What is Marxism? How can I learn more?

May 1, 2016

Marxism is the science and art of working class struggle.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) set out to expose the inner workings of capitalism and to reveal how to do away with the miserable poverty they saw among the toiling masses.  Marx and Engels determined that the relationships people entered into to produce and reproduce their ways and means of life were key.

Through scientific research, observation, and participation in working class movements, Marx and Engels unraveled  that while the wealth of society was produced by the toilers, the owners of the means to produce hoarded that wealth.

Hence, Marx and Engels determined that if wealth is socially produced by working people under capitalism, then to end exploitation, poverty and misery, both the wealth produced and the means to produce wealth should be socially owned as well.

In other words, Marxism understands socialism as a fundamental change that is an outgrowth of capitalism. The working class consciously organizes itself to lead the masses of the people in the fight to achieve the transition from private to social ownership of the means of producing within the economy. It leads in the fight to place the wealth produced at the service of the whole of society.  This effort is pursued by the working class and the allies of the working class in the overall context of the advancement of real and full democracy.

Marx, Engels, and later V.I. Lenin (1870-1924) and others, revealed that the hope of saving humanity from capitalism’s misery rests with an organized, conscious working class.  They concluded that a party was needed that would utilize and continue to develop Marx’s scientific approach and world view to explain the interests and needs of the working class in connection with its allies, the racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth, and today the LGBTQ, etc.

Such a party, a Communist Party, has the charge to flesh out the strategy and tactics of the way forward, participate in the economic and political struggles of the working class movement, and promote and advance the Marxist idea.

In summary, the CPUSA remains dedicated to continue the development of Marxism and the Marxist project of freeing the multi-racial, multi-gendered, young and old masses of working people from the ravages of the exploitation and oppression of capitalism.

One way to learn more about Marxism is to join the CPUSA.

Dee Miles

Chair, Education Commission CPUSA

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