Capital, Volume 1

with Mary Boger

Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Karl Marx
Book I: The Process of Production of Capital

Volume I of Capital begins the scientific presentation of the laws of motion that underlie the developmental process that has led to the realities of our contemporary human condition. In only 200-300 years capitalist relations of re/production have absorbed all pre-capitalist societies into its circulation of commodities making all that exists, whether real or imaginary, means for investing money to make more money. Private ownership and control over our earth’s natural resources by the owners of capital and separation of the world’s population from any direct access to our conditions of life have reduced our human productive activity to a thing that is bought and sold at the bidding of capital.

Uncovering the how, what and for whom our life processes are determined based on the logic of using money in order to make more money is a journey we need to take if we are to consciously situate ourselves within our given historical process as effective political/social/universal actors. Our concepts about what constitutes the economy, the state, politics, the individual, class, and our relation to nature are filtered through the lens of the dominant ideology and the realities of the everyday life where buying and selling is the norm and vehicle by which we must adapt in order to survive. This is simply how the world works. The notion that a market economy based on money making more money is a natural state of affairs and is good for society as a whole is generally accepted—including by members of the working class. This has been especially so in the U.S., in spite of the fact that they must each individually sell their capacity to work to a particular capitalist in order to acquire their means of subsistence or face homelessness, destitution or criminality.

Marx’s scientific presentation of the laws of motion of capitalist development begins by analyzing the fundamental or elemental form which wealth takes in our society, the commodity. Understanding this form leads us to the most basic law that grounds social reproduction in societies under the domination of capital, the law of value. Therefore, our first task will be to break through the appearance and reveal the social content of the commodity form. This begins the unraveling of the why and how of what we necessarily, under the domination and exploitation of capital, experience every day in our lives.

For those who are interested in becoming oriented for these sessions, there are some short readings that can be made available in advance if you write to info@marxedproject.org and request the PDFs for Capital, Vol. 1 class that begins on October 3.

MARY BOGER, political economist (MA) sociologist (PhD), and ethnographic researcher. MA Thesis: Marx on the Fetishism of Commodities. Dissertation: A Ghetto State of Ghettos: Palestinians Under Israeli Citizenship. A member of the original founders of the first School for Marxist Education (1975) and its continuation as the New York Marxist School/Brecht Forum (1979-2014) and Mary is now engaged with the work of The MEP. She has been teaching Capital for many years to students of all ages and diverse occupations, backgrounds and countries of origin. Throughout. Mary has actively participated in movement struggles and solidarity work with a broad range of liberation struggles.

 

Capital, Volume 1, inter-session

Capital, Volume 1

3 week inter-session: Class & Discussion
with Capital Studies Group

Karl Marx’s Capital remains the fundamental text for understanding how capitalism works. Prior to our 12 weeks session covering Volume 1 beginning February 2, this three-week session will focus on the General Laws of Capitalist Accumulation as we return from the winter holiday. By unraveling the commoditized forms of our interactions with nature and each other, it provides tools to understand capitalism’s astounding innovativeness and productivity, intertwined with growing inequality and misery, alienation, stunting of human potential, and ecological destruction all over the globe. In this way, Marx’s Capital offers the reader a methodology for doing our own analysis of current and past developments. This group will meet January 5, 12 and 26. The 19th is the Women’s March and there will not be class.

The CAPITAL STUDIES GROUP has been meeting on Saturdays for two years. We are a diverse group of students, workers, activists and teachers who are have dedicated themselves to a chronological reading of all three volumes of Marx’s Capital. Newcomers are encouraged to join when your schedule permits.

Fees are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

Weekend Special Pass: Austin, Gordon, Marx

For a special price of $10 you can attend all three weekend activities of January 25, 26 and 27.

a. Friday, January 25, 7 to 9:30 pm at The Peoples Forum: Dread Poetry and Freedom: Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Unfinished Revolution
author David Austin
with an introduction by Lewis Gordon

In Dread Poetry and Freedom — the first book dedicated to the work of this ‘political poet par excellence’ – David Austin explores the themes of poetry, political consciousness and social transformation through the prism of Johnson’s work. Drawing from the Bible, reggae and Rastafari, and surrealism, socialism and feminism, and in dialogue with Aime Cesaire and Frantz Fanon, C.L.R. James and Walter Rodney, and W.E.B. Du Bois and the poetry of d’bi young anitafrika, Johnson’s work becomes a crucial point of reflection on the meaning of freedom in this masterful and rich study.

