[Marxism] classroom exercise

Craven, Jim JCraven at clark.edu
Sun Mar 28 13:23:53 MST 2004

I ask my students what "Omission is often the greatest lie" means. I ask
them if they are just picking up a book for the first time, written by
an author with whom they are unfamiliar, how do you get a sense of that
the author's ideological biases and rhetorical intentions are. Usually I
get "look at the book jacket", preface, introduction, recommendations by
other authors. Few come up with "looking at the index"--what is in it,
and what is not.
So I give them the following assignment for extra-credit: Find as many
past and present economics texts as possible (libraries, book stores,
rummage sales etc) and fully document, from the indexes of those books,
any references to any of the following concepts (You get one point added
to your-then--final course grade for each documented reference you find
(Text, pages,):
imperialism, colonialism; neo-colonialism; racism; sexism; homophobia;
war; genocide; socialism;communism;Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels; V.I.
Lenin; fascism; metropolis; periphery; American Indians/Native
Americans; African-Americans; Latinos; social class; social strata;
gender inequality; racial inequality; social systems engineering;
suicide; divorce; teengage pregnancy; abortion; religious
fundamentalism; economic centralization; falling rate of profit;
economic surplus; traditional economies; slavery;feudalism; eugenics;
"primitive"communalism; power; mail-order-brides; global AIDS; global
refugees; globalization; low intensity conflict; global sexual slavery;
wealth and income inequality (domestic and global); lobbyists;
terrorism; national security; social capital;
Sweezy, Paul; Magdoff, Harry; Robinson, Joan; Amin, Samir;
contradictions of capitalism;
For each of these concepts--except the names--there is general agreement
that all of these concepts have something to do with economics. The
students wind up totally pissed off as of the books they manage to find,
few if any of these concepts are even mentioned let alone discussed and
they have put a lot of work in for a meager return in terms of
extra-credit points.
Jim C.
James M. Craven
Blackfoot Name: Omahkohkiaayo-i'poyi
Professor/Consultant,Economics;Business Division Chair
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. USA 98663
Tel: (360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
Employer has no association with private/protected opinion
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present
controls the past." (George Orwell)
"...every anticipation of results which are first to be proved seems
disturbing to me...(Karl Marx, "Grundrisse")

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