Brecht Forum Events-November 1995

Bill Koehnlein nyms1 at
Thu Nov 2 01:54:19 MST 1995

                        THE BRECHT FORUM
                  The New York Marxist School
              The Institute for Popular Education

                 122 West 27 Street, 10 floor
                   New York, New York 10001
                        (212) 242-4201
                     (212) 741-4563 (fax)
                nyms1 at (email)


                     November 1995 Events


                Capitalism against Democracy
                    Ellen Meiksins Wood
           LECTURE/SEMINAR: Sat, Nov 4, 1-5pm; $10

Democracy means rule by the people, or people's power, so it has
been a dirty word among the ruling classes throughout most of its
history. But since the 18th century, on the material foundations of
capitalism, the idea has been neutralized, making it safe for the
dominant classes. The process of neutralization has continued
steadily since the foundation of the American republic. Today,
attacks on trade union rights are described as "democratization of
the work-place; the post-Marxist and post-modernist left invokes
democracy as an alibi for abandoning socialism; and so on. Ellen
Wood, author of _Capitalism Against Democracy: Renewing Historical
Materialism_, will trace this history of domestication, suggesting
how democracy might recover its revolutionary meaning as a critical
weapon against capitalism.


             Why Does the Emperor Need the Yakuza?
         Toward a Marxist Theory of the Japanese State
                       Bertell Ollman
                    Thurs, Nov 9, 8pm; $6

What is the relation between the higher bureaucracy and the elected
government in the Japanese state? What is the relation between the
Japanese state and the capitalist class?...between the Japanese
state and the U.S. state?...between the Japanese state and the
Emperor System?...between the Emperor System and the Japanese
Yakuza (mafia)? And does the Japanese Communist Party, the largest
communist party in any capitalist country, fit into all this? 
Bertell Ollman, author and professor of politics at New York
University, spent last year in Japan.


                   Alternative Modernities:
     A Socialist Conception or an Apology for Capitalism
                         Michael Brie
                    Mon, Nov 13, 8pm; $6

Rather than a monolithic capitalist system, Brie views our society
as one where autonomous spheres make room for socialist
possibilities through the ambiguities in its modernizing
potentials. The question then becomes: can the dominance of capital
be subdued? Michael Brie was a leading figure in the group of East
German scholars who elaborated a theory of  modern socialism in the
1980s. He has published on Russia and on the socialist experience
in the GDR.


                 Imperialism & Globalization:
         Clarifications at the End of the 20th Century
                  Bill Tabb & Dieter Klein
                 Thurs, Nov 16, 7:30pm; $6

A century ago Marxists talked about imperialism; today people speak
of globalization. What is constant and what is new in the world
system at the end of the 20th century? Bill Tabb is the author of
_The Post-war Japanese System: Cultural Economy and Economic
Transformation_ (Oxford University Press, 1995). Dieter Klein, a
professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin, was a co-author of 
_The Possiblities of a Peaceful Capitalism_, published in the GDR
in 1988.


               The Legacy of Lenin: A Symposium
          Panelists: Michael Brie, Joseph Buttigieg,
      Alexander Buzgalin, John Ehrenberg, David Laibman,
          Jim Lawler, Harry Magdoff, Mel Rothenberg,
       Annette Rubinstein, Alan Shandro, & Carlos Vilas
        Fri, Nov 17, 7pm & Sat, Nov 18, 9:30am-9pm; $15
             Co-sponsored with Science & Society

Can the Left redefine itself without coming to terms with the
legacy of Lenin? This 1-1/2 day symposium, sparked by the Fall 1995
special issue of _Science & Society_,  Lenin: Evaluation, Critique,
Renewal. _Science & Society_ will continue this ongoing discussion.


             New Social Bases of Left Movements:
                 Implications for Organizing
                     Alexander Buzgalin 
                    Mon, Nov 20, 8pm; $6

How do we identify the social and economic interests of wage
laborers today? How can we challenge the ideological hegemony of
modern capitalism and address the alienation of working people?
What organizing principles are emerging to redefine the relation of
democratic mass movements to left political parties? Alexander
Buzgalin teaches economics at Moscow State University and is a
leading member of the Russian Party of Labor.


