Capital, Energy and Power

A 10-week Study Group with Fred Murphy and Steve Knight

Throughout the history of capitalism, energy sources and especially fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—have been critical to the system’s economic viability. The crises associated with climate change are rooted in capital’s insatiable need to burn fuels in order to accumulate wealth and maximize profits. Competition and greed for readily extractable energy resources have fueled wars and evoked popular resistance, especially in the Middle East. This study group will explore the history and political economy of oil, energy and capitalism. We will read George Caffentzis’s recently published No Blood for Oil! and related work by Michael Klare, Andreas Malm, Timothy Mitchell, and others.

FRED MURPHY has co-led several MEP study groups on Marxism, science, nature, and ecosocialism. He studied and taught historical sociology at the New School for Social Research.

STEVE KNIGHT has been a co-leader of MEP eco-socialist study groups since 2015. He is also a climate activist with the DSA and faith-centered groups, and reviews books on eco-socialism for Marx & Philosophy

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Ecological Imperialism, Settler Colonialism & Indigenous Resistance

A 10-Week Study Group led by Fred Murphy and Gerardo Renique
February 8 – April 12, 2017
9 Sessions Remain

The inspiring struggle at Standing Rock has united Native Americans across many tribes and countries against the Dakota Access Pipeline, in defense of water and life and for territorial sovereignty. Throughout the Americas, land grabs for massive energy and extractive projects are calling forth similar resistance from indigenous peoples, local farmers, and allies among urban working people. This study group will use materials from the #StandingRockSyllabus and other readings to deepen our understanding of ecological imperialism, settler colonialism, and indigenous resistance in both North and South America. We will also critically examine the varied approaches that Marxists have taken toward these questions.

Fred Murphy studied and taught historical sociology at The New School and has traveled extensively in Latin America as a journalist. He is currently translating the memoirs of Hugo Blanco, a leader and activist in Peru’s peasant, indigenous and environmental movements since the 1950s.

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

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