I had forgotten the exquisitely leisurely pace at which Marx unfolds his theory in the opening seven or eight chapters of Capital. It is such a pleasure to re-read the text and watch him as he carefully, brick by brick, cobblestone by cobblestone, erects the barricade from behind which he will launch his assault on capitalism, calling down two thousand years of European literature as his witness. Even now, after having written two books and half a dozen articles about this text, I find that my breath is taken away by its power, its sweep, its majesty. I also realize that this is the first time since the Fall of 1977 that I have actually taught Capital. [That semester, I offered a graduate seminar in Classics of Critical Social Theory, in which the students studied Marx, Freud, and Mannheim. Fifteen students enrolled in the seminar, only two of whom were from the Philosophy Department.]
In the Spring, I am going to be taking my twenty students on an extraordinary adventure.