New education series: Marx and Marxism

On January 7, we are starting a new series, looking at Marx and Marxism. We’ll be publishing reading materials before the sessions so that comrades can prepare.

1) January 7 2021
Is the Communist Manifesto still important for socialists today?
Presented by Mark Lewis. Recommended reading:

  • The Communist Manifesto
  • The intellectual life of the British working class, Jonathan Rose (Yale University Press, New Haven and London). A fascinating history of the ways that working people developed a culture of education from below. My favourite chapter = ‘The Welsh Miners Libraries’ (p.237).
  • The adventures of the Communist Manifesto, Hal Draper (Centre for Socialist History).
  • Democracy against capitalism, Ellen Meiksins Wood (Cambridge University Press)
  • The Vote: How it was won and how it was undermined, Paul Foot (Bookmarks Publications)
  • Beyond ‘Capital’: Marx’s Economy of the working class, Michael Lebowitz (Palgrave). Explores the “one-sidedness” of Marx’s unfinished Capital and argues that the side of the working class – its struggles withing capitalism, its culture, etc – was not sufficiently theorised by Marx (he died with the bulk of his plan for Capital not completed) and this has produced a narrow, economistic template by the left, including those who claim to stand in the tradition of Marx and his ideas.
  • The transitional programme for socialist revolution, Leon Trotsky (Pathfinder Press).

2) January 14 2021
Marx and Engels – their background, their relationship

Presented by Kevin Bean. Recommended reading:
– V.I. Lenin: The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism
– Marx/Engels: The German Ideology (critique of the Hegelians and putting forward a materialist view allied with dialectics – the direct forerunner of the Communist Manifesto)
– Paul Lafargue: Reminiscences of Karl Marx

3) January 21 2021
What is a socialist society?
Presented by Hillel Ticktin
Background reading here: A society of abundance

4) January 28 2021
What’s so special about the working class? How should we organise?
Presented by Matthew Jones

5) February 4 2021
Why did Marx fight for ‘Democracy’? Isn’t that what the bourgeoisie does?
Presented by Kevin Bean

Background reading:

6) February 11 2021
Marx & religion
Presented by Mark Lewis

Background reading:

7) February 18 2021
Marx & nature
Presented by Ollie Perkins and Kevin Bean

Background reading:
-> Reference sheet with relevant quotes here (Word doc)

  1. The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift (J. B. Foster and B. Clark, 2020)
  2. Dialectics of nature (F. Engels, 1883)
  3. The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man (F. Engels, 1876)
  4. The Condition of the Working Class in England (F. Engels, 1845)
  5. Capital Vol.1 (K. Marx, 1887) – Don’t worry, these are all very short, a few pages at most:

8) February 25 2021
Marx and the nation
Presented by Kevin Bean

9) March 4 2021
Why is Marx’s ‘Capital’ still important?
Presented by Michael Roberts

10) March 11 2021
Marxism and the Women’s question
Presented by Anne McShane and Ben Lewis

Background reading:

11) March 18
150 years since the Paris Commune – what did Marx have to say?
Presented by Kevin Bean

Background reading:

12) March 25 2021
Dialectics – what is that?
Presented by Chris Cassells

Selected Reading:

12) April 1 2021
In the Enemy Camp: Socialists and parliamentarism
Presented by Kevin Bean

Register here: (please note you might be registered already, as this is the continuation of our ‘Revolution!’ series)