Archive for the ‘Marxism’ Category

Max Mode D’Emploi

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Bought this book in Russian translation and quickly read from cover to cover. Very lively introduction without any utopian suggestions to change the world like in another introduction I read previously: Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism. A few funny cartoons like an employee who fires himself to save his company. Recommended to read before more cryptic The Philosophy of Marx by Étienne Balibar.

Marx (mode d’emploi)

- Dmitry Vostokov @ LiterateScientist.com -

Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

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 -