The Lefty Book Club is an international network of book clubs focused on understanding the world as members of the working class; building friendships and connections across geographical boundaries. We are currently offering four different book clubs a week, with more on the way, meeting virtually via Zoom and absolutely free of charge. All are welcome, even non-lefties and especially the left-curious.
Current Reading Groups:
Short Readings on Current Events and Other Important Sh*t
Topic for November 28th : Socialism and Anarchism
Current Assignment: Socialism with an Anarchist Squint in Strange Matters
Mondays @ 8:00pm ET
Climate Leviathan by Joel Wainwright & Geoff Mann
Racecraft by Leslie & Barbara Fields
ML Perspectives on Black Liberation and Socialism by Frank Chapman
Class Notes by Adolph Reed Jr.
Real Sh#t was started in 2020 with the intent to understand Afro-American social issues more deeply than the current over-simplified, corporate-interest-tinged discourse on race and racism you hear in the mainstream. We began with Adolph Reed Jr.’s Class Notes,
In Winter of 2021 we had the great pleasure of having on Adolph Reed himself to answer questions and chat with us for a few hours. He was incredibly gracious with his time.
After the trio of books on the Afro-American political question, we decided to move on to a broader topic umbrella, Current Events and Other Important Sh#t.
Recently we have begun a new format for this group; short, self-contained readings from books, articles, and essays with topics ranging from the American media’s manufacturing of consent, to an in-depth look at the Kazakh insurrection in 2022. This format allows more people to attend less consistently, better fitting into some people’s schedules so anyone can jump into a conversation at any time.
In March 2022, one of the authors of Climate Leviathan, Joel Wainwright, joined us for a Q&A about the book. Joel was also incredibly gracious with his time, and stayed after for an extra 1.5+ hours to shoot the breeze about Leftism, Marxism, the climate, and our collective future. It was a stellar evening. The audio for that chat and others is available on our Youtube channel.
Marx, Engels, and Others: Foundational Left Theory
Now Reading: Capital Vol. One by Karl Marx
Current Assignment: Chapter 8: Constant Capital and Variable Capital, pp. 307-319 (Penguin edition)
Monday @ 9:30pm ET
The Origins of the Family by Frederick Engels
Critique of the Gotha Program by Karl Marx
The Civil War in France by Karl Marx
Wage Labor and Capital / Value, Price, and Profit by Karl Marx
State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin
The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Frederick Engels
World History for the Workers of the World
Now Reading: Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
Current Assignment: Pg 153 (Teeth in Brazil’s Flesh) to Pg 173 (Ch 4: Take if Premature Death)
Thursdays @ 8:00pm ET
Mao’s China and After by Maurice Meisner
The Darker Nations by Vijay Prashad
Prisoners of the American Dream by Mike Davis
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Mental Illness, Addiction, and Disability Under Capitalism
Now Reading: Ghosts of My life by Mark Fisher
Current Assignment: ‘Can The World Be as Sad as It Seems?’: David Peace and his Adapters and Now Then, Now Then: Jimmy Savile and ‘the 70s On Trial’
Thursdays @ 10:00pm ET
Burnout Society by Byung Chul-Han
Capitalism and Disability: Selected Writings by Marta Russell
24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary
Lost Connections by Johann Hari
Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher
This club aims to read, discuss and learn from books that apply critiques of capitalist society to how it creates, worsens, and perpetuates mental illness, addiction, and disability (MIAD), and how it creates a class character among the people with such conditions. Especially under US cultural norms and capitalism, these conditions are attributed to individualized causes, such as moral failings, dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, or a poorly understood disease model of the human brain’s neurochemistry. The readings should aim to understand the underclass/lumpen MIAD in terms of broader, external societal level issues manufactured by capitalism, globalization, propaganda technology, and imperialism, and trace how it connects to MIAD conditions. Within this scope is also critique of the profit motives driving the psychological, psychiatric, medical, and addiction treatment establishments, and exploration of methods of true liberation that addresses the internal and external causes of MIAD conditions.
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