b. Saturday, January 26, 12 noon to 3 pm at Unnameable Books, 600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, Capital, Volume 1 with the Capital Studies Group

Karl Marx’s Capital remains the fundamental text for understanding how capitalism works. By unraveling the commoditized forms of our interactions with nature and each other, it provides tools to understand capitalism’s astounding innovativeness and productivity, intertwined with growing inequality and misery, alienation, stunting of human potential, and ecological destruction all over the globe.

c. Sunday, January 27, 1 to 3:30 pm at The Peoples Forum: Moving Against the System:The 1968 Congress of Black Writers and the Making of Global Consciousness
With author and editor David Austin

 

This is a special one ticket price of $10 which is admission to two events and one class. Both Friday and Sunday at The Peoples Forum, Saturday class at Unnameable Books.

Capital, Volume I

Class & Discussion with Capital Studies Group

Karl Marx’s Capital remains the fundamental text for understanding how capitalism works. By unraveling the commoditized forms of our interactions with nature and each other, it provides tools to understand capitalism’s astounding innovativeness and productivity, intertwined with growing inequality and misery, alienation, stunting of human potential, and ecological destruction all over the globe. In this way, Capital offers the reader a methodology for doing our own analysis of current developments.

The Capital Studies Group has been meeting on Saturdays for nearly two years. We are a diverse group of students, activists and teachers who are now dedicating themselves to a chronological reading of all three volumes of Marx’s Capital.

Highlights of Marx’s Capital, Volume 1

In Manhattan, For Women Only

A 10 Session Class and Discussion with Juliet Ucelli
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
February 21 through April 25
2067 Broadway, Manhattan

Capital is the indispensable sourcebook on Marx’s method for analyzing the economy, politics and struggles. Many of us have less time to study it because, as Marx predicted, we have to work longer hours— and often more than one job—in order to survive. Fortunately, even a basic familiarity with the key concepts of Volume I offers many tools for understanding capitalism’s dynamics. With current conditions, we’ve been offering this highlights approach, breaking down key concepts and sections:

• use value, value and surplus value;
• why capitalism has needed conquest, enslavement and white supremacy;
• why capitalism drives technological innovation, overwork and unemployment and leads to ecological destruction;
• how working-class people (employed and unemployed) have historically won improvements in living and working conditions.

In a continuing quest 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 the highlights class this February through April for women only. Everyone who identifies as a woman is welcome.

Participant reports and life experiences are welcome!

The course provides a basic grounding for participants to pursue further study on their own or collectively. We’ll refer to new resources such as on-line and visual aids and current articles that illustrate capitalism’s developmental tendencies, which Marx calls its laws of motion.

Juliet Ucelli has taught labor economics and class/race/gender for labor unions, and was a public high school social worker. She writes on Eurocentrism in Marxist theory, the politics of inner city public schooling and Marxist understandings of human development.

Highlights of Marx’s Capital, Volume One

A 9 Session Class and Discussion with Juliet Ucelli
Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm
October 4-December 6, 2017

Capital is the indispensable sourcebook on Marx’s method for analyzing the economy, politics and struggles. Many of us have less time to study it because, as Marx predicted, we have to work longer hours— and often more than one job—in order to survive. Fortunately, even a basic familiarity with the key concepts of Volume I offers many tools for understanding capitalism’s dynamics. With current conditions, we’ve been offering this highlights approach, breaking down key concepts and sections:

• use value, value and surplus value;
• why capitalism has needed conquest, enslavement and white supremacy;
• why capitalism drives technological innovation, overwork and unemployment and leads to ecological destruction;
• how working-class people (employed and unemployed) have historically won improvements in living and working conditions.

Participant reports and life experiences are welcome!

The course provides a basic grounding for participants to pursue further study on their own or collectively. We’ll refer to new resources such as on-line and visual aids and current articles that illustrate capitalism’s developmental tendencies, which Marx calls its laws of motion. Suggested fees are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

Juliet Ucelli has taught labor economics and class/race/gender for labor unions, and was a public high school social worker. She writes on Eurocentrism in Marxist theory, the politics of inner city public schooling and Marxist understandings of human development.