[Marxism] What is Marxism?

Shane Hopkinson s.hopkinson at cqu.edu.au
Mon Aug 23 17:52:18 MDT 2004


*	Subject: Re: [Marxism] What is Marxism? 
*	From: "Mallard Q. Duck" <mqduck at sonic.net> 
*	Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 02:12:35 -0700 


www.marxists.org has an "Encyclopedia of Marxism." Here's their 
definition of "Marxism" (note that I'm not necessarily endorsing it or 
the opinions expressed):
Marxism is the theory of dialectical materialism based on communist 
Dialectical Materialism: The combination of Dialectics and Materialism.




I'm not sure what part of the archive this post comes from but if you click on "What is marxism?" you get:



Foundations of Marxism 

We are here to give you a starting point, a grounding in what Marxism is about. A Marxist has a certain kind of practice, a way of living and working, that we call being a Communist. A Marxist's thought is based on this lifestyle, a science of logic called Dialectics. Thus, Marxism is both a theory and a practice. The theories of Marxism are based on a scientific method of thought called dialectal materialism; to be clear there is no one answer to a question -- theory is based on a particular set of conditions that are always finite, and thus, any theory is necessarily limited. To test the validity of theory, Marxists rely on empirical evidence as the criteria of truth. Using such a methodology Marx and Engels examined history, which lead them to explain theories on the class struggle, the basis of social relations through economics, and the form of society that would follow capitalism. 

What does this mean past all the words and definitions? We are judged by our historical practice and our understanding of the past, present, and future.  You can find information about our history in the History of Marxism section. You can see an enourmous spectrum of our ideas, the vibrance of debate within our movement, in our Marxist Writers archive. You can find a wealth of ideas we find invaluable to understanding, from the Physics of Einstein to the morality of Lao-Tzu, in our Reference Archive. If your mind is on certain subjects, like the women's movement, art, philosophy, etc, look into the Subject Archive. When you come across some term that just doesn't make sense, a word which has a meaning you want to explore or critique, go to our Encyclopedia of Marxism. Lastly, if you love educating people around the world about Marxism as much as we do, feel free to volunteer! :) 

Whew! Okay, so there is enough material up there to fill your nearest public library. It is helpful to have an area of concern, a topic of interest, and work from there. :) To start your journey, a grounding in the basics is important! Read a couple of the Selected Works of Marx/Engels, and to better engage these works you may like to read our study guides. Read Lenin's The State and Revolution, and round that out with Trotsky's Revolution Betrayed. In this handfull of material you will gain a view of what Marxism is capable of. If you take one step further and embrace critique, you will then begin learning and understanding Marxism. 

The purpose of the material below is to give you an overview of the diversity in Marxism, dispell common misconceptions concerning our views on various important issues, as well as help you take the next step and really begin to learn what Marxism is all about: critique, and social change. This is a subject style approach -- you pick the topic, and we show you the diversity of Marxism -- world renowned Marxists who respond to those issues in decidedly Marxist ways. We want you to see the debate, when one Marxist goes at it with another, because this is what Marxism is all about. We've also included a Stalinist here and there, to give you an idea of how much the opposite of Marxism they are because they are against freedom and the actual empowerment of the working class. 


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