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Sascha Staničić ist Bundessprecher der Sozialistischen Alternative (SAV) sowie verantwortlicher Redakteur des Internetportals und gleichnamigen Magazins sozialismus.info. Seit 1987 ist er aktiv in der sozialistischen und gewerkschaftlichen Bewegung, seit 2010 Mitglied der LINKEN. Er ist (Mit-)Autor der Bücher „Anti-Sarrazin“ (PapyRossa, 2011), „Brandstifter: AfD. Pegida. Islamhass“ (Manifest-Verlag, 2017) und Mitherausgeber von „Nach Goldschätzen graben und Regenwürmer finden. Die Linke und das Regieren“ (PapyRossa, 2016).

Wolfgang Gehrcke ist Mitglied des Bundestags und seit 2007 Mitglied des Parteivorstands der Partei DIE LINKE. 1961 trat er in die damals verbotene KPD ein und war 1968 Gründungsmitglied der DKP, aus der er 1990 austrat. Im selben Jahr trat er der PDS bei, war von 1993–1998 deren stellvertretender Bundesvorsitzender und von 1998–2002 stellvertretender Vorsitzender der PDS-Bundestagsfraktion.

Werner Dreibus war Mitbegründer der WASG, die sich 2007 mit der Linkspartei.PDS zur Partei DIE LINKE vereinigt hat. Von 2010–2012 war er Bundesgeschäftsführer der Partei DIE LINKE. Außerdem arbeitete er langjährig als Gewerkschaftssekretär.

Dietmar Bartsch ist Bundestagsabgeordneter und einer von zwei Fraktionsvorsitzenden der LINKEN. 1977 trat er in die SED ein und promovierte 1990 in Moskau im Fach Ökonomie. Er war lange Jahre Schatzmeister der PDS. Außerdem ist er ehemaliger Geschäftsführer der Jungen Welt, später des Neuen Deutschlands. 2008–2010 war er Bundeswahlkampfleiter der LINKEN.

Summer and Fall/Autumn 2017 – Winter 2018

I. What is the Left? -- What is Marxism?

Thursdays, 5:00pm, Kresge Library/Study Center Rm. 348

University of California
1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95064


 required / + recommended reading


Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)


Week A. Radical bourgeois philosophy I. Rousseau: Crossroads of society | Aug. 10, 2017

Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men.

-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract (1762)

• Max Horkheimer, "The little man and the philosophy of freedom" (1926–31)

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by James Miller (on Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson), Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58), and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche)

+ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (1908)

+ Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2004)

• Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754) PDFs of preferred translation (5 parts): [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

 Rousseau, selection from On the Social Contract (1762)


Week B. Radical bourgeois philosophy II. Hegel: Freedom in history | Aug. 17, 2017

• G.W.F. Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831) [HTML] [PDF pp. 14-128] [Audiobook]


Week C. Radical bourgeois philosophy III. Nietzsche (1): Life in history | Aug. 24, 2017

• Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life (1874) [translator's introduction by Peter Preuss]

+ Nietzsche on history chart of terms


Week D. Radical bourgeois philosophy IV. Nietzsche (2): Asceticism of moderns | Aug. 31, 2017

+ Human, All Too Human: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1999)

 Nietzsche, selection from On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic (1887)


Week E. 1960s New Left I. Neo-Marxism | Sep. 7, 2017 U.S. Labor Day weekend

• Martin Nicolaus, “The unknown Marx” (1968)

+ Commodity form chart of terms

• Moishe Postone, “Necessity, labor, and time” (1978)

+ Postone, “History and helplessness: Mass mobilization and contemporary forms of anticapitalism” (2006)

+ Postone, “Theorizing the contemporary world: Brenner, Arrighi, Harvey” (2006)


Week F. 1960s New Left II. Gender and sexuality | Sep. 14, 2017

• Juliet Mitchell, “Women: The longest revolution” (1966)

• Clara Zetkin and Vladimir Lenin, “An interview on the woman question” (1920)

• Theodor W. Adorno, “Sexual taboos and the law today” (1963)

• John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and gay identity” (1983)


Week G. 1960s New Left III. Anti-black racism in the U.S. | Sep. 21, 2017

• Richard Fraser, “Two lectures on the black question in America and revolutionary integrationism” (1953)

• James Robertson and Shirley Stoute, “For black Trotskyism” (1963)

+ Spartacist League, “Black and red: Class struggle road to Negro freedom” (1966)

+ Bayard Rustin, “The failure of black separatism” (1970)

• Adolph Reed, “Black particularity reconsidered” (1979)

+ Reed, “Paths to Critical Theory” (1984)


Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in history | Sep. 28, 2017

• Max Horkheimer, "The little man and the philosophy of freedom" (1926–31)

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by Louis Menand (on Marx and Engels) and Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)

• Chris Cutrone, "Capital in history" (2008)

+ Capital in history timeline and chart of terms

+ video of Communist University 2011 London presentation

 Cutrone, "The Marxist hypothesis" (2010)


Week 2. What is the Left? II. Bourgeois society | Oct. 5, 2017

• Immanuel Kant, "Idea for a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view" and "What is Enlightenment?" (1784)

