English version

Marx: the destructive creation

Seminar in Brazil brings Slavoj Žižek, David Harvey and Michael Heinrich to discuss the relevance of Marxism in times of global crisis.

Event about the german philosopher Karl Marx, to be held in São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Brasília and Salvador between the months of march and may will have some of the most renowned specialists, from Brazil and abroad, as participants

In light of the consequences of the global economic crisis and the new political configuration witnessed in Brazil as well as across the globe, what can Marx teach us? How can his vast body of work, mainly The Capital, contribute to the understanding and transformation of our time? In order to debate the relevance of this philosophy giant, Brazilian publishing house Boitempo Editorial and Sesc (Social Service of Commerce) have organized the international seminar “Marx: the destructive creation”, which will take place between the months of March and May 2013, and will bring together some of the most renowned specialists in Marxist tradition, namely Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, British geographer David Harvey, and German political scientist Micheal Heinrich, participant of the MEGA-2 project (Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe), holder and curator of the manuscripts of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

In partnership with the Lauro Campos Foundation, Mauricio Grabois Foundation, the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, the Porto Alegre City Council, the event producer Carpe Diem, ArtFliporto and the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), the international project “MARX: the descructive creation”, that comprises the 4th Margem Esquerda International Seminar and the 4th Introductory Course to Marx and Engels, will extend to the cities of São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Brasilia, Recife and Salvador, where the international conferences of Slavoj Žižek and David Harvey are taking place.

In SÃO PAULO, where most of the event is going to take place, the schedule, divided into three parts, marks the historical release of the special edition, with an all new translation to Portuguese, of the first book of Karl Marx’s The Capital, along with Brazilian editions of David Harvey’s A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Slavoj Žižek’s Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism, Alysson Leandro Mascaro’s Estado e Forma Política [State and Political Form] along with Marx, mode d’emploi [Marx, how to use it], from the French philosopher Daniel Bensaïd, and the 20th edition of the Margem Esquerda [Left Margin] magazine.

All activities will be recorded and uploaded to Boitempo’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/imprensaboitempo/. Some of them, such as Žižek’s conference in São Paulo, will be live streamed through the project’s website: http://marxcriacaodestruidora.com.br.

International Conferences

From Hegel to Marx…and back to Hegel! The Dialetical Tradition in Times of Crisis
With Slavoj Žižek 


March 5 – Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul)
March 8 – São Paulo (São Paulo)
March 12 – Brasília (Distrito Federal)
March 15 – Recife (Pernambuco)

Reading The Capital
With David Harvey


March 23 – São Paulo (São Paulo)
March 25 – Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul)
March 26 – Salvador (Bahia)

The Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Manuscripts
With Micheal Heinrich

March 22 – São Paulo (São Paulo)

São Paulo Programm

First Cycle
From Hegel to Marx…and back to Hegel! The Dialetical Tradition in Times of Crisis

The first cycle is going to take place between March 5 and March 8 and is comprised of an introductory course to Slavoj Žižek’s work, by the philosopher of law Alysson Leandro Mascaro, philosopher Rodnei Nascimento and psychoanalyst Christian Dunker. The course concludes with a screening of the feature length documentary Žižek! (Astra Taylor, 2005), followed by a conference with the Slovenian philosopher and a session of books signing.

Introductory course to Slavoj Žižek’s work

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, 7 P.M.
– Žižek and Politics, with Alysson Leandro Mascaro (philosopher of Law)

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013, 7 P.M.
– Žižek and Psychoanalysis, with Christian Dunker (psychoanalyst)

Thursday, March 7th, 2013, 7 P.M.
– Žižek and Philosophy, with Rodnei Nascimento (philosopher);

Where: Sesc Pinheiros Auditorium
Duration: 150 minutes (each day)

Friday, March 8th, 2013, 2 P.M.
Screening of documentary Žižek! (Astra Taylor, 2005)

Friday, March 8th, 2013, 8 P.M.
International conference From Hegel to Marx…and back to Hegel! The Dialetical Tradition in Times of Crisis, with Slavoj Žižek

(streaming here)
Where: Paulo Autran Theater

Second Cycle
4th International Seminar Margem Esquerda: Marx and The Capital

The planned activities for the second cycle, which will occur throughout the days of March 22 and 23, include David Harvey’s conference about The Capital and Michael Heinrich, along with debates with guests such as Emília Viotti (historian), Emir Sader (sociologist), Francisco de Oliveira (sociologist), José Arthur Gianotti (philosopher), Leda Paulani (economist), Marcio Porchmann (economist), Paul Singer (economist), Roberto Schwarz (literary critic) and Virgínia Fontes (economist), among others.


Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 4:30 P.M.
– Debate Brazilian Studies on The Capital with Emília Viotti da Costa (historian); Emir Sader (sociologist), João Quartim de Moraes (philosopher), José Arthur Gianotti (philosopher) and Roberto Schwarz (literary critic). Mediation by Sofia Manzano.

Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 8:00 P.M.
-International Conference The Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Manuscripts, with Michael Heinrich (MEGA, Germany). Mediation by Augusto Buonicore.

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, 3 P.M.
-Debate Brazilian Marxism today with Antonio Carlos Mazzeo (political scientist), Marcelo Ridenti (sociologist) and Marcos Del Roio (political scientist). Mediation by Alexandre Linhares.

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, 5 P.M.
-Debate Critique of political economy today, with Francisco de Oliveira (sociologist), Leda Paulani (economist), Paul Singer (economist) and Virginia Fontes (historian). Mediation by Ruy Braga.

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, 7 P.M.
-International conference Reading The Capital, with David Harvey (geographer, U.K.), commentary by Gilberto Cunha Franco (geographer). Mediation by Márcio Pochmann (economist).

Where: Paulo Autran Theater
 120 minutes (each activity)

Third Cycle
4th Introductory Course to Marx and Engels

The third cycle is comprised of the 4th Introductory Course to Marx and Engels, which occurs in May, between the 8th and the 15th. The classes – taught by some of the most important Brazilian Marxist scholars – will cover Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s vast body of work, with a primary focus on the 15 titles Boitempo has already published within its Marx-Engels Series.


May 7th
3:30 P.M. | First Class
Title: Critique of the State and the Law: political form and legal form
Teacher: Alysson Mascaro (USP/Mackenzie)

7 P.M. | Second Class
Title: Critique of idealism: politics and ideology
Teacher: Antonio Rago (PUC-SP)

May 8th
3:30 P.M. | Third Class
Title: The relevance of the Communist Manifesto
Teacher: José Paulo Netto (UFRJ)

7P.M. | Fourth Class
Title: Concrete Analysis of class struggle
Teacher: Osvaldo Coggiolla (USP)

May 14th
3:30 P.M. | Fifth Class
Title: The constitution of the proletariat and its revolutionary praxis
Teacher: Ricardo Antunes (Unicamp)

7P.M | Sixth Class
Title: The ontological critique of capitalism
Teacher: Mario Duayer (UERJ)

May 15th
3:30 P.M. | Seventh Class
Title: Critique of political economy
Teacher: Jorge Grespan (USP)

7 P.M. | Eighth Class
Title: Democracy, work and socialism
Teacher: Ruy Braga (USP)

Where: Paulo Autran Theater
Duration: 180 minutes (each class)

International Speakers

Slavoj Žižek
Slavoj Žižek was born in 1949 in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a philosopher, psychoanalyst and one of the main contemporary theoreticians. Transits through various areas of knowledge, and, mainly under the influence of Karl Marx and Jacques Lacan, performs an innovative cultural and political critique on post modernity. Teaches at the European Graduate School and at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, presides the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis of Ljubjana and is the international director of the Birbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birbeck, University of London. By him, Boitempo has published the Brazilian editions of Welcome to the desert of the real (2003), Revolution at the gates (2005), The Parallax View (2008), Lacrimae rerum (2009), In Defense ofLlost Causes (2011), First as Tragedy, Then as Farce (2011), Living in the End Times (2012) and The Year of Dreaming Dangerously (2012). Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism, to be released during his visit to Brazil, is the ninth book by the author published by Boitempo.

