A new group on campus is bringing together students from all backgrounds to discuss the writings of philosopher, scientist, economist and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx. Club Marx was founded in fall 2016 and meets weekly to hold conversations about the influential figure’s work that some members feel is underrepresented in philosophy courses and beyond.
“It doesn’t matter if you agree with Marx or not, he was one of the most influential thinkers in modern history, and the fact that he’s largely ignored was concerning to us,” Club Marx President Birdie Kushner explained. “We want to encourage people to take their education seriously and foster critical thinking skills,” she continued.
The club’s founders were further motivated by the university’s lack of transparency in its private funding. Large donations by individuals such as the Koch brothers, Greg Gianforte and Norm Asbjornson are causing concern among the club that private donors are influencing the university and the education students receive.
Club meetings entail reading Marx’s work, holding discussions and applying those ideas to current events, and demonstrating how philosophy affects how we relate to politics, the environment and social issues. They also host guest lecturers who speak on a variety of topics related to Marx. Everyone is encouraged to come, regardless of political affiliation.
As Kushner said, “The main goal is to have more people examining their own political beliefs and be willing to exchange their own beliefs and be willing to exchange thoughtfully and respectfully with other groups. People have more things in common than we think and one of the best ways to figure that out is to read, discuss ideas and make change happen.”
Club Marx meets on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the library conference rooms, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.