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An Introduction to Marxism: Class Two: Marxism and Philosophy
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 Two: 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: Are Humans natural? Is the answer ‘in our genes’? What is materialism? What is dialectics? Is the environment a ‘second contradiction’ of capitalism? Why is Marxism a better kind of philosophy? What is ‘scientific socialism’?