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Marx, Capital, and Education

Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Becoming


Curry Stephenson Malott and Derek R. Ford

With the contradictions of capitalism heightening and intensifying, and with new social movements spreading across the globe, revolutionary transformation is once again on the agenda. For radicals, the most pressing question is: How can we transform ourselves and our world into something else, something just? In Marx, Capital, and Education, Curry Stephenson Malott and Derek R. Ford develop a «critical pedagogy of becoming» that is concerned with precisely this question. The authors boldly investigate the movement toward communism and the essential role that critical pedagogy can play in this transition. Performing a novel and educational reading of Karl Marx and radical theorists and activists, Malott and Ford present a critical understanding of the past and present, of the underlying logics and (often opaque) forces that determine the world-historical moment. Yet Malott and Ford are equally concerned with examining the specific ways in which we can teach, learn, study, and struggle ourselves beyond capitalism; how we can ultimately overthrow the existing order and institute a new mode of production and set of social relations. This incisive and timely book, penned by two militant teachers, organizers, and academics, reconfigures pedagogy and politics. Educators and organizers alike will find that it provides new ammunition in the struggle for the world that we deserve.
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Foreword. Being and Becoming Communist: Toward a Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy of Becoming





Is communism the indisputable and irrevocable horizon of the present historical juncture? This question is of grave discernment for humanity. Marx, Capital, and Education represents an extended and exhilarating exegetical “yes” to this question.

The political trajectory of this book alone should explode the mainstream debate over education into a frenzy of contradictions, omissions, and analytic paralyses, sending shards of hope flying through the air like Fourth of July bottle rockets whistling The Internationale. But honesty demands that we ask: What fate will such a book truly enjoy in a field in which critical pedagogy continues to be burdened by the scars of its compliance with the neoliberal academy and where tinkering with capitalism underwrites the ne plus ultra defiant act of the critical pedagogue? This is an especially important question in a world in which capitalism remains synonymous with democracy, and the struggles for democracy effectively mean democracy for the capitalist class alone. In the short run, Marx, Capital, and Education will obviously both polarize and mobilize. It will polarize the left, provoking the majority of liberal and left liberals to run shrieking from its essential premises and to take refuge on the wrong side of the ramparts (which is almost always the side populated ← ix | x → with the best of intentions and the most highbrow of qualifications). As soon as readers learn that the authors are...

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