A Basic Understandings of the Communist Party
Fundamentals of Political Economy
‘Fundamentals of Political Economy’ is a popular introductory economics text published in the People’s Republic of China in 1974 by the Shanghai People’s Press. It has come to be known popularly as the “Shanghai Textbook.” It explains the fundamental principles of Marxist political economy in a very simple and comprehensible manner and presents a thorough analysis of the bourgeois mode of production. And most of all, the thorough investigation of the mode of production of Socialism, the socio-economic formation, the class relations, the base and the superstructure during the period of socialist transition, that Mao presented for the first time, based on his summation of the experiences of the Socialist experiments in the Soviet Union and China and the thoughts of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Not only does this book positively present a correct Marxist exposition of historical materialism and Marxist political economy as opposed to its distortion by the revisionists (for instance, Liyontief’s textbook on political economy published in Khrushchev’s period and various textbooks published in Brezhnev’s period), but also presents a positive criticism of the deviations that appeared in the field of political economy owing to the some mechanistic and metaphysical tendencies originating in the erroneous understanding of Marxist philosophy in Stalin’s period and essentially because of these reasons of the mistake of failing to understand the real nature of Socialist society, production relations and the continuity of the class struggle during Socialist transition. Therefore, it will not be an exaggeration to say that this is a representative textbook of political economy of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Mao Tse-tung’s Immortal Contributions
Political Economy, Marxist Study Courses
Political Economy, Marxist Study Courses was originally published as a series of pamphlets during 1932-33 by the British Communist Party. Its aim was to serve the basic need of a simple textbook on Marxist political economy for Party cadres and workers’ study circles. It has been reckoned as one of the best textbooks on political economy in the history of International Communist Movement.
This brilliant textbook provides a deep, extensive and comprehensive analysis of the basic modus-operandi of the capitalist system. It also exposes the petty secrets of capitalist exploitation, presents a rational critique of it and contrasts the nature of capitalist society with the construction of socialist society which was being carried out under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin in contemporary Soviet Union.
It was written when the entire capitalist world was plunged into the Great Depression of the 1930s. For the past few decades, the capitalist world has been struggling with the chronic crisis which sometimes slows down and sometimes intensifies. Although, today the forms in which the incurable structure crisis of the capitalist world is manifested are different in nature and process from the great depression of 1930s, the general analysis of capitalism and its crises given here is still extremely helpful. It provides an excellent explanation and critique of the laws of dynamics of capitalism and its basic contradictions in a simple way.
In addition to the explanation and analysis of the economic laws of capitalism, this textbook provides a sharp criticism of the erroneous positions of the leading exponents of Social-Democracy and Pseudo-Socialists (Kautsky, Hilferding, Trotsky, Bukharin etc.) and class-collaborationist parties calling themselves Labour Parties and revisionist groups which talked about the interests of the proletariat.
Reader in Marxist Philosophy
One of the leading American Marxist philosophers of his time and one of the editors of this book Howard Selsam said somewhere that the best way to understand the Marxist philosophy and world outlook is to hear from its great exponents themselves, i.e., Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. The present selection is designed to acquaint the readers with the Marxist philosophy through the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin. These writings are the ones which laid down the basic foundations of Marxist philosophy. As the editors have pointed out in their General Introduction, these writings do not deal explicitly or exclusively with questions of philosophy only; these writings often deal with the most immediate political and economic questions of the working class movement of the contemporary period. However, they contain the broadest philosophical generalisations, which now serve as the basis of Marxist philosophy.
Reader’s Guide to the Marxist Classics
Socialism and Ethics
The capitalist propagandists of the petty category have always been
attempting to prove Marxism as “immoral” and that it has nothing to
do with Ethics. The serious capitalist thinkers, which are but a few,
bring the morality related Marxist thoughts closer to vulgar materialism
by distorting them.
In fact Marxism proved for the first time in a scientific manner that the
source of moral thoughts are the historically evolving modes of
production, evolving law-governed structures in the social life and
the progress of the material and intellectual culture. Thus Marxist
ethics throws light on the nature of morality, its place in the social
life and the specific reflection of social being in the moral
consciousness. An important task of Marxist ethics is to study the
evolution of human morality which goes on in the form of the history
of struggle between the socio-economic structures and the ethical
thoughts of classes and the policy-conduct related opinions reflecting
this process. Marxism establishes that at individual level the moral
principles are not established by the philosophers belonging to this or
that stream, rather they are formed in the process of social practice.
Moral principles reflect the experience of entire masses and different
classes of numerous generations. Marxist ethics also analyses the
nature of morality, studies it in the form of an aspect of man’s social
activities and in the form of a special variety of social relations and
consciousness. By exposing the scientific basis and social character
of morality, Marxism clarifies the real meaning of the basis of moral
judgment and human liberty.
Socialism and Ethics by Howard Selsam, one of the leading
Marxist thinker and writer of his time in the U.S., has been quite
famous as a popular and simple exposition of Marxist ethics. It is
unique in presenting an extremely simple explanation of a difficult
philosophical subject like ethics. It was published for the first time in
1943 from International Publishers, New York.
The Lessons of the Paris Commune
What is Philosophy?
The basic question of philosophy is that of worldview and methodology. We need to have a correct scientific worldview and methodology if we intend to understand the various phenomena surrounding us. In this very process we can comprehend the role of human agency in social change. This book attempts to understand the real meaning and function of philosophy through a historical analysis of its development and attempts to develop a Marxist theory of philosophy. This is not a book on Marxist philosophy. Rather, this is a Marxist book on philosophy. To borrow from Althusser, it is not a discourse in philosophy, but a discourse on philosophy.
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