Nia Frome

How is it to be done?

There are, broadly speaking, two ways to go about defining socialism. One is more rationalist, exegetical — it begins with Marx’s description of capitalism and negates whatever it takes to be its core components. The other way is more empirical, historical — it takes Really… [read more]

Hồ Chí Minh

Letter To Old People (1945)

I am talking with you as an elder like you. A saying runs that “talents are exhausted with the coming of old age,” and our elders generally believe it. Whatever happens, they say, “old people must live in quietness, we are old, we have no more ambition. It is up to our children… [read more]

Antonio Gramsci

Real Dialectic (1921)

Events are the real dialectic of history. They transcend all reasoning, all personal judgements, all simple and irresponsible wishful thinking. Events, with the unbreakable logic of their development, teach the working and peasant masses, who are conscious of their destiny, these… [read more]

Karl Marx

On Proudhon (1865)

Yesterday I received a letter in which you demand from me a detailed judgment of Proudhon. Lack of time prevents me from fulfilling your desire. Added to which I have none of his works to hand. However, in order to assure you of my good will I will quickly jot down a… [read more]

Michael Parenti

Dividends Are Not Royalties (1996)

It has been frequently noted that IQ examinations, while professing to measure innate intelligence, are riddled with racial, gender, and class biases. Thus a low-income, inner-city youth, confronting a seemingly innocuous phrase like “behind the sofa” on an IQ test, may find it… [read more]

Nia Frome

Long, Queer Revolution (2018)

Is it possible for a single mind to fully fathom the transition from capitalism to communism? I can, without too much trouble, imagine a group of about twenty people doing something like communism, but if the size of the group grows much beyond that, I’m at a loss. What’s more… [read more]

Antonio Gramsci

The Communist Party (1920)

Since Sorel, it has become a cliché to refer to the primitive Christian communities in assessing the modern proletarian movement. It must be said at once that Sorel is in no way responsible for the small-mindedness and intellectual crudity of his Italian admirers, just as Karl… [read more]

Roderic Day

Nihilistic Resignation

There is much talk these days about World War 3. This anxiety is a very well-justified reaction to loud saber-rattling. However, fear runs the risk of becoming nihilistic resignation. The uncritical adoption of an incorrect theory of social behaviour, even in protest… [read more]

J. V. Stalin

Remarks to Yaroshenko (1952)

Some time ago the members of the Political Bureau of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) received a letter from Comrade Yaroshenko, dated March 20, 1952, on a number of economic questions which were debated at the November discussion. The author of the letter complains that the basic… [read more]

Paola Tabet

Hands, Tools, Weapons (1982)

There is in ethnology an aspect of the sexual division of labor which up to the present time has neither been studied globally nor considered in an appropriate fashion: that of the tools which men and women use. The question is to know if there exists a sexual differentiation in… [read more]

Roderic Day


There’s a very common cliche in rhetorical political argumentation that goes something like this: “I am concerned about the quality (or style, or approach) of your argument. Not for my own personal sake — no, I’m actually very ambivalent (on your side, even!). I’m raising my… [read more]

Domenico Losurdo

What is Fundamentalism? (2004)

What is fundamentalism? One immediately thinks about the Middle East and Islam, but the term first appeared in U.S. Protestant circles, regarding a movement that developed prior to World War I whose followers occasionally referred to themselves as “fundamentalists.” Although this… [read more]

Michael Parenti

Against Psychopolitics (1992)

A critical examination is made of political psychology, specifically psychoanalytic and “depth” psychology as applied to the study of politics. I argue that psychological explanations for political leaders and movements (a) tend to be reductionist and based on interpretations… [read more]

Alice C. Malone


Capitalism sucks for workers. It’s common to see the obvious failures of our current system as new horrors, and to conclude that we need to return to some time when things were better. Maybe the “better time” is vague — just a general hand-waving and an exhortation to make things… [read more]

Bhagat Singh

Our Opportunity (1931)

Indian freedom is not perhaps any longer a far distant dream; events are moving apace and it may become a reality sooner than we expect. British Imperialism is admittedly in a tight corner. Germany is about to topple down, France is tottering, even the United States is shaky. And… [read more]

V. I. Lenin

Civilized Barbarism (1913)

Britain and France are the most civilized countries in the world. London and Paris are the world’s capitals, with populations of six and three million, respectively. The distance between them is an eight- to nine-hour journey. One can imagine how great is the commercial… [read more]

Nia Frome

On Jargon (2016)

To the novice, any two dense texts (e.g. Heidegger vs. Hegel) are equally impenetrable. Same goes for most of the Marxist tradition, which has never shied from developing its own jargon. But this opacity to outsiders is a false equivalence; that is, it’s concealing a difference… [read more]

S. B.

Ways of Objectifying (2013)

When people complain about sexually objectified images of women in advertising and other media, a typical MRA troll move is to counter that men are also sexually objectified. Male models are sex objects too, says the troll: impossibly ripped and handsome studs, sexy and… [read more]

Humphrey McQueen

From Hegel to Lenin

How often do we hear: ‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it’? Known as ‘Thesis Eleven,’ Marx’s challenge comes at the end of a couple of pages of rough notes in preparation for a 65-page chapter on Ludwig… [read more]

Mao Zedong

On Contradiction (1937)

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 (2021)

Democracy is a common value of humanity and an ideal that has always been cherished by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people. Over the past hundred years, the Party has led the people in realizing people’s democracy in China. The Chinese people now truly hold in… [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 (1961)

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]

Mark Twain

The Two Terrors (1889)

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 (1977)

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]

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]

S. B.

The Banality of Genius (2013)

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]

Roderic Day

Understanding Lenin

I do not like to get into useless fights about “what Lenin truly meant” or “what Lenin 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 refer to… [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]

Lori Watson

The Woman Question (2016)

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]

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 (1844)

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]

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]

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]