REE 335 • 1-Marxist Economics
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Long, long ago, before economists got uppity and started calling themselves social scientists, there was no "economics" but rather "political economy." Writers such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill made no bones about economics being an inherently social and political subject. In the historical process of disciplining and shaping the contemporary contours of economics, many of the social preoccupations of political economists have been discarded and relegated to other "fields" such as political science, history, psychology or sociology.
The class is conducted as a seminar: everyone reads the same material and then we discuss it all together. The students who take this course are commonly drawn not only from economics but from other disciplines in the Liberal arts, e.g., sociology, history, anthropology, philosophy and government. Given this diversity, students are encouraged to read the materials in terms of their own particular theoretical and research interests and to bring such perspectives to bear in class discussion. The number of students is usually limited to 10-15 which makes possible considerable flexibility about fulfiling requirements: take-home tests or papers are the most common methods.
The books by Marx ordered for class are: Capital, Volumes 1-3. I have prepared a Study Guide for Capital, volume 1, for my undergraduate class that is on the web and I also recommend it to graduate students. My book Reading Capital Politically, AK Press, 2000, is also on the web, hereafter as RCP. Other readings will be either available in the form of photocopies or on the web.