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Bass Library L30C

Sundays, 5:00 – 7:00PM

• required / + recommended reading

Week 11. Revolutionary leadership | Feb. 3, 2019

• Rosa Luxemburg, “The Crisis of German Social Democracy” Part 1 (1915)
• J. P. Nettl“The German Social Democratic Party 1890–1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
• Cliff Slaughter, “What is Revolutionary Leadership?” (1960)

Week 12. Reform or revolution? | Feb. 10, 2019

• LuxemburgReform or Revolution? (1900/08)
+ Eugene Debs, "Competition versus Cooperation" (1900)

Week 13. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 17, 2019

• Spartacist LeagueLenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)

Week 14. What is to be done? | Feb. 24, 2019

• V. I. LeninWhat is to be Done? (1902)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)

Week 15. Mass strike and social democracy | Mar. 3, 2019

• LuxemburgThe Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions (1906)
+ Luxemburg, "Blanquism and Social Democracy" (1906)

Week 16. Permanent revolution | Mar. 10, 2019

• Leon TrotskyResults and Prospects (1906)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)

Week 18. State and revolution | Mar. 24, 2019

• LeninThe State and Revolution (1917)

Week 19. Imperialism | Mar. 31, 2019

• LeninImperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)
+ Lenin, Socialism and War Ch. 1 The principles of socialism and the War of 1914–15 (1915)

Week 20. Failure of the revolution | Apr. 7, 2019

• Luxemburg“What does the Spartacus League Want?” (1918)
• Luxemburg“On the Spartacus Programme” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, "German Bolshevism" (AKA "The Socialisation of Society") (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “The Russian Tragedy” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
+ Eugene Debs, “The Day of the People” (1919)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)

Week 21. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 14, 2019

• Lenin“Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920)
+ Lenin, "Notes of a Publicist" (1922)

Week 22. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 21, 2019

• Lukács“The Standpoint of the Proletariat” (Part III of “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” 1923). Available in three sections from marxists.org: section 1 section 2 section 3
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
Commodity form chart of terms
Reification chart of terms

Week 23. Lessons of October | Apr. 28, 2019

• TrotskyThe Lessons of October (1924) [PDF] • Trotsky"Stalinism and Bolshevism" (1937)

Week 25. Trotskyism | May 5, 2019

+ Trotsky, "To build communist parties and an international anew" (1933)
+ Trotsky, "If America should go communist" (1934)
• TrotskyThe Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (1938)
+ Trotsky, "Trade unions in the epoch of imperialist decay" (1940)
+ Trotsky, Letter to James Cannon (September 12, 1939)

Week 26. The authoritarian state | May 12, 2019

• Friedrich Pollock"State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations" (1941) (note 32 on USSR)
• Max Horkheimer, "The Authoritarian State" (1942)

Week 27. On the concept of history | May 19, 2019

• epigraphs by Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson) and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche) on the modern concept of history
+ Charles Baudelaire, from Fusées [Rockets] (1867)
+ Bertolt Brecht, "To posterity" (1939)
+ Walter Benjamin, "To the planetarium" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
+ Benjamin, "Fire alarm" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
[JPG] [PDF]
+ Benjamin, "Experience and poverty" (1933)
+ Benjamin, Theologico-political fragment (1921/39?)
• Benjamin"On the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF] • BenjaminParalipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

Week 28. Reflections on Marxism | May 26, 2019

• Theodor Adorno“Reflections on Class Theory” (1942)
• Adorno“Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, Dedication"Bequest""Warning: Not to be Misused" and "Finale"Minima Moralia (1944–47)
+ Horkheimer and Adorno, "Discussion about Theory and Praxis" (AKA "Towards a New Manifesto?")[Deutsch] (1956)

Week 29. Theory and practice | June 2, 2019

+ Adorno, “On Subject and Object” (1969)
Reification chart of terms
• Adorno“Marginalia to Theory and Praxis” (1969)
• Adorno“Resignation” (1969)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, “Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?” (AKA “Is Marx Obsolete?”) (1968)
+ Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)
+ Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)
+ Adorno, Interview with Der Spiegel magazine (1969)

Fall/Autumn 2018 – Winter 2019

What is the Left? – What is Marxism?

Wednesdays,

6:30 – 9:00pm, L34D,

Bass Library

Yale University

  • required/ + recommended readingNeww

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 | September 5, 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)

+ 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. Adam Smith: On the wealth of nations (part 1) | September 12, 2018

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

Week C. Radical bourgeois philosophy III. Adam Smith: On the wealth of nations (part 2) | September 19, 2018

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

Week D. Radical bourgeois philosophy IV. What is the Third Estate? | September 26, 2018

+ Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees (1732)

Week E. Radical bourgeois philosophy V. Kant and Constant: Bourgeois society | October 3, 2018

+ 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 F. Radical bourgeois philosophy VI. Hegel: Freedom in history | October 10, 2018

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

October Recess, October 16 – 22, 2018, reading group will not meet

Week G. What is the Left? I. Capital in history | Oct. 24, 2018

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

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

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

+ Capital in history timeline and chart of terms

+ video of Communist University 2011 London presentation

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

Week H. What is the Left? II. Utopia and critique | October 31, 2018

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

Week I. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | November 7, 2018

+ Commodity form chart of terms

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

Week J. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | November 14, 2018