The goal of this first class of Marxism 101 is to help participants get to know one another, to understand the social and political conditions in which Marx lived and worked, and to gain a cursory understanding of key Marxist concepts.
- Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 1848
- “150 Years of ‘Das Kapital’: How Relevant Is Marx Today?” byJayati Ghosh, 2017
- Marx timeline from Mary Gabriel’s Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution
Center for Political Education used this exercise as an icebreaker and to help us get a sense of some of the areas in which the participants felt confident and where they could use a boost. It also gave the participants an opportunity to get to know each other a bit and to do some self-reflection before jumping into the material.
This exercise helps participants more deeply understand the context in which Marx was writing and organizing. Center for Political Education also uses this exercise as an opportunity to help participants think about the development of this work within a context of international struggle to help highlight how Marx was influenced by class struggles outside of his immediate context as well as how his work influenced those struggles. Further, we find that charting Marx’s forced migration across Europe amplifies the ways his work challenged the power structures under which he lived.
As part of the first session of its Marxism 101 class, the Center for Political Education offered some thoughts on Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto,
Along with studying the core materials, we encourage people interested in a deeper dive, to check out the following resources related to the core materials and following themes discussed in this session of Marxism 101.
- “Race and the Communist Manifesto” by Robin D.G. Kelley
- “Race, class, and Marxism” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- “Communist Women” from Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis (Chapter 10)
- “The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism” by V.I. Lenin
- Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition by Cedric Robinson
- Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies by Kevin Anderson
- Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao, and Che by Max Elbaum