Tagged crisis

Capital, Volume One

Capital remains the fundamental text for understanding how capitalism works. 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.

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Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, Part 2

From the book: “...a potential tendency for capital in searching to maximise its monetary profit to be drawn to invest in areas that produce no value or surplus value at all. Taken to extremes, either of these tendencies [the first being the problem of technology reducing value creation] could be fatal to the reproduction of capital. In combination, and the contemporary evidence is that both trends are discernible, they could be catastrophic” (Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey, Oxford University Press, p.105).

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Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason

From the book: “...a potential tendency for capital in searching to maximise its monetary profit to be drawn to invest in areas that produce no value or surplus value at all. Taken to extremes, either of these tendencies [the first being the problem of technology reducing value creation] could be fatal to the reproduction of capital. In combination, and the contemporary evidence is that both trends are discernible, they could be catastrophic” (Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey, Oxford University Press, p.105).

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The German Revolution: False Hope or Missed Chance

...Over the next nine years, while the German Left became more bitterly divided than ever, the extreme nationalist and revanchist element in Germany was coalescing around a new mass party, the Nazis, who found increasing numbers of powerful supporters in the army and among the capitalists.

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The Grundrisse, The Chapter on Capital

Marx viewed all his economic laws as tendencies and it is hard to deny that those tendencies are becoming more and more the realities of today’s capitalism. However, to understand our society we need to do more than reading and accepting his concepts, we must critically analyze them and look for the way of thinking that produced them.

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Highlights of Marx’s Capital, Volume I

A 9 Session Class and Discussion with Juliet Ucelli
Thursdays, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Over the past 40 years, many of us have needed to work longer and longer hours—and often more than one job—in order to survive. This longer working day has also become more intense and saps more of our energy. These trends, which Marx predicted and analyzed in Capital, also make it harder for workers and activists to read Capital all the way through. Therefore, we are trying a new approach and highlighting the main sections and concepts of Volume I in a 10-week course.

Key topics that we will cover include: use-value, value and commodity fetishism; the labor process, the working day and surplus value; competition, innovation, productivity growth and the concentration of capital; the sources of ecological destruction; capital’s need for unemployed people and a reserve army of labor; and the bloody origins of capitalism and white supremacy in expropriation and enslavement.

The course will provide a basic grounding for participants to pursue further study on their own or collectively. We’ll refer to new resources such as on-line and visual aids and current articles that illustrate capitalism’s developmental tendencies, which Marx calls its laws of motion.

Juliet Ucelli has taught Capital at the New York Marxist School and labor economics for labor unions, as well as adult basic education and GED preparation. Currently a high school social worker, she has written on Eurocentrism in Marxist theory, the politics of inner city public schooling and other topics. Her “Introduction to Capital, Volume I” can be accessed at http://thecommonsbrooklyn.org/intensive-readings-2014.

Day 4, Session 4—Approaching Science from the Left

This panel aims to open a conversation among scholars and activists about how scientific knowledge and practice can help point the way forward, as well as about how science is abused in efforts to preserve and extend capitalist power over labor and resources.

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Day 3, Session 4—Logistics, Capitalist Circulation, Chokepoints with Charmaine Chua

Can we understand the highway takeover, the port blockade, and the storefront die-in as connected instances of disruption, revealing an arena of struggle that capital’s turn to accumulation through logistical circulation has made available? What do they teach us about the possibilities of disrupting capital’s circuits as a whole? In short, why occupy chokepoints, and why now?

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