What is the Left? – What is Marxism? Reading Group

Please join us for a weekly reading group exploring the history of Marxism and the Left. Come into the reading group at any time, critical questions appreciated, no prior knowledge assumed. All are welcome.

Included with this event is the syllabus and readings for each week. All texts can be found for free at: platypus1917.org/2019/05/27/platypus...er-and-fall-autumn-2019-winter-2020/

Week J. Radical bourgeois philosophy V. Kant and Constant: Bourgeois society | Sep. 29, 2019

• 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)

Week K. Radical bourgeois philosophy VI. Hegel: Freedom in history | Oct. 6, 2019

• 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. 13, 2019

• 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

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms

• 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. 20, 2019

• 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

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms

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

Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Oct. 27, 2019

• 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

+ Capitalist contradiction 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. 3, 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

• 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. 10, 2019

+ 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. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 17, 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

• 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 7. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Nov. 24, 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 U.S. Thanksgiving break

Week 9. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 8, 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. 15, 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

Sunday, October 20 at 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Student Activity Center Room 3.116

Event Type

Policy & Law

Import Type

Hornslink

Student Organizations

Hornslink

Target Audience

General Public, Students

Website

https://utexas.campuslabs.com/engage/...

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