Announcing a new series of discussions beginning in March...
The Dialectic of CAPITAL and Today's Global Crisis
The economic meltdown in such areas as East Asia, Russia, and parts of Latin America and the possibility that it might spread to the entire world economy has helped impel new interest in Marx's CAPITAL. At the same time, a new generation of thinkers and activists has come of age which is searching for an alternative to both "free market" capitalism and the state-capitalism that once called itself Communism. This series speaks to these questions and concerns by exploring what Marxist-Humanism has contributed to the understanding of Marx's greatest theoretical work.
As Lenin once said, "It is impossible to understand Marx's CAPITAL, and especially it's first chapter, unless one has understood the whole of Hegel's Logic." For this reason, the core readings will be selections from Marx's CAPITAL, writings on CAPITAL from the archives of Marxist-Humanism, and Raya Dunayevskaya's "Rough Notes on Hegel's SCIENCE OF LOGIC."
For a syllabus and a schedule of classes, contact the News and Letters Committee nearest to you. (See directory.)
Class 1: The Origin and Scope of CAPITAL: Marx's Re-creation of Hegel's Dialectic
Class 1 discusses the origin and development of Vol. I of CAPITAL, especially the impact of the Civil War in the U.S. and the struggle for a shorter working day upon Marx's thinking. Far from acting as a limiting factor on what he called "the power of abstraction," by integrating the revolutionary subject into his dialectical analysis Marx unchained the power of revolutionary thought itself.
Class 2: The Phenomenon of Capitalism: The Commodity-Form
Class 2 focuses on the most difficult, controversial, and important chapter in CAPITAL"The Commodity." Of foremost importance here is its concluding section"The Fetishism of Commodities." Dunayevskaya's "Notes on Hegel's SCIENCE OF LOGIC" can greatly aid comprehension of the fundamental "phenomenon" of capitalism which contains in embryo the whole of its contradictions.
Class 3: The Essence of Capitalism (I): The Labor Process
Class 3 focuses on the essence of capitalismthe labor process and on the production of what Marx called "absolute surplus value." This is also the area in which Marx discusses the conditions and struggles of working women.
Class 4: The Essence of Capitalism (II): The Labor Process and the Transformation of the Value of Labor Power into Wages
Class 4 continues the focus on the essence of capitalism, the labor process, by exploring what Marx called "relative surplus value." It also discusses Marx's theory of wages, one of his three original contributions to the critique of political economy, along with the split in the concept of labor and the treatment of surplus value independently of profit.
Class 5: The Notion of Capitalism: The Absolute General Law of Capitalist Accumulation
Class 5 focuses on the absolute general law of capitalist accumulationthe concentration and centralization of capital at one pole and the socialization of labor at the other, from which spring "new passions and new forces for the reconstruction of society."
Class 6: The Logic of Capitalist Crisis: Overproduction, "Underconsumption," or the Decline In the Rate of Profit?
Class 6 focuses on the dialectic and humanism of Vols. II and III of CAPITAL, long serving as the arena of debate in the radical movement over the cause and consequences of capitalist crisis, the relation between capitalism and imperialism/racism, and the kind of human relations which can transcend class society.
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