Capitalism and Robbery: The Planetary Mine

Convened by Fred Murphy and Gerardo Rénique

This eight-week study group will consider how capitalism is rooted in robbery—of the earth, of the water, air, and soil of communities, of the livelihoods of working people. Such theft is becoming more massive in scale and more technologically sophisticated, but is also evoking new forms of popular resistance – as we will read in Martín Arboleda’s innovative new contribution to international political economy, Planetary Mine: Territories of Extraction under Late Capitalism.

I see the mountains fall, the terrain open up in angry dark cavities, the desert, the temporary shacks. The mineral is fired and beaten and handled to become military ingots, battalions of merchandise. The ships depart. Wherever the copper arrives, as utensil or wire, no one who touches it sees the rugged solitudes of Chile, or the small houses at the edge of the desert … —Pablo Neruda, Ode to Copper

Online participation by Zoom teleconferencing can be arranged.

FRED MURPHY has led numerous study groups at the Marxist Education Project since 2015. He studied and taught Latin American history at the New School for Social Research. In the 1980s he traveled in Latin America as a journalist for several socialist publications.

GERARDO RÉNIQUE teaches history at the City College of the City University of New York. He is a frequent contributor to Socialism and Democracy and NACLA: Report on the Americas. His research interests include the political traditions of popular movements in Latin America, and race, national identity and state formation in Mexico.

Classroom attendance, sliding scale: $65 / $80 / $95
Remote participation via Zoom, sliding scale: $40 / $50 / $60
No one is denied participation for lack of ability to pay

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Is Another World Really Possible?

A Collaborative Reading and Writing Project
Convened with Richard Greeman
12 Weeks, September 24 through December 10
Stated admissions are for the entire course. Single admission are $10. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

New York participants should join us at New Perspectives Theatre (458 W. 37th St) at 10:45 am on Sunday, 9/24 (tomorrow). The theater is accessible from the 34th St/Hudson Yards stop on the #7 train, or from Penn Station. Coffee, tea and cakes will be available.

If you plan to watch online, the URL is

Prepare by reading Richard Greeman’s Then and Now at

and/or by watching Immanuel Wallerstein’s “Utopistics” lecture at

2017 taught us all that “No is not enough.” We need a positive vision of a better world and the roads leading to it. So let’s imagine we are future historians living in a peaceful, egalitarian, democratic society on a damaged, but stabilized, planet in the year 2117. Our project is to look backward a century to the year 2017 (the centenary of the unforeseen 1917 Soviet revolution) and reconstruct how our great-grandparents got us from here — today’s capitalist death-spiral to there — a livable, sustainable, global society free of oppression and exploitation. We will meet weekly, in-person at our New York studio and via teleconference with participants across several time zones (including philosopher Peter Hudis in Chicago and ecosocialist Michel Löwy in Paris) with the goal of collectively creating a popular future fiction of a realistically plausible better world – a vision that might go viral and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

World-wide participants as of September 1: MAELLA DOQUIN, Paris, activist since 1968 • ALEXEI GUSEV, Moscow, Historian of Russian Oppositions, Chair of Praxis Center for Research and Eduction • JULIA GUSEVA, Moscow, translator of Victor Serge, anarcho-syndicalist, co-founder of Praxis Center • HARRY HALPIN, Paris, Internet revolutionary and activist, team member World Wide Web Consortium, author: Social Semantics: The Search for Meaning on the Web • JASON HICKS, NYC transit worker, union activist, DSA member, philosopher • PETER HUDIS, Chicago, Marxist-humanist philosopher and activist. Author: Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism, Franz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades • GEORGE KATSIFIACAS, Athens/Seoul, revolutionary historian (‘the Eros Effect”) and lifelong activist. Author: Asia’s Unknown Uprisings • MAATI MONJIB, Rabat Morocco. Historian of Africa and press freedom activist, currently facing 5 years in prison on trumped-up treason charges • WAYNE PRICE, NYC, libertarian socialist writer and activist ( • ANNA REBRIL, Ukraine/NYC, student and activist • GERARDO RENIQUE, Cuernavaca, Mexico/NYC, prof of Latin American Studies at CCNY and longtime activist • DAVID SCHWARTZMAN, Washington, D.C., geo-chemo-biologist, Green Party activist, author: Solar Communism, Life, Temperature, and the Earth • BRIAN TOKAR, Vermont, Institute of Social Ecology, activist, teacher in the movement, author: Toward Climate Justice • RAOUL VICTOR, Paris, veteran Marxist writer and activist • VICTOR WALLIS, Boston, Ecosocialist, activist, editor, Socialism and Democracy

Co-sponsored by The Marxist Education Project and Victor Serge Foundation

Richard Greeman, longtime internationalist, is best known for his studies and translations of novelist and revolutionary Victor Serge (1890-1947).

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