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Karl Marx

MARX’S ‘CAPITAL’ FOR TODAY

Announcing a new series on
Marx’s Capital for Today:  A Reading of Volume One of Capital

Second & Fourth Mondays
June, July & August
6:30-9.00 pm
@ Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State St. Chicago IL
Room 3N-6

Join us for a re-examination of Marx’s analysis of the logic of capital in light of today’s economic and social crises. The focus will be Volume One of Marx’s Capital, in which Marx developed some of his most creative philosophic conceptions. The suggested readings from Marx will be supplemented by selections from Marxism and Freedom, by Raya Dunayevskaya, founder of Marxist-Humanism in the U.S.

Capital is online at http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1

Marxism and Freedom is available from U.S. Marxist-Humanists.

Sponsored by the U.S. Marxist-Humanists
Email: arise@usmarxisthumanists.org
http://www.usmarxisthumanists.org
Phone: 773-561-3454
eg/2011/labor donated
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Schedule and Readings

June 13th   — The Commodity Form and the Dual Character of Labor

Marx called his analysis of the dual character of labor at the start of Capital his “unique contribution” to the critique of political economy. This meeting will discuss the difference between concrete labor and abstract labor and how it defines the nature of the social relations of modern capitalism.

Suggested readings:
Capital, chapter 1, sections 1 and 2 (pp. 125-137)
Marxism and Freedom, chapter 5 (pp. 81-91)

Leading the discussion: Peter Hudis, General Editor, The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg

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June 27th — The Forms of Value and the Function of Money

The discussion of the forms of value in section 3 of chapter 1 of Capital, which is the subject of this meeting, is of pivotal importance in disclosing capitalism’s drive to commodify human relations as well as the function of money in the modern world.

Suggesting reading:
Capital, chapter 1, section 3 (pp. 138-163).
Leading the discussion: Anton Evelynov, student activist

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July 11th — The Adventures of Commodity Fetishism

The section on “The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret” has been widely considered the philosophic core of Capital, in which Marx both pinpoints the reason for capitalism’s persistence and points to its possible transcendence. This meeting will focus on this famous section in light of ongoing debates in radical theory.

Suggesting readings:
Capital, chapter 1, section 4 (pp. 163-177)
Marxism and Freedom, chapter 6 (pp. 92-102).

Leading the discussion: Marilyn Nissim-Sabat, author, Neither Victim nor Survivor: Thinking Toward a New Humanity

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July 25th — What is Capital? Why is it the Defining Feature of Modern Society?

Part 2 of Capital, “The Transformation of Money into Capital,” which is the subject of this meeting, discloses the peculiar nature of capital as a social form and how it becomes the universal medium of  social relations in capitalist society.

Suggested readings:
Capital, chapters 4-6, (pp. 247-282)
Marxism and Freedom, chapter 7, section 1 (pp. 103-111).

Leading the discussion: Miguel A. Rodriguez, student at Loyola University; and Ali Reza, Committee in Solidarity with the People of Iran

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August 8th — The Domination of “Dead” over “Living Labor”

The subject of this meeting is Marx’s discussion of the relation between the labor process and the valorization process, on the one hand, and constant capital and variable capital, on the other. This relation discloses the law of motion inherent in all forms of capitalism—whether in its “free market” or statist variants.

Suggested readings:
Capital, chapters 7-8, (pp. 283-319)
Marxism and Freedom, chapter 7, section 2 (pp. 112-119).

Leading the discussion: J Turk, U. S. Marxist-Humanists

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August 22nd — The Working Day and the Quest for a New Society

Why have automated and computerized forms of labor, which at one time were heralded as leading to a dramatic shortening of the working day, led instead to an increase in the amount of time that many spend at work? To what extent do efforts to shorten the working day and transform conditions of labor point to a possible alternative to the capitalist mode of production? We will explore Marx’s discussion of these issues in the section of Capital on “The Working Day.”

Suggested Readings:
Capital, chapter 10, (pp. 340-416)
Marxism and Freedom, chapter 7, section 3 (pp. 120-125).

Leading the discussion: Eileen Grace, Hobgoblin Collective

 

END***

 

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Raya Dunayevskaya

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES FROM U.S. MARXIST-HUMANISTS

See: http://www.usmarxisthumanists.org/

JANUARY 2011

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES:

1. RETROGRESSION AT HEART OF TUCSON ARIZONA SHOOTING – by Dale Parsons
The January 8, 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona was instigated by years of hateful, racist speech and action on the part of the Right, despite denials from the Right and obfuscation in the mainstream media. If the American people respond properly to this outrage, however, it could forestall the rightward trend in the U.S. — Editors

2. KOREA: PAWN OF THE SUPERPOWERS (a response to Richard Greeman’s “Danger of War Over Korea”) – by Peter Hudis
The intensifying tensions between North Korea and the U.S. calls for a historical re-examination of the roots of the present situation, in light of the conflict between the two poles of world capital that dominated the post-World War II era – Editors

3. DISCUSSION: DANGER OF WAR OVER KOREA – by Richard Greeman
The current confrontation over Korea can only be understood in the historical context of a century of imperialism, war, and resistance —  Editors

4. DIALECTICS OF ECONOMIC TURBULENCE – by Peter Hudis
The new political reality introduced by the Republicans’ advances in the U.S. mid-term elections, along with the ongoing global economic crisis, calls upon radical thinkers and activists to reconsider their response to capitalism’s drive for unending austerity measures –– Editors.

