Deng Xiaoping

The Pen is a Major Tool

The pen is a major tool for exercising leadership, so leading comrades should learn to write. Holding meetings is essential to leadership, but it is always a small number of people who can attend meetings; even when you make an important report, the audience will number no more… [read more]

Humphrey McQueen

Reading the “Unreadable” Marx

From 1850 until his death in 1880, the French novelist Gustave Flaubert compiled a “Dictionary of Received Ideas” as his catalogue of stupidities, inanities and misinformation. In this word association game, “Malthus” summoned up “infamous,” and “Louis XVI” evoked “unfortunate.”… [read more]

Joseph Dietzgen

Six Sermons on Communism and Religion

Friends and Fellow-Citizens: The teachings of Communism contain the material for a new religion which, unlike any other religion, appeals not merely to the heart and emotions, but at the same time to the brain, the organ of knowledge. From all other earthly knowledge… [read more]

Alain Badiou

An Adventure of Persistence

Love cannot be reduced to the first encounter, for it is a construction. The riddle of the idea of love is the mystery of how it comes into being. The most interesting point, at its core, is not the question of the ecstasy of beginnings. There is of course an ecstasy of… [read more]

Mao Zedong

On Contradiction

The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics. Lenin said, “Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradiction in the very essence of objects.” Lenin often called this law the essence… [read more]

Xi Jinping

“Democracy is not an ornament”

Democracy is a value shared by all humanity and an ideal that the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people have always upheld. As we work to translate democratic values and ideals into sound and effective institutions and concrete and real democratic practice, we need to… [read more]

Arundhati Roy

The NGO-ization of Resistance

A hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar… [read more]

Mao Zedong

Surveying a Complicated Environment

The present rural policy of the Party is not one of Agrarian Revolution as during the ten years’ civil war, but is a rural policy for the National United Front Against Japan. The whole Party should carry out the Central Committee’s directives of July 7 and December 25, 1940, and… [read more]

Jorge Arreaza

Being Chavista

1. Being Chavista means valorizing and being guided by LOVE: love for one’s neighbor, for one’s country, for those who suffer, for the People. It means knowing how to listen to those who most need to be heard and learning, together, how to handle problems — with… [read more]

Joseph Heller

Clevinger

Clevinger knew so much because Clevinger was a genius with a pounding heart and blanching face. He was a gangling, gawky, feverish, famish-eyed brain. As a Harvard undergraduate he had won prizes in scholarship for just about everything, and the only reason he had not won prizes… [read more]

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov on 1984

I’ve been writing a four-part article for Field Newspaper Syndicate at the beginning of each year for several years now and in 1980, mindful of the approach of the year 1984, FNS asked me to write a thorough critique of George Orwell’s novel 1984. I was… [read more]

Mark Twain

The Two Terrors

There were two “Reigns of Terror,” if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the… [read more]

Qi Xin

Theory and the Gang of Four

This article is a further attempt to analyze the Gang of Four. After my first article entitled “The Rise and Fall of the Gang of Four” was published, I received many letters from readers questioning certain points made and asking about other aspects. In this article, I again use… [read more]

Qi Xin

The Rise and Fall of the Gang of Four

Q. For more than a month, China’s press has carried many articles on the crimes of the Gang of Four which brought disasters to China and her people. The disclosure of these facts is shocking, but the question I am presently concerned with is this: if the Gang of… [read more]

Deng Xiaoping

Marxism is a Science

I was here in Guangdong in 1984. At that time rural reform had been under way for several years, and we were just beginning to introduce urban reform and to establish special economic zones. Eight years have passed since then. This time, during my trip here, I have found that the… [read more]

Roderic Day

What is Dialectics?

It’s important to relate every new concept you learn to whatever you already know, making adjustments for the new knowledge as you go along. Perhaps this entails discarding a previous misconception, or perhaps it entails making an odd analogy that only really makes sense to you… [read more]

Roderic Day

Self-interested Anti-imperialism

Engels said in 1874, discussing Polish independence: “A people which oppresses another cannot emancipate itself.” This line, and other similar ones by Marx and Engels, are celebrated for their incipient proletarian internationalism. However, they are often subtly misinterpreted… [read more]

Xue Muqiao

Objective Laws of Socialist Economic Development

In his “Preface to the First German Edition” of the first volume of Capital, Marx wrote: “It is the ultimate aim of this work to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society.” Marx devoted his whole life to the study of capitalist economy, which had by then… [read more]

S. B.

The Banality of Genius

You can identify a Very Important Person because they get the proper VIP treatment: they come surrounded by an entourage of PR gurus, secretaries, agents, media handlers and bodyguards. Access to the VIP is limited and controlled, their public appearances are stage managed, their… [read more]

Roderic Day

“Potato Sack” History

If the goal is emancipation, there’s no alternative to relentless, impeccable, fact- and trajectory-focused historical education. We all need to become decent students and able teachers of history. The teaching of history as a “sack of potatoes” is a vulnerability in capitalism… [read more]

