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Marxist Leninist Study Guide

“There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.” (Marx, Capital, Vol.I, Preface to the French Edition, 1872) Marxism-Leninism is the science of revolution, encompassing developments in philosophy, political economy, and scientific socialism. It is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular. As Stalin has said, Marxism-Leninism is not a dogma but a guide to action. What this means is basically that Marxism-Leninism is the synthesis and summation of the historic experiences of the revolutionary struggles of working and oppressed people against capitalism and imperialism for more than 160 years, and it is first and foremost a weapon to be used by working and oppressed people in their struggles for emancipation, liberation, and the building of a new world. I’m putting this list of readings together as sort of a study guide for people in the United States who are intersted in learning about Marxism-Leninism and socialism. The primary theoreticians of Marxism-Leninism are Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. While I have focused on their texts I have included the writings of many other Marxist-Leninists and some videos as well. I also draw extensively from Stalin’s History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) – Short Course which Mao Zedong highlighted as an essential textbook for study. I have chosen the texts that I have mainly in the interest of finding texts can be grasped quickly and in a practical way. I have attempted to divide the readings into distinct topics, with the idea that this study guide will mostly be used by individuals for study on their own in tackling particular, concrete problems, as well as to aid in learning Marxism through criticism and self-criticism. For broader historical study on the Soviet Revolution, I suggest reading the above mentioned History of the CPSU(B) Short Course, The Collapse of the Soviet Union: Causes and Lessons by the International Communist Seminar, and Ludo Martens’ Another View of Stalin. On the Chinese revolution I suggest Han Suyin’s books The Morning Deluge: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution 1893-1954 and Wind in the Tower: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution 1949 to 1975. Taken together they are the best study of the Chinese Revolution in English that I am aware of, and the closest thing there is to something lik a Chinese equivalent to the History of the CPSU(B) Short Course, apart from A History of the Modern Chinese Revolution (Peking: FLP 1959) which is very difficult to find. Unfortunately Han Suyin’s books are not available online. I also suggest the Glossary of Revolutionary Marxism. For the absolute essentials, I would suggest going to my “Ten Essential Classics of Marxism-Leninism” page.

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= Beginning and Essential Texts Overview of Marxism-Leninism, the Science of Revolution

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” – Marx & Engels, The Manifesto of the Communist Party

Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx & Engels Principles of Communism by Frederick Engels Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Frederick Engels Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch With an Exposition of Marxism by V.I. Lenin The Foundations of Leninism by J.V. Stalin Programme of the Communist International (1929) How to Be a Good Communist by Liu Shaoqi Unity Statement of Freedom Road Socialist Organization

Philosophical Viewpoint and Method: Dialectical and Historical Materialism

“The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice.” – Mao Zedong, “On Practice” Anti-Dühring (Part I: Philosophy) by Frederick Engels Materialism and Empirio-Criticism by V.I. Lenin On the Question of Dialectics by V.I. Lenin Dialectical and Historical Materialism by J. V. Stalin Dialectical Materialism by Mao Zedong On Practice by Mao Zedong (my notes) On Contradiction by Mao Zedong (my notes) Talk on Questions of Philosophy by Mao Zedong Contradiction and Overdetermination by Louis Althusser On the Materialist Dialectic by Louis Althusser

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= Beginning and Essential Texts
Political Economy of Capitalism and Imperialism

“The essential conditions for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.” – Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party Wage-Labor and Capital by Karl Marx Value, Price and Profit by Karl Marx Capital by Karl Marx Anti-Dühring (Part II: Political Economy) by Frederick Engels Marx’s Economic Doctrine by V. I. Lenin Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism by V. I. Lenin Outbreak and Causes of the Imperialist War from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Theory and Tactics of the Bolshevik Party on the Question of War, Peace and Revolution from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Political Economy: A Beginner’s Course by A. Leontiev (PDFs of chapters 1, 2, and 3) Imperialism 101 by Michael Parenti

Imperialist Globalization and the United States by Steff Yorek and Mick Kelly for the National Executive Committee of FRSO Capitalism in Crisis: 160 years after the Communist Manifesto by FRSO On the Capitalist Crisis videos of a talk by Harpal Brar

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= Beginning and Essential Texts

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Methods of Leadership: Mass Line & United Front

