Resources for Marxists


(Latest update: 02-01-2016)

I've been meaning to do this for a while already, but I never got my hands into actually doing it.

Well, today's the day. I've decided to compile a list of online educative resources for heterodox economists, particularly, but not exclusively, those of the Marxist persuasion. Note carefully: neither am I in the business of sectarian antagonisms, nor am I qualified to pronounce negative judgements on the work of people who call themselves Marxists/radicals.

Initially, it will be barely more than a short list, linking to English language sites. Eventually, as time permits and as need might arise, I may further organize the links.

Reader-suggested material will be much appreciated.


Guidelines for Submission:

My idea here is to provide links to
  1. educative resources, 
  2. freely accessible (in the sense of not requiring a payment and not having legal copy restrictions), 
  3. directed both to (a) people who might not have had much exposition to Marxism/heterodox/radical economics or more formal education, but are willing to give it a try; or to (b) more advanced students. This means that 
  4. clarity, and
  5. quality are fundamental;
  6. while brevity is desirable. And
  7. resources must be in English. There are many reasons for this, but chiefly among them, because English is the international language.

The following is a work in progress, subject to constant revision:


Popular material:

  1. "The Law of Value", by Kapitalism 101. Don't be misguided by the label "popular" above: it's "popular" because it's really accessible and understandable (besides, it's funny and entertaining), but there is depth in these video lectures. Very good work and recommended for all levels, especially if you don't have much patience/time for reading.
  2. Ernest Mandel's 1967 "An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory" is a very good resource for beginners. It is a relatively short book, written in clear language and does not presuppose any acquaintance with Marx's ideas. Courtesy of the Marxists Internet Archive, there are tons of valuable stuff there.
  3. Marx and Engels wrote "The Communist Manifesto" (htmlpdf) in 1847 having in mind ordinary people as readers. It's, then, a clear and fairly brief exposition of Marx's views in an early stage of his own intellectual evolution. And my theory is that nothing beats going to the sources. If you read it actually paying attention to what you read, you'll find many points in common with our own times. Besides, there is a useful study guide.
  4. Prof. Rick Kuhn has compiled an excellent list of free online introductions, in English, to the classical Marxist tradition. It includes works by Kuhn himself, Hal Draper, Chris Harman, Karl Marx, John Molyneux, David McNally, Tom O'Lincoln, Bertell Ollman, and David Riazanov. I wrote "Marxism 101" on that, this is Kuhn's page. Marx's 1865 "Value, Price and Profit" (PDF) is one of those works (study guide). Paul Zarembka's abridged version of "Value, Price and Profit".
  5. Beginning students and critics alike often use Marxist terminology in a inappropriate manner (relevant link). Whatever your motivation, I most emphatically advise against relying on Wikipedia, the usual suspect, for anything related to Marx/Marxism, let alone basic definitions. I believe at least one person has been maliciously adding misleading crap to it (relevant link). Regardless of your motivation, use at least MIA's Marxist Glossary. This goes particularly to those clever critics (of the PoMo/PoKe variety) intent on showing how Marxism is absurd: it's a matter of basic common sense and a modicum of courtesy.
  6. Albert Einstein, probably one of the greatest and better-known scientific minds of the 20th century, penned a brief piece on Socialism for the first issue of the Monthly Review in 1949. I have a short post on that here. And here is Einstein's essay, for those less patient.
  7. I am not in the same league as the authors above (not by a long shot). They are much better qualified than I am. But my own material, for what it is worth, could be helpful to my readers. The label "beginners" provides a list of such posts.


More Advanced Material:

  1. Fabio Petri's advanced microeconomics textbook "Microeconomics for the Critical Mind" - some provisional chapters, plus diverse class handouts.
  2. Jacques Gouverneur's "The Foundations of Capitalist Economy"/"Understanding the Economy": freely available in PDF format, the hard copy costs EUR10. The books are available in English, French and Spanish.
  3. In general, the guys mentioned in the list below make available their papers (those they recommend as readings in their classes and lecture notes): check them out.


