On the dawn of March 18, Paris arose to the thunder-burst of “Vive la Commune!” What is the Commune, that sphinx so tantalizing to the bourgeois mind?
“The proletarians of Paris,” said the Central Committee in its manifesto of March 18, “amidst the failures and treasons of the ruling classes, have understood that the hour has struck for them to save the situation by taking into their own hands the direction of public affairs…. They have understood that it is their imperious duty, and their absolute right, to render themselves masters of their own destinies, by seizing upon the governmental power.”
But the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.
Lucien Sève devoted his life to the development of a Marxist theory of the personality. In so doing, and as part of a theoretical debate with both Marxist humanists and structural Marxists within the Parti Communiste Français, he was inevitably drawn to analyse alienation as a category of Marxist analysis. His conclusion was that although Althusser had been right to argue for the ‘epistemological break’ in Marx’s thought, it was wrong to suggest that Marx abandoned the concept of alienation in his later work. Far from it: a transformed conception of alienation derived from historical materialism remains the key to understanding Marxism.
In the preface to the first edition of volume one of Capital, dated July 25, 1867, Marx introduces the book’s “ultimate aim”: “to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society” . Looking back 155 years later, it’s clear the book not only accomplished that aim but continues to do so today.
In a few short pages, Marx introduces the method he used to study and present his research into the dynamics of capitalism, explains the reasons why he focused on England, distinguishes between modes of production and social formations (and by doing so refutes any accusations of his theory of history as progressing linearly through successive stages), identifies the capacities he’s assuming of the reader, affirms he’s interested in critiquing the structures of capital and not the individuals within it, and explains that the main function of the book is to help our class intervene in the constantly changing capitalist system.
EDITED BY LORENZO FUSARO AND LEINAD JOHAN ALCALÁ SANDOVAL – CONTRIBUTIONS BY ROSSANA CILLO; LUIS FELIPE DOCOA; ROBERTO FINESCHI; ABELARDO MARIÑA FLORES; LORENZO FUSARO; CARLOS ALBERTO DUQUE GARCÍA; SERGIO CÁMARA IZQUIERDO; MATARI PIERRE MANIGAT; LUCIA PRADELLA; WILLIAM I. ROBINSON; SIBYL ITALIA PINEDA SALAZAR AND LEINAD JOHAN ALCALÁ SANDOVAL
This edited collection engages with Marx’s General Law of Capitalist Accumulation, examining the relevance and actuality of Marx’s propositions for the analysis of contemporary capitalism in Latin America and beyond. The contributors offer an original and updated interpretation of Marx while also examining important topics in political economy. The contributors bring critical insights into scholarly debates on imperialism, exploitation, labor, and development.
Drawing on current perspectives in philosophy of history and a rigorous reading of Karl Marx’s oeuvre, George Garcia-Quesada’s recent book, Karl Marx, Historian of Social Times and Spaces, demolishes the all-too-common portrayal of Marx as an evolutionary determinist. By unpacking Marx’s concepts of social space and social time, he highlights the ways it can explain dynamics of complex multilinear development of human societies and of capitalism in particular. Cordelia Belton and Edwad, hosts of the podcast REEL ABSTRACTION, lead an inquiry into the book and consult with Massimiliano Tomba, whose own book, Marx’s Temporalities shows that an adequate historiographical paradigm for capitalism must consider the plurality of temporal layers that come into conflict in modernity.
George Garcia Quesada, Massimiliano Tomba, Edwad, Cordelia Belton
363 views Feb 9, 2022 The Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) is pleased to host a series of public lectures on Volume 1 of Marx’s Capital, given by the political economist and activist Andy Higginbottom. This is the first lecture of the Marx’s Capital Lecture series, held on 7th February 2022.
A few days in my “old man’s” factory have sufficed to bring me face to face with this beastliness, which I had rather overlooked. …, it is impossible to carry on communist propaganda on a large scale and at the same time engage in huckstering and industry.
Frederick Engels, “Letter to Marx. January 20 1845”
Hikmet Kıvılcımlı’s Contribution to the Marxist Theory of History Muzaffer Kaya, Ph.D. University of Potsdam, Germany.
Arendt, Marx and the Modern Challenge to Tradition Dr Michael Lazarus, Monash University, Australia
Marx’s Forgotten Transformation Solution Bill Jefferies SOAS, UK
This event is co-sponsored by Historical Materialism and Haymarket Books. While all events for HM Online are free to register, the organizers ask comrades who are able to please consider making a donation, which would help enormously in covering the costs of putting together this programme of events. Like all left organisations, HM had a very tough period from the beginning of 2020 and our budgets are very stretched and bank balance is sinking all the time, with very little revenue coming in. If you can make a contribution to help keep us afloat, please don’t hesitate! ——————————————————————————————
Karl Marx, Capital, Volume One: A Glossary of Concepts (Independently published, 2021)
This book aims to assist anyone wishing to read and understand volume one of Karl Marx’s Capital. It contains over 100 entries, each of which provides a concise definition of a particular concept and employs a system of cross-referencing to indicate related entries. A variety of books have been written about Capital, and this in itself is testimony to an enduring interest in the critique of capitalist society, but the approach adopted here is unique. The alphabetical format and explanation of concepts is designed to be accessible to the broadest possible audience, including the politically active, the academic community and those with general interest in the subject matter. Furthermore, it can be used with either the Lawrence and Wishart or Penguin Classics editions, as references are given for both.