Socialism, Science, and Struggle | Spring 2022 Course
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March 22 @ 6:00 pm - May 12 @ 8:00 pm
APPLICATION FORM! APPLY TO THIS NEW COURSE BY MARCH 21, 2022.
YOU’LL BE NOTIFIED OF ACCEPTANCE ON MARCH 25, 2022.
(There is no fee)
“The analysis of Nature into its individual parts, the grouping of the different natural processes and objects in definite classes, the study of the internal anatomy of organized bodies in their manifold forms—these were the fundamental conditions of the gigantic strides in our knowledge of Nature that have been made during the last four hundred years. But this method of work has also left us as legacy the habit of observing natural objects and processes in isolation, apart from their connection with the vast whole; of observing them in repose, not in motion; as constants, not as essentially variables; in their death, not in their life. And when this way of looking at things was transferred by Bacon and Locke from natural science to philosophy, it begot the narrow, metaphysical mode of thought peculiar to the last century.”
– Friedrich Engels, 1908. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
A socialist society cannot be built without a people’s expertise in the natural sciences – the natural sciences are not only foundational to the improvement of people’s lives and the development of the forces of production, but they’re the basis of knowledge about climate change and the ecological crisis!
Socialist countries, with their successes in bettering workers’ lives, demonstrate the imperative to have dedicated scientists to achieve socialist objectives. For example, in Cuba, during the Revolution, Fidel Castro invested in the training of thousands of healthcare workers and in scientific institutions and research centers. Now, Cuba is able to send brigades of medical professionals all over the world in moments of health crises.
Expertise in the natural sciences is often neglected or under-appreciated in communist or socialist organizing in capitalist countries like the US. In most countries, scientific work is overwhelmingly subordinated to capitalist demands and most working-class people are excluded from natural science education. Those who manage to get into a natural science degree program or employed in a research or educational institution face a barrage of bourgeois ideas or assumptions in whatever scientific endeavor they are involved in. This situation makes it very difficult for socialists to combine Marxism with the study of a natural science, much less to develop scientific practices consistent with Marxism. This course aims to provide a Marxist theoretical grounding for nature and the natural sciences, understand current ecological and environmental crises and organizing, and an optional hands-on fieldwork in soil science for a practical application.
This course is hybrid and will run in two parts, with the option to attend either or both.
PART I. 5 weeks on Wednesdays, March 30 – April 27 from 6-8pm ET. It is a theoretical grounding held as a hybrid, in-person course at The People’s Forum, with Zoom available for virtual participation for those around the nation and world.
PART ii. 3 sessions on May 11, 14, and 18 – including an in-person practical application at a local community garden in NYC, highly encouraged for all first part participants for praxis. While Part ii will be NYC-based, all are encouraged to attend, as the lessons are applicable in your own local contexts!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro is a Professor at the Geography Department of SUNY New Paltz. He is chief editor for the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism and co-founder, with Joel Kovel, of Ecosocialist Horizons, as well as the First Ecosocialist International in Veroes, Venezuela. He is the author of Socialist States and the Environment: Lessons for Ecosocialist Futures.