In the spirit of easing everyone and anyone in, we will begin quasi-formally with - of course - the Manifesto. In honor of the bicentennial of Marx's birth on May 5, the full month will be dedicated to reading and discussing this relatively brief work. Free versions of the text are available in numerous places online (see, for example,, and physical copies are equally plentiful either new or used.

I have included a few selected passages and questions here to perhaps initiate some discussion - hopefully some that will be of interest to participants - but feel free to steer the discussion down different avenues depending on your thoughts or interests.

--- Original Introductory Post Saved Below for Anyone Curious about the Reasoning for and Justification Behind This Thread ---

This year marks the centennial of the Russian revolution (today itself, in fact, is 100 years to the day from when the Red Guards led the insurrection in St Petersburg), and the next is the bicentennial of Marx's birth. What better time to read the Marxist 'classics'? And to make it convenient and approachable, I propose to seize the opportunity with a casual reading group focused on directly engaging with these ideas by reading the primary sources, and developing one's views on this movement that repeatedly reemerges in the sweeps of history, ever eager to help dig capitalism's grave.

The expectation here is not to create a primer on orthodoxy, if there can even be said to exist a Marxist orthodoxy these days. Maybe you're new, interested in understanding what Marxism means, what Marx said, and whether it continues to be relevant or should be tossed into the rubbish bin of history. Maybe you've encountered the major works before and would like to take the time to reread them (this is my case). Maybe you're actually opposed to radical leftism, but you've never read Marx himself and feel like that's something missing in your intellectual development. We're open to all who are sincere in their commitment to read, learn, and civilly discuss.

The basic structure of the reading group will be: at predetermined intervals, everyone will read an agreed upon chunk of the Marxist literature - most likely excerpts from the works of Marx, Engels, or other prominent Marxists. The readings could range from a consideration of Marx's early works up to modern books and articles on Marx - all depending on the interests of the group.

I don't plan to initiate the readings, however, until early 2018. This will give us time to determine our shared interests and seek out the relevant materials. The first readings will probably be introductory - the Communist Manifesto, the basic terminology, and perhaps some good guides to Marx in the secondary literature. Future readings will cover different topics as we see fit, whether it's delving into value theory, exploring the dialectic, debating the concept of historical stages and determinism, or anything else. We can focus on history, on philosophy, on economics, on cultural critique, or any combination of the above.

If you're interested, to get us started please list below why you'd like to participate, what your preexisting engagement with the topic has been (if any), what specifically about Marxism you'd like to explore ("the basics" is a completely adequate response here), and how often you'd prefer the reading deadlines to be.