Rank #1: Capitalism Goes to College: A People's History of Higher Education in the U.S.
Higher education in the United States has been an ideological tool of the ruling classes since the first colonial settlements. This history has been masked by the liberal narrative of the ever-beneficent university stewarding public knowledge and providing skilled workers for the petty bourgeois of the future. This liberal narrative of higher education as a salve for the ills of society masks a rigid and repressive history, one marked by westward expansion, participation in the creation of the US war machine, and complicity with the establishment ideology. Importantly, higher education in the United States has also been marked by a series of social upheavals, beginning prior to the student uprisings of the 60s, but who's tradition continues today. We see a turn toward campus yet again as a hotbed for political activity, and it's time we trace the lineage of higher education in America to tell a real people's history.
Rank #2: Marxism and Law
Karl Marx wrote that "society is not founded upon the law; this is a legal fiction." Rather, law develops out of the class conflicts in our society. Our legal system grew out of the successful efforts of the bourgeoisie to establish itself as the ruling class. While bourgeois law often proclaims the rule of law and universality of rights, it allows mass exploitation, chattel slavery, the subjugation of women, and so on. However, the working class and the oppressed have also fought to expand democratic rights and even to take state power. This presentation will provide a Marxist overview of law, a tool of class struggle.
Rank #3: Not for Profit? The Nonprofit Industrial Complex
Rank #4: Stamped from the Beginning: The Long and Enduring History of Racist Ideas in America
Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America - more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.
Rank #5: Introduction to the International Socialist Organization
Come get all your questions answered about the politics of the International Socialist Organization!
Rank #6: Marxism and Intersectionality
This talk argues that the rise of intersectionality, the concept that different forms of identity-based oppression are often simultaneous and mutually constituted, creates an important contemporary opening for the Marxist, historical-materialist analysis of oppression. Intersectionality originated in the concrete struggles of black women to challenge existing institutions (like the law) and activist coalitions that had previously erased their particular experiences. While postmodernists have taken up intersectionality in ways that often obscure the historic origins of oppression, Marxism provides a framework for not only seeing how oppressions intersect, but how the history of capitalism has produced and changed these intersections throughout time.
Rank #7: A World Without Borders?: Marxism, Nations, and Migration
Rank #8: Malcolm X and the Making of Black Revolutionaries
Rank #9: Caped Crusaders, Masked Vigilantes, and Billion Dollar Franchises: The Political Economy of Superheroes
Over the course of the past decade, Superheroes have leapt, in what seems like a single bound, from the margins of popular culture to their current position as the undisputed hegemons of the entertainment industry. So much so that to say they have become culturally ubiquitous is to offer the same sort of cliché as to argue that Batman is a fascist.What is masked by the meteoric ascent of the spandex set to such levels of mass cultural appeal is the fact that Superheroes are one of American Capitalism's original and most enduring tropes. Why have they stuck around for so long? And what does it say about political consciousness that masked vigilantes are such popular figures? And, maybe most importantly for socialists, which of them champion causes worthy of our support (critical or otherwise)?To find out all of this AND MORE, go down to your local Socialism 2018 app and add this talk to your pull list, True Believer!
Rank #10: Class Struggle and the Color Line
American socialists have been centrally concerned with the question of racial oppression since socialism first became a mass movement in the United States in the early 20th century. This talk explores the history of early socialist debates over the race question, tracing that history through the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the early Communist Party.