Marxism and Politics Lecture Series

Dan Lutz

Dan Lutz joined the socialist movement when he was 15 and answered a classified ad on the back page of The Nation.* He has been involved in the labor movement for the last 20 years, first as a student-labor activist, then a telephone operator, then a staffer at Teamsters for a Democratic Union. He is currently a database administrator and software developer at the New York State Nurses Association.

He spoke to the group about Socialist Planning. The Marxism and Politics Reading Group met two weeks beforehand to discuss Oskar Lange's “On the Economic Theory of Socialism” (Parts 1 & 2).

* It was for a group that had split away from Daniel DeLeon's Socialist Labor Party for straying from the teachings of Daniel DeLeon. 


Matt Karp

"Millions of Abolitionists: The Early Republican Party and the Political War Against Slavery"

The abolition of slavery and the tragically short-lived democratic experiment of Reconstruction was the only social revolution in American history. The central institution of Southern society was destroyed virtually overnight, and by the 1870s, black elected officials (many former slaves) filled Southern state legislatures. The leading political force in both these events was the Republican Party, founded just over a decade before. How was the anti-slavery cause, which had struggled for decades on the political margins, able to triumph and destroy the “Slave Oligarchy”? Join historian and Jacobin contributing editor Matt Karp for a talk on anti-slavery politics and the early Republican Party.

Background Readings

Philip Foner, History of the Labor Movement, Vol I, "Northern Labor and Slavery"

William Gienapp, "The Republican Party and the Slave Power"


Mass Incarceration

The United States, once seen as a model of rehabilitation and humane punishment, today incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other nation on earth. How did this happen? Popular critiques see the War on Drugs, the privatized “prison-industrial complex”, or post-civil rights racist backlash as driving the growth of mass incarceration. Yet, there are good reasons to challenge many of the assumptions now fashionable among the academic and activist left.

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