In defence of genuine Marxism

1337B7A5 0CF0 4336 97A1 B6CFEABB3A18One often hears of this caricature of Marxism as a dry, narrow doctrine, which reduces all human thought to economics and the development of the productive forces. Yet even today there are people who like to call themselves Marxists who defend, not the genuine ideas of Marx and Engels in all their richness, breadth and profundity, but the very same “economist” caricature of the bourgeois critics of Marxism. This is not Marxism at all but, to use Hegel’s expression, “die leblosen Knochen eines Skeletts” (the lifeless bones of a skeleton), on which Lenin commented: “What is necessary is not leblose Knochen, but living life.”...

The advanced workers and youth have a thirst for ideas and theory. They want to understand what is happening in society. They are not attracted by tendencies that merely tell them what they already know: that capitalism is in crisis, that there is unemployment, that they live in bad houses, earn low wages and so on. Serious people want to know why things are as they are, what happened in Russia, what Marxism is, and other questions of a theoretical character. That is why theory is not an optional extra, as the “practicos” imagine, but an essential tool of the revolutionary struggle.

– From In defence of theory — or Ignorance never yet helped anybody

At the recent annual  Marxist Winter School, this year hosted by the UCLU Marxist Society in London, the agenda was was dedicated to the 130th anniversary of Karl Marx’s death, with sessions covering the important contributions that Marx made towards the worlds of politics, economics, history, and philosophy. Here we provide the video of the session, led by Jorge Martin about the key question of building a Marxist international organisation.

How many times have we heard university professors, economists, politicians and journalists declaring that Marx was wrong and that although he had some insights in to the workings of capitalism he failed to see the dynamism of the capitalist system and its ability to recover from crises and move ever forward? However, in the past few years, as the system has been sinking into its most serious crisis in history, every now and then we hear commentators pointing out that Marx was right. The latest is an article published by Time magazine yesterday, called Marx’s Revenge: How Class

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At the recent annual Marxist Winter School, this year hosted by the UCLU Marxist Society in London, the agenda was was dedicated to the 130th anniversary of Karl Marx’s death, with sessions covering the important contributions that Marx made towards the worlds of politics, economics, history, and philosophy. Here we provide the videos of the opening and closing sessions, by Alan Woods, regaring the The Relevance of Marxism Today and the tasks of the Marxists.

News of the death of Eric Hobsbawm on 1st October was marked by an unprecedented outburst of flattery and adulation in the bourgeois media. For the past few weeks, the flood of obsequious obituaries exceeded all bounds. He was described variously as “the most widely read, influential and respected British intellectual and historian from the Marxist tradition”; “Britain's most distinguished Marxist historian”, and even “one of the leading historians of the 20th century”.

At a time when the Cuban Revolution is facing great dangers, a serious debate is opening up in the ranks of the Cuban Communists. Last week’s Marxist conference organised by the study group "Cuba: Theory and Society" under the auspices of the Instituto de Filosofia de La Habana in November 2010 to discuss Socialism in the XXI Century in the run-up to the forthcoming Party Congress therefore assumes a particular importance. Among the few foreign guests invited to address this event was the editor of Marxist.com, Alan Woods, whose latest book Reformism or Revolution, has attracted a lot of interest in Cuba. We are publishing today the text submitted by comrade Woods to the conference.

Alan Woods speaking on "What is Marxism?" to a packed meeting of students at the University of London at the ULU Marxist Society.

Seventy years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky bourgeois writers and historians are attempting to bury the man again. They are constantly demonizing him and his ideas. That is because they understand that his ideas are not dead, but very alive and have never been so relevant as they are today, in this period of crisis of capitalism.

An avalanche of books has recently been published to discredit Lenin, Trotsky and the Russian Revolution. First and foremost of these writers is Professor Robert Service. The aim of his latest book on Trotsky is to prove that Bolshevism leads to Stalinism and totalitarianism. Here Rob Sewell sets the record straight and explains the huge gulf that divided genuine Bolshevism from the monster of Stalinism that was built on the physical destruction of the Bolshevik party.

The publication of the first volume of Ted Grant’s Selected Works is an important step toward making his ideas more widely known to a new generation of Marxists in the United States. In the book's introduction, Workers International League National Secretary John Peterson explains some of the background and context to this first volume, which focuses on the nature and crisis of Stalinism and the USSR. Grant’s writings on the momentous and complex events of the 20th Century are a textbook example of how to apply the ideas and methods of Lenin and Trotsky to the world around us. Order your copy ...

In 1846 Weitling complained that the “intellectuals” Marx and Engels wrote only about obscure matters of no interest to the workers. Marx angrily responded with the following words, “Ignorance never yet helped anybody.” Marx’s response is as valid today as it was then.

Marxism, or Scientific Socialism, is the name given to the body of ideas first worked out by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In their totality, these ideas claim to provide a theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to attain a higher form of human society - socialism. What relevance do these ideas, over 150 years old have to today's society? Alan Woods spoke at a recent meeting of the ULU Marxist Society in London on the relevance of Marxism today.

What is Socialism?

John Peterson, National Secretary of the Workers International and editor of Socialist Appeal, interviewed by Our World Today on the subject of "What is Socialism?". The interview covers many of the traditional arguments made against socialism and defends the banner of revolutionary Marxism.

As a result of the economic and social convulsions, many people are beginning to question the nature of the capitalist system. But does Marxism offer an alternative in todays world? Is there still a class struggle? Or are we all middle class now? Many people are disgusted by the huge salaries of big business, but does this mean they are in favour of socialism? Yesterday Alan Woods answered these questions at a ULU Marxist Society meeting in London with an audience of 25.

Leon Sedov

Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the murder of Trotsky's eldest son - Leon Sedov - by agents of the Stalinist secret police, the GPU. He was thirty-two years of age. This crime constituted part of the systematic hounding and murder of Trotsky's key supporters and family, whose only ‘crime' was to defend genuine Marxism against Stalin and the crimes of the Russian bureaucracy.

Stalin’s article, Some Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism, reached me after much delay. After receiving it, for a long time I could not force myself to read it, for such literature sticks in one’s throat like sawdust or mashed bristles. But still, having finally read it, I came to the conclusion that one cannot ignore this performance, if only because there is included in it a vile and barefaced calumny about Rosa Luxemburg.