More than a decade ago, with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the strategists of Capital launched an unprecedented ideological offensive against socialism and Marxism. For them, capitalism had won. But while the forces of socialism were isolated in this period, the ground was being prepared for a titanic shift to the left. We are witnessing this now all over the world.

"At the dawn of the New Millennium, the possibility of a new vista of human advancement or the most horrific of calamities lay before us. The potential for mankind, which the new technologies open up, could allow us to establish a classless society built on co-operation, harmony and superabundance, a true paradise on earth. However the capitalist system based upon private ownership and the nation state still stands in our way. If allowed to continue, it will mean economic depression, chaos and terrible "local" wars."

We are reproducing a slightly edited version of What is Marxism? by Rob Sewell and Alan Woods, last published in 1983 to celebrate the centenary of the death of Karl Marx. The three articles on the fundamental aspects of Marxism, Marxist Economics, Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism were originally published separately in the 1970s. These articles are a good, brief introduction to the basic methods of Marxism and can serve as a first approach to the ideas developed by Marx and Engels.

To mark the anniversary of the death of Karl Marx, Alan Woods has wrote a short piece about Marx's contribution to human thought and to the struggle for the emancipation of the working class. Together with this we have included the text of Engels' marvellous speech that he gave at the grave of Karl Marx.

A Marxist answer to the utopian idea that we can achieve peace through disarmament without doing away with the capitalist system - as relevant today as when it was first written by Lenin.

One hundred and twenty years ago - on March 14 1883 to be precise - Karl Marx, one of the greatest figures in human history, died. Despite over a century of attacks, distortions and attempts to belittle Marx's contribution, no-one can doubt that he dramatically altered the course of human history.

Violent conflict is on the increase all over the world, both in terms of wars between nations and violent clashes between the classes. While war is waged in the Middle East we also see a growing tendency to use more brutal measures against the workers in struggle, with many being killed around the world. What should the position of Marxists be on this question? This has been the subject of debate within the PRC in Italy with Bertinotti taking the position that no form of violence is justifiable. Dario Salvetti gives a different answer.

In 1947 the Labour Party decided to reprint the Communist Manifesto, with an historical introduction by Harold Laski, to mark the document's centenary. We're reprinting the foreword to reflect just how significant Marxism has been within the British labour and trade union movement. The Labour Party didn't see the Manifesto as just another historical document, as can be seen clearly in the text. It was a document vitally relevant to the policies of the 1945 Labour government.

This month marks a key anniversary in the development of scientific socialism. One hundred and fifty years ago the most famous document of the Marxist movement was produced: The Manifesto of the Communist Party, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

"I have come from the heart of Germany to express my love and gratitude to my unforgettable teacher and faithful friend. To my faithful friend! Karl Marx's greatest friend and colleague has just called him the best-hated man of this century. That is true. He was the best-hated but he was also the best-loved. The best-hated by the oppressors and exploiters of the people, the best-loved by the oppressed and exploited, as far as they are conscious of their position. The oppressed and exploited people love him because he loved them. For the deceased whose loss we are mourning was great in his love as in his hatred. His hatred had love as its source. He was a great heart as he was a great mind. All who knew him know that.

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