Nia Frome

Losurdo and Roberts

Domenico Losurdo and William Clare Roberts are not often mentioned in the same breath. While they are both central theoretical reference points for Red Sails, it must be admitted that they make for an odd couple. Losurdo is concerned primarily with criticizing Western… [read more]

Leon Trotsky

Trotsky on “State Capitalism”

Whither is the NEP leading us: Toward capitalism or toward socialism? This is, of course, the central question. The market, the free trade in grain, competition, leases, concessions — what will be the upshot of all this? If you give the devil a finger, mightn’t it be necessary to… [read more]

Roderic Day

Understanding Lenin

I do not wish to get into useless fights about what Lenin “truly meant” or what he “would have wanted.” It’s not a discussion I can settle, and not even a discussion I care to settle. Instead, I want to explain what I take from his work. To this end, I will “cite” two… [read more]

Roland Barthes

Blind and Dumb Criticism

Critics (of books or drama) often use two rather singular arguments. The first consists in suddenly deciding that the true subject of criticism is ineffable, and criticism, as a consequence, unnecessary. The other, which also reappears periodically, consists in confessing that… [read more]

W. E. B. Du Bois

On Stalin

Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding… [read more]

Ellen Willis

Women and the Myth of Consumerism

If white radicals are serious about revolution, they are going to have to discard a lot of bullshit ideology created by and for educated white middle-class males. A good example of what has to go is the popular theory of consumerism. [read more]

V. I. Lenin

Constitutional Illusions

Constitutional illusions are what we call a political error when people believe in the existence of a normal, juridical, orderly and legalised — in short, “constitutional” — system, although it does not really exist. At first glance it may appear that in Russia today, July 1917… [read more]

Bhagat Singh

Introduction to Dreamland

My noble friend, L Ram Saran Das, has asked me to write an introduction to his poetical work, The Dreamland. I am neither a poet nor a litterateur, neither am I a journalist nor a critic. Hence, by no stretch of imagination can I find the justification of the demand. But… [read more]

Bhagat Singh

Letter To Young Political Workers

Our movement is passing through a very important phase at present. After a year’s fierce struggle some definite proposals regarding the constitutional reforms have been formulated by the Round Table Conference and the Congress leaders have been invited to give this [words… [read more]

Walter Rodney

Marxism in Africa

First of all, we must understand the background for this kind of debate. When one is asked to speak of the relevance of Marxism to Africa at this particular point in time one is being asked to involve oneself in a historical debate, an ongoing debate in this country, particularly… [read more]

Jiang Shigong

A History of Empire Without Empire

The discovery of the New World by Columbus in 1492 is generally regarded as the beginning of global history. Not only because the Great Voyages discovered the entire face of the earth and connected all of humanity, but also because a modern civilization emerged from the West and… [read more]

Roderic Day

On Crypto

In 2013, in the wake of the boom of the canonical “BitCoin,” using some of the same technological principles but tapping into contemporary internet-meme culture, “DogeCoin” was born. Despite its origins as a joke, on 5 May 2021 it reached a market capitalization of… [read more]

Roderic Day

“Brainwashing”

What can we make of the tendency of Westerners to flippantly regurgitate the accusation of “brainwashing” against another country and its people, but then display indignation when that same allegation is made about their own? [read more]

Michael Parenti

Anticommunism & Wonderland

The third chapter of Michael Parenti’s “Blackshirts & Reds” is often seen stand-alone under the title “Left Anticommunism: The Unkindest Cut.” Though it is amazing that such a brilliant piece of writing is widely available, and though it definitely holds up on its own, I tend… [read more]

Roderic Day

Stalinists and Feminazis

Before I discovered Marxism, I discovered feminism. And before I discovered feminism, I used to be a chauvinistic liberal. As I grow older I sometimes like to look back and examine how this particular trajectory — of arriving at Marxism from a standard petty-bourgeois background… [read more]

Lori Watson

The Woman Question

The dispute between some self-identified feminists and trans persons, trans women especially, and trans-supporting feminists has erupted into a full-scale ideological war. Once at the level of conflict, officially undeclared, we have moved into the territory of “you are either… [read more]

Claudia Jones

Claudia Jones Speaks

Your Honour, there are a few things I wish to say. For if what I say here serves even one whit to further dedicate growing millions of Americans to fight for peace and to repel the fascist drive on free speech and thought in our country, I shall consider my rising to speak… [read more]

Yu Kuang

What Can We Learn from the Texas Snowstorm Disaster?

