Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism

This book I bought in a local Costa bookshop and found it was written by an Irish sociologist Kieran Allen. Shortly before my interest in Marxism was inspired by seeing a link to Irish communist party website and socialist bookshop in a booklet for Dublin Culture nights festival. It was a bit funny to see communists as part of Irish culture festival especially for me from former Soviet Union. Anyway, later I saw on streets that Marxist festivals are popular in Ireland nowadays. So let’s go back to the book. I found it very good and even lucid in explaining various Marxist ideas and vocabulary. A good start for more advance reading such as “Capital” (I have all 3 hardcover volumes from an Indian publisher and plan to have leather bound edition from Russia if I have enough surplus and MEW German edition) or specialized books such as “A Dictionary of Marxist Thought”. What I also tend to agree with the author is that Stalinism is a mirror of Capitalism (there is also a book “Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization” that I’m reading). I leave an application of a dialectical method of double negation to a reader here. Now the weak points of the book: 1) it doesn’t cover post-Stalinist era; 2) subsequent analysis of alternatives sounds a bit naive for me who really lived in socialism and can compare it to capitalism both in post-socialist country and now living in real capitalist country. The book also has a good reading suggestion list and I even thinking now on reading Voloshinov book “Marxism and the Philosophy of Language” (in Russian, although there is an English edition). Anyway, I would recommend Kieran’s book with reservations (about alternatives) as a first introduction to Marxist thought.

Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism

- Dmitry Vostokov @ LiterateScientist.com -

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