      After Beijing? Assessing the U.N. Womens' Conference
  Carol Barton, Marilyn Clement, Jennie Green & Jan C. Jamshidi
                   Thurs, Nov 30, 7:30pm; $6

Panelists attended the Women's Conference in Beijing and will
discuss its implications in terms of human rights, economic issues
and issues of peace and war. Marilyn Clement is the director of
Womens International League for Peace and Freedom. Jennie Green is
a staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights. Jan C.
Jamshidi works with the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press.


                         SPECIAL EVENT

                    "The Grand Inquisitor"
                 U.S. Premiere Performance by
              The New York Street Theatre Caravan
                  Thurs-Sat, Nov 2-4, 8pm; $8

The New York Street Theatre Caravan, winner of New York's esteemed
OBIE Award for "Sustained Excellence in Theater" will present "The
Grand Inquisitor," adapted from Dostoyevsky's _The Brothers
Karamazov_. Transporting Ivan and Alyosha to present-day Russia,
this dramatic visual poem springs to life through drama, comedy
dance, music, masks and images from paintings. The Caravan recently
returned from a European tour where  The Grand Inquisitor received
exceedingly favorable reviews.



                     Karl Marx's _Capital_
                         Tony Tinker
       Sat, 11:30-1pm, 10 sessions beginning Nov 11; $TBA

Why read Marx's _Capital_? This class will not undertake a
word-for-word reading, but will examine the themes and concepts
developed by Marx and will utilize his methodology to locate
the present moment within a coherent historical totality. Recent
situations will be used as case studies to test the applicability
of Marxist theories. People familiar with Marxist theory as well
as to those with little or no previous exposure to it are welcome
to join this class. Holiday breaks to be arranged with students.
Tony Tinker is a professor of accounting at Baruch College and is
the author of _Paper Prophets: A Social Critique of Accounting_.


          Utopianism after the Holocaust & the Gulag
                      Michael Brinitzer
         Tues 6-8pm, 5 sessions beginning Nov 14; $55

The idea of this interdisciplinary inquiry into postmodern
utopianism is to take a fresh look at utopian philosophical
programs and aesthetic projects. Taking Adorno's statement, 
"Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric" as a point of
departure, we will critically discuss Manfredo Tafuri's seminal
essay on Architecture and Utopia and evaluate the political agenda
and moral legitimacy of his cultural position. The question we will
address is: which of the utopian promises of early 20th century
avant-garde art are still today credible and inspiring? Michael
Brinitzer, a practicing architect, teaches Ideologies of Space at
Pratt Institute.


                 Political Economy Workshop
                         Paul Cooney
             alternate Mons, 6-8pm, ongoing; $45

This ongoing workshop uses a Marxist approach to explore such
topics as: the implications of NAFTA and free trade, the political
economy of New York City, and the IMF and Third World debt.
Newcomers are welcome to join this ongoing group. A background in
the study of _Capital_ or political economy is recommended. The
group meets every two weeks for presentations and discussions.
Political economist Paul Cooney coordinates the workshop.


!                                                                 !
!                    ....AND IN DECEMBER,                         !
!               CELEBRATE OUR 20th ANNIVERSARY!!!                 !
!                                                                 !
!             Join Friends of The Brecht Forum in an              !
!         Arthur Felberbaum Award Dinner Celebrating the          !
!        20th Anniversary of The New York Marxist School          !
!                  & Honoring Richard Levins                      !
!                                                                 !
!                  Saturday, December 9, 6pm                      !
!          at the Dubinsky Student Center, 8th Floor              !
!              Fashion Institute of Technology                    !
!               27th Street & 8th Avenue, NYC                     !
!           Dinner: $45, Students/Low Income: $30                 !
!                                                                 !


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