I was recently invited to lecture on Marx and Marxism at the CUNY College of Staten Island. These are my slides, which may be a bit too verbose for a typical presentation. I typed more text in them than prudent, because I wanted those not attending the lecture to be able to follow its content more easily.
Although I concluded the slides by calling young people to study Marx seriously, I also said that the “real struggle” of our times, if one is to stick to the spirit of Marxism, is not to restore some “true Marxism” or anything of the sort, but rather to deal with our situation here and now, what affects us most gravely and immediately and, hence, we are in a better position to influence. I said that if the doctrines of Marx and his followers are to prove helpful to our “real struggle,” it will be only after a process of critical appropriation, guided by a proper consideration of our concrete needs and powers. I tried to paraphrase Marx’s famous words in the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), namely that our revolutions will not find their imagery and poetry in the ideas of 19th or even 20th century socialists, but that we will have to create them anew (though hopefully not from scratch, but create them nonetheless) in response to our own circumstances.