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Dialectic At Work: For Roses and Bread: On Marxism as a Theory of Overcoming Trauma

In this episode, "For Roses and Bread: On Marxism as a Theory of Overcoming Trauma", the Dialectic goes to work to explore the following question: Why Marx? Why Marxian Theory?

We begin with this, our inaugural episode, with a deep dive into Professor Richard Wolff's life. His upbringing, education and what led him to dedicate his life to the Marxian project.

We argue that among the diverse reasons why people choose to study Marxism is that it provides an analysis of the 'urgent living problems' that confront us as individuals, as societies, and as a global community. The great dialectician, Lukacs, famously remarked that the Marxist dialectic is revolutionary since it not only seeks to understand the world but also, as Marx rightly pointed out, to change it.

With that in mind, we explore the life and times of Professor Richard D Wolff as a point of entry into the theory we are about to explore. We dive into the sociohistorical circumstances, during and after World War II, that turned a man born to middle-class European immigrants who were fleeing to the United States to escape Nazism into a critic of capitalism.

This is crucial to the aims of the podcast since the theoretical and political concepts that we will explore in upcoming podcasts were shaped, in part, by the experience and backgrounds of Richard Wolff and Stephen Resnick.

After watching this episode, viewers will begin to see how Marxism provides a way of dealing with an unjust and unfair world; not by imploding internally, nor by blaming ones' self for one's miseries, or by victimizing others. Instead, we examine our trauma as a manifestation of the larger problem, the historical bourgeois epoch called capitalism.

We should then be able to appreciate that Marx provided a disturbing yet profound critique of capitalism that is critical to understanding the real cause of our misery: it is just the way capitalism works. Marxist knowledge then is crucial for anyone who wishes to change it.

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