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.
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
The present English edition of Engels’ Socialism: Utopian and Scientific is a reproduction of the edition published by the Foreign Languages Press, Peking in 1975. It follows the translation of the corresponding chapters in Anti-Dühring published by the FLP in 1976.
The foreword to the French edition, written by Marx, and Engels’ preface to the fourth German edition have been specially translated by FLP. Engels’ preface to the first German edition is reprinted, with a few corrections in the English wording, from Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, International Publishers, New York, 1935. His special introduction to the English edition is reprinted from the pamphlet published by George and Unwin, London, 1892.
Most of the editions that have been available in India include only Engels’ introduction to the English edition. We believe Marx’s foreword and two other prefaces by Engels will enrich the understanding of this classic text about scientific Socialism.
The notes at the end are largely adapted from those in Marx and Engels, Werke, Dietz Verlag, Berlin, Vols. 19 and 22, and the edition of Anti-Dühring published by the FLP.
Still Ablaze is the Torch of October Revolution
The Great Revolution of 1917 was the harbinger of a new era in the world history—the proclamation of the arrival of an era of Proletarian Revolutions. This was one of the most epoch-making events in the entire known world history. In this revolution, for the first time in the history of Russia the toiling masses under the leadership of the working class overthrew the state power of capitalists and propertied plunderers and under the leadership of Lenin and his Bolshevik Party established a proletarian state.
Certainly, there is no denying the fact that the October Revolution eliminated every thinkable form of exploitation, oppression and inequality but the journey that was undertaken in the direction of formation of a true humane society could not be continued after the death of great Stalin in 1953 and the capitalist forces once again came into power; Nevertheless, the historical significance of this Revolution and its historical momentum is extant today. The universal temporary defeat of Socialism across the world does not, in any way, mean that the period of proletarian revolution is over. Only the first round of the world-historical war between the proletariat and bourgeoisie is complete. The next round has begun now. The creation of the new editions of October Revolution in the entire world is inevitable. The winds of October Revolution had never entirely died down. This can be said with the utmost conviction that in the times to come, they will take the form of a fierce whirlwind and will rise like a storm.
The Collapse of the Second International
This translation is taken from Volume 21 of the English edition of V.I. Lenin’s Collected Works prepared by Progress Publishers, Moscow. It has been reproduced from Fourth reprint of 1969.
Lenin exposed and fought the opportunism of the leaders of the Second International, which culminated in betrayal by those leaders in the imperialist war, 1914-1918. He made clear the difference between just and unjust wars, and the policy of working class on war.
The Cultural Revolution at Peking University
While heralding the Cultural Revolution when Mao Tse-tung gave the slogan of ‘Bombard the Bourgeois Headquarters’ and called upon the masses, communist cadres and revolutionary youths to struggle against the bourgeois line in all arenas of superstructure including education and culture and ensure the victory of proletarian line, then Peking University was one among the university campuses that were most influenced by this. The reason was that the Peking University was at the centre of socialist experiments in the field of education and the two-line struggle right from the 1949 revolution and especially during the periods of the Great Leap Forward and the Hundred Flowers Movement.
In this book, Victor Nee has discussed the Educational Revolution of 1958 as a background. While discussing the old vestiges and elitism developed in the field of education till the period of the Great Socialist Education Movement which was started before the Cultural Revolution during the period of 1958–1964, he has also given an authentic account of the development of the Left-wing opposition against it. While describing in detail the events taking place in Peking University from September 1965 to August 1966, Victor Nee has shown how the wave of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution overwhelmed the campus and how the two line struggle on the question of education took the form of a general mass movement there. This book only focuses on the initial brief period of the Cultural Revolution. The Peking University continued to be an important storm-centre of the next phases of the Cultural Revolution till 1976. However, despite being an account of only the initial few months of the Cultural Revolution, this book has succeeded in portraying how the class struggle was going on in practice at that time in all the arenas of superstructure including education and culture; how the broad masses were participating in it and how the rapid revolutionary transformation was taking place in people’s consciousness.
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte is one of the masterpieces of Marxism. In this important work Marx analysed the events of the Revolution of 1848-51 in France, and on that basis, elaborated further the fundamental tenets of historical materialism, the theory of the class struggle and the proletarian revolution, and the theory of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Here, for the first time, Marx advanced the proposition that the victorious proletariat must necessarily smash the bourgeois state machine. The present English edition is reproduced from the first edition published by the Foreign Languages Press, Peking in 1978. It substantially follows previous English translations. Certain adjustments of wording and style based on a check with the original have been made by the FLP. The footnotes and notes at the end of the book are based on those in the Chinese and previous English editions and have been compiled by the FLP.
The Emancipation of Women
“In the course of his revolutionary activities Lenin often wrote and spoke about the emancipation of working women in general and peasant women in particular. To be sure, the emancipation of women is inseparably bound up with the entire struggle for the workers’ cause, for socialism. We know Lenin as the leader of the working people, as the organiser of the Party and Soviet government, as a fighter and builder. Every working woman, every peasant woman must know about all that Lenin did, every aspect of his work, without limiting herself to what Lenin said about the position of working women and their emancipation. But because there exists the closest connection between the entire struggle of the working class and improving the position of women, Lenin often — on more than forty occasions, in fact — referred to this question in his speeches and articles, and every one of these references was inseparably bound up with all the other things that were of interest and concern to him at the time.” – N. Krupskaya
The Essential Stalin
‘Essential Stalin’ is one of the best selections from the writings of Stalin and includes many rare writings of Stalin.
This selection has been compiled by Bruce Franklin and is essential to understand the theoretical and political contributions of Stalin. Franklin’s introduction of this selection brilliantly places Stalin and his writings in perspective and is an independent work. Franklin himself was an anti-Stalin who later, especially in the light of the writings of Mao and contributions of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China and also as a result of his own research, came to believe that Stalin was one of the greatest leaders of proletariat, a great Marxist theoretician and a key figure of the 20th century.
The Lessons of the Paris Commune
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