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Lahore University of Management Sciences

POL 324 – Marxism & the Modern World
Fall 2010-11 Instructor: Taimur Rahman Office: R-110 (Old Accounts Wing) Office hours: TBA E-mail: Course Description The writings of Marx and Engels are arguably one of the best critiques of the modern capitalist world. This course provides an introductory understanding of the philosophy, politics, and economics of Marxian critique. In addition, it will touch upon the influence of Marxism on the world over the last century. Core/Elective Elective Pre-requisites Introduction to one of the three: Political Science, Economics, Sociology. Lectures, Tutorials, Attendance Policy There will be 28 sessions, of 100 minutes each. Every absence will result in a 1% reduction from the attendance grade. It is compulsory that the prescribed reading be done before the class. Research paper (not more than 15 pages, double spaced, times new roman font 12, 1.5 spacing). The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the outline. If such changes are made, all students will be emailed the new copy. The complete works of Marx, Engels and hundreds of reference writers are available at The website is highly recommended.

Grading 10% Attendance 40% Mid Term 50% Research Paper

http://video. http://video. Charles. The Industrial Revolution.htm a) The Genius of Charles Darwin: Hobsbawm. Socialism Engels. The Origin of the Species . E. The Age of Capital: London. Introduction to the course a) b) c) d) e) Marxism http://www.marxists. (1975) win Further Readings Evolution. Bourgeoisie. Fredrick. 1760-1830 (1925) Hobsbawm. Hobsbawm. The Age of Empire: OK9Jz5Cg&q=The+genius+of+charles+darwin y1Bw&q=industrial+revolution Marx for beginners http://www. The Genius of Charles Darwin: 163-173) (total pages: 33) Hobsbawm. (1987).com/watch?v=jQtJHCxR6WQ Karl Marx Documentary: http://www. 118-125. The Age of Capital Module 2: Ideological Influences 2. The Age of Extremes: Karl Marx Biography: http://www. “The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man” Outline 1. Eric The Industrial Revolution: http://video. Western Civilization From 1500 ( f) Further Readings: Kirchner. 125-135. http://video. Children of the Industrial Revolution http://www. (1987). Thomas.

Hegel and Feuerbach Engels.htm Videos: a) Peter Singer on Hegel and Marx: Fredrick “Theses On Feuerbach” Appendix to Engels' Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy. . queen-like.4. Engels. http://www. Karl. What exactly does he credit each of them with having achieved? 5. “The Science of Dialectics” Socialism: Utopian and Scientific Questions for discussion: a) What is dialectics? b) What is the difference between the dialectics of the ancients and the dialectics of Hegel? c) What is the problem with the dialectics of Hegel? d) What did Engels mean when he said that modern materialism “no longer requires the assistance of that sort of philosophy which. The Rise of the Bourgeoisie Engels. http://www.htm Questions for discussion: a) Why were the earliest socialists “Utopian”? b) What did the leaders of the French Revolution hope to achieve and what went wrong? c) In what way did Saint-Simon's conception of class differ from Engels’ idea of nobility. Fourier and Owen. “The Development of Utopian Socialism” Socialism: Utopian and Scientific http://www. Fredrick. bourgeoisie and proletariat? d) Were Robert Owen's efforts doomed to failure? If III. why? e) Engels heaps praise on Saint-Simon. Thesis on Feuerbach Marx. Fredrick. http://www. pretended to rule the remaining mob of sciences”? e) Why is Hegel's philosophy important to socialism? 6. “1892 English Edition Introduction [History (the role of Religion) in the English middle-class]” Socialism: Utopian and Scientific http://www.htm II.

“the connection of German philosophy with German reality”? e) Can you think of present-day examples of people who criticise their own “teacher”.youtube. http://www.htm a) A funny video (not theoretically correct): http://www.htm a) b) c) d) Can you explain the first half of the first paragraph in terms of the concepts of modern life? Can you give examples of the three programs to “liberate people from imaginary beings”? Can you explain what Marx means in the final paragraph in terms of socialist ideas? What explanation does Marx give for the character of German ideology.htm http://www.marxists. Principles of Communism . Module 3: The Philosophical Premises of Marxism 7. “Introduction” and “Dialectics” from Dialectics of Nature Module 4: Politics of Communism g) Eleven Theses on Feuerbach by Karl Marx: Materialism but do so within the conceptual and practical framework they learnt from their teacher? f) Can you give a plausible and convincing defence of the view of the “Old Hegelians”? g) What is the argument between the “Old Hegelians” and the “Young Hegelians” and why is M arx so contemptuous of the Young Hegelians? 8. http://www.marxists.htm http://www. “Preface” and “Feuerbach: Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlooks” from the German Ideology http://www.html Videos: f) Peter Singer on Hegel and Marx: IV. Dialectics Engels.