“In all the practical work of our Party, all correct leadership is necessarily ‘from the masses, to the masses’.” – Mao Zedong, “Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership” Lenin and Stalin as Mass Leaders by W. Z. Foster The Bolshevik Newspaper Pravda from the History of the CPSU – Short Course The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism by Georgi Dimitrov The Question of Independence and Initiative Within the United Front by Mao Zedong Be Concerned With the Well-Being of the Masses, Pay Attention to Methods of Work by Mao Zedong Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership by Mao Zedong Speech at the Chinese Communist Party’s National Conference on Propaganda Work by Mao Zedong A Talk to the Editorial Staff of the Shansi-Suiyuan Daily by Mao Zedong How to be a Good Leader by Zhou Enlai The Mass Line by the Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path) Mass Work by the Communist Party of the Philippines The Party and the Masses by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Class in the U.S. and Our Strategy for Revolution by FRSO Some Points on the Mass Line by FRSO A Mass Line Study for Socialist Organizing by FRSO SDS: Study and Struggle, Unite and Fight! by Kati Ketz, Tracy Molm, and Kosta Harlan for the FRSO Student Commission Lessons from the RNC: Mass Mobilization and Militant Actions Advance the Struggle by FRSO

= Beginning and Essential Texts

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Revolutionary Organization: Party Building & Democratic Centralism

“Once the political line is laid down, organizational work decides everything.” – Zhou Enlai, “How to be a Good Leader” Where to Begin? by V. I. Lenin One Step Forward, Two Steps Back by V.I. Lenin On Terms of Admission into the Communist International by V. I. Lenin Lenin’s Plan for the Building of a Marxist Party from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Organizational Principles of the Marxist Party from the History of the CPSU – Short Course The Party by J. V. Stalin The Party Before and After Taking Power by J.V. Stalin Stalin’s Speeches on the American Communist Party (PDF) The Prospects of the Communist Party of Germany and the Question of Bolshevisation by J. V. Stalin Cadres by Mao Zedong

Methods of Work of Party Committees by Mao Zedong Talk At An Enlarged Working Conference Convened By The Central Committee Of The Communist Party Of China by Mao Zedong A Discussion of Party Democratic Centralism Peking Review On the Party by Liu Shaoqi CPUSA: Manual on Organisation by J. Peters The Cadres: Backbone of the Revolution by Ernesto Che Guevara Two, Three, Many Parties of a New Type by Proletarian Unity League

= Beginning and Essential Texts

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The State and Revolution

“The state is a weapon of class struggle, a machine by which one class represses another. Every state is the dictatorship of a definite class. So long as the state exists, it cannot possibly stand above class or belong to the whole people.” – Mao Zedong, “The Proletarian Revolution and Krushchev’s Revisionism” Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State by Frederick Engels The State and Revolution by V. I. Lenin The State by V. I. Lenin “Democracy” and Dictatorship by V. I. Lenin Bourgeois and Proletarian Democracy by V. I. Lenin The Vulgar Bourgeois Representation of Dictatorship and Marx’s View of It by V.I. Lenin Marxism and Reformism by V. I. Lenin Should We Participate in Bourgeois Parliaments? by V. I. Lenin Tactical Foundations of the Marxist Party from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Strategy and Tactics by J. V. Stalin The Proletarian Revolution and Krushchev’s Revisionism by Mao Zedong Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses by Louis Althusser Bourgeois Democracy and Fascism by Harpal Brar

= Beginning and Essential Texts

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Socialist Political Economy & Proletarian Dictatorship

“Socialism is the declaration of the permanence of the revolution, the class dictatorship of the proletariat as the necessary transit point to the abolition of class distinctions generally, to the abolition of all the relations of production on which they rest, to the abolition of all the social relations that correspond to these relations of production, to the revolutionizing of all the ideas that result from these social relations.” – Karl Marx, Class Struggles in France Critique of the Gotha Programme by Karl Marx Economics And Politics In The Era Of The Dictatorship Of The Proletariat by V. I. Lenin The Economic Basis of the Withering Away of the State by V. I. Lenin Lenin’s Plan for the Initial Steps in Socialist Construction from the History of the CPSU – Short Course The Bolshevik Party in the Struggle for the Socialist Industrialization of the Country from the History of the CPSU – Short Course The Bolshevik Party in the Struggle for the Collectivization of Agriculture from the History of the CPSU – Short Course The Dictatorship of the Proletariat by J. V. Stalin Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR by J. V. Stalin Critique of Stalin’s ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR’ by Mao Zedong Reading Notes on the Soviet Text ‘Political Economy’ by Mao Zedong On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People by Mao Zedong The Laws of Class Struggle in the Socialist Period by Chi Ping On the Social Basis of the Lin Piao Anti-Party Clique by Yao Wen-yuan On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie by Zhang Chunqiao Socialism Is the Class Dictatorship of the Proletariat by Po Ching Socialist Industry: The System of Ownership—A visit to the Talien Hungchi Shipyard by Chou Chin and Hsiang Jung Continue the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to the End by Hua Guofeng Frederick Engels and scientific socialism in contemporary China by Peter Franssen Reasons to Support China videos of a program by the CPGB-ML