David Harvey
The British geographer David Harvey is one of today’s most influential Marxists, recognized internationally by his vanguardist analysis of capital dynamics. Teaches post-graduate anthropology at The City University of New York, where he has been teaching since 2001. He was also a geography teacher at both the John Hopkins University and at Oxford University. His book The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, was nominated by Independent as one of the top 50 most important non-fiction works since World War II. Author of a great number of books, he recently published by Boitempo The Enigma of Capital: and the Crises of Capitalism (2012) and now came to Brazil in order to release A Companion to Marx’s Capital.

Michael Heinrich
Political Scientist
The political scientist Michael Heinrich was born in Germany, is an economy teacher at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and editor of PROKLA, a critical political science magazine. Heinrich is also a participant of MEGA-2 (Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe), holder and curator of the manuscripts of both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Author of many studies about The Capital, one of his most famous books being Kritik der politischen Ökonomie: eine einführung [Critique of political economy: an Introduction], recently translated to English. His work is heavily focused on Marxist theory and on the history of economic theory.

Books to be released

The Capital: Volume 1
Karl Marx
In 2011, Boitempo started working on one of its biggest editorial projects thus far: the complete translation of The Capital, for the first time in light of the german MEGA-2 project (Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe), with Rubens Enderle as translator. On March 2013, the publisher releases the first volume of this classic book, which first came to be in 1867’s Germany, and is considered the most profound investigation of the capitalist way of production and its correspondent relations of production and circulation. Marx dedicates himself to the comprehension of the categories that constitute the internal articulation of bourgeois society and analyses the capital in direct relation to the exploitation of wage labor. England, then one of the major hubs of industrial work force, serves as illustration to his theoretical exposition.

Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism
Slavoj Žižek
Boitempo releases, during the international seminar, the biggest and most important theoretical book by the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. Over the last two centuries, western philosophy grew under Hegel’s shadow – every generation trying in vain to escape his influence. In these times of transition we live in, Žižek advocates not only revisiting Hegel, dominant philosopher of historical transition, but also repeating his triumphs and overcoming his limitations through the interaction with the antiphilosopher Lacan. To him, psychoanalysis and Hegelian dialectic redeem themselves mutually, ridding themselves of their usual skin and giving way to a new, unexpected form. That approach allows the most popular philosopher of them all to diagnose our present condition and also engage in a critical dialogue with the essential axis of contemporary thought – from Heidegger to Badious, from quantum physics to cognitive sciences.

A Companion to Marx’s Capital
David Harvey
The result of years of courses on Marx’s The Capital, taught by the Marxist geographer David Harvey in universities around the world, A Companion to Marx’s Capital is both a succinct and dense piece of work. An introduction to comprehending The Capital arriving at an opportune time, a time in which there is massive interest about the analysis of Marx’s works, in search of a better understanding of the origins of economic bankruptcy and today’s problems. Despite the last thirty years, particularly the years since the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War, not being a very favorable or fertile period for Marxian political economy, this book helps open the door so that a younger generation, unfamiliar to this school of thought, can explore, on its own, Marx’s legacy. “There are many students and activists who desperately desire a strong theoretical basis to help situate and contextualize their own interests and political actions. I hope this particular presentation of Marxian theory can aid them in that task”, says Harvey in the introduction.

Estado e forma política [State and Political Form]
Alysson Leandro Mascaro
Alysson Mascaro demonstrates, with this book, how political thought has historically faced the problem, posed by ideological determination, of paradoxically taking the form of justification to existent orders. On the apex of this process, the contemporary exhaustion of State theory appears, facing the most recent global economical deadlock, in the form of those who try to escape it using the same theoretical pattern that originally led to it. Fighting an uphill battle against the neoliberal consensus, the author insists that a deeper understanding of the State and of politics, so urgently needed by present circumstances, would only be possible through an analysis of its relational, structural, historical, dynamical and contradictory in the whole social reproduction. It is, thus, in the perspective of totality, a mark of Marxist culture, that he sets the foundations for his emancipatory project, in which political form can only be understood as a derivation of the merchandise form instated in capitalsm.

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