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The Necessity of Social Control by István Mészáros

Wed, February 2, 2022 @ 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

$15.00 – $35.00

Reading and discussion with the Capital Studies Group

Six More Sessions (recordings of earlier sessions available)

“We are living in a time of unprecedented historical crisis, which affects all forms of the capital system, not just capitalism. It is easy to understand, then, that the only thing that could produce a viable solution to the contradictions that we have to face would be a radical socialist alternative to capital’s mode of social metabolic control.”   —István Mészáros

During these next eight sessions we will do an ongoing close reading of Mészáros’ The Necessity of Social Control (Monthly Review Press). This read in order to better understand the fundamental contradictions of capitalism, the forms of domination and exploitation inherent in its logic, historical efforts to develop an alternative economy and society, and the challenge of sustainable development and substantive equality. We aim to develop our own knowledge of the necessary conditions for emancipation and discuss the relevance of the text for our lives today.

Daniel Singer writes that the most important lesson from Mészáros “is the confrontation between two fundamentally opposed “metabolisms.” The rule of capital is presented as an integrated system… The socialist project must be equally comprehensive… How do you mobilize people within the framework of the existing society, while providing answers that take you beyond its confines?”

For reference, the sections we will first cover are presented here from the Table of Contents:

  1. The Necessity of Social Control
    1. The Counter-Factual Conditionals of Apologetic Ideology
    2. Capitalism and Ecological Destruction
    3. The Crisis of Domination
    4. From “Repressive Tolerance” to the Liberal Advocacy of Repression
    5. War if the Normal Methods of Expansion Fail
    6. The Emergence of Chronic Unemployment
    7. The Intensification of the Rate of Exploitation
    8. Capital’s “Correctives” and Socialist Control
  2. Marxism Today
    1. Sartre’s Alternative
    2. Marxism Today
    3. Mickey Mouse Socialism
    4. The Problem of Organization
  3. Causality, Time and Forms of Mediation
    1. Causality and Time under Capital’s Causa Sui
    2. The Vicious Circle of Capital’s Second Order Mediations
  4. The Activation of Capital’s Absolute Limits

All events are sliding scale—choose the level at which you are able to contribute to The Marxist Education Project. No one is denied admission to any event or class because of an inability to pay. Send an email to info@marxedproject.org to obtain an entry url to any event or class presented by The Marxist Education Project.

The Capital Studies Group has been meeting from the beginning of The Marxist Education Project during the fall of 2014. We are a diverse group of students, activists and teachers from all corners of the world who have dedicated ourselves to the reading of all three volumes of Marx’s Capital and related works to such a study.