Unearthing The Grundrisse

An Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy

Part 1: 12 sessions with Gil Gardner

The foundational thought and research for Karl Marx’s Capital is carefully recorded in notes he wrote in 1857-58 during the first global economic crisis. Undiscovered for nearly fifty years and with only a few copies reaching the West from a limited 1939-1940 publication in the USSR, these notes were first published in their entirety in English as The Grundrisse: An Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy in 1973. As the title suggests, it serves as the groundwork and introduction to Marx’s economic work. Moreover, The Grundrisse perhaps best reveals the unity of Marx’s early, “humanist” writing with his later analysis of the capitalist economy. While David Harvey (2010) argues that Marx’s published works represent only about an eighth of what he hoped to write, David McLellan (1973) asserts that The Grundrisse is the “centerpiece” and most complete and expansive of Marx’s work. The Grundrisse may thus serve as an overview of what he intended to publish. While publication and distribution of The Grundrisse was stifled in the Soviet Union as it countered rigidities in Stalinist interpretations of Marx, many argue that, despite a recent, simmering interest, it still has not received nearly the attention it deserves.

Gil Gardner

has been researching and teaching Marx’s works for over 40 years. During that time, he has also taught in and developed college programs in over 20 prisons and written on the history of prison industry in the U.S. He is currently working on an introduction to Marx’s work entitled ‘Unearthing The Grundrisse: An Introduction to Marx and the Critique of Political Economy’.

This class will not meet on December 23, December 30 or January 20

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Victor Serge’s Notebooks: 1936-1947

A book release presentation with translator Mitch Abidor and Jacob Pittman

In 1936, Victor Serge—poet, novelist, and revolutionary—left the Soviet Union for Paris, the rare opponent of Stalin to escape the Terror. In 1940, after the Nazis marched into Paris, Serge fled France for Mexico, where he would spend he rest of his life. His years in Mexico were marked by isolation, poverty, peril, and grief; his Notebooks, however, brim with resilience, curiosity, outrage, a passionate love of life, and superb writing. Serge paints haunting portraits of Osip Mandelstam, Stefan Zweig “the Old Man” Trotsky; argues with André Breton; and, awaiting his wife’s delayed arrival from Europe, writes her passionate love letters. He describes the sweep of the Mexican landscape, visits an erupting volcano, and immerses himself in the country’s history and culture. He looks back on his life and the fate of the revolution. He broods on the course of the war and the world to come after. In the darkest of circumstances, he responds imaginatively, thinks critically, feels deeply, and finds reason to hope.

MITCH ABIDOR has published over a dozen volumes of translation, including a collection of Victor Serge’s anarchist writings, Anarchists Never Surrender. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, and Cineaste. Mitch has been translated into German and Turkish. He is currently writing a history of the Bisbee Depredation of 1917.

JACOB PITTMAN is the publisher of Jewish Currents, the magazine of the Jewish left.

 

This is a free event.

 

 

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