• Benjamin Constant, "The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)

+ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the origin of inequality (1754)

+ Rousseau, selection from On the social contract (1762)


Week 3. What is the Left? III. Failure of Marxism | Oct. 12, 2017

• Max Horkheimer, selections from Dämmerung (1926–31)

 Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)


Week 4. What is the Left? IV. Utopia and critique | Oct. 19, 2017

• Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)

 Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11

 Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15


Week 5. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Oct. 26, 2017

 Marx, selections from Economic and philosophic manuscripts (1844), pp. 70–101

+ Commodity form chart of terms

 Marx and Friedrich Engels, selections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), pp. 469-500

 Marx, Address to the Central Committee of the Communist League (1850), pp. 501–511


Week 6. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Nov. 2, 2017

 Marx, The coming upheaval (from The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847) and Class struggle and mode of production (letter to Weydemeyer, 1852), pp. 218-220

 Engels, The tactics of social democracy (Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx, The Class Struggles in France), pp. 556–573

 Marx, selections from The Class Struggles in France 1848–50 (1850), pp. 586–593

 Marx, selections from The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), pp. 594–617


Week 7. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 9, 2017

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)

 Marx, Inaugural address to the First International (1864), pp. 512–519

 Marx, selections from The Civil War in France (1871, including Engels's 1891 Introduction), pp. 618–652

+ Korsch, Introduction to Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)

 Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, pp. 525–541

 Marx, Programme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)


Week 8. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 16, 2017

+ Commodity form chart of terms

 Marx, selections from the Grundrisse (1857–61), pp. 222–226, 236–244, 247–250, 276–293 ME Reader pp. 276-281

 Marx, Capital Vol. I, Ch. 1 Sec. 4 "The fetishism of commodities" (1867), pp. 319–329


Week 9. Nov. 25, 2017 U.S. Thanksgiving break


Week 10. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Nov. 30, 2017

• Georg Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)

+ Commodity form chart of terms


Winter break readings

+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)

+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)

+ Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (1940), Part II. Ch. (1–4,) 5–10, 12–16; Part III. Ch. 1–6

+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)

+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)


Week 11. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 7, 2017 / Jan. 13, 2018

 Lukács, Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), “Class Consciousness” (1920), History and Class Consciousness (1923)

+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302


Week 12. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Dec. 14, 2017 / Jan. 20, 2018

 Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)

+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11

+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15

+ Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145


Winter–Spring 2018

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

AMONGST HIS MANUSCRIPTS Max Horkheimer left behind an essay, written in 1928 but unpublished during his lifetime, whose subject is Lenin's important work Materialism and Empiriocriticism, which had appeared in German translation the year before. The publication of Horkheimer’s response to Lenin was eventually undertaken by Horkheimer’s pupil and successor, Alfred Schmidt in 1985.

On April 7, 2017 the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion at its Ninth Annual International Convention in Chicago on the subject of “Marxism in the Age of Trump.” The event’s speakers were Chris Cutrone, President of the Platypus Affiliated Society and teacher of Critical Theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Catherine Liu, Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine and author of The American Idyll: Academic Anti-Elitism as Cultural Critique; and Greg Lucero, a founding member of the Revolutionary Students' Union and a member of the Chicago chapter of the Socialist Party USA.

WHEN FIRST ENCOUNTERING the Impeach Bush movement in 2007 I responded, almost flippantly, “Why not impeach the system that gave us Bush?” “Otherwise,” I said, “we risk having someone in the White House who’ll make us long for Bush.” If prescient, my response was admittedly formulaic and evidently deficient.

Not surprisingly, whiffs of a new impeachment movement are again in the air since the November 2016 surprise. Those blowing from the Left, however, are again devoid of systemic/structural thinking and, alas, to its peril. It is to those who are wary of being seduced by this crowd that this more substantive response is directed, rather than to the lesser-evil true believers for whom hope springs eternal.

Lenin and the 1917 Russian Revolution

Thursdays, 6:00pm, Kresge Library/Study Center Rm. 348

University of California
1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95064


• required / + recommended reading

Lenin readings available in Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Lenin Anthology (Norton, 1977), except (*) on marxists.org

Recommended background readings

+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)
+ John Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World (1919)

Week 1 | June 29, 2017


Week 2 | July 6, 2017

• LeninLecture on the 1905 Revolution (1917)
• LeninLetters from Afar (1917) *
• LeninApril Theses (1917)

Week 3 | July 13, 2017

• LeninThe Dual Power (1917)
• LeninThe Enemies of the People (1917)
• LeninThe Beginning of Bonapartism (1917)

Week 4 | July 20, 2017

• LeninMarxism and Insurrection (1917)
• LeninAdvice of an Onlooker (1917)

Week 5 | July 27, 2017

• LeninTo the Citizens of Russia! (1917)
• LeninThe Chief Task of Our Day (1918)

Week 6 | August 3, 2017

Podiumsdiskussion mit Stefan Engel (MLPD), Paul Michel (isl) und Felix (IL) zur Frage nach der Notwendigkeit linker Einheit.