This three-week session will focus on the General Laws of Capitalist Accumulation as we return from the winter holiday. By unraveling the commoditized forms of our interactions with nature and each other, it provides tools to understand capitalism’s astounding innovativeness and productivity, intertwined with growing inequality and misery, alienation, stunting of human potential, and ecological destruction all over the globe.
This sweeping account of the Bay Area in the age of the tech boom covers many bases. It begins with the phenomenal concentration of IT in Greater Silicon Valley, the fabulous economic growth of the bay region and the unbelievable wealth piling up for the 1% and high incomes of Upper Classes—in contrast to the fate of the working class and people of color earning poverty wages and struggling to keep their heads above water.
In his book George Caffentzis shows how Marxism accounts for the peculiar role that the oil industry plays in contemporary capitalism as generator of ecological devastation, war and exploitation.
With short readings, focused presentations, and discussions, we will look at the rise of industrial capitalism and nationalism, the general characteristics of capitalist political economy and class, and the state, imperialism and war, workers organizations and collective power, and, finally, political action and questions of reform or revolution.
If we don't do something real soon, I think you'll have to agree that we're going to be forced either to use the ballot or the bullet. It's one or the other in 1964. It isn't that time is running out—time has run out! —Malcolm X, 1964
Borderlands Studies: These four essential themes of our times will be discussed: the diversity of new migrant political actors; solidarity and new alliances across borders; avoiding misplaced alliances; and spaces of resistance.
This event will provide essential background information for those who will participate in the Crossing Borders reading group which begins on Thursday, April 28