Marx and Marxism


Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (1848)

Gareth Stedman Jones, “Scripting the German Revolution: Marx and 1848,” Scripting Revolution.

Seminar Topics

Marxism marked a new phase in the development of socialist ideology. Seminar discussion will consider what new ideas Karl Marx brought to worker protests and mobilization and the impact that Marxism had on working class formation. Through a discussion of the Communist Manifesto, we will assess Marx’s theories of class conflict and materialist history, considering how they related to Europe’s revolutionary tradition and how, perhaps, they may have changed it.

Questions to consider:

  1. According to Marx, what was the relationship between nationalism and socialism?
  2. What new aspects did Marx introduce to socialist thought?
  3. How does Marx justify his theories? Are his rationales convincing?
  4. What methods and schema does Marx prescribe for proletarian revolution? Does he give a comprehensive model for revolution?

Further Reading

Tony Judt, Marxism and the French Left: Studies on Labour and Politics in France, 1830-1981. New York: New York University Press, 2011.

Jonathan Sperber, Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life. New York: Liveright, 2013.

Henry Heller, “Marx, The French Revolution and the Specter of the Bourgeoisie,” Science and Society, 74:2 (April 2010).

Trygve R. Tholfsen, Ideology and Revolution in Modern Europe. Chapter 3.

Allan Megill, Karl Marx: The Burden of Reason. Lanham: Rowen and Littlefield, 2002.

Robert Stuart, Marxism at Work: Ideology, Class and French Socialism During the Third Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

David Leopold, The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy, Modern Politics and Human Flourishing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

David McLellan, The Thought of Karl Marx. London: Macmillan, 1980.

Eric D. Weitz, Creating German Communism, 1890-1990. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. Chapters 1 and 2.

Ronald Kowalski, European Communism: 1848-1991. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006. Chapters 2-5.

Ernest Mendel, The Place of Marxism in History. New York: Prometheus Book, 1994.

Jeffery J. Isaac, “The Lion’s Skin of Politics: Marx on Republicanism,” Polity, 22:3 (Spring 1990)

Adam Schaff, “Marxist Theory on Revolution and Violence,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 34:2 (April-June 1973).

Tristram Hunt, The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels. London: Allen Lane, 2009.

Hal Draper, Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution. 4 vols. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1986.

Richard F. Hamilton, The Bourgeois Epoch: Marx and Engels on Britain, France and Germany. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.