The Community College Dean Tries to Stop the Cycle of Abuse
Kevin Drum, Hornswogglee

History of Economic Thought

Steven Guess's Wednesday evening class on Marxism rolls toward its conclusion. I know he put a lot of work into preparing it last spring. I'll have to chase him down and ask him how it went:

Marxism/Communism: A Survey and Analysis: Contact: Faculty Sponsor: [Gerard] Roland. Course Website: Marxism is often discussed but rarely objectively described. This class will introduce students to Marxist ideology, and explore modern challenges to Centrally Planned Economies in the post-Soviet era. It will also compare theoretical Marxism with historical Communism. Finally, students will be encouraged to challenge the course facilitator and Marxist/Capitalist ideas during the semester.

Steven's Pub: The Final Paper for The Decal: This is the list of topics students can choose from for the final paper in my Marxism Decal.

  1. Write a Letter to Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott . In your letter, address the issues of Outsourcing, Low Wages, Unionization, and local community disruption (feel free to throw in anything else you'd like too).
  2. Respond to the statement "The Soviet Union was an unforeseen consequence of Marxist ideology rather than a perversion of Marxist principles."
  3. Look up Cuban statistics on health, productivity, education, and other standards of living. You may wish to consult the CIA World Fact Book and the United Nations website. Did the centralization of economic production result in a better society? Offer some analysis as to why, or why not. Be sure to define what you mean by "better society."
  4. Respond to the statement "Marxism is an Unproven Proposition that is mostly theoretical"
  5. Go to the American Communist Party website. Analyze their page "Why YOU should join the Communist Party" Address the following questions in your analysis:
    1. Will Communism solve the three problems outlined by the Party?
    2. Is Communism the best way to solve these problems?
    3. In what way do these ambitions relate to the Principles of Communism, as expressed by Engels?
  6. If exploitation in America is increasing, inequality is rising, and capitalism thriving, why is the union movement in decline? And secondly, if the union movement is in decline, does that mean Marx's vision for Communism in America impossible? Be sure to put some general time frame in your ideas.
  7. Respond to the statement "Europe has both private property, and social equality. Therefore, capitalism can be reformed and it is not necessary to adopt a socialist state to achieve a better society."
  8. Analyze the Democratic Party platform. Should a Communist vote Democrat, or should they boycott the Democratic party and vote for more substantial change? Contrast the issue of "lesser of two evils" and "standing on principle."