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You are here: Platypus /NYU Reading Group (Fall 2017-Winter 2018): What is the Left? What is Marxism?

NYU Reading Group (Fall 2017-Winter 2018): What is the Left? What is Marxism?

NYU Reading Group (Fall 2017 – Winter 2018): What is the Left? What is Marxism?

Mondays 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time | Room 337, 19 University Place, New York, NY 10003

  • 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. 7, 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)

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

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

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week B. Radical bourgeois philosophy II. Hegel: Freedom in history | Aug. 14, 2017

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week C. Radical bourgeois philosophy III. Nietzsche (1): Life in history | Aug. 21, 2017

Nietzsche on history chart of terms

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week D. Radical bourgeois philosophy IV. Nietzsche (2): Asceticism of moderns | Aug. 28, 2017

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


Week E. 1960s New Left I. Neo-Marxism | 2017 U.S. Labor Day weekend (Cancelled)

Commodity form chart of terms

+ Postone, “Interview: Marx after Marxism” (2008)

+ 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. 11, 2017


Week G. 1960s New Left III. Anti-black racism in the U.S. | Sep. 18, 2017

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

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

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


Week H. Frankfurt School precursors | Sep. 25, 2017

+ Kracauer, “Photography” (1927)


Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in history | Oct. 2, 2017

Capital in history timeline and chart of terms

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

video of Communist University 2011 London presentation


Week 2. What is the Left? II. Bourgeois society | Oct. 9, 2017

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

+ 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. 16, 2017


Week 4. What is the Left? IV. Utopia and critique | Oct. 23, 2017


Week 5. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Oct. 30, 2017

Commodity form chart of terms


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


Week 7. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 13, 2017

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

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


Week 8. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 20, 2017

Commodity form chart of terms


Week 9. Nov. 27, 2017 U.S. Thanksgiving break


Week 10. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Dec. 4, 2017

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. 11, 2017

+ 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. 18, 2017

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

+ 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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