Reddit Reddit reviews The Marx-Engels Reader (Second Edition)

We found 23 Reddit comments about The Marx-Engels Reader (Second Edition). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

American History
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The Marx-Engels Reader (Second Edition)
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23 Reddit comments about The Marx-Engels Reader (Second Edition):

u/[deleted] · 17 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

Well...I agree History is key...but...

You really need to read Political Theory first for a foundation. Every modern day political ideology is based off of these books in one way or another.

u/StarTrackFan · 10 pointsr/socialism

Okay, here is a copy/paste of a comment I made previously:

"The Principles of Communism" by Friedrich Engels was an early draft of the Manifesto that many feel is actually easier to understand. I still recommend reading the manifesto as well if you haven't yet.

Why Socialism? By Albert Einstein and The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde are two short, simple, and very eloquent introductory essays that everyone should read.

"Marx for Beginners" by Rius is an illustrated book explaining the history and basics of Marx's ideas. I know it sounds absurd that it's basically like a comic book, but it seriously does a great job of concisely stating a lot of the basics. I recommend it to all beginners.

"Socialism: Utopian and Scientific" by Engels. It outlines socialism and distinguishes the scientific socialism of Marx/Engels from the utopian socialism that preceded it.

"Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism" by Bertrand Russell analyzes several different leftist views and their origins. Russell has a simple, reasonable way of explaining things. I don't agree with him on everything, but he does his best to be fair when explaining things and it is a valuable introductory work.

"The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" by Engels. This does what it says on the tin.

One of the best things to get is the Marx-Engels Reader. It contains "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific" and many of the other works by Marx and Engels that I and others mention. (Here it is for free)

Everything I've listed so far, with the exception of "Principles of Scientific Socialism" and "Roads To Freedom" is a pretty short read.

Here's some slightly more advanced reading:

"Wage Labor and Capital" and "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right" by Marx

"The Holy Family" by Marx and Engels

State and Revolution by Lenin

Once you're informed enough, it's definitely worth is to read through Marx's Capital with these David Harvey lectures as a guide.

Also, this guy's youtube channel has been a great help to me. I've especially found his series on the Law of Value to be very useful lately but he has tons of great videos. His videos on manufacturing consent, crisis, commodities, and credit are just a few good examples. If you go to his website you can see a list of all his videos on the right hand side. He's certainly not perfect, but he's helped me to learn a lot and helped to point me to other resources as well.

Edit: Found free copies of Marx for Beginners and Marx-Engels reader, added links. Now I link to free copies of every work I mention but one. Free education, comrades!

Edit2: I've rearranged this some and tried to order it better. I removed one book since it's hard to find and out of print but here's the description I had of it:

"Principles of Scientific Socialism" by Philip Sharnoff. I haven't been able to find this book to order online... maybe it's out of print, but I picked it up at a used book store and it's pretty great. It concisely explains all about Marxism, Leninism and modern socialist movements. I like it because he uses more or less plain English and gets straight to the point. It even goes into basic history about the Russian and Chinese Revolution, the USSR and the cold war. It's really fantastic. I'm sure there are other books that do this and if anyone knows of them, let me know. I'd love to find one to recommend that is in print.

u/how_shave-wot · 7 pointsr/communism101

gonna plug the “marx-engels reader”

best thing is each work included has an introduction by the editor that explains why he chose to include that work and why it’s important.

u/kaelis · 6 pointsr/philosophy

Marx-Engels Reader by Robert Tucker

Start with:

  • On the Jewish Question (what is emancipation; what is the State)
  • Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (early draft of basic arguments of Capital)
  • The German Ideology (basic intro to Historical Materialism -- i.e., a response to Hegelian philosophy of history)

    if you want secondary discussions, PM me.
u/WillieConway · 5 pointsr/askphilosophy

The Marx-Engels Reader is a pretty standard starting place, and it's easy to find cheap used copies of it.

If you are averse to readers of that sort, then check out the Grundrisse.

u/admorobo · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook
u/Eeazt · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This study plan put out by /r/communism has some good stuff (although I haven't it read it all.) I'd recommend starting with the communist manifesto, and this Marx/Engels reader is really good for a basic understanding of Marxism.

The way I got into this stuff before school was going to (which has LOTS of stuff scanned in) and picking out a random page or just browsing through the site to find something that seems interesting. Then reading it and if something caught my attention I'd look for a book about it. Lenin's State and Revolution is a classic for the Leninist perspective on the state and its interaction with capitalism too. I'm in a class right now reading Capital and I'd recommend everyone does it. I'd always been scared of the size and density of it but it's actually quite understandable when you get into it. Of course it also helps to have it guided by someone. :P

u/unautre · 3 pointsr/communism101

The Marx-Engels reader is a great book. "On Capital" is a good start. You might try to find reading assignments from university courses (sometimes they're online) and that ought to give you some direction. I do recommend reading essays completely.

u/clause4 · 2 pointsr/Socialism_101

There's a wide array of introductory material, but if you were to get just two individual books I'd suggest The Marx-Engels Reader and The Essential Works of Lenin.