= Beginning and Essential Texts

From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com Anti-Revisionism & Ideological Struggle

“It cannot be disputed that these arguments of the revisionists amounted to a fairly wellbalanced system of views, namely, the old and well-known liberal-bourgeois views.” – V. I. Lenin, “Marxism and Revisionism” Marxism and Revisionism by V.I. Lenin How Kautsky Turned Marx Into A Common Liberal by V. I. Lenin Struggle of the Bolsheviks Against the Liquidators and Otzovists from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Struggle of the Bolsheviks Against Trotskyism and the AntiParty August Bloc from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Trotskyism or Leninism? by J.V. Stalin The Fight Against Right and “Ultra-Left” Deviations by J.V. Stalin Bukharin’s Group and the Right Deviation in Our Party by J.V. Stalin Marxism versus Liberalism by J.V. Stalin Stalin and the Defence of Science from Lalkar On the Question of Revisionism by W.Z. Foster Combat Liberalism by Mao Zedong On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party by Mao Zedong On the Question of Stalin by the Chinese CP Peaceful Coexistence — Two Diametrically Opposed Policies by the Chinese CP On Khrushchov’s Phoney Communism and Its Historical Lessons for the World by Mao Zedong Reject the Revisionist Theses of the XX Congress of the CPSU by Enver Hoxha Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism by Enver Hoxha On Trotskyism: Problems of Theory and History by Kostas Mavrakis Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as Guide to the Philippine Revolution by Armando Liwanag Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism by Armando Liwanag On Certain Aspects of the Struggle Against Revisionism by Ludo Martens 1999 Declaration of the International Communist Seminar On Krushchevite Revisionism and the Collapse of the Soviet Union videos of a talk by Harpal Brar Some Points on Stalin (and Mao) by Comrade Zero Continuing the Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Mick Kelly of FRSO

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= Beginning and Essential Texts
Proletarian Internationalism and the National-Colonial Question

“In the last analysis, the national question in the contemporary world is one of class struggle and anti-imperialist struggle. Today the workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals, antiimperialist and patriotic bourgeois elements and other patriotic and anti-imperialist enlightened people of all races — white, black, yellow or brown — have formed a broad united front against the imperialists, headed by the United States, and their lackeys. This united front is expanding and growing stronger. The question here is not whether to side with the white people or the coloured people, but whether to side with the oppressed peoples and nations or with the handful of imperialists and reactionaries.” – Communist Party of China, “Apologists for NeoColonialism” The Right of Nations to Self-Determination by V. I. Lenin What is Internationalism? by V. I. Lenin Socialism and War by V.I. Lenin Draft Theses on National and Colonial Questions by V. I. Lenin Marxism and the National Question by J. V. Stalin The National Question and Leninism by J.V. Stalin The National Question by J. V. Stalin The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party by Mao Zedong Internationalism and Nationalism by Liu Shaoqi Apologists Of Neo-Colonialism by the Chinese CP Long Live the Victory of People’s War! by Lin Biao Create Two, Three, Many Vietnams by Ernesto Che Guevara The Pitfalls of National Consciousness by Frantz Fanon The Weapon of the Theory by Amilcar Cabral The Mechanisms of Neo-Colonialism by Kwame Nkrumah Every where we have to establish committees of people’s power by Laurent Kabila Breznjev and the National Democratic Revolution by Ludo Martens Lenin and Stalin on the Relationship of Democratic and Socialist Revolutions in Colonial and Semicolonial Countries by Jose Maria Sison The Movement Against War in Iraq: A New Period and Our Tasks by FRSO Revolution in Colombia: ISO Stands on the Wrong Side by FRSO

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= Beginning and Essential Texts
National Question in the United States

