NEWS & LETTERS, April 2004

Alternatives to Capitalism

How Marx’s critique of capital illuminates the path to overcoming the dominance of capitalism today--a series of discussions

Today’s crises of imperialist war and terrorism call on us not only to oppose both sides of the conflict but also to take responsibility for developing a liberating alternative to this racist, sexist, class-ridden society. If we fail to do so, we will forever be confronted with having to choose between “the lesser evil” or some false alternative. Developing a vision of a new society does not simply mean being for practical struggles for a new society once they arise. It also means theoretically discerning the elements for creating a new society before such struggles arise. This series of open discussions aims to achieve this by exploring how Marx’s critique of capital illuminates the path to overcoming today’s dominance of capitalism.

Marx’s critique of capital has two dimensions. One is his critique of capital as a social relation. The second is his critique of leftist alternatives that fall short of a total uprooting of capitalism. Both dimensions of Marx’s critique constitute the focus of these meetings:

1: Alienation and Humanism: Marx’s Critique of the Radical Alternatives of His Time

2: Value, Exchange Value, and Freely Associated Labor

3: Marx’s Critique of Those Who Oppose Capitalism Without Opposing Socially Necessary Labor Time

4: Abstract and Concrete: The Dual Character of Labor

5: The Fetishism of Commodities and Its Transcendence

6: Money, Exchange, and Reification

7: How Deep Must Be the Uprooting of Capitalism? Marx’s Writings of His Last Decade on Gender and the Non-Western World

For schedules and readings, contact your nearest News and Letters Committee...

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