I’m pleased to announce the release of our latest issue. It features some of our finest essays yet and clocks in at over 70 pages. Particular standouts include Peter Frase’s rumination on the decline of the Baffler magazine, a publication more fit for the snark-filled 90s than the promise of our own era, and Seth Ackerman’s long exegesis on the economics of a feasible socialism. If you’ve ever stayed up late wondering how the role of profit would change under socialism, this one’s for you.
Also, perhaps you need a hug.
But in lieu of a hug, there’s plenty more from the issue online. As usual, we’ve shunned professional advice and put very little behind our paywall. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that we’re in the middle of our first real fundraiser and subscription drive.
(Please note that our new issues are still in-transit from our printer. They’ll be shipped out on Friday, January 4th to subscribers. If you’re a current print subscriber feel free to shoot us an email and we’ll send over a digital edition to tide you over. If you’re not a subscriber, please become one if you can afford it.)
In a recent interview for Boston Review, I outlined the logic behind Jacobin‘s engagement with liberalism. But among our major initiatives for 2013 will be using the attention around the magazine to help stimulate broader currents of radical thought. Jacobin — a motley collection of young leftists, always greater than the sum of its parts — hardly has all the answers. We only hope that we’re asking the right questions. It’s the discussions these questions spark that really have promise.
In this spirit, a number of Jacobin readers have independently expressed interest in starting series of reading groups around the country to discuss not only the themes covered in the magazine, but broader democratic socialist theory, political strategy, and the prospects for refoundation on the American left. Objective conditions are far from ideal, but it’s a push that finds corollaries in the early days of the New Left Review and publications of the type. I’d be pleased to hear your thoughts on the idea.
In the coming weeks we’ll have updates, a draft syllabus, and we’ll facilitate an online discussion to this effect. Also don’t forget to take a look at our slate for 2013 — we’ll be producing a tremendous amount of content in the form of book and magazine releases, podcasts, videos, and more.
Since it’s the holidays, I’ll give in to temptation and end on a soft and sickly sentimental note. We’re deeply grateful for the support Jacobin‘s friends have given us over the past year. We’ve grown from a few hundred subscribers to over 2,000. By the scale of the publishing world, this is still pretty small. I imagine there are magazines devoted to finer points of craft knitting that have many times that mark. But for a radical intellectual journal in 2012, no matter how glossy the paper or pretty the pictures, this is a rather astounding number. With your donations this month, I also have hope that there’s enough interest and enthusiasm to build a base of young supporters large enough to allow us to expand in the long-term.
We appreciate your patience as we’ve gone through our growing pains and look forward to delivering a more polished, but equally uncompromisingly magazine in the future. As Peter Frase, summoning Gramsci, ends his piece this issue, “Today, the old may still be dying, but the new is already being born. Our task is to help it grow.”
Editor & Publisher
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