Brazilian Workers University

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Tue Aug 27 16:10:24 MDT 1996


This is for you, but it should interest a lot of subscribers. It's a
general presentation of the UNILIVRE, a university level section of the
Institute for Socialist Studies (IES) that the PSTU has been running in
Brazil for over a year now in collaboration with the left union current MTS
(Movimento por una Tendencia Socialista). The presentation is followed by
the outline of a course on Capital.

I translated this from the Portuguese. I don't know how accessible they are
in English. They'll certainly be accessible by arrangement, though not
perhaps immediately if contacted without previous notice. Might be worth a
try anyway. They give no e-mail address, but might have one by now.

The IES can be reached at:

        Rua Domingo de Morais 348, sala 46
        Ana Rosa
        Sao Paulo, SP

        tel: Sao Paulo 671-9943


(Autonomy of knowledge and critique of uniform thought)

'Uniform thought' is a disease transmitted by virus that is taking hold of
the whole of university teaching -- public and private -- and the mass
media in general.

It's a disease that reveals itself by extinguishing natural systems of
criticism and of autonomy of human thought. Its most dangerous consequence
is the chaining of thought and social production to the capitalist
dictatorships of the market and the state. Its final consequence may be the
absolute suffocation of alternatives and possibilities for advancing
humanity beyond the currently dominant regime.

But there may still be alternatives to the dictatorship of uniform thought
at present manifesting itself in the university teaching of subjects linked
to philosophy, political economy, sociology, history, drama, political
science, architecture, journalism, etc.

UNILIVRE is the antidote to the virus of uniform thought and the stagnation
of knowledge. It forms part of the INSTITUTE OF SOCIALIST STUDIES - IES,
made up of workers, students, intellectuals and other wage-earning
professionals, for whom freedom and a capacity for critical thinking are
indispensable conditions for working for the transformation of the regime
currently dominating society.

Prove to yourself that this is possible by participating in the activities
of UNILIVRE, by taking part in the discussions, seminars, regular courses
and other activities that are already being planned for the year ahead.

For instance, you can enrol in our course on the Genesis and Structure of
Capital. In it we will study the economic and historical foundations of the
autonomization of value and its concretization in the shape of capital. The
objective is to allow participants to arrive at a rigorous definition of
what capital is. The course will run from the beginning of April to


(autonomy of knowledge and critique of uniform thought)


Lecturer: Jose Martins

I) Objective: to permit the participants to arrive at a rigorous definition
of capital and its corollary, the capitalist mode of production. We will be
studying the economic and historical foundations of the autonomization of
value and its concretization in capital. This study of the process of
production of capital is a precondition for two subsequent courses, which
will be dealing with the process of accumulation of capital and the process
of globalization of capital respectively.

II) Programme: 1 -- some aspects of value (capital as value in process; the
stages of autonomization of value; the genesis of capital; commodity
fetishism).  2 -- the labour process and the process of valorization (the
wage form; the metamorphosis of labour into capital; the process of
production).  3 -- the periodization of the capitalist mode of production
(characteristics of the two historical phases -- formal and real
subordination of labour under capital; the dialectic of the two phases; the
fetishism of capital).  4 -- wage labour, forms of overpopulation and
poverty (wage labour and poverty; overpopulation and basic food supply;
wage and poverty movements; forms of overpopulation in the phase of real
subordination of labour to capital; middle classes and luxury goods;
productive and unproductive labour).

III) Method: for each of the points of the programme, a reading schedule
and a bibliography will be given. Subsequently, each of these points will
be dealt with in class, by way of a presentation by the lecturer and
general discussion among all the participants. Each participant will then
produce resumes of the results of the discussion on each of the points.

IV) Bibliography: on the first day of the course, a bibliographical list
will be provided for each of the points on the programme. The quantity of
texts to be read will be reduced as far as possible, thus avoiding overload
unnecessary in relation to the objectives of the course. Gradually,
however, more extensive bibliographical  sources will be given for the
points under discussion, to enable participants to deepen their knowledge
of the subjects studied during the course.

V) Duration: the course will be given in the form of a series of weekly
three-hour lectures, the series totalling approximately 50 hours, from
early April to mid-July 1996.

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