Scholars working within a Marxist/radical tradition (institutional/semi-institutional sites):

Sorted alphabetically, contains mostly economists (but there is at least one journalist, one sociologist, one philosopher and one geographer) working within academe, with institutional sites totally or at least substantially in English.

The list is partial and further names will be added.

Cleaver, Harry
Cockshott, Paul
Cottrell, Allin
Devine, James G.
Duménil, Gérard
Foley, Duncan K.
Foster, John B.
Freeman, Alan
Giménez, Martha E.
Gouverneur, Jacques
Harvey, David
Husson, Michel
Kliman, Andrew
Kuhn, Richard
Laibman, David
Lee, Fred
Lévy, Dominique
McChesney, Robert W.
Mohun, Simon
Moseley, Fred
Ollman, Bertell
Perelman, Michael
Petri, Fabio
Roelandts, Marcel
Ruccio, David
Screpanti, Ernesto
Shaikh, Anwar
Stilwell, Frank
Trainer, Ted
Vernengo, Matías
Wolff, Richard D.
Wolff, Robert P. (Prof. Wolff has been generous enough to provide links to files of his main published works; I wholeheartedly recommend "Moneybags must be so lucky": here)


Magpie's favorite websites presenting theoretical posts [*]:

Alejandro Valle Baeza (partly in English)
Michael Roberts' Blog
Heteconomist (Peter Cooper)
Thoughts on Economics (Robert Vienneau)

[*] I believe at least some of these sites belong to academic economists, but these sites are personal by nature.


Other Resources for Marxists/Radicals.

(1) Marxist Marginalia's "Resources for Marxist Theory". I myself haven't explored this collection at length, but it seems fairly well organized and you can see its author/authors have put some thought into it. Although it seems to go beyond the scope of my own list:
"The purpose of this list is to provide resources for comrades looking to develop their grounding in Marxist theory. As such, it is not an introduction to either Marxism or radical politics in general."
It still has its resources classified according in Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced.

It points largely to apparently freely available on the topics of Political Economy, The State, Revolutionary Socialist Organization, Women's Oppression, Class and Class Analysis, Racism and Race, Refomism and Social Democracy, Imperialism, The Trotskyist Tradition

(2) Ralph Dumain has a fantastic collection of links to diverse material related to Marxism. "Marx and Marxism Web Guide" is his webpage. It's a terrific effort, well worth a visit. Particularly useful are the links to introductory material.

(3) You can find all sorts of things at the Online University of the Left, including material by authors of acknowledged academic authority. If you are looking for diverse stuff and have no time to search in many places, you could try here.

(4) Just today (Oct. 4, 2015) I've discovered Marxistpedia. It's a collection of links for diverse texts for Marxists, at different levels.


(to be continued...)

2 comments:

  1. You may like this: Here's nearly every issue of the Marxist journal Nature, Society and Thought. Erwin Marquit, its editor, died this year.

    I would particularly draw attention to Vol 18, No. 1, a special issue that is in fact the reprinting of a book by John Somerville, which stands as one of the better expositions I've seen of the underlying philosophical planks of Marxism (dialectical materialism as ontology, materialist dialectics as methodology/logic, historical materialism as a historical lens, etc). Very accessible, and every chapter ends with a Q&A section with thoughtful Q's that actually add to the content rather than restate ideas.

    The book section, linked below the issue catalog, also has a few PDFs, including another interesting volume on this topic ("Philosophical Problems in Physical Science").

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Hedlund, for that. I checked the links, before replying.

    Personally, I find the "Philosophical problems in physical science" intriguing and will give it a good look.

    I'll keep the comment, for those more advanced. However, it seems a little too advanced for the kind of material I have gathered.

    Thanks, again.

    ReplyDelete