Marx’s Critique of Political Economy

The contribution of Marx and Engels is essential to an understanding of a libertarian communist politics. It is a tool for the working class to critique capitalism, and to analyse class composition for future struggles. Here is a reading List of his major works, (Michael Heinrich’s introduction is a good place to start):

Reading List:

Michael Heinrich – An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital

Michael Heinrich – How to Read Marx’s Capital : Commentary and Explanations on the Beginning Chapters

Harry Cleaver – Reading  Capital Politically

Harry Cleaver – 33 Lessons on Capital : Reading Marx Politically

Karl Marx – Early Writings

Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels – The German Ideology

Karl Marx – Wage Labour and Capital and Value Price and Profit

Karl Marx – The Civil War in France

Karl Marx – Later Political Writings

Karl Marx – The Political Writings

Karl Marx- Dispatches For the New York Tribune

Karl Marx – Capital Volume I, II and III

Karl Marx – A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

Karl Marx – The Grundrisse

Karl Marx – The Theories of Surplus Value

Tom Bottomore – A Dictionary of Marxist Thought

Anti-Colonialism and Black Liberation

In the struggle against Capitalism, church and state, colonialism and racism are essential in maintaining class hierarchies. Racism is used by these bourgeois institutions as a social control mechanism. This divides the working class and proletariat along lines of skin colour, with the supposed civilisational hierarchies of the European elites. Today, people of colour and Indigenous people remain largely margininalised and poor in the Global North and the Global South. The concept of whiteness, itself, is based on false cultural and class unity of European people. Here are some useful books on this struggle:

Reading List:

Franz Fanon – The Wretched of the Earth

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin – Anarchism and the Black Revolution

C. L.  R.  James – A History Of Pan-african Revolt

Subcomandante Marcos – Beyond Resistance

W E Dubois – Black Reconstruction

W E Dubois – The Souls of Black Folk

Dan Georgakas  and Marvin Surkin – Detroit, I do mind dying

Walter Rodney – How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

Women, Feminism and Sexuality

In the struggle against the bourgeoisie, it is essential to address the power relations and imbalances between genders and sexualities. Under Capitalism, the Patriarchal family serves an important role in reproducing wage labour and providing emotional labour. This is essential to the reproduction of the nuclear family and the maintenance of the workers’ ability to perform paid labour. Here are some good texts on socialist feminism and sexuality, from both Marxist and Anarchist perspectives:

Reading List:

Martha A. Ackelsberg – Free Women of Spain – Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

Silvia Federici – Caliban and the Witch

Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James – The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community

Mariarosa Dalla Costa – Women And The Subversion Of The Community: A Mariarosa Dalla Costa Reader

Silvia Federici – Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

Selma James – Sex, Race and Class: The Perspective of Winning

Nina Power – One Dimensional Woman

Michel Foucault – A History Of Sexuality

Australian class and labour history

Here are some documents on the Australian labour movement and class history. These help us in knowing where we are now, where we have come from and where we are going as a class.

Reading List:

Brian Fitzpatrick – British Imperialism and Australia, 1783-1833 : an economic history of Australasia

Brian Fitzpatrick – The British Empire in Australia: An Economic History, 1834-1939

Raewyn Connell And Terry Irving – Class Structure in Australian History

E L Wheelwright and Ken Buckley ed. – Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism Volumes I-V

Verity Burgmann and Jenny Lee ed. – A Peoples History of Australia Since 1788 Volumes I-IV

Raymond Evans – A History of Queensland

Henry Reynolds – The Other Side of the Frontier: An interpretation of the Aboriginal response to the invasion and settlement of Australia

Robert Ørsted-Jensen – Frontier history revisited : Colonial Queensland and the ‘history war’

Frank Stevens – Aborigines in the Northern Territory Cattle Industry

Dawn May – Aboriginal Labour and the Cattle Industry: Queensland from White Settlement to the Present

Raffaello Carboni – The Eureaka Stockade

Ian Turner – In Union Is Strength: A History Of Trade Unions 1788-1983

Bob James – A Reader of Australian Anarchism 1886-1896

E H Lane – Dawn to Dusk

Gordon V Childe – How Labour Governs

Ian Turner – Industrial Labour and Politics – The Labour Movement in Eastern Australia 1900-1921

