Introduction to Marxism for Women Only

with Juliet Ucelli

co-sponsored with Left Focus

We’ll explore some key concepts about human beings, society and history, and our relationship to the rest of nature. Readings will be short and accessible excerpts from writings by Marx and Engels or later Marxists. I believe that this theory can help us analyze the social and economic realities and structures we live in–who holds power and how–and fight more effectively for liberation.

Some of the central questions that we’ll address are:
• How did the oppression of women, and the division of societies into people who work and others who exploit them, originate and develop historically?
• What are the driving dynamics of capitalism that make it make it so productive, innovative, brutal and ecologically destructive?
• What intellectual tools can help us understand industry’s complex impacts on our bodies, our psyches and the nature around us—impacts that capitalists, and people who think like them, don’t want to see or cannot see?
• What did Marx understand—and not understand—about white supremacy and Eurocentrism, and how has that analysis been deepened and modified by later Marxists?

In a continuing attempt to increase access for those who have been historically excluded, turned off or silenced by the way this theory is often taught and discussed, we are offering an intro class this October through December for women only. Everyone who identifies as a woman is welcome.

Juliet Ucelli has taught labor economics and class/race/gender for unions and activists, and writes on Eurocentrism in Marxist theory, and Marxist understandings of human development. She also teaches Marx’s Capital, Volume One with The Marxist Education Project.

Please follow and like us:

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

The inaugural vision of the modern age
Fall Semester Part I

Septemter 22 to December 1
Fridays, 8:00 – 9:30 PM
10 sessions.

This class series will explore Hegel’s most influential and least understood work.
While conceived as an Introduction to his system of logic and science, this work stands on its own as a masterpiece of the Western philosophical tradition. It is safe to say that many of the themes in the Phenomenology of Spirit have defined how we understand the modern world even though this work was written 210 years ago.

Some of the themes we will discuss:

How to Begin
The Inverted World
Skeptics and Stoics
The Lord of the World
The Dialectic of Master and Slave
The Cynical Bohemian
The Beautiful Soul
Madness and Suicide
The Age of Reason
The Enlightenment
Freedom and Terror
The Moral Imperative
Grace and Redemption
Spirit Externalized as Nature and History
The Absolute

We will travel from the Ancient world, from the drama of Antigone to the Jacobin Terror of the French Revolution and the realization of the idea of Freedom and the World Historical Individual. At the end of this journey that Hegel likened to a philosophical “Stations of the Cross” we will gain an understanding of what it means to say “The True is the Whole”.
We will discuss how this still has relevance for us in the 21st century, what is living in Hegel today and how this legacy was appropriated by Marx and the movement for human liberation.

Alex Steinberg has previously taught the philosophy of Hegel and Marx at the New Space, the Brecht Forum and most recently the Marxist Education Project. He also taught classes ranging from the dialectics of nature, the implications of dialectics for contemporary science, and contemporary philosophical trends on the left and right inspired by Nietzsche. He has presented papers on Marx and Hegel at the Left Forum and Historical Materialism Conferences. He has also organized events for the Marxist Education Project including a Trotsky in New York Walking Tour. Alex is a member of the Local Board of Radio station WBAI and its parent organization the Pacifica National Board.

Please follow and like us:

Marx and Engels: 1841-1844

Group is moving location to the CUNY Grad Center on 5th Avenue and 34th Street—the former B. Altman Store
Contact sheila.hamanaka@gmail.com or russelleliotdale@gmail.com for more information

Seminar of the NYC Marxist Hegel-Studies Collective at The Marxist Education Project
14 weeks
Fridays, February 17 through May 19, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Conducted by Russell Dale

This course will focus on two early works by Marx and one by Marx and Engels. The works by Marx are his doctoral dissertation of 1841 on ancient Greek atomistic theory and his Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right” from 1843. The work by Marx and Engels is The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Critique of 1844.

These works by Marx and by Marx and Engels are too little studied nowadays, but play a fundamental role in the development of Marx’s thought, especially when see from the perspective of his break from Hegel and the Young Hegelians. We will be particularly interested in the influence of Hegel and the Young Hegelians in this course and will work at tracing what is retained and what is being left behind from the Hegelian tradition.