5): http://www. 3b): http://www.htm a) Communist Manifesto in Cartoons: http://www.Engels. Principles of Communism Communist Manifesto Marx. Karl. but do you think that this chapter is talking about commodification? c) What does the Manifesto tell us about the how the proletariat changes as capitalism develops and in making the revolution? d) What are Marx and Engels saying about “globalisation” in this chapter? e) What do Marx and Engels mean by the Communists not forming a separate party? f) What do Marx and Engels mean by abolition of private property and how do they answer the various refutations of this program? g) What does the Manifesto mean by “winning the battle of democracy”? h) How many points in the 10-point program have been achieved by the working class in your country? i) What sort of criticism were "feudal socialists" making of capitalism. and do you know anyone like that today? j) What sort of "socialism" is envisaged by "petty bourgeois socialists" and do you know of any parties like this today? k) What is wrong with "true socialism" and do you know anyone like that today? l) What important change was made in the Manifesto in 1872 and what event brought about this amendment? Module 5: The Economic Doctrines of Karl Marx 11. The Manifesto of the Communist Party or c) ( b) ( 3a): http://www.marxists. Fredrick.htm Reading of Karl Marx: Wage Labour and Capital (Audio): a) ( e) ( 10. Questions for discussion: a) Why and how do Marx and Engels praise capitalism in this chapter? b) The word “commodification” was not invented until f) (Ch. Engels. Wage Labour and Capital . 1) http://www. 2) http://www. Labour and Capital d) ( 4): http://www.

youtube. the public education a) Which of the following industries produce commodities: the prostitution. of people only having a few hours work a week? Marx says that the gap between rich and poor was getting wider in his (Ch. What would you say to someone who said that fighting for higher wages is just being greedy like the capitalists? l) m) n) o) p) q) r) 12. What is your answer to someone who says that an increase in wages will only cause inflation or cause capital to be withdrawn from the anti-union laws. What does Marx mean by saying “Capital is a social relation”? In what sense do we see the dead dominating the living in capitalist society? What does “standard of living” mean? Has it increased over the past 100 years in your country (or not)? Why? What is the effect on profits of a situation where people work long hours every day of the week (other things being equal)? And on the other hand. public transport. Is this true today? Has it always been true throughout the past hundred years in your country? Where does profit come from? If commodities are paid for at their value. 6b): http://www. and which are not? Discuss the prospects for wages in your country at the moment and what tactics could be used to improve wages. introduction of new technology. the military. cheap public housing. 9a): k) (Ch.g) h) i) j) ( (Ch. how can a buyer or seller consistently make a profit and get rich?? Discuss an example you know about of a new technique of production being introduced and the effects this had on prices. 1. Chapter 1 “Commodities” http://www. Capital Das Capital: Marx. only labour produces value? f) Water is free (at least in most places!) therefore it has no value. Is this true? and under what . 9b): http://www. the private schools. or http://video. 6a): http://www. 8): http://www. 7): (Ch. etc. Karl Capital Vol.marxists. “housewives”. What parts of the economy are becoming more capital l) ( Discuss the contrast between “labour intensive” and “capital intensive” Discussion Questions: a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) k) On what basis is Marx referring to social reforms being a “Utopia”? What are wages? What is the difference between “Labour” and “Labour Power”? What will cause a commodity in short supply to fall in price? What factors discussed in this chapter may cause wages to rise or fall? What do you think the effect of introducing free public education would have on wages? Discuss other factors: increased immigration. domestic servants? b) Why is a ton of gold worth more than a ton of sugar? And is gold dug from a thousand metres underground worth more than gold found on the ground? c) Does advertising add value to the products it advertises? d) What does Marx mean by “human labour in abstract” and “concrete labour”? e) In what sense can we say that Nature does not produce value.

Can you think of other instances of ideas and social relations taking on “a material expression”? a) 14.? Give examples of money which is not capital and commodities which are not capital? b) What does Marx mean by “ the contradiction in the general formula of capital”? c) Value circulates and metamorphoses .. 1. all social production entails “alienation”. Why does Marx say M — C — M is the circuit of capital? and what does C — M — C mean? a) 15. Karl Capital Vol. etc..circumstances does water become “valuable” and how does this square with what Marx is saying? g) Why is Marx bothering to take all this time going back to barter in tribal times? h) What does this chapter say about the prospect of getting away from capitalism by going back to barter and local exchange systems? i) Why did gold come to be used as money? j) It is a long time since paper money replaced gold in day-to-day commerce. 1. Chapter 6. Labour-Power and Primitive Accumulation Marx.. Chapter 2 & 3 “Exchange” and “Money. or the Circulation of Commodities” Discussion Questions: What does Marx mention as the reason for needing a “universal equivalent” and what does he mean about “the problem and the means of solution arise simultaneously”? b) If money is a commodity. Karl Capital Vol. Accumulation of Capital Marx. Exchange and Money Marx. etc. Karl Capital Vol... D oes Marx agree with Derrida and Hegel in this. 13. and if not why not? n) In what sense is this section crucial to understanding bourgeois ideology and individualism. 26 “The Buying and Selling of Labour Power” and “The Secret of Primitive Accumulation” . Why has this happened? Does it make nonsense of Marx’s idea of money as set out in this chapter? k) What do Marx’s remarks about Aristotle in this chapter tell us about capitalism and Equality? And what does this mean in the context of “globalisation”? l) What does Marx mean by the “fetishism of commodities”? m) According to Hegel and Derrida. Chapter 4 & 5 “The General Formula for Capital” and “Contradictions in the General Formula for Capital” Discussion Questions: Why is value only capital if it continuously metamorphoses M — C— M — C — etc. 1. what is its use-value and what is its exchange-value? c) What does Marx mean by "every commodity is a symbol"? d) What circumstances (discussed in this chapter) may cause a general rise in the price of commodities? e) What does Marx mean by an object which “may have a price without having value”? f) What is meant by “socially necessary labour time”? and who determines what is “socially necessary” and how? g) Marx talks about money as “a material expression” and an “incarnation”. M — C— M — C — etc.

and capitalism: http://vodpod. A&index=17 19. Part 1: http://www. capitalist equilibrium. at the close of this part? c) If colonisation was a way out of its crisis for capitalism in Marx's competition. consumption crisis 5400A96BF0&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=8 c) American Imperialism Today: The Demise of the Soviet Union . The Soviet Union a) A four part documentary on Lenin: I. Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism http://www. has this remained the case? d) Do you think the concentration of capital has continued uninterrupted up to the present day? What in general do you think has happened to the distribution of wealth? e) Does socialism need a phase of “primitive accumulation”? a) Videos on transformation b) American Imperialism timeline a. http://www. falling rate of a) A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn: http://www.I. b. Mid Term Module 6: The Impact of Marxism on the Modern World Questions: What does Marx mean by saying that “merchants’ and interest-bearing capital are derivative forms”? b) What do you make of Marx’s sarcastic comments about Jeremy 2A&index=14 II. 16. Theories of Imperialism Part 2: http://www. the founder of utilitarianism. 2A&index=15 A&index=16 IV.

com/watch?v=O_ABqLO01sM http://www. I. China a) China in Revolution I. VI. b) Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution I. IV. Russian Revolution of 1917 (ch 1. “Breakup of the Soviet Union and the End of the Cold War” from The First Socialist Society http://www. (1987).com/watch?v=L3SCQDhUQ8o Further reading: Further reading: Laura. http://www.3) II.2. .com/watch?v=jeK6spOIVro II. VIII.b) Death of a Nation .com/watch?v=1AbrrrT3r98 III. London: Pan Books. V. Latin America a) Cold War in Latin America I. Edgar. IV. “Preface” Red Star Over China Hinton. “Preface” Black Vietnam III. http://www. 22. Jeffery. White Cat http://www. William. Further reading: http://www. http://www. VI. http://www. Suez 1956 : Story of struggling against colonialism Patrice Lumumba: http://www. Africa a) The Assassination of Patrice Lumumba I. Cuba a) Che Part I.BBC Documentary I. http://www. 26. http://www. Ernesto (Che).com/watch/1501500-cubas-revolution Further reading: Guevara. Part 2: V.htm Michael Parenti: Afghanistan. Afghanistan Engels. III. b) Part 1: http://www.wordpress. b) http://vodpod. Part 3: III. Frederick Afghanistan : Gamal Abdul Nasser: http://www. Another Untold Story: . Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War 24. Major influences in the Arab world The Other Side Of Suez 1956 .com/watch?v=9h_8ig0KUPE Part 4: http://www. http://www.IV. c) Cuba's Revolution

The Journal of Asian Studies. Khalid.htm Interview with Zbigniew 4 ( .com/watch?v=edVAwg3S6O4 II.wordpress. The Future Results of British Rule in India: Marxists.S.htm Videos I. Pakistan b) Voice of Karl Marx: http://reddiarypk.htm Brief timeline of Afghan history: The Life and Works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz Socialist Ideas in the Poetry of Allama The British Rule in India: Marxists.dailymotion. No. Phillip Washington's Secret War Against Afghanistan c) Lenin before God: http://reddiarypk. http://www.htm 28. Iqbal: a) http://www.Bonosky. President Carter's National Security Adviser Marxists. Hafeez (1967) The Marxist Literary Movement in India and Pakistan. 26. 649-664).hindu. 27.htm Supplement: Global crisis returns Marx to fashion http://www. U. India http://www. Oasis of socialism Jinnah on Bhagat Singh: a) http://www.