Marx argued, because capitalism is the apotheosis of class society, it must be the last class society: it must, therefore, be destroyed. And only the working class, said Marx, is capable of doing that.
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. 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 this intro class for women only. Everyone who identifies as a woman is welcome.
Although reformers within the Communist Party sought significant reforms to the overly centralized system copied from the Soviet Union, including advocacy of workers’ councils, there were significant differences between the more modest reforms put forth by Czechoslovak economists and the more thorough-going concepts of activists and workers themselves.
It is often said that Capital, Volume I is concerned with the enfoldment of the capital form, with many dialectical twists and turns, but not with revolution. However, such a picture severs Marx the revolutionary from Marx the social theorist. In fact, Capital I can be connected to five different notions of revolution.
This class will analyze what made the 1960s Women’s Liberation Movement spread fast and win victories, and also what made it vulnerable to watering down and liberal takeover. National Women’s Liberation is a feminist group for women who want to fight back against male supremacy and win more freedom for women.
During this term we will begin with Egypt with Mahfouz, visit West Africa with Chris Abani then travel south to South Africa with Zakes Mda then conclude in June with NoViolet Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Again we examine four different areas of Africa as the peoples there emerge first from European colonization, then face the forces of global domination in the long late-capitalist neoliberal phase we are living through.
What began as a discussion about wage increases between two workers in the changing rooms at one mine became a rallying cry for economic freedom and basic dignity.
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.
In this course we will be concerned with some of the main ideas of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, focusing on the materialist understanding of history, and the theory of surplus value.
Through collaborative study and discussion, we aim to provide a challenging learning environment so each participant can develop his/her own theoretical and analytic tools to advance our organizing and movement building work in order to broaden opposition to capital locally, nationally and internationally.