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Tag Archives: Market Meltdown

 

Capitalism in Crisis

Capitalism in Crisis

CAPITALIST CRISIS

 

 

FALL-SPRING STUDY GROUP ON CAPITALIST CRISIS

Following our (just concluded) summer class, Howie Seligman and I (Loren Goldman) will again be doing a study group in the New York City area on Marxian theory and the current crisis. If you are interested, read on.

All applicants welcome.

TENTATIVE PLAN

Loren Goldner and Howie Seligman will be organizing a study group, starting in October,  for New York City-area people on Marx’s Capital (and other writings), linking Marx’s critique of political economy to the current crisis of the world capitalist system.

The group will meet twice a month (day to be determined, based on people’s availability) , through May-June of next year, in a convenient Manhattan location (to be determined).

Space will determine the number of participants, but we aim for between 10 and 25 participants, depending on interest.

If you wish to participate, please contact Loren Goldner asap at: lrgoldner@yahoo.com

Participants should be committed to regular attendance and to keeping up with 50-100 pages of reading per meeting. Barring a need to change venues, the class will be free of charge, except for occasional contributions for photocopy expenses, refreshments, etc.

Readings will consist of selections from Marx’s Capital, and articles (to be decided in consultation with the group) on contemporary developments.

The events of the past two years in particular have re-awakened a serious interest in both Marx’s critique of political economy and in “current events” in the world economy. Goldner and Seligman will cooperate in putting the crisis into a Marxian theoretical perspective (Goldner), as well as providing insight into the more technical side of world market meltdown (CDO’s, hedge funds, Ponzi schemes, etc.) (Seligman). The approach will not be merely “economic” (the Marxian CRITIQUE of political economy is not another variant of “economics”) but will elucidate the impact of the crisis on ordinary working people, on developing actions against capitalist austerity in the US and around the world, and on the solution: abolition of the capitalist mode of production.

If successful, the study group will continue through May-June 2010.

In order to put together a viable group, we would like interested people to write something brief (200-300 words) about their background, the level of their knowledge of Marx and of the world economy,  where they are coming from politically, and anything else they might consider relevant.

We are oriented above all to educating present and future activists, and will give such people priority in participation. We also hope to have a predominance of young people who are new, or relatively new, to Capital and Marxist theory generally, but that will of course be determined by the response.

Loren Goldner is a long-term independent writer and political activist. His work is available on the Break Their Haughty Power web site at: http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner   He has spent much of the past four years in South Korea, involved in the workers’ movement there.

Howie Seligman recently taught a course on Taxation and Finance at the NEW SPACE in New York City. Here is the course description and a biography.

Taxation and Finance: Howard F. Seligman:

The course will begin with a brief tutorial on conventional accounting, bookkeeping and financial theory.  This will involve some hands on practical training, although the main emphasis will be on the history of the evolution of the theory from its original conception to the current methodologies. This will be followed by an examination of basic economics (price theory) and its use and abuse of (accounting/ finance) statistics. Again, the history of the theory from its roots in philosophy and the social sciences to its current state of being applied mathematical models will be scrutinized. We will then survey the U.S. Income Tax System beginning with its history and moving on to its current state (of change) today. The focus will be on the behavioral implications of changes in the tax code and alternate systems being used in other countries (and being proposed by Congress today.)

Applying the building blocks of finance and taxation, we will then look at the American financial markets and the culture of the corporation.  Particular attention will be paid to ‘Wall Street’ and the ‘entertainment industry’ due to their growing influence in our everyday lives via the ‘information society.’

Emphasis will be placed on economic and non-economic forces that drive the markets and facilitate manipulation by the use of abstract numerical concepts. Finally, the natural symbiosis of private industry and governments will be the subject of specific anecdotes and case studies.

No requirements other than potential enthusiasm/interest.
 
Howard F. Seligman has been a self employed financial and tax consultant since 1984. Howard’s practice specializes in the arts and entertainment fields, and he serves as the treasurer to more than fifteen arts and cultural organizations. Howard has taught accounting and finance at The Pratt Institute. His hobbies include playing Howie Solo, a singer and stand up comedian who can host your local fundraising event. He is currently researching a book on the history of the Jewish gangster in America.

You can also see Howie in action at: http://www.blip.tv

search HOWIE SOLO

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