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Rosa Luxemburg: The Accumulation of Capital

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Online

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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 12

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

Rosa Luxemburg was many things—an activist, politician, and ferocious polemicist. Perhaps most importantly, she was a political economist. Her only book-length work of political economy, The Accumulation of Capital is a true landmark text. Among the first works to theorize a systematic conception of global capitalism, it’s a massive augmentation of Marx’s original critique of capital—an attempt to solve the crucial “problem of reproduction” (that is, how capitalism perpetuates) for which Marx had no decisive answer. For Luxemburg, capital cannot subsist on national markets alone, but requires endless expansion into foreign territory. Imperialism, in other words, is necessary to capitalism’s survival.

In this course, we will read from Luxemburg’s magnum opus, evaluating its arguments both in the context of early 20th-century capitalism and imperialism, and with respect to globalized, financialized capitalism today. We’ll begin by examining Luxemburg’s interpretation of the problem of capital reproduction and her analysis of Marx. Next, we’ll focus on Luxemburg’s theory of imperialism and capital’s supposed imperative to seek out and colonize foreign territory and markets. We’ll examine, too, how imperialism operates, both historically and contemporaneously, and in what ways both imperialism and capitalism have evolved in the intervening century since the publication of Luxemburg’s work. And throughout, we will ask: Do imperialism and colonialism underwrite the very survival of capitalistic economies? What is the link between capitalism, economic growth and the modern face of imperialism? What is the role played by the process of capital accumulation in the recent global financial crisis? How should we understand the accumulation of capital today?


Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

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Refund Policy

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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Reviews of Classes at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (26)

School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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