Arthur Felberbaum, founder of the New York Marxist School, teaches Capital at the School's first home on the corner of West 4th and Barrow Street

The New York Marxist School


When people attempt to resolve the problems that plague everyday life and even threaten survival on this planet, from poverty, disease, discrimination and alienation to war, economic crisis and environmental devastation, they come face to face with difficult questions: Can society be changed significantly for the better? What kind of changes would be needed? and, Who could bring about such changes?

Questions like these are what motivated Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels to develop a method for studying the dynamics of change in societies.

In 1975, a group of civil rights, community, labor, and student activists came together to found the Brecht Forum's New York Marxist School. They saw the study of marxism as central, not as a dogma but as a living current of thought and as a vital tool for understanding capitalist society. They believed that the study of our reality, an informed public, clear-headed reflection on our actions, and an open, and inclusive space for the exchange of experience and discussion and debate of ideas are all essential to building the kind of movement we need if we want to create a better world..

Their collective vision combined with their commitment to the struggle for social transformation led them to develop a vital, non-sectarian institution that could offer serious study and discussion of social and political issues in a non-academic, community-level setting.

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