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What is the Left? What is Marxism? (2014)

What is the Left? What is Marxism?
Platypus primary Marxist reading group

Room 318 Student Union Building, Dalhousie University
Tuesdays 6–8PM
contact: dalhousie@platypus1917.org

required / + recommended reading

Week A. Sep. 9, 2014 | 1960s New Left: Neo-Marxism

Ÿ Martin Nicolaus, “The unknown Marx” (1968)
Ÿ Moishe Postone, “Necessity, labor, and time” (1978)

Week B. Sep. 16, 2014 | 1960s New Left: Gender and Sexuality

Ÿ Juliet Mitchell, “Women: The longest revolution” (1966)
Ÿ Clara Zetkin and Lenin, “The woman question” (1920)
Ÿ Theodor W. Adorno, “Sexual taboos and law today” (1963)
Ÿ John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and gay identity” (1983)

Week C. Sep. 23, 2014 | Frankfurt School Precursors

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

Week 1. Sep. 30, 2014 | What is the Left?  Capital in History

Ÿ Chris Cutrone, “Capital in history” (2008)
Ÿ Cutrone, “The Marxist hypothesis” (2010)

Week 2. Oct. 7, 2014 | What is the Left?  Bourgeois Society

Ÿ Immanuel Kant, “Idea for universal history from cosmo-politan point of view” and “What is Enlightenment?” (1784)
Ÿ Benjamin Constant, “The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns” (1819)

Week 3. Oct. 14, 2014 | Thanksgiving break

Week 4. Oct. 21, 2014 | What is the Left?  Failure of Marxism

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

Week 5. Oct. 28, 2014 | What is the Left?  Utopia and Critique

Ÿ Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)
Ÿ Karl Marx, To make the world philosophical (1839–41)
Ÿ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (1843)

Week 6. Nov. 4, 2014 | What is Marxism?  Socialism

Ÿ Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844)
Ÿ Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848)

Week 7. Nov. 11, 2014 | What is Marxism?  Revolution in 1848 (off campus session)

ŸEngels, 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 8. Nov. 18, 2014 | What is Marxism?  Bonapartism

+ 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 9. Nov. 25, 2015 | What is Marxism?  Political Economy

+ Commodity form chart of terms
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

Week 10. Dec. 2, 2015 | What is Marxism?  Reification

• 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

Week 11. Jan. 6, 2015 | What is Marxism?  Class Consciousness

Ÿ • 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. Jan. 13, 2015 | What is Marxism?  Ends of Philosophy

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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