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An Introduction to Marxism: Marxism and Economics
A Marxist understanding of value, price and profit explains the dynamics of capital and class, the irreconcilability of class interests and the role of the State in legitimising capitalism. It also explains the nature of commodity production and why workers appear to ‘consent’ to their exploitation. It examines the changing nature of exploitation of people as workers and consumers.
Reading: Burns Chapter III: ‘Capitalist Society’ and IV ‘The Imperialist Stage of Capitalism’
Talking points (examples): What is ‘surplus value’? Does capitalism depend on credit? Is there such a thing as ‘fair pay’? Why do people like shopping? What is ‘class struggle’? Why ‘austerity’?
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.