Fundamentals of Marxism

Fundamentals of MarxismKarl Marx explained that capitalism is a chaotic system of production beyond the control of humanity. While it raised human productive capacity higher than anytime before, it is doomed to plunge society into ever-greater crises. But Marx also explained that the system creates the modern proletariat. This class is set to overthrow the capitalist class and, on the basis of modern production, build a planned economy to use the resources of society for the benefit of all. These are not outdated ideas but vastly more in touch with the general processes in our world today, than most modern texts.

Marx developed his ideas as a direct continuation of the greatest thinkers of German philosophy, English political economy and French socialism. More than anything, Marx developed a method, a comprehensive philosophy, and a world outlook purely derived from the material world that we live in. Marxism is the science of the underlying laws that govern nature and society. It is only by studying these laws that we not only achieve the best understanding of society, but also discover the role and tasks of revolutionaries.

Far from a dead, dry ideology, Marxism is the science of revolution, a guide to action. For any revolutionary today, a serious study of the ideas of Marxism is an urgent necessity in order to understand the working of the world that we are trying to change.

– From Reading guide: the ideas of Karl Marx

Written in the summer of 1917, in the heat of the Russian Revolution, Lenin’s State and Revolution is a key work of Marxism. Here, Lenin explains that, stripped of all non-essentials, the state is in the final analysis “groups of armed men”: the army and the police, in defence of the ruling class.

This marvellous little pamphlet by James Connolly has introduced millions of workers to the basic ideas of socialism. We are reprinting it so that the working class and youth of today can continue to read it and profit from its arguments.

This work was originally the first three chapters of a larger work, a polemic against Eugen Dühring entitled Anti-Dühring, which was first published in 1878. This selection, in pamphlet form, first appeared in English in 1892, and along with the Manifesto of the Communist Party, quickly became one of the most popular works of Marxist theory.

Critique of the Gotha Programme is a critique of the draft programme of the United Workers' Party of Germany. In this document Marx address the dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition from capitalism to communism, the two phases of communist society, the production and distribution of the social goods, proletarian internationalism, and the party of the working class.

This pamphlet was commissioned by the Communist League in 1847 and was first published on February 21, 1848. It was co-written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and is probably the most influential political writing of all time. It outlines the basic perspectives of what would subsequently be referred to as “Marxism.” These ideas have formed the basis for revolutionary struggles throughout the world up to the present day.

With Marx philosophy finally emerges out of the dark and airless cellar to which it was confined for centuries by scholastic thought and dragged out, blinking, into the light of day. Here at last thought is united with activity – not the one-sided purely intellectual activity of the scholar but real, sensuous human activity.