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New School Fall 2012: Marxist Primary Reading Group

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Fall 2012 – Winter 2013 [revised schedule!]

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

Sundays, 2–5PM EST

Eugene Lang College Building
The New School for Social Research
65 West 11th Street, Room 258
New York, NY 10011

• required / + recommended reading

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

Week A. Aug. 4–5, 2012

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)

• 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. Aug. 11–12, 2012

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

Week C. Aug. 18–19, 2012

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

Week D. Aug. 25–26, 2012

+ 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. Sep. 1–2, 2012 Labor Day weekend

• Martin Nicolaus, “The unknown Marx” (1968)
• 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. Sep. 8–9, 2012

• 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. Sep. 15–16, 2012

• 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 H. Sep. 22–23, 2012

• Wilhelm Reich, “Ideology as material power” (1933/46)
• Siegfried Kracauer, “The mass ornament” (1927)
+ Kracauer, “Photography” (1927)

Week 1. Sep. 29–30, 2012

• 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)
• Cutrone, “The Marxist hypothesis” (2010)

Week 2. Oct. 6–7, 2012

• 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. Oct. 13–14, 2012

• Max Horkheimer, selections from Dämmerung (1926–31)
• Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)

Week 4. Oct. 20–21, 2012

• 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 | Nov. 11, 2012

• Marx, selections from Economic and philosophic manuscripts (1844), pp. 70–101
• 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. 18, 2012

• 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. 25, 2012 (Thanksgiving weekend)

+ 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 | Dec. 2, 2012

• Marx, selections from the Grundrisse (1857–61), pp. 222–226, 236–244, 247–250, 282–294
• Marx, Capital Vol. I, Ch. 1 Sec. 4 “The fetishism of commodities” (1867), pp. 319–329

Weeks 10-11. What is Marxism? V. and VI. Reification and Class Consciousness | Dec. 9, 2012

• Georg Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)
• 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. 16, 2012

• 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

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