Humphrey McQueen – A New Britannia

Jeff Rickertt – The Conscientious Communist: Ernie Lane and the Rise of Australian Socialism

Verity Burgmann – ‘In Our Time’: Socialism and the Rise of Labor 1885-1905

Verity Burgmann – Revolutionary Industrial Unionism: the Industrial Workers of the World in Australia

Ian Turner – Sydney’s Burning

Wendy Lowenstein – Weevils In the Flour: An Oral Record of the 1930s Depression in Australia

Robin Gollan – Revolutionaries and Reformists – Communism and the Australian Labour Movement 1920-1955

Stuart Macintyre – The Reds: The Communist Party of Australia: From Origins to Illegality

Stuart Macintyre – The Party: The Communist Party of Australia from Heyday to Reckoning

Tom O’lincoln – The Militant Minority: Organising rank and file workers in the thirties

Tom O’lincoln – Into the Mainstream: The decline of Australian Communism

Hal Alexander and Phil Griffiths – A Few Rough Reds : stories of rank and file organising

Solidarity – Queensland Mt Isa Miners strike

Jon Piccini, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley ed. The Far Left in Australia since 1945

Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann – Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental Activism and the New South Wales Builders Labourers’ Federation

Sam Oldham – Without Bosses: Radical Australian Trade Unionism in The 1970s

Jack Hutson – Australian Left Review, Workers Control 1969

Bernie Taft- Australian Left Review, Communists and Workers Control 1969

Australian Left Review- Symposium – Workers Control 1973

Verity Burgmann, Ray Jureidini Meredith Burgmann – Doing without the Boss, Workers’ Control Experiments in Australia in the 1970s, Chapter inside: Immanuel Ness – New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism

Frank Stilwell – The Accord and Beyond

Elizabeth Humphrys – How Labour Built Neoliberalism: Australia’s Accord, the Labour Movement and the Neoliberal Project

Tom Bramble – Trade Unionism In Australia: A history from flood to ebb tide

Peter Kropotkin’s writings

Here are the writings of the great communist anarchist Peter Kropotkin. They have inspired many generations of people seeking freedom from tyranny. Ak press have a good anthology, called ‘Direct Struggle Against Capital‘, (, also well worth a read. ‘The Conquest of Bread‘, ‘Words Of A Rebel‘ and ‘Revolutionary Pamphlets‘ are a great place to start:

Reading List:

Peter Kropotkin – The Conquest of Bread

Peter Kropotkin – Words of a Rebel

Peter Kropotkin – Kropotkin’s Revolutionary Pamphlets – A Collection of Writings by Peter Kropotkin

Peter Kropotkin – The State: It’s Histric Role

Peter Kropotkin – The Modern State

Peter Kropotkin The Great French Revolution 1789-1793

Peter Kropotkin – Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

Peter Kropotkin – Ethics: Origin and Development

Peter Kropotkin – Modern Science and Anarchy

Peter Kropotkin – Fields, Factories and Workshops

Peter Kropotkin – In Russian and French Prisons

Peter Kropotkin – Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Errico Malatesta’s writings

Here are the writings of the strategist and tactician, Errico Malatesta, friend of Bakunin in his youth and a theorist in his own right. His writing has inspired many generations of anarchists, being particularly good for popular agitation:

Reading List:

Errico Malatesta The Method of Freedom reader

Errico Malatesta – Life and Ideas

Errico Malatesta – The Anarchist Revolution

Errico Malatesta – Fra Contadini

Errico-Malatesta – At The Cafe

Errico -Malatesta – Anarchy

Errico Malatesta:  A talk about Anarchist Communism Between Two Workers

Errico Malatesta – Vote what for

Mikhail Bakunin’s writings

Here are the writings of Mikhail Bakunin. He was the founder of the international anarchist movement during the first socialist international. Bakunin’s writings are foundational in terms of anarchist thinking concerning organisation, critique and strategy:

Reading List:

Michael Bakunin – Selected Writings

Robert M Cutler – The Basic Bakunin: Writings 1869-1871

Guy Aldred – Bakunin’s Writings

Mikhail Bakunin – God and the State

Sam Dolgoff Ed. – Bakunin on Anarchy (1971)

G. P. Maximoff – The Political Philosophy of Bakunin