September 28 to December 14
No session November 23
“A philosopher produces ideas, a poet poems, a clergyman sermons, a professor compendia and so on. A criminal produces crimes. If we take a closer look at the connection between this latter branch of production and society as a whole, we shall rid ourselves of many prejudices. The criminal produces not only crimes but also criminal law, and with this also the professor who gives lectures on criminal law and in addition to this the inevitable compendium in which this same professor throws his lectures onto the general market as ‘commodities’.” —Karl Marx, Theories of Surplus Value
In this group we will read the three volumes of Theories of Surplus Value sometimes known as the 4th volume of Capital. These notebooks written in the years 1861-63 are perhaps one of the first and most thorough analysis of the history of economic thought. We will enter Marx’s laboratory to see how he reads and criticizes other writers from Hobbes and Locke in early bourgeois ideological formation to the physiocrats, Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Bailey and many others. There is even a critique of Necker, finance and war minister for Louis XVI whose policies and mistakes and mountains of state debt laid much of the ground for the early stages of the French Revolution.
Continuing on Thursday, September 28, we will read from the first volume of Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value.
Fees are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay. $10 per individual class session.