The Political Philosophy Reading Group discusses great political thinkers’ ideas and their relevance to today’s politics. Each month, the group reads an excerpt from an important political work. Past authors discussed include Karl Marx, Alexis de Tocqueville, and J.S. Mill. Offering an alternative to the superficial political discourse one finds on cable news, our group delves deeply into the meaning of liberty, rights, democracy, and justice. As we approach a historic election, we have a duty as responsible citizens to develop informed opinions about what kind of government and society we want to have.
In our June discussion, we examined the ideas of the anarchist philosopher, Mikhail Bakunin. He argued that government and capitalism were the source of oppression and misery in society, and therefore they had to be abolished in order for all people to enjoy liberty and prosperity. While most in the group shared Bakunin’s concerns about state power and capitalist exploitation, most were skeptical that a stateless society could accomplish the goals Bakunin hoped to achieve. Nonetheless, Bakunin’s writing opened reader’s minds to alternative forms of political organization based on cooperation and consensus.
Join us in our next meeting for civil and deep discussions about political ideas that affect us all.