The Isms of March! Thinking Critically about Society Seminar Series Announced!

We’re back at it again with a series of seminars The Isms of March as part of our Thinking Critically about Society series. We’ll be joined by CSU Monterey Bay professors, local poets, and critically thinkers just like you to help tackle some of the different ideologies and theories that we’ve been hearing about.

Friday 9 March – 7pm: What is Anarchism?
Friday 16 March – 7pm: Understanding Neoliberalism
Friday 23 March – 7pm: Reading Marx
Friday 30 March – 7pm: Exploring Primitivism


Friday 9 March – 7pm: What is Anarchism?
Facilitated by Michael Frederiksen

What do people mean when they say “Anarchism”? Between the international Occupy movement, and questions surrounding capitalism, Anarchism has been a topic that has been much in the media of 2017. This seminar will introduce you to the philosophies of Anarchism through key readings, and then use these philosophies to discuss current events.

Suggested reading for the session:
1.) Howard Zinn – “Anarchism”. FULL TEXT
2.) Emma Goldman – “Anarchism: what it really stands for”. FULL TEXT
3.) Noam Chomsky – “On Anarchism”. FULL TEXT
4.) Encyclopedia Brtiannica, 1905 – “Anarchism”. FULL TEXT
5.) L. Susan Brown – “Does Work Really Work?”, Kick it Over, #35. FULL TEXT


Friday 16 March – 7pm: Understanding Neoliberalism
Facilitated by Sriya Shrestha

Suggested Reading:

Check back soon!


Friday 23 March – 7pm: Reading Marx
Facilitated by Stephanie Spoto

Marx and Engels’ theories became the most important political philosophies of the twentieth century, inspiring revolutions all over the world. Though we now maybe are familiar with some critiques of capitalism and some of the language of class consciousness, how might we understand some of the more nuanced aspects of Marxist thought? Why are dialectics and historical materialism and why were these ideas important to Marxist thought?

The readings for this session include:

1.) The Communist Manifesto (Of course) by Marx and Engels. Click here for text.
2.) “Socialism: Utopian & Scientific” by Engels. Click here for the text.
3.) “From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial Division of Paid Productive Labor” by Evelyn Nakano Glenn. Click here for text.


Friday 30 March – 7pm: Exploring Primitivism
Facilitated by Jeffrey Erwin

The ethos of Primitivism is based on the philosophical stance that civilization is itself unsustainable both from humanity and the ecology of the planet. Primitivism has also been approached by movements rooted in religious beliefs, psychological, Marxist and social concepts such as intimacy and ownership of production, and by historical and ongoing resistance to the state by hunter-gatherering and subsistence farming societies, either established de novo by social schisms or by indigenous peoples. This discussion focuses on this radical critique of our way of life.

Suggested readings:

1.) John Zerzan – Two Essays – Available here
2.) A Dialog on Primitivism – Available here


The purpose of these seminars is not an attempt to “convert” anyone to a particular way of thinking, but to provide them with a wider range of experiences that may help them to see the world in a different way.

We suggest that you read a few of the articles above, which have been some of the most influential on the subject, but you can read as many or as few as you’d like. Copies of all the articles below can be found on our webpage, or by visiting Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street, Monterey.

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