You just need to Login or Register to make a class proposal. (Sorry about that, but it cuts down on spam and also helps with organizing)


+ Add me
+ Add me!
We will be sections 4-6 in the 3rd meeting of our group, watching David Harvey's video lecture on the subject, and then hopefully pick up on our discussion about how value is created from nothing (without a commodity), as well as other questions that arise. Anyone is welcome, including those who didn't come to a prior meeting. -- A self-guided group study of Marx (Capital). One idea would be: read Peter Singer's very short and accessible books on Hegel and Marx. Then watch videos of David Harvey's 13 lectures on "Capital." ( I think that I am interested in seeing how our current financial situation converges and diverges with classical economics as well as Marx's critiques. As a side note, I hope we could also talk about contemporary cultural production, creative labor, etc. We'll start with one meeting and hopefully schedule many more until we get through all of Capital.
Interested (26)
+ Add me
+ Add me!


if the class started over i would be interested in joining too

I'd love to rejoin if we are starting over!

Okay by me -- when is the other class meeting?

Ben and Nik, did we say that this Saturday was the next meeting? I'm not ready for it! I need to ask for it to be postponed... I also have other news - there is another incarnation of this exact same class starting up a few blocks away, by the cornfield. Since they are behind us, I wonder if we drop in and see how it is and maybe join forces? It would also give a chance for the people who dropped off to get back in the game.

robtsum's picture

Anyone interested in this class may want to check out "Class-sicles " on The Public School site -- which is on Felix Guattari's _Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews, 1972-1977_

If you are interested and have this text, then please check out the sections in the book to see if you would want to lead a class. Ideally there will be one class for each section: that is 5 classes, ideally.

For more on the book see

As ever, Robert

This is just a quick reminder about class tomorrow at 2pm.
We're watching the 3rd David Harvey lecture about chapter 4-6.
I also came across this lecture (well only 20 minutes of it are available online)

Feb 7 works for me--thanks.

robtsum's picture

yes, that works (for me -- actually any weekend). i missed the last class. can you send a reminder out?

does the following saturday (feb 7) work? who would probably be coming then?

hey Sean,
Any chance we can move the date of the next class? I'm going to have to be out of town that weekend.

robtsum's picture

How can we watch the David Harvey video out of class? I may not be able to come, but will still pay to watch the vidz.
I am becoming over committed ...

After the first class, we decided to have a second meeting on Saturday, January 10 from 2-5pm. We'll be reading the third section of Capital ("Money") and watching the corresponding David Harvey video. Anyone is welcome (you don't have to have come to the first meeting), but we will still be limited to 15 to keep discussion tight

This class will be meeting on Saturday (Dec 20) from 2-5pm.
As I wrote earlier, we'll be reading the first 2 chapters:

robtsum's picture

when does this class take place? the date?
sorry if i should know this.

Let's read "The Commodity" and "The Process of Exchange", which is just over 60 pages, and keeps pace with David Harvey's lectures. I'm reading from the Vintage edition and apparently page numbers harvey refers to work for Vintage and Penguin editions. I don't know what other people have?

Is there anything we should read before the first class?

robtsum's picture

For the one meeting class, which I assume is a first meeting, from which edition/publisher/ect. will we be reading from?
I would rather have the text than the PDF.

yeah, I hear you. I doubt any of us have time to read all of Capital. But I'd like to read at least some of it unfiltered. Weekends are best for me too.

i echo the desire to engage with the primary texts, but also think video lectures + selected excerpts of Capital might be more manageable as a first foray than attempting to read the entire text.

Maybe we should narrow the focus just to Capital, and read selections from it as well as viewing the Harvey lectures. In any case, I think it's important that we engage with the primary texts, not solely via Singer and Harvey.

robtsum's picture

my two cents: i think the readings can be optional and we watch the videos, and then discuss. i think weekends are best. maybe a tow day event that then spreads out from there? -robert

This is an intimidating class to try and schedule because 13 videos + 2 books requires a certain commitment that I don't know if we could pull off. We talked about just starting by offering one class, and seeing where it goes from there. How does that sound? Should we bother with the 2 Peter Singer books? (I find them very clear, engaging, and easy to read)

We could skip those texts and just watch Peter Singer on a couch talking about Marx and Hegel for 40 minutes:

So what day of the week should I shoot for, for a first meeting where we watch the David Harvey intro lecture?
It is 111 minutes long. Otherwise, we could read the 2 books and then watch the 45 minute long Peter Singer television episode.

From Capital Vol. III:

"In a system of production, where the entire continuity of the reproduction process rests upon credit, a crisis must obviously occur - a tremendous rush for means of payment - when credit suddenly ceases and only cash payments have validity. At first glance, therefore, the whole crisis seems to be merely a credit and money crisis. And in fact it is only a question of the convertibility of bills of exchange into money. But the majority of these bills represent actual sales and purchases, whose extension far beyond the needs of society is, after all, the basis of the whole crisis. At the same time, an enormous quantity of these bills of exchange represents plain swindle, which now reaches the light of day and collapses; furthermore, unsuccessful speculation with the capital of other people; finally, commodity-capital which has depreciated or is completely unsaleable, or returns that can never more be realized again. The entire artificial system of forced expansion of the reproduction process cannot, of course, be remedied by having some bank, like the Bank of England, give to all the swindlers the deficient capital by means of its paper and having it buy up all the depreciated commodities at their old nominal values. Incidentally, everything here appears distorted, since in this paper world, the real price and its real basis appear nowhere, but only bullion, metal coin, notes, bills of exchange, securities. Particularly in centres where the entire money business of the country is concentrated, like London, does this distortion become apparent; the entire process becomes incomprehensible; it is less so in centres of production."

I think relating Marx to contemporary events and cultural-economic affairs would be productive; see e.g., Terranova on "Free Labour" (, which begins

> Working in the digital media industry is not as much fun as it is made out to be. The
> 'NetSlaves' of the eponymous Webzine are becoming increasingly vociferous about the shamelessly
> exploitative nature of the job, its punishing work rhythms, and its ruthless casualization...

I've also been wondering if Hilferding's Finanzkapital (1910; might shed any light on the current ongoing paroxysms of the global financial system.

mario, i think if we want to get into cultural production and creative labor we must! it also sheds some interesting light on capital.

that was sarah, by the way.

this sounds great. i've been wanting to approach capital for some time, but have only read marx's eighteenth brumaire. capital always seemed too dense and scary, so tackling it as a group seems ideal. also (as i always tend to point out), spivak has worked intensively with capital and has some really interesting essays on it...

I'm down for this one. Chandler, how about some selections from the 'Manuscrpts of 1844 ?'

this sounds great. sean would you teach it? do we need a teacher? or can it work more as reading group? I know marx pretty well and can help out finding readings.

robtsum's picture

can we have a follow up class on derrida's "specters of marx"?


Close this window