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Books on Marxism

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by Caps, May 20, 2011.

  1. Caps

    CapsExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Anyone have any recommendations regarding manageable reads on Marxism? I'm pretty comfortable with a good deal of the classical stuff of Marx and Engels but my knowledge of Trotsky, Lenin and Gramsci is pretty limited and, beyond them, essentially non-existent. I know there is wikipedia but I find a proper book is much easier to digest.
     

  2. SenI

    SenIExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    I may recommend to you read The Communist Manifesto and Capital: Criticism of the Political Economy. Also there isn't bad books to called The Poverty of Philosophy and Critique of the Gotha Programme. I also recommend reading this article: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/wo ... /appx1.htm - Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.
     
  3. kazmacılar

    kazmacılarMember Forum Member


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    May 7, 2011
     
    I don't think you can read Capital if you aren't familiar with the economy. Communist Manifest, Imperialism (by Lenin, its a good critique about capitalism's progress), Theses on Feuerbach (Marx), Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, The State and The Revolution (Lenin), What Is To Be Done? (Lenin), Left Communism:An Infantile Disorder (Lenin). You can start with these to understand marxism-leninism
     
  4. SenI

    SenIExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Marxism-Leninism is afore things relating to Bolshevism. Early works of Marx, which I cited above is largely related with the position of anarcho-communism. Even Bakun approved many of earlier works of Marx.
     
  5. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    as linked to by SenI, anything Marx/Engels you can see here:
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/index.htm

    They also have some good Gramsci:
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/gramsci/index.htm
    Note his most famous work is his 'Prison Notebooks 1929-1935', that's the one where he explains his concept of hegemony.

    know yr enemy.

    Caps wrote:
    so maybe what I write here is more for others, but

    Surely Capital is designed as a text to help one understand the economy...

    Inre The Communist Manifesto, its a party program and essentially a propaganda piece designed for recruitment purposes, its not really a good text to refer to to understand Marxism...
    It's a great little piece but kinda relies on a prior understanding of Marxism rather than explaining what Marxism is.

    Anywayz, I <3 Lefebvre, get his book: The Production of Space

    Beyond that, Negri's Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse is good.
    Actually 'post-', 'autonomist-' 'etc-' Marxists are more interesting, in general, than those murderous fuckwits Trotsky and Lenin.
    Read Negri, Freire, Marcuse, the Siutationists, Lefebvre, etc

    p.s. Gramsci is a must
     
  6. Caps

    CapsExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 3, 2010
     
    I have read the Communist Manifesto and small parts of Capital but Capital is huge and dense. I have also read The Eighteenth Brumaire but that was a long while ago.

    Basically, someone asked me about Trotsky's Permanent Revolution concept and, really, I have a guess at what it is but not a genuine understanding. And this made me realise I actually know little about Trotsky and Lenin, let alone Kautsky, Rosa Luxemberg and pretty much any other Marxist you care to name. I was looking for a sort of chronological introduction from it's origins to the present day. The only book I found through an internet scan was one called 'The Main Currents of Marxism' but it's a colossal 1300 pages. I'm hoping for a briefer overview.

    I have read Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed (as a radical teacher, that's got to be a mandatory read, no?) and do want to read Marcuse and Gramsci in due course.

    Cheers for the thoughts and contributions so far. Keep em coming.
     
  7. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    In such a case, reading some Lenin,Trotsky, etc is probs better than any 'overview' text I know (much like Marshall's Demanding the Impossible is to Anarchism, most of these type of books usually suffer a little bit from the author's own politics, for instance, Trots barely acknowledge the existence of ppl like the Frankfurt School, Situationists, Autonomists, etc; plus they don't understand Gramsci so good, whilst Autonomists are like us good honest anarchists in dealing with Trotsky & Lenin, ie, they'll write 'those guys are fuckwits, let's move on...' ;) ).
    Thus, read Lenin's The State & Revolution, Trotsky's The Permanent Revolution & maybe Luxemburg's The Russian Revolution.
    Oh yeah, and most 'big time' Marxists have 'readers', ie 'collected works' books; most of which have a chapter or two as an overview of their thoughts, you could do worse than read these.
    Otherwise maybe just turn up to some local university lectures, most first year Political Science subjects have 'Marxism' overview type lectures/courses (I'm guessing you can just go to uni lectures without being a student where you are too? Here they don't take attendance and lectures have a few hundred ppl so no one knows/cares that you ain't a student, oh, and uni libraries are the best place to find the above mentioned readers).

    Alternatively, save yrself the punishment of reading Lenin & Trotsky, and go straight to Marcuse & Gramsci (and to reiterate, Lefebvre)
     
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