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In the mid-nineteenth century, a young Karl Marx wrote, in the form of a published open letter to Arnold Ruge: “But if the designing of the future and the proclamation of ready-made solutions for all time is not our affair, then we realize all the more clearly what we have to accomplish in the present—I am speaking of a ruthless criticism of everything existing, ruthless in two senses: The criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions, nor of conflict with the powers that be.” In this course, we will explore how Marx developed this “ruthless criticism” over the course of his life as a scholar, journalist, and activist.
Over four extended sessions, students will be introduced to key texts in Marx’s philosophical, economic, historical, and political works. We will pay special attention to the various moments in these texts that later became influential in both Marxian and other theoretical and social movements, from feminists to anti-colonialists, romantics to futurists, critical theorists to accelerationists.
Readings will include selections from The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, Capital (Vol.1), Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, The Communist Manifesto, Theses on Feuerbach, The German Ideology, Critique of the Gotha Program and the 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon.
We will also read short excerpts of relevant secondary literature that will illuminate the extraordinary variety of interpretations and understandings of Marx.
No previous knowledge of Marx, philosophy, or political economy is required.
There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.
Instructors will contact students approximately one week prior to the first class with reading assignments and details about the course location.
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This class isn't on the schedule at the moment, but save it to your Wish List to find out when it comes back!
The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...
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Forgiveness and the Unforgivable: Religion, Literature, Philosophy What constitutes an apology? Are certain kinds of acts unforgivable—and, if so, why? Who, indeed, has the power to forgive? In this course, we’ll set these questions in historical context, beginning with Bishop Joseph Butler’s eighteenth-century sermons, then exploring discussions...
Sunday Mar 8th, 2pm - 5pm(4 sessions)
A unique learning experience with the goal of creating and supporting a community ready to embrace end of life with intelligence, warmth, and humor. The Long Before The End Book Group is a moderated discussion gathering where members explore death as the protagonist, minor actor, or overarching plotline in contemporary fictional narratives. We do...
Tuesday Mar 31st, 6:30pm - 8pm
Jacques Lacan always insisted that he was a thoroughgoing Freudian—perhaps the most orthodox Freudian of them all. A larger-than-life provocateur, Lacan’s oracular lectures and clinical innovations (including the notorious “short session”) ultimately led to his excommunication from the International Psychoanalytic Association. Yet, despite...
Sunday Apr 5th, 2pm - 5pm(4 sessions)
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