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An Introduction to Marxism: Class Four: Marxism, the State and Revolution
With a focus on the fundamentals of Marxism and its relevance to understanding and action, this course of four classes will cover an introduction to Marxist theory, applying it to a discussion of relevant issues today, such as: the changing nature of work and exploitation, austerity and the gig economy, racism, women’s oppression, class society, revolution and climate change.
Mary Davis and Richard Clarke
Course reading: There is no single set text, but you should you should try to look at relevant features published as part of the Morning Star’s fortnightly ‘Full Marx’ series which can also be found on the Marx Memorial Library’s website. Some of these were collectively edited prior to publication by participants on last year’s course.
For further reading: you should start with Marx 200 - The Significance of Marxism in the 21st Century - a report of a major international conference organised by the Marx Memorial Library to mark the bicentenary of Marx’s birth. And the on-line Marxist Internet Archive provides a gateway to a rich variety of original and contemporary texts.
Class Four: Marxism, the state and revolution
A Marxist perspective is central to understanding the role of the state and how the ruling class retains power. But how can we secure a society ‘for the many’? Can capitalism be reformed or must it be overthrown, if so what should replace it? Can we learn from the experience of socialist countries past and present and what are the prospects for a classless, communist society?
Reading: Can trades unions build a better world? Is the environment a ‘second contradiction’ of capitalism? What is the ‘withering away’ of the state? What do Marxists say about parliamentary elections? What do we mean by ‘revolution’?