Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library

The Institute for the Critical Study of Society at the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library (ICSSMARX). 6501 Telegraph Ave., Oakland 94609 (just north of Alcatraz) Nearly Every Sunday Morning, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Since the beginning of the CORONA-19 Pandemic, we have been meeting on Zoom.


Our Sunday morning discussions have been a regular feature at the Marxist Library for several years. We have regularly invited groups and individuals from various political and intellectual tendencies to propose programs. Proposals should include a desired date, brief title, a blurb of about 50-100 words, and brief bios of speakers (see sample on the next page)(also, check our web page for examples of past and future programs and open dates), for discussion and approval at our next planning session. Please send your proposal to Eugene E Ruyle (Email:, Tel: 510- 332-3865) or to another member of the Institute..

Normally, our programs are scheduled on a first come, first served basis, subject to final approval at our monthly planning committee meetings. Our planning sessions normally follow the talk on the first Sunday of every month (usually from 12:45 to 1:45 pm) to coordinate the schedule and review proposals. This is an open meeting. Everyone is welcome to help plan our future sessions. Approved programs will be placed on our website and emailed to our regular attendees. We will also prepare a flyer and post it on the Indybay calendar. We don’t do additional advertising in any systematic way and suggest that speakers take responsibility for other outreach, e.g, KPFA, Occupy Oakland, distributing flyers to friends, etc.

Our sessions normally run from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Chairs can be arranged in a loose circle or in rows with a speaker’s podium, depending on nature of the presentation, the preferences of the speaker, the expected size of group, etc.

We try to start promptly as soon after 10:30 am as possible and ask that the formal portion of the program last no more than 45-50 minutes to allow time for questions and comments from the audience. We normally limit questions/comments to 2 or 3 minutes to give everyone an opportunity to speak, varying, of course, with the size of the group.

We normally pass the hat about 11:30 am to support the ICSS. We are pretty firm about ending by 12:30 out of respect for people who have other commitments, but Library is usually open for informal discussion for another half hour or so, unless there is another event scheduled. For this reason, we try to end the question/answer session by about 12:15, to allow 5 or 10 minutes for any final comments by the speakers and about 5 minutes for brief announcements.

We are open to alternative modes of presentation (drama, film, music, small groups etc.) and simply ask that folks discuss their plans with a member of ICSSMARX.. Our objective is simply to have an interesting and enjoyable Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library where the friendly and respectful exchange of ideas is welcomed.

Please do not indicate that your program is “sponsored” or “endorsed” by the Institute, since the opinions expressed in our Sunday morning programs are those of the speakers only and do not represent any kind of group consensus by the members of ICSS.



Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library Sunday, September 18, 2011, 10:30 a.m.-12: 30 p.m.

The Peasant War in Germany, on-going dialog on the dialectic with Lew Finzel and Ron Kelch A look back at the 16th century peasant war in Germany reveals a nexus between the modern capitalist era, the dialectic of Hegel rooted in the religious community and Marx’s revolutionary dialectic which was multidimensional, especially in relation to the peasantry.

Marx looked eagerly for a second edition of the peasant war to complement a revolutionary worker’s movement. Long before Marx, themes emerged in the peasant revolt in 16th century Germany that later resonated in Marx. For example, before his execution the leading theological voice in the peasant revolt, Thomas Muntzer, said: “All property should be held in common and should be distributed to each according to his needs, as the occasion required.” How does the underlying dialectic uniting these moments speak to today’s global crisis with its multiple subjects in revolutionary opposition?

Suggested reading: The Peasant War in Germany by Frederick Engels. (online at the Marx & Engels Internet Archive:

Both Lew Finzel and Ron Kelch are longtime ICSS members. Lew identifies as an anarchist and Ron works with News and Letters. Any sponsoring group(s) may be listed, but please do not indicate that your program is “sponsored” or “endorsed” by the Institute, since the opinions expressed in our Sunday morning programs are those of the speakers only and do not represent any kind of group consensus by the members of ICSS