I'd also suggest Marxist Classics volumes 1 and 2.

u/hmzabshr · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

Instead of talking yourself out of becoming educated, imagine what would happen to society if everyone did so. Everyone, people like you included, has the potential to transform society through education, dialogue, and activism. Judging from some of your comments, I'm gonna go ahead and recommend that you start with Karl Marx. If you're worried about exploitation, interested in socialism, etc., go to the source. Either the Communist Manifesto or Capital, depending on how heavy you're willing to get. If you want something that covers a wide selection of Marx and Engels, I highly recommend this reader. This includes the Manifesto, book 1 of Capital, and some other important essays. Maybe you'll like it. Maybe you'll hate it. But it's a great place to start if you want first hand exposure to the foundation of critical theory. Keep in mind that everyone you talk to, even philosophy majors, even philosophy professors, are going to have a bias in one way or another. You have to pursue the truth yourself and don't let anyone scare you out of getting educated and engaged with improving society. Your silence supports the status quo, so if you're comfortable with things being the way they are, by all means stay at home.

u/_lochland · 2 pointsr/Marxism

There are a couple of 'strands' of Marx's thought which you might investigate. I can't comment too much on shorter introductions to the philosophical side, as I'm more familiar with (and interested in, for the moment) works the economic side. For this, I can recommend the following:

  • A Short History of Socialist Economic Thought by Gerd Hardack, Dieter Karras, Ben Fine. It's all in the title :)
  • David Harvey's excellent A Companion to Marx's Capital. This certainly isn't a short book, but Harvey is a terrific writer, and so the time flies. I would also point to and highly recommend the series of lectures on which this book is based. Of course, the lectures are hardly an exercise in brevity, but they are very good and worthwhile.
  • Ernest Mandel's An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory is good. Read it online here. Any Mandel is very good. He is an incredible clear author, and he really knows Marxist thought inside out. For instance, I would also recommend Ernest Mandel's introduction to the Penguin edition of Capital (the introduction is a bit shorter than the whole book of Mandels that I've mentioned above) very nicely summarises the context of his economic thought, and gives an overview thereof.
  • Yannis Varoufakis (the former finance minister of Greece) wrote a fantastic, more general introduction to economics and economic theory called Foundations of Economics: A beginner’s companion. While Varoufakis deals with economics as a whole, and discusses, for instance, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, this serves to very well position Marx within the economic milieu of his time. This is a recurring theme for a reason: to understand Marx, I believe that it's imperative to understand what drove Marx to ruthlessly critique capitalism.
  • Finally, I'm not trying to be glib or conceited by suggesting The Marx-Engles Reader (2nd ed.), edited by Robert C. Tucker. This is the book that I used to start studying seriously the thought of Marx and Engels, after reading Singer's introduction. I recommend the book because it has (again) a wonderful introduction, the works that are presented are quite short, and each work has a solid introduction. This is a very good volume for seeing the trajectory and evolution of Marx and Engels's economic thought without having to dive into the larger works. The book even has a very heavily reduced version of Capital vol. I. This book also deals with the philosophy of Marx more heavily than the other works I've recommended here, as it contains a number of earlier philosophical works (including the Grundisse, which is practically the philosophical sister to Capital).

    I hope these will be useful, even if they aren't necessarily the aspect of Marx that you are most interested in.

    Edit: I should state that I am a philosopher of language, and so one doesn't need any especial economics expertise to dive into the texts that I've recommended! I certainly knew very little about the field before I read these texts.
u/an_altar_of_plagues · 2 pointsr/europe

> It may not be the profs. Student organizations are pretty popular here and many of them are very much ideological. I've seen at my uni that people joined a student org for their good marketing, network and famous parties then started to hold those views more and more themselves.

That's not the university or student organizations as much as it is people. People like to feel ideologically actualized. That's not a symptom of youth or studenthood nearly as much as it is symptomatic of humanity. I don't know how much experience you have outside of school (and I don't mean that to insult you, I just don't know you!), but my experience in the "real world" before going back to grad school is that if anything these kinds of ideological organizations are even more prevalent (insofar as them existing across spectra of activity and ideology). I lived in Washington, DC for a while before this and the amount of political clubs was just insane, but they're even in areas like rural Alaska and Florida.

> Personally I don't think that a communist society is viable in anything larger than a kibbutz (which I'd call a community, not society) because it goes against human nature and has significant technical difficulties regarding efficient and sufficient production.

I emphatically agree with this. I generally find communism an interesting framework to operate under, but it's almost impossible for me to see it applicable on any way on a grand scale. I have a rather pessimistic view of humanity - not that I believe humans are inherently evil or wrong, but that doing the right thing is often difficult and that peoples' definitions of what is "right" are different and applied differently. This getting a bit into a diatribe, but I'd say my personal identification is closer to classical anarchism/libertarianism (NOT what modern American libertarianism is, which has almost nothing to do with the ideology) for the reasons you describe.

> ...classes based on economics are not the only way to stratify a society. In the USA it was also races, in Eastern Europe it was ethnicities, language and religion. Even if all workers had the same rights, a Russian was still "culturally superior" to a Lithuanian. People have other loyalties than to their class, and this is something that I think Marx was wrong about.

