Honors Marx and Socialist Thought
Description: The failure of Communism may have proven wrong Marx's
claim that capitalism will inevitably self-destruct. But has it made Marx's
critique of capitalism irrelevant? Has it proven that socialism is a mistake?
Marx gives one of several versions of socialism, and some of these versions
point to different ideals. Are any of the ideals of socialism good ideals?
Ideals that can be put into practice? We shall consider these questions
by studying the ideas of Marx, non-Marxist socialists, and critics of socialism
Office Hours: tba
Requirements: Grades are based on participation, two papers of
5-7 pages, and a take-home final exam.
Reading: The following required books should be at the campus bookstore and on reserve: Isaiah Berlin, Karl Marx; The Marx-Engels Reader, 2d edition (referred to as M/E); Bernard Shaw, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism; Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. There is also a xeroxed reader.
Reading listed under each topic is to be done prior to that section
meeting. An * indicates reading is in the xeroxed reader.
1. Introduction: What is socialism?
2. Fabian Socialism: George Bernard Shaw
Rdg: Shaw, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism (pp. v-xliii;
pp. 7-8; and chapters 1-15, 17, 21-24, 26-28, 32-34, 42, 46, 69-70,
75-81, 86; and appendix)
3. Utopian Socialism: Fourier and Owen
Rdg: Charles Fourier, Selected Texts, pp. 107-49, 233-245, 257-70, 274-283,
297-322, 332-343*; Robert Owen, A New View of Society*
4. Marx's theory of history and concept of ideology
Rdg: Berlin, Karl Marx, chapters 1,2 (pp.1-26); Communist Manifesto
(M/E, pp.469-500); Preface to Critique of Political Economy (M/E, pp.3-6);
Engels, 'Speech at the Graveside of Karl Marx' (M/E, pp.681-2); Engels,
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (M/E, pp. 683-717); and Marvin Harris,
selections from Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches*
5. Marx on Theory and Practice
Rdg: Berlin, chapters 3-6 (pp.27-116); German Ideology (M/E, pp.146-200);
Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction
(M/E, pp.53-65); Theses on Feuerbach (M/E, pp.143-145)
6. Marx on Alienation
Rdg: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (M/E, pp.66-125); 'Alienation
and Social Classes' (M/E, pp.133-135); Erazim Kohak, "Possessing, Owning,
Belonging"*; 'No Time to Smell the Roses', review of The Overworked American*
7. Marx's Theory of Capitalism
Rdg: Capital (M/E, pp.294-465)
8. Is Capitalism immoral? Is redistribution just?--an argument for capitalism
Rdg: Nozick, Anarchy, State, Utopia, chapters 7, 8
9. The possibilities for socialism today
Rdg: Alec Nove, "Feasible Socialism?"*; Walzer, "Politics in the Welfare
State"*; Irving Howe, "Thinking About Socialism"*; Arnold, "Marx, Central
Planning, and Utopian Socialism"*
10. Capitalism and the Third World
Rdg: Kai Nielsen, "Global Justice, Capitalism, and the Third World"*; P.T. Bauer, "Western Guilt and Third World Poverty"*
Policy on Accommodations: In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), students who require reasonable accommodations due to a disability to properly execute coursework must register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) -- SR 110 (561-799-8010) – and follow all OSD procedures.
Academic Integrity Policy:Students at Florida Atlantic University are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards. Academic dishonesty is considered a serious breach of these ethical standards, because it interferes with the university mission to provide a high quality education in which no student enjoys an unfair advantage over any other. Academic dishonesty is also destructive of the university community, which is grounded in a system of mutual trust and places high value on personal integrity and individual responsibility. Harsh penalties are associated with academic dishonesty. For more information, see University Regulation 4.001 and http://www.fau.edu/divdept/honcol/students/honorcode.html
Classroom Etiquette Policy: In order to enhance and maintain a productive atmosphere for education, personal communication devices, such as cellular telephones and pagers, are to be disabled in class sessions.