This is our three-part introductory study of Marxism-Leninism. It is best undertaken together with other people – perhaps in a Party Branch or District setting. You can ask to be put in touch or join an online study group through this page. It provides new and prospective Party members with reading material and group discussions about the theory and practice of working class politics and activity, and the study will help you get organised effectively in the Party and in the wider working class and progressive movement with an understanding of capitalism and socialism, and revolutionary theory and practice.
Pages 2- 10 in the in the course booklet above.
- Think of a current issue or event of political importance. How would a dialectical materialist approach to it deepen our understanding and enable us to make a more significant contribution to political struggle?
- Identify some idealist (in the philosophical sense) notions or ideas which limit the struggle for progressive change today. How might they be challenged or overcome?
- Why is class struggle the motor which drives forward economic and social development and how does this apply to capitalism today?
- What role does human thought and action play in the class struggle – can people really change the course of history and, if so, how?
After May, Communist Party members wanting to set up an online discussion with other comrades, can invite them to a meeting using our meeting facility.
Introductory and general reading
- VI Lenin, ‘Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch with an Exposition of Marxism’ (1914), Collected Works Vol.21, and ‘The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism’ (1913), Collected Works Vol.19 (available from the Communist Party’s Classics of Communism range as, On Karl Marx and Marxism, 2007)
- K Marx & F. Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), Collected Works Vol.6 (available from the as part of the Communist Party’s Classics of Communism series, 2006)
- F Engels, ‘Principles of Communism’ (1847), Collected Works Vol.6
- David McLellan, The Thought of Karl Marx (Papermac, 1980)
- Ernst Fischer, Marx in His Own Words (Penguin, 1981)
- Mary Davis, Women and Class (Manifesto Press, 2020 edn)
The Marxist World Outlook
- K Marx, ‘Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law. Introduction’ (1844), Collected Works Vol.3
- K Marx, ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Part One. Preface’ (1859), Collected Works Vol. 29
- F Engels, ‘Dialectics of Nature’ (1882), Collected Works Vol.25
- F Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (1888), Collected Works Vol.26
- Jonathan White, Making Our Own History: A User’s Guide to Marx’s
- Historical Materialism (Praxis Press, 2021)
Pages 11- 21 in the in the course booklet above.
- How do employers seek to (a) intensify and (b) disguise exploitation at work, and how can their efforts be challenged?
- Why and how does capitalism divide different categories of the working classand how can this be countered?
- Suggest examples of where capitalism holds back the full development of modern society’s productive forces.
- Why does monopoly lead to imperialism?
- Why is trade union militancy on wages, pensions and working conditions (a) vital and (b) not enough?
Capitalism and Exploitation
- K Marx, ‘Value, Price and Profit’ (1865), Collected Works Vol.20 (available from the Communist Party’s Classics of Communism range as Wages, Price and Profit, 2006)
- Ben Fine, Marx’s Capital (Macmillan, 1989)
- K Marx, Capital Vol. I (1867), Collected Works Vol.35
- VI Lenin, Imperialism—the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), Collected Works Vol.22
- EK Hunt & Howard J. Sherman, Economics—An Introduction to Traditional and Radical Views (HarperCollins, 1990)
- John Kelly, Rethinking Industrial Relations: Mobilization, Collectivism and Long Waves (Routledge, 1998)
- Robert Griffiths, Marx’s Das Kapital and capitalism today (Manifesto Press, 2018 edn)
- Jonathan White ed., Building an Economy for the People: An Alternative Economic and Political Strategy for 21st Century Britain (Manifesto Press, 2012)
- G Binus, B Landefeld & A Wehr, State Monopoly Capitalism (Manifesto Press, 2017)
Pages 22- 33 in the in the course booklet above.
- Why might it be possible for a working class to combine a high level of trade union consciousness with a much lower level of political consciousness?
- Marx told the German Workers Party in 1875 that the political class struggle is national in form but international in substance. What do you think he meant and how would this apply today?
- What can be done to transform trade union consciousness into revolutionary political consciousness?
- Which forces are potential allies of the working class today and what are the opportunities and hazards presented by such alliances?
- What should be the strategic priorities for the political work of socialists and communists in Britain today?
Political Struggle and Revolution
- K Marx, ‘Critique of the Gotha Programme’ (1875), Collected Works Vol.24
- VI Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917), Collected Works Vol.25
- VI Lenin, Left-Wing Communism—An Infantile Disorder (1920), Collected Works Vol.31
- VI Lenin, ‘The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up’ (1916), Collected Works Vol.22
- VI Lenin, ‘A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism’ (1916), Collected Works Vol.23
- Communist Party, Britain’s Road to Socialism (Communist Party, 2020 edn)
- John Foster, Whose Nation?—Democracy and the National Question in Britain (Communist Party, 2007)