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An Introduction to Marxism: Class One: Marxism and History
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
Course reading: There is no single set text, but you should you should try to look at relevant features published as part of the Morning Star’s fortnightly ‘Full Marx’ series which can also be found on the Marx Memorial Library’s website. Some of these were collectively edited prior to publication by participants on last year’s course.
For further reading: you should start with Marx 200 - The Significance of Marxism in the 21st Century - a report of a major international conference organised by the Marx Memorial Library to mark the bicentenary of Marx’s birth. And the on-line Marxist Internet Archive provides a gateway to a rich variety of original and contemporary texts.
Class One: Marxism and history
Historical materialism is probably the most fundamental ‘discovery’ of Marx, providing a tool for analysing the whole of human development and especially the ‘laws of motion’ governing all forms of class society and capitalism today. Why is it so important and how does it help us challenge conventional accounts – of class, technology, racism, gender roles and religious belief today?