Loren Goldner and Howie Seligman, NYC Summer Study Group on Capitalist Crisis

Loren Goldner and Howie Seligman, NYC Summer Study Group on Capitalist Crisis Howie Seligman and I will be doing a 9-week study group in the New York City area on Marxian theory and the current crisis. If you are interested, read on. As the group is limited to 15 people, we will give priority to "advanced beginners" rather than to the pros who tend to predominate on Meltdown. But all applicants are welcome. SUMMER STUDY GROUP ON MARX’S CAPITAL AND THE CURRENT CRISIS Loren Goldner and Howie Seligman will be organizing a weekly study group in July and August for New York City-area people on Marx’s Capital (and other writings), linking Marx’s critique of political economy to the current crisis of the world capitalist system. The group will meet every Tuesday in from July 7 through September 1, 7-10 PM, in an East Village location. For purposes of both space and group viability, the group will be limited to 15 people. If you are interested in participating, please contact Loren Goldner asap at lrgoldner@yahoo.com Participants should be committed to regular weekly attendance and to keeping up with 50-100 pages per week of reading. Barring a need to change venues, the meetings will be free of charge, except for occasional contributions for photocopy expenses, refreshments, etc. Readings will consist of selections from Marx’s Capital, and articles (to be decided in consultation with the group) on contemporary developments. The events of the past two years in particular have re-awakened a serious interest in both Marx’s critique of political economy and in “current events” in the world economy. Goldner and Seligman will cooperate in putting the crisis into a Marxian theoretical perspective (Goldner), as well as providing insight into the more technical side of world market meltdown (CDO’s, hedge funds, Ponzi schemes, etc.) (Seligman). The approach will not be merely “economic” (the Marxian CRITIQUE of political economy is not another variant of “economics”) but will elucidate the impact of the crisis on ordinary working people, on developing actions against capitalist austerity in the US and around the world, and on the solution: abolition of the capitalist mode of production. If successful, the study group will continue in some form in the fall, to be decided. In order to put together a viable group, we would like interested people to write something brief (1-2 pages) about their background, the level of their knowledge of Marx and of the world economy, where they are coming from politically, and anything else they might consider relevant. We are oriented above all to educating present and future activists, and will give such people priority in participation. We also hope to have a predominance of young people who are new, or relatively new, to Capital and Marxist theory generally, but that will of course be determined by the response. Loren Goldner is a long-term independent writer and political activist. His work is available on the Break Their Haughty Power web site at http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner He has spent much of the past four years in South Korea, involved in the workers’ movement there. Howie Seligman recently taught a course on Taxation and Finance at the NEW SPACE in New York City. Here is the course description and a biography. Taxation and Finance Howard F. Seligman The course will begin with a brief tutorial on conventional accounting, bookkeeping and financial theory. This will involve some hands on practical training, although the main emphasis will be on the history of the evolution of the theory from its original conception to the current methodologies. This will be followed by an examination of basic economics (price theory) and its use and abuse of (accounting/finance) statistics. Again, the history of the theory from its roots in philosophy and the social sciences to its current state of being applied mathematical models will be scrutinized. We will then survey the U.S. Income Tax System beginning with its history and moving on to its current state (of change) today. The focus will be on the behavioral implications of changes in the tax code and alternate systems being used in other countries (and being proposed by Congress today.) Applying the building blocks of finance and taxation, we will then look at the American financial markets and the culture of the corporation. Particular attention will be paid to 'Wall Street' and the 'entertainment industry' due to their growing influence in our everyday lives via the 'information society.' Emphasis will be placed on economic and non-economic forces that drive the markets and facilitate manipulation by the use of abstract numerical concepts. Finally, the natural symbiosis of private industry and governments will be the subject of specific anecdotes and case studies. No requirements other than potential enthusiasm/interest. Howard F. Seligman has been a self employed financial and tax consultant since 1984. Howard’s practice specializes in the arts and entertainment fields, and he serves as the treasurer to more than fifteen arts and cultural organizations. Howard has taught accounting and finance at The Pratt Institute. His hobbies include playing Howie Solo, a singer and stand up comedian who can host your local fundraising event. He is currently researching a book on the history of the Jewish gangster in America. You can also see Howie in action at www.blip.tv search HOWIE SOLO