Proletarian Culture and Proletarian Art

For our March 2015 organization-wide reading we are republishing "Proletarian Culture and Proletarian Art," a chapter from Literature and Revolution by Leon Trotsky. This piece covers a discussion that took place in the early 1920s in the Soviet Union on the future of art and culture in a socialist society and whether or not it would be correct to characterize this art and culture as being unique to the proletariat.

The Communist Manifesto

The founding document of the Communist movement. More relevant today than when it was first written over 160 years ago. Although it is relatively short, every line is dense with content and some find it difficult to read. But once you work through it carefully, you will find the ideas start falling into place. Like a good song, the Manifesto is worth re-reading time and time again—there is something "new" in it every time you read it!

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

Capitalism once played a progressive historic role in dragging humanity out of the impasse of feudalism. By developing the productive forces to previously unheard of levels, it has laid the material basis for socialism. But as the system began to reach its limits, this was reflected in the development of imperialism and the outbreak of world war. This classic work was written in the midst of World War I, and served to train a new layer of Marxists after the betrayal of many of the leaders of the Socialist International, who had capitulated to "their" national capitalist classes. It explains how industrial capital came to dominate merchant capital, only to be further dominated by finance capital. It also details the rise gigantic monopolies concentrating enormous wealth in a few hands. In addition, it explains how imperialist nations dominate others through the export of capital, terms of trade that favor the more powerful country, and the use of military power to impose their will.

Read Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism here

Value, Price, and Profit

In this work, Marx explains how prices relate to a commodity's value and shows where profits actually come from. Another great introduction to Marxist economics.