Tag Archives: socialism

A People’s History of the United States, 1492-Present (Howard Zinn)

zinn“I am often asked how I came to write this book. One answer is that my wife Roslyn urged me to write it, and continued to urge me at those times when, daunted by the magnitude of the project, I wanted to abandon it. Another is that the circumstances of my own life (which, as I now write, has spanned a fourth of the nation’s history-a startling thought) demanded of me that I try to fashion a new kind of history. By that T mean a history different from what I had learned in college and in graduate school and from what I saw in the history texts given to students all over the country.” (excerpt from the afterword)

Download: Howard Zinn – A People’s History of the United States, 1492-Present

The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx (Alex Callinicos)

Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx - cvr“My aim in this book has been to fill a gap in the literature on Marx by providing an accessible modern introduction to his life and thought by someone who shares his basic beliefs on history, society and revolution. I am grateful to a number of people for their help and encouragement: to Peter Clark and Tony Cliff, who had the idea in the first place; to Tony Cliff for his searching criticisms of the book in manuscript; and to Peter Goodwin and Peter Marsden, who performed the same task as well as the more difficult one of trying to make the book readable. Although the general political standpoint taken in this book is that of the Socialist Workers Party, the errors it undoubtedly contains are all my own. I would like to dedicate The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx to Joanna Seddon, to whom I owe, among other things, such knowledge as I have of the Utopian socialists.” (Foreword)

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On Practice and Contradiction (Mao Tse Tung)

mao“The fundamental contradiction in the process of development of a thing and the essence of the process determined by this fundamental contradiction will not disappear until the process is completed; but in a lengthy process the conditions usually differ at each stage. The reason is that, although the nature of the fundamental contradiction in the process of development of a thing and the essence of the process remain unchanged, the fundamental contradiction becomes more and more intensified as it passes fr om one stage to another in the lengthy process. In addition, among the numerous major and minor contradictions which are determined or influenced by the fundamental contradiction, some become more intense, some are temporarily or partially resolved or mitigated, and some new ones emerge: hence the process is marked by stages. If people do not pay attention to the stages in the process of development of a thing, they cannot deal with its contradictions properly.” -Mao Tse Tung

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Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci (Quentin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, eds.)

“It was during his years at Turin University that Gramsci first came into serious contact with the intellectual world of his time. The deficiencies of liberal Italy had created a certain vogue for socialist ideas even in bourgeois circles, and many of the professors at the University had links with the socialist movement.” (from the general introduction)

Download: Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci

Manifesto of the Communist Party (Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels)

“Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?” (Marx and Engels)

Download: Communist Manifesto

What Does the Ruling Class Do When it Rules? (Goran Therborn)

“Two concerns are intimately interwoven in this book: one of
empirical social theory and one of the practice of revolutionary
politics in the advanced capitalist countries. The first essay, dealing
with the state apparatus, owes its conception to the 22nd Congress
of the French Communist Party, at which the concept of the dictatorship
of the proletariat was deleted from the statutes. But it goes
beyond the framework of the political debate that accompanied and
followed that event. Entering the field of organization theory, it
seeks to elucidate the forms of state organization characteristic of
feudal society, the classical and modem Western world, and the
contemporary regimes of Eastern Europe.” (from Science and Politics–A Foreword)

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Two Classics of Revolutionary Feminism

“We have written this paper to express and share with other women ideas for a new strategy for the women’s movement. Currently there are two ideological poles, representing the prevailing tendencies within the movement. One is the direction toward new lifestyles within a women’s culture, emphasizing personal liberation and growth, and the relationship of women to women. Given our real need to break loose from the old patterns–socially, psychologically, and economically–and given the necessity for new patterns in the post revolutionary society, we understand, support and enjoy this tendency. However, when it is the sole emphasis, we see it leading more toward a kind of formless insulation rather than to a condition in which we can fight for and win power over our own lives.” (from “Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women’s Movement”)

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