Below is a list of what we consider to be essential readings on selected topics. If you would like assistance acquiring any of these texts, please feel free to contact us [revolutionaryaim -（@）- yandex 。com] and we would be happy to help.
Foundations of Political Economy
- Fine, Ben & Saad-Filho, Alfredo. Marx’s ‘Capital’ – A condensed summary of the three volumes of Marx’s Capital. Might be slightly hard-going for those completely unfamiliar with the concepts. Useful as a quick reference.
- Ruhle, Otto. Karl Marx’s Capital – A significantly abridged version of Das Kapital volume I. Highly recommended for people less familiar with Marxist categories of political economy, and for people looking to refresh their knowledge of the fundamentals.
- Sweezy, Paul. Theory of Capitalist Development – A very well-written and understandable introduction to Marxian economics. Explains basic to advanced Marxian economic terminology and concepts in a thorough and ordered, yet easy-to-read manner.
- Nicholas, Howard. Marx’s Theory of Price and Its Modern Rivals – An advanced discussion of Marx’s price theory. The text presupposes a fair degree of familiarity with political economy, but is ultimately a definitive interpretation of Marx’s “transformation” procedure.
- Biel Robert. Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement – As the title implies, an extensive discussion of eurocentrism within Marxism. Explores eurocentric theory and practices within the broad communist movement of past and present, and also within the works of Marx and Engels themselves, in order to motivate a genuinely anti-imperialist Marxism.
- Bromma. The Worker Elite: Notes on the “Labor Aristocracy” – A solid introductory text to the concept of the labor aristocracy. Highly accessible.
- Cope, Zak. Divided World Divided Class – A thorough expose on the ideology of First Worldism and its historical and political-economic foundations. Contains historical analysis of the development of First Worldism, empirical measurements of international value transfer, and discussion of implications.
- Manifest–Communist Working Group. Unequal Exchange and the Prospects of Socialism – Unravels the mechanics of unequal exchange using Marxist political economy. Very clear and accessible. Also contains a solid overview / refresher on foundational concepts such as value, surplus value, and price.
- Sakai, J. Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat – An in-depth historical analysis of white labor in the united states and its historical allegiance with the u.s. ruling class against oppressed peoples.
- V., Klaas. Back on Track: The Object of Third-Worldism – Discusses the transformation of Third-Worldist political economy into a coherent political platform. Critiques the discourse of “revolutionary potential.”
National Liberation / Decolonization
- Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth – An investigation of how colonization dehumanizes native peoples, how unrest among the colonized can transform into revolutionary resistance to colonialism, and how a native people must use all means to throw off the colonizer, ultimately transforming themselves in the process.
- Memmi, Albert. The Colonizer and the Colonized – Unpacks the effects of colonialism on both the colonizer and the colonized. A good complementary text to Fanon’s Wretched. Contains great insight into the mindset of the colonizing people, providing convincing explanations for reaction among poor colonizers.
- Sayles, James Yaki. Meditations on Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth – A companion piece to Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth which not only helps one digest Fanon’s work, but also contains numerous great insights in its own right. Discusses how lessons from Wretched are still relevant today, even in the First World, and illuminates the lengths that are required in order for a people to liberate itself from oppression.
- Sera, Kae and E. Tani. False Nationalism, False Internationalism – A study of opportunism within imperialist-country revolutionary movements, and the tendency for these movements to work against liberation struggles in the oppressed nations, either through narrow nationalism or a false “internationalism” which seeks dominance over Third World revolutionary struggles.
- Shakur, Sanyika. Stand Up Struggle Forward: New Afrikan Revolutionary Writings On Nation, Class and Patriarchy – A collection of writings which, among other things, make a compelling case for New Afrikan national liberation as opposed to what Shakur calls “radical integration.” Also contains a poignant perspective on the connection between gender oppression and national oppression.
