Socialist Party, formerly Militant


Saturday, December 9, 2023

What is Marxism?


What Is Marxism – introduction

In these short extracts, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky explain some of the basic ideas, methods and philosophy of Marxism.

Lenin:  The Historic Service Of Marx And Engels

Lenin's Speech at unveiling of a monument to Marx and Engels on November 7, 1918, first anniversary of the Russian revolution

Lenin: The Three Sources And Three Component Parts Of Marxism

Lenin, 1913. The teaching of Marx evokes throughout the civilized world the greatest hostility and hatred on the part of all bourgeois science (both official and liberal), which regards Marxism as something in the nature of a "pernicious sect."

The Marxist view of the development of human society

In this famous excerpt Marx "briefly formulates" his ideas on the development of human society, which were first brilliantly outlined in the Communist Manifesto, and which are given more explanation in the letters by Engels also in this section of the Socialist Party website

The materialist conception of history

Famous letter by Frederick Engels, 1890. According to the materialist conception of history the determining element in history is ultimately the production and reproduction in real life. More than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted.

The “division of labour”

From a letter by Engels written in 1890, on the materialist conception of history in relation to the State, Law, Ideology and Philosophy. 

The “economic conditions”

Frederick Engels 1894. What we understand by the economic conditions which we regard as the determining basis of the history of society, are the methods by which human beings in a given society produce their means of subsistence and exchange the products among themselves (in so far as division of labour exists).

Lenin: The Historical Destiny Of The Teaching Of Karl Marx

Lenin, 1913. The main thing in the teaching of Marx is the elucidation of the world-wide historical role of the proletariat as the builder of a socialist society. Has the progress of events in the world confirmed this teaching since it was expounded by Marx?

Lenin: On The Theory Of Marxism

From article "Our Program," 1899 (emphasis in original). The doctrines of Marx and Engels were hitherto considered to be a firm foundation of the revolutionary theory, but now voices are heard on all sides that these doctrines are inadequate and obsolete. . . 

The Philosophy of Marxism: dialectical materialism

In 1939 Trotsky took to task US Trotskyists Burnham and Shachtman, and in doing so, made clear the link between political and philosophical thought, and gave a demonstration of the Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism.

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