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Help Us Give the Bourgeoisie Nightmares

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June 27, 2023

Years in the making, Spectre launched on International Women’s Day in 2020. We’re going strong but need you to become a monthly donor to keep us haunting the bourgeoisie. What distinguishes Spectre from any other publication on the left and why should you donate?

First and foremost, our approach is resolutely internationalist, meaning that our editorial team situates ongoing struggles in the US in relation to struggles elsewhere. Only in thinking through strategic questions comparatively and relationally – across national borders – can we understand the capitalist world in which we find ourselves and organize to change it.

And second, at Spectre we understand struggles against oppression as constitutive of class struggle. We insist that struggles for dignity and self-determination are central to the project of collective liberation. The very concept of class formation can’t be understood without reference to fights against oppression on multiple fronts. The opposition of so-called “identity” struggles to “pure” class struggles is nothing but a scholastic abstraction. How the working class and the oppressed understand our own subjection must be our point of departure, full stop.

Since we launched over three years ago, we have published seven print issues and nearly three hundred articles on our website, which has now received over one million views. Our print issues have featured path-breaking contributions from major voices of the left today, including Robin D. G. Kelley, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Kim Moody, as well as writing from newer authors on the Marxist left.

Keeping Spectre going hasn’t been easy. A week after we launched, the US went into lockdown for the pandemic – this was early March 2020 – and meetings and conferences, along with our anticipated funding sources, shut down overnight. Instead of calling it quits, we managed to raise sufficient funds from our generous supporters, and it was these contributions that kept us going.

Unfortunately, print subscriptions alone don’t cover the cost of production – even though none of our editors are paid a dime. And once the pandemic shut down supply chains, Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, which sent the cost of paper soaring to its highest level ever. We were financially sustainable until that moment, but now, with the cost of production increasing substantially, we need to call on our supporters once again to keep the Spectre alive – or undead!

To keep the Spectre alive, we rely upon the generosity of our readers, and that’s where you come in.

In addition to the print edition and web articles, we regularly sponsor Spectre Live! panels with Haymarket Books on YouTube. As part of that series, we are continuing to present exclusive online discussions for our monthly donors. The first, “Transgender Marxism Against the Backlash,” will be broadcast on July 16 for everyone, followed up with an exclusive online discussion with the speakers for our monthly donors. We have similar events scheduled each quarter, one with Kohei Saito on Degrowth Communism, and another on theories of racial capitalism.

But politics is best done in person, not virtually. So, we’ve developed Spectre reading groups across North America – and would love to see them spread even further. We’ve also organized Spectre panels at various Marxist conferences, including Socialism and Historical Materialism, and we plan to continue doing so – including at Socialism in Chicago in September and HM London in November.

To keep the Spectre alive, we rely upon the generosity of our readers, and that’s where you come in. The last thing we want to do as a political project is spend our time fundraising, but without your generosity, we couldn’t survive. We remain a fully independent project, with no institutional funding whatsoever, and our entire editorial board works on a voluntary basis.

That independence comes at a cost: we are beholden to the market. And as paper prices continue to spike – they’re nearly twice what they were when we launched in 2020 – we are struggling to keep the print issue going. But with your help, we are confident we can keep our subscription prices at an affordable level and our print edition running for years to come.

Please consider giving what you can to keep Spectre flourishing. Make a donation – or better yet, become a monthly donor – and help us sustain the Spectre that haunts the nightmares of the ruling class and expresses the hopes and dreams of our struggle for liberation.



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