May 9, 2008


I've just graduated from the engineering school at Columbia with a bachelor's in computer science - actually, technically I have another couple of weeks until commencement. Post graduation, I'm hoping to replace reading for class with a more systematic approach to self-education, e.g. tackling Capital.

I'm a member of the International Socialist Organization, a group in the Trotskyist tradition, and active in the antiwar movement. (For more info, please do check out our just-launched fancy new website, now updated daily.) That means I want to approach Capital with a focus on how Marx' analysis continues to apply to the world we live in. Specifically, I suppose my strongest interest is in deepening my understanding of the contradictions of capitalism - the forces driving it towards periodic crisis, the factors which give it the ability to overcome crises, and the limits to those factors.

I've read several chapters of Capital, but only a small proportion of the whole book. I know Andy, who invited me to participate in this reading group, from the Columbia policy debate team, which my partner and I more or less took over from him and which, unfortunately, died on our watch.

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