question from a novice

Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Tue Jan 24 11:23:01 MST 1995


Austin,

I would definitely say, begin with Marx himself, and particularly the
young Marx. Manuscripts of 1844 is good; if it forces you to read Hegel
as well so much the better, since he was a great influence (both
positive and negative) on Marx. See the German Ideology for Marx's
confrontation with the milieu of Young Hegelians in Germany. Compare Marx
with other currents issuing from Hegelianism (e.g., anarchists such as
Stirner and Bakunin). Other background: French socialisms, particularly
utopians like Fourier.
	As for marxism, consult the later Engels and German Social
Democrats (Kautsky, Bernstein), but be wary of these guys. Likewise with
the Russians--Plekhanov, Lenin, Trotsky, Bukharin, etc. Something
definitely worth studying is the confrontation between marxism and
populism in Russia in the late 19th century-early 20th century. For
"western marxism" there's the left fractions that detached from the
Second and Third Internationals--Rosa Luxemburg & Spartakus, Amadeo
Bordiga, Dutch & German council communists.
	For post-WWII marxism and marx-influenced movements, check out
Socialisme ou Barbarie (Castoriadis), Situationist International, the
Italian autonomists, and figures such as Jean Barrot and Jacques Camatte.
	For marxist influence on various aspects of culture, see the
Surrealists, Wilhelm Reich, Antonio Gramsci, and the Frankfurt School.
	Of course I'm leaving a lot out (like the economic material,
which is certainly important in Marxism, but which bores me!)

Happy trails of discovery,

--AT

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