“‘While we Communists fight for every possible democratic demand of the Negro people, and welcome all advances made, we have pointed out that the Negro question is at bottom the question of an oppressed nation in the South and a national minority in the North. Therefore, the Negro question can only be solved on the basis of a revolutionary change in the Deep South. This difference is fundamental.” – Harry Haywood, “For a Revolutionary Position on the Negro Question” The 1928 and 1930 Comintern Resolutions on the African American National Question Negro Liberation (PDF) by Harry Haywood The Negro Nation (Chapter VII of Negro Liberation) by Harry Haywood The Struggle for the Leninist Position on the Negro Question in the United States by Harry Haywood Two Articles on the African American National Question by Mao Zedong Documents from School on Afro-American National Question by the Revolutionary Political Organization (Marxist-Leninist) and the Amilcar Cabral/Paul Robeson Collective Build the Black Liberation Movement by the Revolutionary Workers Headquarters On the Afro American National Question by the Revolutionary Communist League (M-L-M) The Struggle for Chicano Liberation by the League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L) Nationalism, Self-Determination and Socialist Revolution by Amiri Baraka Introduction to Afro-American Studies a People’s College primer (especially Chapter 16, Marxism and Black Liberation) Malcolm X Study Guide by Abdul Alkalimat Statement on National Oppression, National Liberation and Socialist Revolution by FRSO The Third International and the Struggle for a Correct Line on the African American National Question by FRSO

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Fred Hampton – A Fighter for Black Liberation, Revolution and Socialism by FRSO The Immigrant Rights Movement and the Struggle for Full Equality by FRSO

= Beginning and Essential Texts
Labor Movement & Class Struggle Unionism

“The Party must more than ever and in a new way, not only in the old, educate and guide the trade unions, at the same time bearing in mind that they are and will long remain an indispensable ’school of communism’ and a preparatory school that trains proletarians to exercise their dictatorship, an indispensable organisation of the workers for the gradual transfer of the management of the whole economic life of the country to the working class (and not to the separate trades), and later to all the working people.” – V. I. Lenin “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder

Tactics of the Class Struggle of the Proletariat by V. I. Lenin Should Revolutionaries Work in Reactionary Trade Unions? by V. I. Lenin On Strikes by V.I. Lenin Lenin’s Fight Against “Economism.” from the History of the CPSU – Short Course Strike Strategy by W. Z. Foster The Fusion Of The Socialist Movement With The Working Class Movement by the Revolutionary Workers Headquarters Report on the Labor Movement in the U.S. by Joe Iosbaker, Chair of the FRSO Labor Commission Build a Fighting Workers Movement by the Labor Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (review)

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= Beginning and Essential Texts

Proletarian Feminism & LGBT-Q Liberation

“In order to build a great socialist society it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad masses of women to join in productive activity. Men and women must receive equal pay for equal work in production. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole.” – Mao Zedong, “Introductory Note to ‘Women Have Gone to the Labor Front’”

Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State by Frederick Engels Woman and Socialism by August Bebel Soviet Power and the Status of Women by V.I. Lenin Letter to Inessa Armand (January 17, 1915) by V.I. Lenin Letter to Inessa Armand (January 24, 1915) by V.I. Lenin Lenin on the Women’s Question by Clara Zetkin Women’s Suffrage and Class Struggle by Rosa Luxemburg History of the movement of Women workers in Russia by Alexandra Kollontai The Myth of Women’s Inferiority by Evelyn Reed On 5th Anniversary of First Women Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress by J.V. Stalin On Miss Chao’s Suicide by Mao Zedong Women’s Liberation in China by Soong Ching Ling Women’s Liberation Is a Component Part of the Proletarian Revolution by Hsu Kwang Liberation of Women by Lu Yu-lan The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements by Huey P. Newton Position Paper on Women in the Movement by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

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Interview with Mariela Castro on the Future of Sex and Socialism in Cuba The Question of Women’s Leadership in People’s War in Nepal by Parvati Do’s and Dont’s for the Dudely Organizer a comic-pamphlet by Robin

= Beginning and Essential Texts
Art, Literature & Culture

“In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.” – Mao Zedong, Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art

On Proletarian Culture by V.I. Lenin On Art and Culture by J.V. Stalin Soviet Literature by Maxim Gorky The United Front in Cultural Work by Mao Zedong Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art by Mao Zedong For Your Reference: About ‘Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art’ from Peking Review Literary and Art Workers Must Go Among the Masses by Hsin Wen-tung Has Absolute Music No Class Character? by Chao Hua Revolution in Literature and Art: Spring Comes to China’s Stage from Peking Review Notes on a Materialist Theatre by Louis Althusser National Culture and the Fight for Freedom by Frantz Fanon

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National Liberation and Culture by Amilcar Cabral Socialism and Man in Cuba by Ernesto Che Guevara The CIA and the Cultural Cold War Revisited by James Petras

= Beginning and Essential Texts

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