Capital Class

Hans Ehrbar ehrbar at
Tue Jan 10 10:27:08 MST 1995

Rust Gilbert's positive response to the materials for my class about
Marx's CAPITAL encourages me to offer it once more to a wider
audience.  Rust wrote:

rust> Prof. Hans Ehrbar of the University of Utah, a committed
rust> Marxist, is leading a 'close reading' of most of Volume One of
rust> Capital both as an undergraduate course and on the internet.

rust> He has prepared about 150 pages of annotations and study
rust> questions. Copies can be provided at the bookstore. The course
rust> began last week but there is still a little time to join what
rust> seems to be an excellently prepared discussion suitable esp for
rust> anyone who might want to lead a discussion on Capital at some
rust> point in the future.

The class started last Wednesday, January 4th, and it goes for ten
weeks until March 8.  Every week, a portion of Marx's CAPITAL is
assigned, and the participants are expected to use my Annotations to
work through it, which has a new translation and many study questions.
Every participant must

(1) submit answers to 3 of the study questions to me at
ehrbar at  Right now, until this Friday, January 13,
questions 1-39 are assigned.  I will send them back with my detailed
comments, and if interesting issues arise, I will post them to the class
as a whole.  The enrolled students do get my individual attention,
I am probably spending an average of one hour per week per participant.

(2) actively participate in an internet discussion for all the class
participants.  This discussion has not started, but the first messages
will be propagated on Thursday of Friday, January 12 or 13.

(3) Later in the Quarter, there is a paper assignment,
analyzing chapter 25, which is not included in the Annotations.

This class has over 50 Undergraduates from the University of Utah, and
a dozen outside observers who are not formally enrolled but will
listen in on the discussion and participate as they see fit.  Some of
the most active and productive participants in the marxism list have
volunteered as observers.  You will have the status of an observer unless
you enroll also as a student of the University of Utah (instructions
below).  Whether as observer or as enrolled participant, you are very
welcome.  This class is an experiment.  My top priority is to make the
first attempt successful enough that I will be able to repeat it in
the future.  Participants from around the world will help by the
variety they are contributing etc.

Here is what you should do if you want to participate.  The first step
will probably be to get Annotations from Rust's bookstore in Chicago
or download the postscript-file from the marxism ftp site in Virginia
and print them on your laser printer.  This will give you an idea what
the class is all about and whether you really want to participate.
Instructions for downloading are at the end of this message.

Then send me a messgae that you want to participate.  Give yourself a
short code name to identify you in the class.  If you want to send
messages to the class which do not disclose your real name, let me
know, this can be arranged.

After this I will e-mail you a syllabus with more details.
The Questions assigned for the first week are Questions 1--39.
I will accept late submissions for the first week.

Sorry for the short notice.  I had planned to keep the circle of
observers small the first time around, and had already turned down a
distinguished member of the marxism list.  But there was a delay in
the start of the class, and after Rust's message and five additional
inquiries afterwards, there seems to be demand, therefore I decided
to open it up once more.  For those who cannot make it right now,
I think chances are not bad that this class will be repeated.

The rest of this message consists of technical instructions,
which can be skipped by those who are not going to participate.

Instructions how to download the Annotations:

The whole 165 pages are in a file (2 megabytes).  If you want
to get it in smaller portions, the assignments for classes 1-9 are in
the files through, and title page, table of
contents, and references are in  The minimum you need right
now are and  These are postscript files.  They are
not human-readable, but many laser printers can interpret them and
will produce typeset-quality output.

They are available via ftp, mail, gopher and WWW.

One way to get these files is to ftp to and log with user name "anonymous",
and cd to the directory
Since postscript files are ascii files, do not set the binary switch.

or via gopher to, under the directories
Publications of the Institute/Discussion Lists/spoons/marxism.archive/papers

or via WWW at under archives

To get these files by mail, send the mesage "help" to
majordomo at to discover file recovery options.

If you get them by mail, you will have to strip the mail header etc.,
so that the first line of the file is a lone
This will tell your laser printer that it is a postscript file and
the printer will interpret it in the right way.

Instructions how to formally enroll in this class:

Registration for the Econ 508R-15, 508R-95, or 508R-97 (credit sections) or
Econ 58R-15 (Noncredit section) for out of state/country participants will
follow the following procedure:

Those interested must provide the information to the following questions so
that a DCE Registration Form can be filled out and they can be billed.  The
cost of the course for undergraduate resident credit is $337.00,
undergraduate nonresident credit is $987.00.  Noncredit tuition is only $94
(resident status doesn't matter for noncredit courses).

Registration must be done by the end of the day on Friday, January 13 or they
cannot register.  The information that they need to provide is:

E-mail this information to Robert Merrills at ROBERT at

Name: Last                 First             Middle Initial

Social Security Number          Maiden Name or Former Name Used

Street Address

City            State           Zip Code

Date of Birth            Work Telephone           Home telephone


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