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Historical Materialism

Socialism and Materialism

 Any person lacking previous knowledge of the subject can hardly fail to be confused by the contradictory pronouncements issued in the name of Socialism regarding the basis of society. A few days ago, for instance, Mr. Robert Young, M.P., speaking at a Brotherhood meeting, pleaded for a “new society based upon Christianity." This represents the prevailing attitude among the “Socialists” (so-called) of the Labour Party. On the other hand, we find supporters of that Party claiming to be atheists or materialists, and professing to derive their “Socialism" from some abstract ideal of “justice” or “brotherhood."

The Importance of Marxism

Even the most cursory of observers will have noticed of late a growing interest on the part of the workers in political and economic problems. This increase of interest has reflected itself in an enthusiastic response to our propaganda. Our speakers meet with attentive and appreciative audiences, and the influence of our Party is now greater than ever. There is an obvious reason for all this. The average worker can no longer find his bearings in the modern world, which he sees ravaged by wars and strife, persecution, bestiality, poverty and unemployment. As a consequence his outlook has become gloomy, for his hopes and aspirations have been destroyed by the march of events. A restatement of the essentials of Marxism is therefore timely, for Marxism demonstrates the transitory character of our present system. Not only doe sit explain the world in which we live, but it also points the way to a better and brighter future.

What we owe to Marx

Book Review: 'Karl Marx’s Theory of History'

Marx of a Philosopher

'Karl Marx’s Theory of History', by G. A. Cohen. Oxford University Press, 1978, £10.50

Book Review: 'Marxism and the Muslim World'

'Marxism and the Muslim World', by Maxime Rodinson, (foreword by Gilbert Achcar). Zed Books. 2015. ISBN 9781783603367

This book is a collection of essays by the French Marxist scholar of Islam and the Middle East, Maxim Rodinson. The essays originate from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and so are showing their age, but have a certain value in demonstrating concerns and debates within the left at the time. They are also a demonstration of an independent Marxist thinker’s work who is worth reading, even to disagree with.

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