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.

 

All tickets are sliding scale. As there have already been several sessions there is a fee reduction reflected on the site. No one denied participation for inability to pay. Email to info@marxedproject.org for the link to these sessions.

 

Capital: A Review of Volumes 1 and 2

THIS IS A 4 SESSION COURSE MEETING DECEMBER 7, 14, JANUARY 4, 11

In review of Volumes One and Two of Capital and in preparation for our study of Volume 3 we will have a 4 week intersession reading from Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad-Filho’s Karl Marx’s Capital. In review of Volumes One and Two of Capital and in preparation for our study of Volume 3 we will have a 4 week intersession reading from Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad-Filho’s Karl Marx’s Capital. These sessions are suggested as a good review for those who would like to join in for the coming sessions of our close reading of Volume 3 which will begin on January 18. Of course, anyone interested in a review of Capital and/or would simply like to read and discuss the Fine and Saad-Filho book are encouraged to attend as well.

Marx’s Capital is an admirably clear explanation of complex ideas, which has the rare virtue of saying something important to economists while being accessible to non-specialist readers. It also does a very good job of showing the urgent relevance of Marx’s Capital today.” —Ellen Meiksins Wood, author of The Empire of Capital (2003) and The Origin of Capitalism (2002)

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

Can the Working Class Change the World?

5 Sessions

Can the Working Class Change the World?
By Michael D. Yates
A new book from Monthly Review Press

Session 1
Thursday, February 7, 5:30 to 7:15
A discussion with author Michael D. Yates

Sessions 2-5
Mondays, February 11 through March 4
Analysis and discussion of the book

The first 10 registered participants in this group will receive a free copy of the book. Contributions to Monthly Review Press are appreciated.

From Monthly Review:

One of the horrors of the capitalist system is that slave labor, which was central to the formation and growth of capitalism itself, is still fully able to coexist alongside wage labor. But, as Karl Marx pointed out, it is the fact of being paid for one’s work that validates capitalism as a viable socio-economic structure. Beneath this veil of “free commerce”—where workers are paid only for a portion of their workday, and buyers and sellers in the marketplace face each other as “equals”—lies a foundation of immense inequality. Yet workers have always rebelled. They’ve organized unions, struck, picketed, boycotted, formed political organizations and parties—sometimes they have actually won and improved their lives. But, 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.

In his timely and innovative book, Michael D. Yates asks if the working class can, indeed, change the world. Deftly factoring in such contemporary elements as sharp changes in the rise of identity politics and the nature of work, itself, Yates wonders if there can, in fact, be a thing called the working class. If so, how might it overcome inherent divisions of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, location—to become a cohesive and radical force for change? Forcefully and without illusions, Yates supports his arguments with relevant, clearly explained data, historical examples, and his own personal experiences. This book is a sophisticated and prescient understanding of the working class, and what all of us might do to change the world.

“Michael Yates’s passion and respect for the class he came out of delivers a book that is especially accessible without retreating from the complexities and internal contradictions of working class life and organization—a book committed not only to defending workers, but also to building on their potentials to transform society.”      —Sam Gindin, former chief economist, Canadian Auto Workers Union; Packer Visitor in Social Justice, Political Science, York University, Toronto

On Thursday, February 7, Michael Yates will teleconference with us for a preview and discussion of his important new book. On the four Mondays that follow, we will read, analyze and Michael’s book.

Michael D. Yates is Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press. For more than three decades, he was a labor educator, teaching working people across the United States. Among his books are The Great Inequality, Why Unions Matter, A Freedom Budget for All Americans (with Paul Le Blanc), and The ABCs of the Economic Crisis (with Fred Magdoff).

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.

 

The stated fees are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay., or

Capital, Volume 1

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. We will conclude Volume One this term and begin our first 12-week session on Volume Two on Saturday, April 27.

The CAPITAL STUDIES GROUP has been meeting on Saturdays for two years. We are a diverse group of students, 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.

No one turned away for inability to pay

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.

Capital, Volume One

with Capital Studies Group

Class & Discussion (12 week session)

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, Marx’s Capital offers the reader a methodology for doing our own analysis of current developments.

The CAPITAL STUDIES GROUP has been meeting on Saturdays for two years. We are a diverse group of students, 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.

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.

Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, Part 2

Capital Studies Group

We are extending our study of David Harvey’s recent Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason. Those who convened starting on January 6 have decided to continue reading the book at a slower pace to allow for a full discussion of all that is contained in the chapters. We will finish reading this book and then begin reading Marx’s Volume 1 of Capital beginning Saturday, March 3.

We will begin chapter three on January 20.
$10 per session for January 20 and 27, no one turned away for paying less or the inability to pay. Registrations for Part 2 allow for attendance on January 20 and 27.

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.