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You are here: Platypus /Platypus Goldsmiths primary Marxist reading group Autumn 2019 – Winter 2020

Platypus Goldsmiths primary Marxist reading group Autumn 2019 – Winter 2020

What is the Left? – What is Marxism?

Every Tuesday | 7pm | Above the Refectory, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths University

Week 1 (part 1) What is the Left? Capital in History | Oct. 1, 2019

• Max Horkheimer“The little man and the philosophy of freedom” (pp. 50–52 from selections from Dämmerung,1926–31)
• Louis Menandon Marx and Engels as philosophes of a Second Enlightenment
• Karl Marxon “becoming” (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week 1 (part 2) What is the Left? Capital in History | Oct. 8, 2019

• Chris Cutrone“Capital in history” (2008)
Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
video of Communist University 2011 London presentation
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
• Cutrone“Class consciousness (from a Marxist perspective) today” (2012)


Week 2 (part 1) What is the Left? Utopia and Critique | Oct. 15, 2019

• Leszek Kolakowski“The concept of the Left” (1968)
• MarxFor the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843)


Week 2 (part 2) What is the Left? The Marxist Hypothesis | Oct. 22, 2019

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
• Cutrone“The Marxist hypothesis” (2010)

Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Oct. 29, 2019

• Marxselections 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

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

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

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


Week 4. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Nov. 5, 2019

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

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

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

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


Week 5. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 12, 2019

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

• MarxInaugural address to the First International (1864), pp. 512–519

• Marxselections 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)

• MarxCritique of the Gotha Programme, pp. 525–541

• MarxProgramme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)


Week 6. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 19, 2019

The fetish character of the commodity is not a fact of consciousness; rather it is dialectical, in the eminent sense that it produces consciousness. . . . [P]erfection of the commodity character in a Hegelian self-consciousness inaugurates the explosion of its phantasmagoria.
— Theodor W. Adorno, letter to Walter Benjamin, August 2, 1935

Commodity form chart of terms

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Organic composition of capital chart of terms 

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

• MarxCapital 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 7. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Nov. 26, 2019

• 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
Reification chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms

Organic composition of capital chart of terms

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


Week 8. Nov. 30, 2019 break


Week 9. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 10, 2019

• Lukács“Class Consciousness” (1920), Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), History and Class Consciousness (1923)
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 
Reification chart of terms
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 | Dec. 17, 2019

• Korsch“Marxism and philosophy” (1923)

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

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


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)

 

Winter–Spring 2020

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

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