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Karl Marx


You are invited to attend these open discussions on…
Marx from a Multiculturalist Perspective

First & Third Wednesdays, October 2011- January 2012
6:30-9.00 pm @ Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State St. Chicago IL

In an increasingly globalized world, the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and struggles between those in developed and developing countries takes on added importance. It is often overlooked that one thinker who had a lot to say about the role of multiculturalism in an increasingly globalized world was capitalism’s most important critic—Karl Marx. This series of six discussions will explore Marx’s lesser-known writings on nationalism, ethnicity, and non-Western societies that take on new importance in light of today’s realities. Readings will include excerpts from Marx’s works as well as Kevin Anderson’s new book Marx at the Margins. Readings are available from USMH.

Sponsored by the U.S. Marxist-Humanists
Email:   Website:    Phone: 773-561-3454

Books: Page numbers in the schedule refer to the following books. An earlier translation of Capital & other Marx readings are online at, & are linked in the schedule. Starred readings* are available by emailing USMH. The Anderson can be bought from USMH & as an e-book. The Dunayevskaya is also available from USMH.
Anderson, Kevin. Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Print.
Dunayevskaya, Raya. Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution. 2nd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991. Print.
Marx, Karl, Ben Fowkes, and Ernest Mandel. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Vol 1. Tran. Ben Fowkes. New York:NY: Penguin Classics, 1992. Print.

Schedule and Readings

October 19th

Room 7N-5 (7th Floor)

Marx’s Initial Response to the European Encounter with India & China.
Did Marx support the European colonization of Asia and Africa, or was he a sharp critic of it? How do his views speak to the today’s increasingly globalized world? This meeting will explore Marx’s writings of the 1850s on Asia, especially his response to the Sepoy revolt in India and the Tai’ping rebellion in China.

Suggested readings:  Marx: British Rule in India (6/25/1853), Future Results of British Rule in India (8/8/1853); Revolution in China and Europe (6/14/1853) Marx at the Margins, pp. 9-41.

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

November 2nd 

Room 3N-6 (3rd Floor)

In Defense of National Self-Determination: Marx on Poland & Ireland.
Although Marx famously proclaimed, “Workers of the word, unite!” he also strongly supported struggles against national oppression and racism. This meeting will explore his defense of national liberation movements in Poland and Ireland and how he viewed their relation to the overall aims of the labor movement.

Suggested Readings:  Marx: Proclamation on Poland (October 1863)*
      Letter to Engels (12/10/1869)
      Marx at the Margins, pp. 56-78, pp. 115-95.

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

November 16th

Room 7N-5 (7th Floor)

Racism as the Achilles Heel of U.S. Society: Marx’s Writings on the Civil War
Marx was a strong supporter of the North in the U.S. Civil War, as seen in his journalism, his correspondence with Abraham Lincoln, and the text of his greatest theoretical work, Capital. This meeting will explore why Marx held that “labor in the white skin cannot be free where labor in the black skin is branded.”

Suggested Readings:  Marx: Letter to Engels (8/7/1862)
      Marx at the Margins, pp. 79-114.

Leading the discussion: Miguel A. Rodriguez, student at Loyola University

November 30th Room 3N-6 (3rd Floor)

The “Rosy Dawn” of Capitalist Accumulation: The Impact of Capitalism on the Developing World-
Why is each period of capitalist expansion accompanied by the penetration and destruction of non-capitalist economic formations in technologically less-developed countries? This class will explore the “so-called primitive accumulation of capital”—which Marx held accompanies all periods of renewed capitalist expansion.

Suggested Readings:  Marx: Capital Vol. I, chapters 26 and 33 (pp. 873-76, pp. 931-42)
      Marx at the Margins, pp. 154-95

Leading the discussion: Eileen Grace, Hobgoblin Collective

December 14th

Room 3N-6 (3rd Floor)

Marx on the Peasantry and Communal Agrarian   Relations: Pillar of Reaction or Force of Revolution?
Are peasant movements inherent conservative and patriarchal, or are they a progressive factor in fostering social transformation—especially in the developing world? This meeting will explore Marx’s writings on the Russian peasantry and the liberatory potential of its communal social relations, composed at the end of his life.

Suggested Readings:  Marx: Draft Letters to Vera Zasulich (1881)*
      Marx at the Margins, pp. 224-236.

Leading the discussion: Ali Reza, Iranian activist: Solidarity with the People of Iran and their struggles for bread, freedom and democracy.

January 11th   Room 3N-6 (3rd Floor)

Marx’s Late Writings on India, China, Native Americans, and Islam-
Marx engaged in a series of important studies of indigenous cultures and non-Western societies in the last decade of his life as he searched for new pathways to liberation. This meeting will discuss this long-neglected dimension of his work speaks to debates over the meaning of multiculturalism today.

Suggested Readings:  Marx at the Margins, pp. 196-224.
Dunayevskaya, Raya, “The Last Writings of Marx” in Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution, pp 175-98 *

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



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