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How to Be a Communist
Communism, in its simplest form, is a theory advocating a classless society and
the elimination of private property. Some of the most famous communists
include Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg.
1
2
3
Read Marx and Engels (primary sources). Read and analyze the writings of Marx
and Engels' The Principles of Communism (1847)
[1]
(which is like a FAQ), The
Communist Manifesto
[2][3]
, Das Kapital
[4]
for a good instruction on the capitalist economy.
You may read some of Marx's shorter economic works if you do not feel like reading
through Capital, which comprises around 3,000 pages in all. Consider the concept of
"common ownership of the means of production" or "workers control of the means of
production".
Read interpretations of Marx and Engels (secondary sources). For basic
introductory books about Marx consider the following;
Introducing Marx by Rius,
Introducing Marxism by Rupert Woodfin,
Marx: A Beginner's Guide by Gill Hands,
Marx's Kapital for Beginners by David N. Smith and Phil Evans,
Teach Yourself Marx by Gill Hands,
Rebel's Guide To Marx by Mike Gonzalez,
Communism: A Very Short Introductionby Leslie Holmes
Marx: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Singer.
A more heavy-going (critical) read is the epic Main Currents of Marxism by Leszek
Kolakowski.
Read Lenin. Read the writings of Vladimir Lenin whose ideas included Bolshevism,
proletariat dictatorship, vanguard party and democratic centralism. State and
Revolution
[5]
is a good book to start. Also read about the history of the Russian Revolution.
Left communism. "All left communists were supportive of the October Revolution
in Russia but retained a critical viewof its development. Some, however, would
in later years come to reject the idea that the revolution had a proletarian or
socialist nature, asserting that it had simply carried out the tasks of the
bourgeois revolution by creating a state capitalist system. Left communism is
the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes
the political ideas of the Bolsheviks at certain periods, from a position that is
asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of
Leninism held by the Communist International after its first and during its second
congress." - Wikipedia
Steps
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Answer the Russian question and why the USSR collapsed. Stalin wasn't a
theorist and described himself as Marxist-Leninist so Stalinism contributed little
ideology except socialism in one country. Marxists have variously described the USSR as
state capitalist (Lenin, Tony Cliff)
[6]
, degenerated worker's state (Leon Trotsky), deformed
worker's state (Ted Grant) and bureaucratic collectivist (Max Shachtman).
Read Leon Trotsky on international socialism; In Defence of Marxism, The
History of the Russian Revolution and The Revolution Betrayed".
Read less known writers such as Julius Martov, Georgi Plekhanov, Antonio
Gramsci, Daniel De Leon, Rosa Luxemburg, Peter Kropotkin
[7]
and Errico
Malatesta
[8]
.
Writings of Daniel DeLeon by Daniel DeLeon
Fields, Factories and Workshopsby Peter Kropotkin
Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin
The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin
The Essential Rosa Luxemburg by Rosa Luxemburg
The Rosa Luxemburg Reader by Kevin B. Anderson
Read communist journals such as People's Weekly World
[9]
, Permanent
Revolution
[10]
, The Morning Star
[11]
, Weekly Worker
[12]
and Libcom
[13]
.
Attend the World Social Forum
[14]
and the Left Forum
[15]
.
Join a Communist party.
The Marxists Internet Archive is a good resource and has a good
student section
[16]
.
Tips
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The term Red Scare is a term used to describe anti-communist periods
in the USA. Suspected communists were persecuted during
McCarthyism.
The security services in the USA are still interested in communist
organizations.
Some 'communist' groups don't really want workers in control of the
means of production at all.
An independent mind
The willingness to test all ideas with thoroughness.
The will to act on what you have learned.
The will to swim upstream the rest of your life, if need be.
1. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm
2. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Manifesto_of_the_Communist_Party
3. http://feedbooks.com/book/209
4. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Das_Kapital
5. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_State_and_Revolution
6. http://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1955/statecap/index.htm
7. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Peter_Kropotkin
8. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Errico_Malatesta
9. http://www.pww.org/
10. http://www.permanentrevolution.net
11. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/
12. http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker
13. http://www.libcom.org
14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Social_Forum
15. http://www.leftforum.org/
16. http://www.marxists.org/subject/students
Warnings
Things You'll Need
Sources and Citations
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