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An Introduction to Marxism: Marxism and Philosophy
Dialectical materialism provides an analytical alternative to academic ‘idealist’ philosophy as well as to commonplace views of human nature and our relationship to the natural world. What’s its relevance today to understanding ourselves as human animals, and to the future of the planet on which we live?
Reading: Burns Chapter I: ‘A Scientific View of the World’ and VII ‘The Marxist View of Nature’.
Talking points (examples): Are Humans natural? Is the answer ‘in our genes’? What is materialism? What is dialectics? Is the environment a ‘second contradiction’ of capitalism?
With a focus on the fundamentals of Marxism and its relevance to understanding and action, this course of four classes will cover an introduction to Marxist theory, applying it to a discussion of relevant issues today, such as: the changing nature of work and exploitation, austerity and the gig economy, racism, women’s oppression, class society, revolution and climate change.
Mary Davis and Richard Clarke
Fee £20/12 unwaged for all classes.
We recommend you sign up to all four sessions.
Course reader: We’ll be using a classic text, Emile Burns’ ‘What Is Marxism?’ It’s on the web and you should try to read the relevant sections (below) before each class.
Other resources: including copies of the Morning Star’s fortnightly ‘Full Marx’ series can be found on the Marx Memorial Library’s website and the Marxists Internet Archive provides a gateway to a rich variety of original texts.