Tues 10.27.15 | Nature, Capitalism, Crisis

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Humans seem to be at war with nature -- epitomized by the system of capitalism, which plunders as it grows. But what if we understood the realm of Nature as not separate from the human realm of Society? Radical scholar Jason Moore suggests that we need to embed our critique of capitalism within the web of life on earth – so as best to oppose it.


Mon 10.19.15 | Commodifying the Oceans

Stefano B. Longo, Rebecca Clausen, and Brett Clark, The Tragedy of the Commodity: Oceans, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Rutgers U. Press, 2015



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The oceans are in turmoil, but unfortunately most of it is out of sight and therefore out of mind. Environmental sociologist Stefano Longo explores the multiple threats to the oceans, from overfishing to coral reef collapse to ocean acidification. He weighs in on whether the notion of the “tragedy of the commons” is sufficient to explain the roots of the crisis.

Wed 9.09.15 | Post-Neoliberal Capitalism?

Albena Azmanova, “The Crisis of the Crisis of Capitalism”

Albena Azmanova, "Crisis? Capitalism is Doing Very Well. How is Critical Theory?"

Albena Azmanova, The Scandal of Reason Columbia U. Press, 2012

Azmanova & Mihai, eds., Reclaiming Democracy Routledge, 2015

The Program in Critical Theory at U.C. Berkeley

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Where does capitalism stand today? If the system is crisis-ridden and hasn't delivered the goods to large sectors of the population, why aren't we in a revolutionary moment? And what has happened to the neoliberal version of capitalism that first emerged in the 1970s? Albena Azmanova contends that we've entered a new stage of capitalism, one in which a few are handed opportunities and the rest are made to shoulder the risks.

Tues 9.01.15 | Innovation Under Neoliberalism

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If innovation is the engine that drives capitalist enterprise, what role, if any, should universities play in feeding that engine? The creativity that Christopher Newfield seeks to nurture in students doesn't match the kind coveted by neoliberal elites. He points to a number of disturbing trends in higher ed, and to differences in capitalist development between East and West.

Tues 8.25.15| The Making of American Capitalism

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While it may appear an inevitability, how did capitalism come to take hold in the US? Was slave production in the American South actually capitalist or something else? What was the nature of the Civil War and the emergence of sharecropping in the conflict's wake? Marxist sociologist Charles Post weighs in on these questions, which have been hotly debated for many years on the left, with significant consequences for how we see capitalism's permanence and the nature of racial oppression today.

Mon 8.17.15 | Overseeing Global Capitalism

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The defeat of the US working class was the requisite condition for the renewal of US empire, which -- as much as we keep willing it to decline -- maintains its key role as the guardian of global capitalism. So claim Marxist political economists Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, who in their magnum opus trace the extension of the capitalist system around the globe with the US at the helm. They discuss the political implications of this history for radicals.

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