frankly we are suffering from too little orthodoxy.

* The policy choices so far inspired by “mainstream” economic analysis have been the correct ones. We beat inflation real good. Real good.

* Things are so complicated that what seem to be failures of mainstream economic policy and analysis now will probably be acknowledged as the right thing to do in the light of history.

Complacency, denial and conviction. He could be a future head of DG ECFIN.

@Gavin Kostick

Congratulations Mr Kostick. It is a lonely job keeping theatre relevant and good to see it rewarded even if there are worries that the performing arts are keeping you from your true calling – beating EU institutional economic forecasting using only a packet of fags.


Worth reading the last four Krugmanator blog posts – Tony Yates get a beating again (though from a different angle) and Krugman also takes a bash at the deflation deniers and Eurozone fiscal hawks.

Eurozone Fiscal Myths

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