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View other events for the week of 9/18/2016
Can a philosophy of freedom be organizational?
Date Sunday September 18
Time 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location Details
Niebyl-Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph Ave. (at Alcatraz)
Oakland
Event Type Class/Workshop
Organizer/AuthorBay Area News & Letters
Emailbanandl [at] yahoo.com
Though Karl Marx was central to many organizations, he never made a fetish of them. He didn't try to hold on to even the very prominent International Working Men's Association (IWA), which he called a "first attempt...no longer realizable...after the fall of the Paris Commune." Contrary to those who think Marx had no concept of a specifically Marxist organization, Marx referred to his organization as "the party in the eminent historical sense" in distinction from "ephemeral" forms of organization like even the IWA.

Marx's mention of the IWA as a "first attempt" was part of a ruthless critique of a then new 1875 organization formed at Gotha--an attempt by socialists to unify. Their organizational concept set the ground for post-Marx-Marxist vanguard parties. Marx wanted nothing to do with their national centered program. Many of its ideas, Marx wrote, were borrowed from the statist socialism of Ferdinand Lassalle, whom Marx had called the first "workers' dictator."

Marx's view of Lassalle speaks to today's appeal to fascist strongmen and hate-filled nationalism as a face of opposition to globalized capitalism. At the same time, global anti-capitalist movements on the ground are searching for a way out of our total economic and ecological crises for which the fascists have no answer. Can Marx's concept of organization as a recreation of Hegel's dialectic of freedom help us re-think the concept of organization today, not alone as a non-vanguard, non-statist negation of past "Marxist" organizations?
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Sep 6th, 2016 5:05 PM
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