In this epoch of instability, crisis, war and ever-growing inequality, Marxism is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition to millions of workers and young people around the world. The old mole of revolution, to use Karl Marx’s own phrase, is burrowing deep into the foundations of society.
And yet we are repeatedly told that Marxism is either irrelevant, or out-dated, or even dead. Yet, if that were true, why are so many books and articles churned out year-on-year attacking Marxism? Clearly the powers that be are rattled or indeed frightened by these “dead” ideas.
So what is this set of ideas that frightens them so much? Marxism – or scientific socialism – is the name given to the body of ideas first worked out by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels more than 150 years ago. In their totality, these ideas provide a fully worked-out theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to attain a higher form of human society – socialism.
This book is aimed specifically at newcomers to Marxism. A bestseller now in its second edition, it comprises introductory pieces on the three component parts of Marxist theory, corresponding broadly to philosophy, social history and economics: dialectical materialism, historical materialism and Marxist economics. Complementing these introductions are key extracts from some of the great works of Marxism written by its most outstanding figures – Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky.