Monday, August 22, 2011

Thurs 8/25 "Meaning of Marxism" Discussion

Join the International Socialist Organization to discuss...

THE MEANING OF MARXISM by Paul D'Amato

Chapter 11: Capitalism & The Enviornment
Chapter 12: But What about....? Arguments Against Socialism
Chapter 13: Can it Happen Here?
Chapter 14: Imagine...The Future Socialist Society
Conclusion: The Point Is to Change It

(This is only about 40 pages of reading)

Thursday August 25th 4:30-6:30 pm
Same Old Place Pizza Shoppe
662 Centre St
Jamaica Plain MA



People around the world are standing up and fighting back against the attacks on poor and working class people. From revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia to occupations of the Wisconsin State House to millions on General Strike in Greece. There has never been a more urgent time to discuss the the ideas of Marxism and what we can do to put them into practice.

This book is a perfect introduction into Marxism and Socialist politics, with insightful contemporary applications of Marxist ideas. Come join us for the first of several regular group discussions. Some study guide questions are also attached below, but please come with more questions and thoughts!

From the book jacket:

It is fashionable for pundits to declare every so often that Marxism is dead. As the late socialist author Daniel Singer aptly put it, their aim “is to doom as impossible a radical, fundamental transformation of existing society.” But you can’t keep a good theory down. The poverty, class inequality, war and environmental degradation that today’s globalized capitalist system creates on an ever-expanding scale raises questions for which Marxism still offers fresh and relevant answers. This book is a lively and accessible introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx, as well as other key Marxists, with historical and contemporary examples. The Meaning of Marxism shows that a “radical, fundamental transformation of existing society” is indeed not only possible, but urgently necessary.

“Marx’s ideas remain crucial for comprehending the modern world, and no one does a better job of explaining them and showing how to apply them to contemporary issues than Paul D’Amato. This book is a treasury of powerful arguments illustrating the continuing relevance of class politics. A superb introduction to the Marxist method.” --Phil Gasper, editor of The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History’s Most Important Political Document

To pick up a copy of the book and R.S.V.P, contact keeganxobrien@yahoo.com

Discussion/Study Questions:

Chapter 11: Capitalism and the Environment

  1. Marxists see abundance as the basis of a socialist society. How can we have abundance without ruining the environment?
  2. Are there “too many people” on the planet?
  3. What do socialists say about lifestyle choices?
Chapter 12: But What About...? (Arguments Against Socialism)
  1. Is capitalism more efficient than socialism?
  2. Aren’t people naturally competitive?
  3. Do the ends justify the means?
  4. Isn’t the working class shrinking, and aren’t we all middle class now?
  5. Isn’t socialism about conformity?
  6. Can ordinary people run society?
Chapter 13: Can it Happen Here?
  1. Is there something “special” about the United States history that makes socialism impossible here?
Chapter 14: Imagine...The Future Socialist Society
  1. What measures would have to be taken by a workers’ government to effect a transition toward a socialist society?
  2. What did Marx mean by a planned economy?
Conclusion: The Point is to Change it
  1. What did Engels mean when he wrote that the bourgeoisie is “unfit to rule.”
  2. What do we mean when we say the alternative is socialism or barbarism?