A United States still struggling through the pandemic was also recently hit by a major snow storm. To date, 37 states have already faced emergency winter conditions, with the southwestern state of Texas being hit the hardest, where temperatures have dropped below -20 degrees… [read more]

Iain M. Banks

A Few Notes on the Culture

Iain M. Banks was a Scottish fiction writer. His most famous work, the Culture series, centers on a utopian, post-scarcity space society of humanoid aliens and advanced artificial intelligences living in constructed habitats spread across the Milky Way. In this essay he… [read more]

Nia Frome

Two Cthulhus

At the beginning of every essay, a writer has to decide how familiar their intended audience is with the terms they’ll be using. The focus of this essay, H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, occupies a strange position in that it’s both niche and mainstream (e.g. spellcheck… [read more]

Roderic Day

The Virtual Factory

Factories were designed by capitalists as exploitative panopticon enclosures. Nevertheless, they socialized workers, and became sites of organization and struggle. Yasha Levine’s superb research into surveillance technology should not lead to numbing cynicism about the potential… [read more]

Karl Marx

Third Manuscript

The subjective essence of private property, private property as activity for itself, as subject, as person, is labor. It, therefore, goes without saying that only that political economy which recognized labor as its principle (Adam Smith), and which therefore no longer regarded… [read more]

Roderic Day

Everyday Subkulak

A while back a friend was illustrating the many ways in which Slavoj Zizek fell short as a Marxist theorist (I had retained some sympathies from when I first discovered him as a liberal) with a pretty bad bit of writing on Mao Zedong. To Zizek’s credit, as usual, it’s at least… [read more]

Lovelass and Others

On Bracketing: Pugilistic Lessons for the Left

I have long decried the fact that the right wants power while the left wants approval. This was never more evident that in the months up to and including the last election when the Tories and Libdems bent truth and law to breaking point, while Labour bent over backwards to prove… [read more]

Hồ Chí Minh

The Path Which Led Me To Leninism

After World War I, I made my living in Paris, then as a retoucher at a photographer’s, now as painter of “Chinese antiquities” (made in France!). I would distribute leaflets denouncing the crimes committed by the French colonialists in Viet Nam. [read more]

Ishay Landa

Who’s Afraid of the End of History?

In this paper I propose briefly to re-visit Francis Fukuyama’s in/famous end-of-history hypothesis, a little more than twenty years after the publication of his original essay in The National Interest. I will not delve again into the details of Fukuyama’s conception or… [read more]

Jo Freeman

The Tyranny of Stucturelessness

During the years in which the women’s liberation movement has been taking shape, a great emphasis has been placed on what are called leaderless, structureless groups as the main — if not sole — organizational form of the movement. The source of this idea was a natural reaction… [read more]

Roderic Day

On Chomsky

Far too much has already been said and written about Noam Chomsky, and some of it has the counter-productive effect of further enhancing his myth. This is because his fans often read his being attacked from “both the right and the left” as inherent proof of his brilliance. The… [read more]

Sam Kriss

What is “neoliberalism”?

Neoliberalism is not particularly hard to define. It’s not only an ideology or a set of principles; it’s a system of practices, and an era, the one we’re living in now. What it means, over and above everything, is untrammeled ruling-class power, an end to the… [read more]

Nia Frome

Marketing Socialism

When I was a kid I also believed ‘communists should ditch that label, for PR reasons.’ Now I think we make more headway owning it than dishonestly disavowing it. Not least because someone will almost always bring up Stalin no matter what we call ourselves. [read more]

Tarzie

White Supremacy and Magic Paper

White Supremacy is having a good month: On March 5th, the ACLU put its weight behind Pro Football Inc.’s fight to keep its Washington Redskins trademark. A few days later, legal scholars from the right and permissible left along with The New Republic scolded Oklahoma University… [read more]

Roderic Day

On Orwell

The only people who misunderstand George Orwell’s 1984 are those that go around trying to imagine it has a leftist message. It is mistaken to imagine that children in the English-speaking world get his work drilled into them like a mantra because, somehow… [read more]

Roderic Day

Cults & Miracles

HackerNews is a discussion forum hosted by YCombinator, Silicon Valley’s premier “startup accelerator” investment fund. It has a longstanding and reflexive hostility to any ideas critical of the tech-worker turf, so I was surprised when a write-up of how to escape “toxicity in… [read more]

Bob Page

The American’s Job

“Free market capitalism” is in terminal decline, to be replaced in this century or early in the next with state capitalism and other presently undeveloped form of socialist hybrid states. The decline is structural, political, but also social and cultural. By the end of February… [read more]

Red Maistre

On Identitarianism: A Defense of a Strawman

The universal has been blunted by difference, language games have overthrown universal reason, and solidarity has been betrayed by individualism: a common, severe doxa in our age of austerity. At the root of this threefold betrayal is the principle of identity which has allegedly… [read more]

Roderic Day

Why Marxism?

I want to try to answer directly a set of questions that I keep encountering now that I publicly defend communist theory and history, legitimate questions that I have grappled with myself. I hope this particular synthesis of existing ideas sheds some light and understanding on… [read more]