The Institute for the Critical Study of Society
at the 
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library


Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library




(NOTE: These are all tentative and may be changed. Please check back the week before, or sign up for our weekly reminders/updates at

Our Sunday morning programs are scheduled pretty much on a “first come, first served” basis and confirmed at our planning sessions. The opinions expressed are those of the speakers only and do not represent a group consensus on the issues by the members of ICSS. Our general practice is to allot at least half of the time to comradely discussion of the issues so that we include as many voices as practical .

Sun, Aug 16, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Coronavirus: Scientific Realities vs. Economic Fallacies
We are pleased to report that Georgi Marinov, Stanford postdoc in Genetics, , has accepted our invitation to speak about his recent article in LEFTEAST on this subject.


Although the invitation SAYS 10:30, the meeting will be opened up, as usual, at 10:15 for anyone to join and discuss technical matters, catch up with each other, say Hi, etc. We intend to start the presentation as close to 10:30 am as possible




The following programs are in various stages of planning.


Sun, Aug 23, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

CONFIRMED: Drastically Cutting the Military Budget -

Why Is It Not a Campaign Issue?

   Hunger and homelessness stalk the poor. Jobs lost in the pandemic and the resulting economic collapse may not come back or will be even lower wage than before. Public education and transportation along with protecting the environment are on the chopping block, while the billionaires are raking in money. Our cities and states are economically strapped. Yet, elected officials have no idea how to run them without raising local taxes, laying off workers, or slashing benefits. Meanwhile wars are plentiful. The more than a trillion dollars Congress annually votes to send to the Pentagon is hardly a topic of conversation or a campaign issue as a source of salvation at any level. 

   Our speaker, Henry Lowendorf, with the Campaign to Move the Money from military to human needs, will address what we can do about it. A biologist by profession, Lowendorf has been a peace activist since the mid-1960s. In 2016, he led a peace delegation to Syria on a mission to stimulate the US peace movement to honestly discuss the war on that country. He chairs the Greater New Haven (CT) Peace Council, is a member of the US Peace Council Executive Committee, and chair of the Peace and Solidarity Commission of the Communist Party, USA.


Sun, Aug 30, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
CONFIRMED: The past and future of U.S. policing

Noted historian and criminologist Tony Platt will share his long research and insights into the carceral state known as the USA. A pioneer of Radical Criminology in the U.S., Tony Platt taught American history, public policy, and social sciences at University of Chicago (1966-1968), Berkeley (1968-1977) and California State University, Sacramento (1977-2007). After completing an undergraduate degree at Oxford University (1960-1963) and earning a doctorate from Berkeley in 1966, he went on to author ten books and over 150 essays and articles dealing with issues of race, inequality, and social justice in American history. Among his notable works are “The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency” (1969) and “Bloodlines: Recovering Hitler's Nuremberg Laws, From Patton's Trophy to Public Memorial” (2006). His recent work – which includes the book, “Beyond these Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States” (2019) – is focused on issues relating to public history, memory, and the tragic past. He is currently a Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society.


Sun, Sep 6, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm  (LABOR DAY WEEKEND)
TENTATIVE: Group Discussion: November 2020
Our group discussion will be introduced led an ICSS member.

Sun, Sep 13, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
TENTATIVE; Marx on Ecology
ICSS Member Raj Sahai will provide a revised title and blurb soon.

Sun, Sep 20, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Sep 27, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm (Oct 1 China National Day)
(Oct 1 China National Day)

Sun, Oct 4, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm (Oct 1 China National Day
(Oct 1 China National Day)

Sun, Oct 11, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
CONFIRMED: Cuba, Socialism, and COVID 19
Our comrade, Larry Shoup, has accepted our invitation to speak on this important topic. Blurb will be coming soon.

Sun, Oct 18, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Oct 25, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Nov 1, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm DST FALL BACK
CONFIRMED -The fall of the Soviet Union: New insights into the sequence of events, starting with the victory of the Russian Revolution on November 7, 1917, and implications for Marxists today.”
Our comrade in Boston, Wadi'h Halabi, will discuss this topic. His analysis extends to differences between the Chinese and Russian Revolutions. For example, civil war and land reform followed revolution in Russia but preceded it in China. Halabi’s discussion will touch on the 'new Cold War'. The global class struggle hardly ended with the fall of the Soviet Union, and this is the framework of the presentation. 

Sun, Nov 8, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
CONFIRMED – The October Revolution Lives: The Socialist Bloc
ICSS Member Eugene Ruyle will discuss how the overthrow of Soviet Union was defeat for the working class which transformed but did not end the global class struggle for socialism. Marx was right in the 19th Century and Lenin was right in the 20th Century, our task in the 21st Century is to do for Leninism what Lenin did for Marxism. This practical task is being confronted by the surviving socialist states of China, Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba which must be understood scientifically, not in utopian terms. In this view, the revolutionary core of socialism lies in those countries which have actually had socialist revolution: the Soviet Union,, Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Korea, China, and Cuba.

Sun, Nov 15, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Nov 22, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Nov 29, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Dec 6, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Dec 13, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
PERHAPS?: The Social Metabolism of Imperialism  This will continue the theoretical work of ICSS member Eugene E Ruyle which applies Marx’s labor theory of value to the analysis of non-capitalist as well as capitalist systems, leading to a theoretic framework Ruyle calls social thermodynamics or social metabolism. Ruyle’s paper,  “The Evolution of Human Energetic Systems”, has been accepted for presentation at Thermodynamics 2.0 | International Conference which is being held from 22 – 24 June 2020

Sun, Dec 20, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Dec 27, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Jan 3, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Jan 10, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Jan 17, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sun, Jan 24, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Sunday near May 3,   2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
TENTATIVE Postponed from last  year: Elazar on the Scientific Analysis of Stalinism.
(Elazar 88th Birthday celebration after)

Sunday, Sep 5, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 
TENTATIVE (Postponed from 2020): Reclaiming the True Legacy of Labor Day
This will an updated repeat of a talk given at the San Jose Peace Center in 2017 by ICSS member Eugene E Ruyle.

Sun, Aug 27, 20XX: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
AS NEEDED: Group Reading: The Communist Manifesto

This is the foundational work of Marxism and we will go through it paragraph by paragraph, with ample opportunity for discussion. Be prepared to voice, and defend, your views!