Les Temps Modernes: The Early Decades

2 sessions with Mitch Abidor

Les Temps Modernes, founded by Sartre and Beauvoir in 1945, ceased publication in December 2018. It had been one of the most prestigious intellectual, political, and cultural journals in the world, in its heyday between 1945-1975 setting the terms of intellectual debate all over the world.

This class will examine the first decades of its existence, when such important works as Sartre’s What is Literature appeared in it, as well as the first installments of Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. It will focus on its political positions, as Sartre first attempted to set up a third-way party, became a fellow-traveler of the PCF (publishing The Communists and Peace), then rejected working with the Communists (publishing The Ghost of Stalin). It will trace the journal and its editors’ commitment to anti-colonialism, particularity its courageous work in support of the Algerian FLN. Its role during May 68 and its aftermath will be examined, as Les Temps Modernes espoused the cause of the Maoists and the far left all over the world. Finally, it will look at its position on the conflict in the Middle East, about which Les Temps Modernes published a 1000 page issue.

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 Deportation of 1917.

 

This is a two week course. Fees below are suggested and are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

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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).

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The Young Hegelians (1831-1842)

Seminar of the NYC Marxist Hegel-Studies Collective
Marxist Education Project

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 himself died in 1831. In Berlin, where Hegel had taught for nearly a decade-and-a-half up to his death, a small group of philosophers – the so-called “Young Hegelians” – struggled with questions of interpreting Hegel in terms of the actual conditions of life in Germany and Europe at that time. The questions that this group of philosophers dealt with ranged from questions of re-interpreting religion, to the nature of the individual, society, and the state. Both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were involved in the work of the Young Hegelians, and ultimately it was the rejection of much of the thinking of Hegel and the Young Hegelians that allowed Marx and Engels to formulate what became the general outlook we today think of as Marxism.

In this seminar, we will study various works of the Young Hegelians including David Strauss, Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Max Stirner, and others, and including as well some early writings of Marx and Engels themselves.

The philosophy of Hegel as well as numerous of the Young Hegelians also included reactionary, racist/white-supremacist thought, which we will give special critical attention to. The rejection of Hegel and the Young Hegelians by Marx and Engels is also in important ways a rejection of the racism and white-supremacy and all that that has historically entailed in the development of contemporary capitalist society. This theme will be of fundamental importance in this class as will be the critique of the system of patriarchy – the oppressive subordination of women to men – the struggle to end such oppressions being fundamental to Marxism.

The course will run for 14 weeks on Friday evenings from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM starting September 16, 2016 and continuing until December 16, 2016. We will be reading the book The Young Hegelians: An Anthology, edited by Lawrence S. Stepelevich. (Arrangements will be made for students who cannot buy a copy of this book which costs about $12 online in a Kindle edition, or from about $25 and up for a used copy on abe.com or elsewhere.)

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).

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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).

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Hegel’s Science of Logic

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 Science of Logic is considered by many the most important and developed of all of Hegel’s works. It is essential for understanding Hegel’s other works and therefore it is essential for understanding the works of Marx and Engels as well. We will discuss in detail the text of roughly the book’s first third, called “The Doctrine of Being”, and how it relates to Hegel’s overall system and European social theory after Hegel, including Hegel’s patriarchy and white-supremacy and their influence on the development of capitalism.

We will be reading the edition of Hegel’s Science of Logic translated by A. V. Miller, and published by Humanity Books. (Arrangements will be made for students who cannot afford to buy a copy of this book which costs about $33 new 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 at the now-no-more Brecht Forum for the last five years of that institution’s existence. 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).

Suggested donation: $95 to $125 or $10 per session
No one turned away for inability to pay

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