5. NOT JUST CAPITAL AND CLASS: MARX ON NON-WESTERN SOCIETIES, NATIONALISM AND ETHNICITY – by Kevin Anderson
While Marx’s major writings concentrated on capital and class in Western Europe, he also wrote extensively on ethnicity and nationalism, colonialism, and non-Western societies — Editors

6. ON HEGEL, ROSA LUXEMBURG AND MARXIST-HUMANISM – by David Black
On Hegel’s Dialectic of the “Beautiful Soul” in the French Revolution and the question of  “ethical reality” in the political philosophies of Rosa Luxemburg, Raya Dunayevskaya and Gillian Rose –– Editors

7. US MIDTERM ELECTIONS SPELL A NEED FOR A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEFT POLITICS – by Anton Evelynov
The US midterm elections illustrate the rise of rightwing politics, in the US and abroad, while the left has failed to develop a systematic critique of capitalism –– Editors

8. DISCUSSION: THE LONG MARCH OF HUMAN LIBERATION: 21ST CENTURY SOCIALISM – by Jorge Buzaglo
In the face of capitalist barbarism, socialists need to conceptualize an emancipatory alternative to alienation and exploitation, rooted in Marx’s writings and contemporary experience. — Editors

THE SITE ALSO INCLUDES OTHER ARTICLES FROM THE PAST DECADE BY U. S. MARXIST-HUMANISTS.

NEWLY ADDED TO THE SITE: Over 40 articles from the past decade by Peter Hudis on Marxist and Hegelian theory, world politics, and developments in the US

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Karl Marx

MARX’S PHILOSOPHIC CRITIQUE OF CAPITAL

U.S. Marxist-Humanists in Chicago invite you to a series of meetings on:
Marx’s Philosophic Critique of Capital: An Exploration of the Grundrisse

Second and fourth Wednesdays In February, March and April
6:30pm-9pm
@ Harold Washington Library
400 S. State Street,
Third Floor- Room 3N-6

Chicago

Join us for a re-examination of Marx’s analysis of the logic of capital in light of the ongoing global economic and social crisis. The focus of these discussions will be Marx’s ‘Grundrisse’, his draft of ‘Capital’, in which he developed some of his most creative philosophic conceptions. The readings from Marx will be supplemented by selections from Philosophy and Revolution, by Raya Dunayevskaya.

Schedule and Readings

February 9th – The Historical Specificity of Capitalism in the United States: Led by Peter Hudis
Why has U.S. society given rise to claims of American exceptionalism? 
What is distinctive about the development about U.S. capitalism, as compared with Europe?

In what way do such questions relate to the current efforts to reduce government spending and subject society to the whims of the free market?

We will explore Marx’s approach to such questions, as posed his critique of Carey in his Grundrisse.

Reading: Bastiat and Carey, in Grundrisse, by Karl Marx (pp. 883-893)

February 23rd – The Dialectic of Political Economy: Led by J Turk
In what way did Hegel’s philosophy impact Marx’s analysis of capital, and to what extent does dialectical thought remain of importance in providing a comprehensive understanding of contemporary social developments?

We will explore Marx’s approach to these questions, as posed in his Introduction to the Grundrisse.

Readings:

Introduction, in Grundrisse by Karl Marx (pp. 83-111)
The 1840s: The Birth of Historical Materialism, in Philosophy and Revolution, by Raya Dunayevskaya (pp. 47-60)

March 9th – Alternatives to Capitalism: Past, Present and Future: Led by Anton Evelynov
Does Marx discuss the alternative to capitalism, and if so, what did he say about it?

Why was Marx critical of efforts in his day to limit the critique of capitalism to calls to abolish the free market; and how does that illuminate the shortcomings of 20th and 21st century efforts to transcend capitalism?

We will explore Marx’s approach to this, as posed in the Grundrisse’s critique of efforts to organize exchange.

Readings:
Critique of Darimon and Proudhon, in Grundrisse, pp. 122-140
On the Eve of World War II: Depression in the Economy and in Thought, by Raya Dunayevskaya, in Philosophy and Revolution, pp.123-127.

March 23rd – Marx’s Concept of the Universally Developed Individual: Led by Marilyn Nissim-Sabat
Why does Marx refer to capitalism as a system based on relation of personal independence that limits the scope of individual initiative and freedom?

Why does he pose the free association of individuals as an alternative to both pre-capitalist and capitalist modes of production?

How do these issues speak to today’s freedom struggles?

We will explore Marx’s discussion of these issues in the part of the Grundrisse devoted to the development of universal needs and capacities.

Reading: Section on the Universality of Needs, in Grundrisse, pp. 156-173.

April 13th – Marx on Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations: Led by Eileen Grace
What was Marx’s understanding of forms of production, exchange, and communal association that precede capitalism?

Did he view pre-capitalist economic formations as containing, in embryo, indications of social and ecological relations that point beyond capitalism?

We will explore Marx’s discussion of these issues in the famous section of the Grundrisse entitled Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations.

Readings:

Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations in Grundrisse, pp. 471-514
Progressive Epochs of Social Formation in Philosophy and Revolution, by Raya Dunayevskaya, pp. 68-76.

April 27th – The Automaton, Labor Time, and the Quest for a New Society: Led by Peter Hudis
Why has automated and computerized forms of labor, which at one time were heralded as leading to a dramatic shortening of the working day, led instead to an increase in the amount of time that many spend at work?

To what extent does machinery and technology hinder or assist the effort to transcend the alienation that characterizes much of present-day society?

We will explore Marx’s discussion of these issues in the section of the Grundrisse on Machinery.

Readings:
Machinery, in Grundrisse, pp. 692-712
The Automaton and the Worker, in Philosophy and Revolution, pp. 76-94.

Texts
Please note that the Grundrisse is available online at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/index.htm

Philosophy and Revolution by Raya Dunayevskaya is available from USMH

Sponsored by the U.S. Marxist-Humanists in Chicago, an affiliate of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization
Further information from http://USMarxistHumanists.org or by emailing arise@USMarxistHumanists.org

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com