This is actually something Marx writes about with Engels and something he'd agree with you on. Marx did not state that economics was the only way to interpret history, but that it was one of the main forces of the "modern" era. He makes a point that stratification through race, religion, and ethnicity are all just as salient, but that economics was the one that oppressors could wield most strongly. The idea that Marx exclusively focused on economic stratification is something that's come from misinterpretation of his writings, and I've noticed that's mostly in literature coming since the 1980s - which probably coincides with the rise of neoliberalism in the West.

> Do you mean that the workers in some countries became accomplices of the capitalists, and a strong party with a strong leader is needed to keep the movement "pure"? Surely in the top 10 conspiracy theories.

Sort of. This is one of the big differences between Marxism and Leninism. Marx emphatically believed that workers fighting against the capitalists must occur organically, and that any attempt to manufacture revolution would end up being a fake revolution that would end up being more dangerous and destructive in the long run (ironic, isn't it?). This was a strong reaction against the "great man" theory of the Enlightenment, which postulated that history is moved by the actions of "great men" and personae. Marx, on the other hand, believed that history was moved by class struggles - with "class" primarily operating under the economic definition but also including issues of race, nationality, and sex. That's one of several reasons why you'll see Leninism described as "not real communism", because it violates one of Marx's central tenants that revolution must come from the people and be sustained by the people, as any revolution stemming from a figure would end up becoming by and for the figure.

Seriously it's fascinating stuff, even if you or I don't subscribe to the political/ideological aspect of it. It's legitimately interesting reading, and you can get a cheap copy of collected works here if you don't feel like reading through several hundred pages of Das Capital (and I wouldn't recommend you do so).

> I'm an economist but I don't think that everything can be explained by economics.

I was a healthcare economist before starting grad school, and I think geographical inequalities (but not inequities) do better at influencing economic behavior. Most people look at economics as being the driver of human political and social behavior in the last couple of decades, but I think it's more like a descendant of a common variable (geography) than anything else.

> I'm a huge advocate of welfare economics and sustainable finance. The first one is concerned with using human welfare instead of GPD as a measure of economic success. The second uses environmental impact in the calculation of financial feasibility of projects.

Do you have any books or authors you'd recommend? I'm taking a course on sustainability that mostly focuses on health behavior, but I'd like to learn a bit more on the sustainability of welfare and environment.

By the way, I'm enjoying this talk with you. I like having to think critically about things I've read or experienced, and I'm definitely getting that this morning! I sincerely apologize for my initial frustration.

u/bzilla · 2 pointsr/communism101

I have a copy of the Marx-Engels reader and I find it pretty comprehensive.

u/lestival · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

The marx-engels reader gives a good grasp on it, direct from primary source and a few explanatory comments. Was pretty good to me. It may not qualify to what you expect of a summary (it has 700+ pages), but given the extension of Marxist theory I believe it does the job well.

u/classicalecon · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

I've made my way through most of the Marx Engels Reader, and I've read Marx's Capital in its entirety.

u/End-Da-Fed · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

The fact remains reading Manifesto alone and adopting the proposals presented within wholeheartedly makes one a Marxist. Marxism is VERY easy to grasp and can be explained in under 20 minutes with graphs, slides, photos and quotes in a YouTube video.

It only requires two hours a day of intensive studying over a two week period to keep up in a conversation with any professor on earth.

Wholeheartedly accepting all the contents of [this] ( book alone can a Marxist make.

u/mentilsoup · 1 pointr/history

I have some experience, if only as an antagonist, and my reference of choice is:

And in that vein, Eubank's explication of the myriad shortcomings of Marxian philosophy and economics is also very good:

Happy reading. Grappling with Marx is like learning calculus; you're not truly educated until this is under your belt.

u/lilnasx2020 · 1 pointr/communism101

There’s the Marx-Engels reader, I can find it on amazon but I’m sure there’s a better means to purchase it without supporting bezos:

u/marketfailure · 1 pointr/AskSocialScience

So I would second Integrald's list as great, and I think everyone should read all of the books in the Core section. If you're interested in political economy, I'd specifically point out these from it as nice general-interest introductions:

  • Guns Germs and Steel
  • Why Nations Fail
  • The Mystery of Capital

    If you're interested in alternative models, there are two particular works that I'd recommend reading. The first is probably obvious - get yourself the big old Marx reader. Marxist thought is less important than it used to be, but still worth getting acquainted with.

    The second might be less familiar but I think is also very important - Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation. It is basically a sociologically-oriented history of the rise of capitalism. Polanyi's argument is that the "free market" is no less a utopian vision than the communist one, and that in many times and places people seek protection from the market rather than a desire to participate in it. This is one of the very few books I've read as an adult that actually changed my perspective in a meaningful way, and if you're interested in the "big questions" of politics and economics I can't recommend it highly enough.
u/NaturalSelectionDied · 1 pointr/socialism

I got a book from a yard sale called "The Marx-Engels Reader" and it has a huge amount of their works compiled.

u/doeslikecheesecake · 0 pointsr/socialism

It's on Amazon