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Chicago “Primitive Accumulation” and the Birth of Racialized Capitalism

Marxism, Humanism, and Decolonial Thought

A series of open discussions on alternatives to capitalism

In these online meetings we will explore the roots of today’s movements against racialized capitalism by re-examining the decolonial movements of the past half century in terms of the challenge they pose to revolutionary theory and practice today. All suggested readings are available free of charge.


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Passcode: 983064



Session 1: Monday, Nov. 30, 7:00 pm (Central time)

“Primitive Accumulation” and the Birth of Racialized Capitalism

What is racialized capitalism When and why did it emerge? Is the exploitation of Native peoples through the “primitive accumulation of capital” restricted to the European origins of capitalism, or it a continuing feature?

Suggested Readings: “The Secret of Primitive Accumulation,” and “Colonialism” in Capital, Vol. I, by Karl Marx; Excerpts from The Accumulation of Capital, by Rosa Luxemburg

Opening the discussion: Peter Hudis, author of Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism



Session 2: Monday, Dec. 21, 7:00 pm (Central time)

The Afro-Asian Anti-Colonial Revolutions of the 1950s and 1960s

The decolonial movements of the 1950s and 1960s reshaped Africa and inspired new social movements around the world. What lessons do they hold for today’s freedom movements?

Suggested Readings: Nationalism, Communism, Marxist Humanism and the Afro-Asian Revolutions, by Raya Dunayevskaya; Excerpt from Discourse on Colonialism, by Aimé Césaire.



Session 3: Monday, Jan. 11, 7:00 pm (Central time)

National Consciousness and the Search for a “New Humanism”

Frantz Fanon developed a prophetic warning about the pitfalls of social movements that fall short of what he called “a new humanism.” What did he mean by this and how might such a perspective inform struggles against today’s racialized capitalism?

 Reading: “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness,” in The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz Fanon; 1984 Introduction to The Afro-Asian Revolutions… by Dunayevskaya.

Opening the discussion: Hector Salazar, International Marxist-Humanist Organization



Session 4: Monday, Feb. 1, 7:00 pm (Central time)

Decolonial Theory and Practice in the US: From Civil Rights to Black Power… and Beyond

We will explore the contributions as well as contradictions of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of the 1950s through 1970s, especially in terms of their impact upon efforts to reconstitute Marxism as a philosophy of liberation for our time. 

Reading: “Notes on American Capitalism,” by Martin Luther King, Jr.; “To Die for the People” (podcast), by Huey P. Newton; “New Passions and New Forces,” in Philosophy and Revolution, by Dunayevskaya.



Session 5: Monday, Feb. 22, 7:00 pm (Central time)

Beyond Capitalism: The Dialectic of Race, Class, and Gender 

Since racism and sexism are integral to capitalism, what specific challenges does their persistence pose to the ongoing efforts to develop an alternative to capitalism today?

Reading: “The Meeting Between Society and Psychiatry,” in Alienation and Freedom, by Frantz Fanon; “Introduction” to As Black as Resistance, by Mariame Kaba; “The Seeds of Liberation Have Sprouted: What is Now to be Done,” by Peter Hudis.



Sponsored by the International Marxist-Humanist Organization

Email: [email protected]