Introduction to Marxism for Women Only

with Juliet Ucelli

co-sponsored with Left Focus

We’ll explore some key concepts about human beings, society and history, and our relationship to the rest of nature. Readings will be short and accessible excerpts from writings by Marx and Engels or later Marxists. I believe that this theory can help us analyze the social and economic realities and structures we live in–who holds power and how–and fight more effectively for liberation.

Some of the central questions that we’ll address are:
• How did the oppression of women, and the division of societies into people who work and others who exploit them, originate and develop historically?
• What are the driving dynamics of capitalism that make it make it so productive, innovative, brutal and ecologically destructive?
• What intellectual tools can help us understand industry’s complex impacts on our bodies, our psyches and the nature around us—impacts that capitalists, and people who think like them, don’t want to see or cannot see?
• What did Marx understand—and not understand—about white supremacy and Eurocentrism, and how has that analysis been deepened and modified by later Marxists?

In a continuing attempt 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 an intro class this October through December for women only. Everyone who identifies as a woman is welcome.

Juliet Ucelli has taught labor economics and class/race/gender for unions and activists, and writes on Eurocentrism in Marxist theory, and Marxist understandings of human development. She also teaches Marx’s Capital, Volume One with The Marxist Education Project.

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It’s Not Over: Lessons from the Socialist Experiment

A special six session class taught by Pete Dolack from his recent book.

Pete Dolack is presenting this class over six weeks, one week to each section of his book that has been ten years in the making. Some reduced-price copies may be available here: http://www.zero-books.net/books/its-not-over

Thinking about the basic contours of a better world is a prerequisite to becoming effective in bringing about this improved world. The march forward of human history is not a gift from gods above nor presents handed us from benevolent rulers, governments, institutions or markets — it is the product of collective human struggle on the ground. It’s Not Over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment analyzes attempts to supplant capitalism in the past in order to draw lessons for emerging and future movements that seek to overcome the political and economic crises of today. It’s Not Over’s historical focus is on the Russian Revolution, the failed German Revolution, the early years of the Soviet Union, the Prague Spring, the Sandinista Revolution and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The concluding chapter analyzes why capitalism is a failed system for working people and offers ideas for discussion in what the contours of a better world might look like.

This history lives through the words and actions of the men and women who made these revolutions, and the everyday experiences of the millions of people who put new revolutionary ideas into practice under the pressures of enormous internal and external forces.

“As Cold War taboos on honest discussions of capitalism and socialism lose their force, important books like this are emerging. They ask why capitalism keeps provoking movements to go beyond it, why they have not yet achieved that goal, and what we must learn from them so the next efforts prove more effective. Dolack here contributes to the vital emerging answers.”
—Rick Wolff, author of Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and host of the Economic Update radio program

Pete Dolack is an activist, writer and photographer who has worked with several organizations focusing on human rights, social justice, environmental and trade issues. He writes about the economic crisis and the political and environmental issues connected to it on the Systemic Disorder blog. His articles have appeared in popular publications including CounterPunch, ZNet, The Ecologist and Green Social Thought.

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