We will also be particularly concerned with issues of gender, race, and white supremacy in these works as Marx’s philosophy is emerging from a tradition that was deeply steeped in patriarchy and the growing racism and white supremacy of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

We will be reading (1) Marx’s doctoral dissertation (1841) (in volume 1 of Marx and Engels, Collected Works, International Publishers), (2) Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right” (1843) (translated by Joseph O’Malley, Cambridge University Press), and (3) Marx and Engels’ The Holy Family (1844) (translated by Richard Dixon and Clemens Dutt, Progress Publishers). (Arrangements will be made for students who cannot buy copies of these books.)

Russell Dale is an activist and a philosopher. He teaches philosophy at Lehman College, CUNY. He taught classes on Hegel and various other topics for the last six years. Russell is also on the Manuscript Collective and Editorial Board of the Marxist journal Science & Society, as well as on the Local Station Board of radio station WBAI, 99.5 FM (wbai.org).

Please follow and like us:

Life, the Universe and Everything

Life, the Universe and Everything: A Dialectical Guide to the Galaxy
7 more sessions
Tuesday, February 7 through March 21, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Facilitated by Alex Steinberg

In this series we will be placing the dialectics of Marx and Engels within a broader philosophical tradition.

We will look at Engels discussion of the fundamental forces of nature: matter, time, space and motion in the context of the philosophical conflict between a relational view of the world and a mechanical one. We will also look at the conflict between Newton and Leibniz and the subsequent vindication of the relational view with Mach and Einstein.

Also examined will be the contemporary “crisis in physics” — the conclusion to which mechanical reductionism has led both in philosophy and in recent attempts to develop a cosmology that incorporates both relativity theory and quantum theory. Contributions of Hegel, Engels, C.S.Peirce, Einstein, and contemporary physicist such as Lee Smolin will form the basis for this discussion.

The sessions will conclude by tying the idea of the cosmos as a living system of dynamic evolving complexity to the Notion in Hegel’s Logic and from there to an interpretation of Marx’s Capital that places it firmly within the same Hegelian dialectic that is being developed in contemporary cosmology.

Alex Steinberg has previously taught a number of courses on Hegel at the New Space. He taught Engels and the Dialectics of Nature at the Brecht Forum. At the Marxist Education Project he has taught Spectres of the Dialectic, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Fascism and the Left Nietzscheans and Dialectics 101 previously, along with organizing a discussion of recent events in Greece and special events on The Radicalism of James Joyce. He has presented papers at the Left Forum and Historical Materialism Conferences.He has also lectured in Athens Greece on the subjects ranging from dialectics and the American political landscape. Alex has also served on the local and national boards of radio station WBAI.

Please follow and like us:

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

14 week course
Seminar of the NYC Marxist Hegel-Studies Collective
Spring and Summer, 2016
Conducted by Russell Dale

Hegel’s philosophy has had a great influence on much of what has happened in the world since his time (1770 – 1831) and is crucial to understanding much of modern social thought and philosophy as well as to understanding Marxism and the socialist tradition in its varied aspects.

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is generally considered the first exposition of and an introduction to Hegel’s later work, what is often referred to as Hegel’s “system.” Thus, knowledge of the Phenomenology is indispensable for anyone interested in today’s world.

At the same time, the Phenomenology is an extremely difficult work to read, so it really helps to do so with a group of fellow-readers.

In this course, we will read the entire Phenomenology of Spirit. Discussion will focus on Hegel’s view of history, the history of philosophy, subjectivity, the self, and society, and Hegel’s influence on later thinking and history. An important part of our discussion will be the socially reactionary conclusions that Hegel ultimately drew, while at the same time HHegel’s work became inspirational for so many radical and progressive thinkers as well, including Marx and Engels. We will give special attention to and treatment of the fact that Hegel had white-supremacist, racist views, and played an important role in the development of the pseudo-science of biological race theory. We will look at what these views mean for the tradition of thought that stems from Hegel, which includes some of the greatest thinkers of African descent in the twentieth century, such as W. E. B. DuBois, C. L. R. James, Frantz Fanon and others.

The course will run for 14 weeks on Friday evenings from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM starting on Friday, May 27, 2016 and continuing until Friday, August 26, 2016. We will be reading the edition of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit translated by A. V. Miller, and published by Oxford University Press. (Arrangements will be made for students who cannot buy a copy of this book, which costs about $11 – $15 online.)

Russell Dale is an activist and a philosopher. He teaches philosophy at Lehman College, CUNY. He taught classes on Hegel and various other topics for the last six years. Russell is also on the Manuscript Collective and Editorial Board of the Marxist journal Science & Society, as well as on the Local Station Board of radio station WBAI, 99.5 FM (wbai.org).

Please follow and like us: