“Kim Moody is one of the leading intellectuals of the labor movement.”—Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics and the Black Working Class
In his latest book, Kim Moody analyzes how recent changes in capitalism have altered both the composition of the working class and the economic and political ground on which it struggles.
On New Terrain challenges conventional wisdom about a disappearing working class and the inevitability of a two-party political structure as the only framework for struggle. Through in-depth study of the economic and political shifts at the top of society, Moody shows how recent developments in capitalist production impact the working class and its power to resist the status quo. He argues that this transformed industrial terrain offers new possibilities for organization in the workplace and opens doors for grassroots, independent political action strengthened by reemerging labor and social movements.
From the logistics revolution to the unprecedented concentration of business and wealth in the hands of the one percent, On New Terrain examines the impact of the current economic terrain on the working class in the United States. Looking beyond the clichés of precarity and the gig economy, Moody shows that the working class and its own self-activity are essential in the global battle against austerity.
Kim Moody is author of In Solidarity: Essays on Working-Class Organization in the United States and U.S. Labor in Trouble and Transition.
Chapter 1 The Roots of Change
Chapter 2 How Precarious is Work?
Chapter 3 A More Diverse Working Class
Part II: The Changing Terrain of Class Struggle
Chapter 4 Consolidation of Capital
Chapter 5 Capital’s Supply Chain Gang
Chapter 6 The Next Upsurge?
Part III: The Changed Political Terrain
Chapter 7 Capital and The Rise of State Politics
Chapter 8 Prisoners of the American Scheme
Chapter 9 The Democratic Party Cul de Sac
Chapter 10 Electoral Politics from a Socialist Perspective
Conclusion: Pulling the Analysis Together
“[A] masterful and much-needed book.” —Solidarity
"Kim Moody's provocative work 'On New Terrain' immediately shakes the reader by offering a hard hitting, concrete and sober analysis of the transformation of both the capitalist and working classes of the USA. His analysis lays the foundation for the development of theory to situate a 21st century working class reawakening. Moody offers the reader a pole of opinion which helps to advance a badly needed debate that has profound implications for the creation of a movement for socialism."
-Bill Fletcher, Jr., coauthor of "Solidarity Divided"; author of "'They're Bankrupting Us' - And Twenty Other Myths about Unions"
"Moody's "new terrain" is not a world, as most would have it, where globalization has left U.S. workers helpless. It shows how corporations' inevitable push for profits actually opens up new vulnerabilities—if only unions can get their act together. He explodes myths about the gig economy and the potential to transform the Democratic Party. Readers will put the book down convinced that there is a way for workers to win."
-Jane Slaughter, LaborNotes
"Kim Moody, whose books and articles have for more than forty years provided essential analysis and strategy for the labor left, continues this indispensable work in his new book, On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War. Arguing that capital has created a new and more advantageous terrain for working class struggle, he suggests that capital is more vulnerable, but the labor and social movements must be able to make the most of the situation. And Moody suggests how they might do so. The working class, he argues, also has the potential to create its own political force, but only if it can avoid the cul-de-sac of the Democratic Party. Every labor activist and all of those who want to build a powerful left in America will want to get this book."
– Dan La Botz, New Politics
“This is a detailed and provocative study of how capital has changed since the 1980s and its effects on the working class and political parties in the USA and across the world. It rejects the notion that we live in a post-capitalist world or that the ‘gig economy’ dominates industrial relations. Instead, it presents a classical Marxist analysis that painstakingly shows how the composition of the ‘core working class’ has changed in its occupational, industrial and ethno/racial composition under changing business practices since the 1980s.” –Scottish Left Review
“Kim Moody, has been one most of the most experienced working-class organisers in the US over the past few decades. His latest book On New Terrain seeks to rethink both our understanding of capitalism today, and how the workers can respond.” –Monthly Review
“Veteran US activist and author, Kim Moody, offers a timely antidote to despair about the potential of America’s working class to play a central role both in resisting the Trump agenda and the neo-liberal brand of capitalism that paved ‘The Donald’s’ path to the White House.” –Labour Briefing
“Moody’s argument not only insists the working class still exists but that its structural capacity to organise and paralyse production has grown as the restructuring and consolidation of capital has created a “new terrain” for the class struggle. Such a case is highly welcome to socialists who argue that workers possess the collective power to not just challenge capital but to break it.” –Socialist Review
“The best recent work on the history and the contemporary promise of the move from Ford to Tesco.” –Red Pepper
“Despite the election of Trump and the rise of the alt-right, the huge support for Bernie Sander’s campaign for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination, the Black Lives Matter movement and the wave of teachers’ strikes show that there is plenty of anger among US workers. Moody’s welcome and important book shows that they still have the power to resist and how socialists can build a mass movement of opposition to neoliberalism in its heartland.” –International Socialism Journal