- Bromma. Exodus and Reconstruction: Working-Class Women at the Heart of Globalization – Explores the feminization of the global labor force, and how modern capitalism is eroding traditional, family-based patriarchy while maintaining gender oppression as a crucial moment in the production of surplus value. Argues that women will have a central role in anti-capitalist movements in the 21st century.
- Brown, Freya. Let’s Talk About Consent – A critique of the notion of “consent” as applied to sexual relations, and an introduction to what is sometimes called “sex negativity.” Discusses the dynamics of sexuality under patriarchy and the role it plays in reproducing gender oppression.
- Dworkin, Andrea. Pornography: Men Possessing Women – An expose on the nature of male power and how pornography both exemplifies and reproduces the dominance of men. Contains many concrete examples. Discomforting but important reading.
- Lee, Butch and Red Rover. Night-Vision: Illuminating War & Class on the Neo-Colonial Terrain – An analysis of capitalism in the neo-colonial era from a queer, feminist perspective. Maintains the Marxist thesis that the struggle of social classes is the motive force of history, but explores how class is thoroughly “burned” by gender, much as race also “burns” class. Discusses the implications of the parasitism of men upon oppressed genders.
- MacKinnon, Catharine. Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory – Puts forward a sexual theory of gender. Argues that sexuality is foundational to what constitutes womanhood and manhood, and in turn, gender oppression itself. Also makes a critique of crude attempts to synthesize Marxism and feminism.
- MacKinnon, Catharine. Sexuality, Pornography, and Method: “Pleasure Under Patriarchy” – Discusses the social construction of sexuality, elaborates on a sexual theory of gender, and critiques the Freudian way in which sexuality is conceived in dominant discourse. Investigates how pornography reproduces the eroticized dominance internal to gender oppression.
- Mayer, Alyx. The Eroticization of Gender – Explores the nature of gender oppression, positing a framework that sees gender not as an aspect of identity, but as a position within a social hierarchy determined by social practices. Argues that the ideology of gender-as-identity justifies reformist politics.
- Mies, Maria. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale – Contains an historical analysis of the sexual division of labor, and of the process through which patriarchy was integrated into the capitalist system as a crucial component of it. Argues that it is absurd for Marxists to consider integration into the productive labor force a prerequisite for women’s emancipation, as women have always been central to production.
- Smith, Andrea. Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide – Investigates the connection between sexual violence and the genocide of the indigenous people of “north america.” Uncovers how, for settlers, native bodies are viewed as “inherently rape-able,” and how rape and sexual dominance were / are internal to genocidal means employed against indigenous peoples, such as the u.s. boarding school system, environmental destruction, and gross medical mistreatment.
- Ollman, Bertell. Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method – An accessible introduction to the foundational concepts of dialectics. Explains difficult concepts in easy-to-understand language. Contains a useful explanation of Marx’s method of abstraction and how dialectics is intimiately tied to this process.
- Althusser, Louis. For Marx – A collection of essays wherein Althusser primarily discusses the rupture between Marx’s earlier, more Hegelian works, and his later, more “mature” works. Contains salient discussion of the distinctions between Hegel’s idealist dialectic and Marx’s materialist dialectic. Additionally contains a critique of “humanist” Marxism.
- Poulantzas, Nicos. Political Power and Social Classes – An expose on the nature of the political in the capitalist mode of production. Argues (following Althusser) that the various “levels” of society—e.g. economics, ideology, politics, etc.—are intertwined, and that all facets of society are “overdetrmined,” but that each social “level” is also relatively autonomous. Claims that social classes are neither reducible to economic positions nor to political entities. The introduction to the book is also a nice summary of Althusser’s clarifications on the relation between thought and being, overdetermination, and the base-superstructure model.
- Mao Zedong. On Contradiction – A brief, yet landmark work on the nature of contradiction and class antagonisms. Vital to a strategic understanding of contradiction and dialectical materialism, expounding upon the hierarchy of contradictions within a system and the difference between antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions.