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You are here: Platypus /Platypus primary Marxist reading group Fall 2018

Platypus primary Marxist reading group Fall 2018

Thursdays

4:30pm to 7:00pm

Fenwick Library (GMU-Fairfax campus, room subject to change)

Find us on social media! facebook.com/groups/platypus.metrodc/

Contact us with platypus.metrodc@gmail.com

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What was the Left? – What was Marxism?

Weekly reading group

• required / + recommended reading

Radical bourgeois philosophy I. Rousseau: Crossroads of Society | Sep. 6, 2018

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)

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

• 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)


Radical bourgeois philosophy II. Adam Smith: On the Wealth of Nations | Sep. 27, 2018

 Adam Smith, selections from The Wealth of Nations

Volume I [PDF]
Introduction and Plan of the Work
Book I: Of the Causes of Improvement…
I.1. Of the Division of Labor
I.2. Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour
I.3. That the Division of Labour is Limited by the Extent of the Market
I.4. Of the Origin and Use of Money
I.6. Of the Component Parts of the Price of Commodities
I.7. Of the Natural and Market Price of Commodities
I.8. Of the Wages of Labour
I.9. Of the Profits of Stock
Book III: Of the different Progress of Opulence in different Nations
III.1.
 Of the Natural Progress of Opulence
III.2. Of the Discouragement of Agriculture in the Ancient State of Europe after the Fall of the Roman Empire
III.3. Of the Rise and Progress of Cities and Towns, after the Fall of the Roman Empire
III.4. How the Commerce of the Towns Contributed to the Improvement of the Country

Volume II [PDF]
IV.7. Of Colonies
Book V: Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth
V.1. Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth


Radical bourgeois philosophy V. Kant and Constant: Bourgeois society | Oct. 4, 2018

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

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

• 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)


Radical bourgeois philosophy VI. Hegel: Freedom in History | Oct. 11, 2018

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

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in History | Oct. 18, 2018

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)

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

• 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)

 Cutrone, “Class consciousness (from a Marxist persective) today”

+ G.M. Tamas, "Telling the truth about class" [HTML] (2007)


Week 2. What is the Left? II. Utopia and Critique | Oct. 25, 2018

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

 Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)

• 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

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Nov. 1, 2018

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

+ Commodity form chart of terms

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique 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 4. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Nov. 8, 2018

 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 5. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 15, 2018

+ 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 6. Nov. 22, 2018 --- No session. Enjoy Thanksgiving!


Week 7. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of Political Economy | Nov. 29, 2018

+ 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

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


 

 

Week 8. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Dec. 6, 2018

• 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

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 9. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 13, 2018 or Jan. 24, 2019

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

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

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


Week 10. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of Philosophy | Jan. TBD 2019

 Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique 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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