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Marxist Leninist Study Guide

“There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a
chance of gaining its luminous summits.” (Marx, Capital, Vol.I, Preface to the French Edition, 1872)
Marxism-Leninism is the science of revolution, encompassing developments in philosophy, political economy, and
scientific socialism. It is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the
dictatorship of the proletariat in particular. As Stalin has said, Marxism-Leninism is not a dogma but a guide to
action. What this means is basically that Marxism-Leninism is the synthesis and summation of the historic
experiences of the revolutionary struggles of working and oppressed people against capitalism and imperialism for
more than 160 years, and it is first and foremost a weapon to be used by working and oppressed people in their
struggles for emancipation, liberation, and the building of a new world.
I’m putting this list of readings together as sort of a study guide for people in the United States who are intersted in
learning about Marxism-Leninism and socialism. The primary theoreticians of Marxism-Leninism are Marx,
Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. While I have focused on their texts I have included the writings of many other
Marxist-Leninists and some videos as well. I also draw extensively from Stalin’s History of the Communist Party of
the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) – Short Course which Mao Zedong highlighted as an essential textbook for study. I
have chosen the texts that I have mainly in the interest of finding texts can be grasped quickly and in a practical
way. I have attempted to divide the readings into distinct topics, with the idea that this study guide will mostly be
used by individuals for study on their own in tackling particular, concrete problems, as well as to aid in learning
Marxism through criticism and self-criticism. For broader historical study on the Soviet Revolution, I suggest
reading the above mentioned History of the CPSU(B) Short Course, The Collapse of the Soviet Union: Causes and
Lessons by the International Communist Seminar, and Ludo Martens’ Another View of Stalin. On the Chinese
revolution I suggest Han Suyin’s books The Morning Deluge: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution 1893-1954
and Wind in the Tower: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution 1949 to 1975. Taken together they are the best
study of the Chinese Revolution in English that I am aware of, and the closest thing there is to something lik a
Chinese equivalent to the History of the CPSU(B) Short Course, apart from A History of the Modern Chinese
Revolution (Peking: FLP 1959) which is very difficult to find. Unfortunately Han Suyin’s books are not available
online.
I also suggest the Glossary of Revolutionary Marxism. For the absolute essentials, I would suggest going to my
“Ten Essential Classics of Marxism-Leninism” page.
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

= Beginning and Essential Texts

Overview of Marxism-Leninism, the Science of Revolution


“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” – Marx & Engels,
The Manifesto of the Communist Party

Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx & Engels


Principles of Communism by Frederick Engels
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Frederick Engels

Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch With an


Exposition of Marxism by V.I. Lenin

The Foundations of Leninism by J.V. Stalin


Programme of the Communist International (1929)
How to Be a Good Communist by Liu Shaoqi

Unity Statement of Freedom Road Socialist


Organization

Philosophical Viewpoint and Method: Dialectical and Historical


Materialism
“The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is
its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat.
The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that
theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice.” – Mao Zedong, “On Practice”
Anti-Dühring (Part I: Philosophy) by Frederick Engels
Materialism and Empirio-Criticism by V.I. Lenin
On the Question of Dialectics by V.I. Lenin

Dialectical and Historical Materialism by J. V. Stalin


Dialectical Materialism by Mao Zedong

On Practice by Mao Zedong (my notes)

On Contradiction by Mao Zedong (my notes)


Talk on Questions of Philosophy by Mao Zedong
Contradiction and Overdetermination by Louis Althusser
On the Materialist Dialectic by Louis Althusser
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

= Beginning and Essential Texts


Political Economy of Capitalism and
Imperialism
“The essential conditions for the existence and for
the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and
augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is
wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on
competition between the labourers. The advance of
industry, whose involuntary promoter is the
bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers,
due to competition, by the revolutionary
combination, due to association. The development of
Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet
the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie
produces and appropriates products. What the
bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of
the proletariat are equally inevitable.” – Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party

Wage-Labor and Capital by Karl Marx


Value, Price and Profit by Karl Marx
Capital by Karl Marx
Anti-Dühring (Part II: Political Economy) by Frederick
Engels
Marx’s Economic Doctrine by V. I. Lenin

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism by


V. I. Lenin
Outbreak and Causes of the Imperialist War from the
History of the CPSU – Short Course
Theory and Tactics of the Bolshevik Party on the
Question of War, Peace and Revolution from the History
of the CPSU – Short Course
Political Economy: A Beginner’s Course by A. Leontiev
(PDFs of chapters 1, 2, and 3)
Imperialism 101 by Michael Parenti

Imperialist Globalization and the United States by Steff Yorek and Mick Kelly for the
National Executive Committee of FRSO
Capitalism in Crisis: 160 years after the Communist Manifesto by FRSO
On the Capitalist Crisis videos of a talk by Harpal Brar
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

= Beginning and Essential Texts


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Methods of Leadership: Mass Line & United Front


“In all the practical work of our Party, all correct leadership is necessarily ‘from the masses, to
the masses’.” – Mao Zedong, “Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership”
Lenin and Stalin as Mass Leaders by W. Z. Foster
The Bolshevik Newspaper Pravda from the History of the CPSU
– Short Course
The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist
International in the Struggle of the Working Class against
Fascism by Georgi Dimitrov
The Question of Independence and Initiative Within the United
Front by Mao Zedong
Be Concerned With the Well-Being of the Masses, Pay Attention
to Methods of Work by Mao Zedong

Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership by


Mao Zedong
Speech at the Chinese Communist Party’s National Conference
on Propaganda Work by Mao Zedong
A Talk to the Editorial Staff of the Shansi-Suiyuan Daily by Mao Zedong
How to be a Good Leader by Zhou Enlai
The Mass Line by the Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path)
Mass Work by the Communist Party of the Philippines
The Party and the Masses by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Class in the U.S. and Our Strategy for Revolution by FRSO

Some Points on the Mass Line by FRSO


A Mass Line Study for Socialist Organizing by FRSO
SDS: Study and Struggle, Unite and Fight! by Kati Ketz, Tracy Molm, and Kosta Harlan for the
FRSO Student Commission
Lessons from the RNC: Mass Mobilization and Militant Actions Advance the Struggle by FRSO

= Beginning and Essential Texts


From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

Revolutionary Organization: Party Building & Democratic Centralism


“Once the political line is laid down, organizational work decides everything.” – Zhou Enlai,
“How to be a Good Leader”

Where to Begin? by V. I. Lenin


One Step Forward, Two Steps Back by V.I. Lenin
On Terms of Admission into the Communist International
by V. I. Lenin
Lenin’s Plan for the Building of a Marxist Party from the
History of the CPSU – Short Course
Organizational Principles of the Marxist Party from the
History of the CPSU – Short Course

The Party by J. V. Stalin


The Party Before and After Taking Power by J.V. Stalin
Stalin’s Speeches on the American Communist Party
(PDF)
The Prospects of the Communist Party of Germany and
the Question of Bolshevisation by J. V. Stalin
Cadres by Mao Zedong

Methods of Work of Party Committees by Mao Zedong


Talk At An Enlarged Working Conference Convened By The Central Committee Of The
Communist Party Of China by Mao Zedong

A Discussion of Party Democratic Centralism Peking Review


On the Party by Liu Shaoqi
CPUSA: Manual on Organisation by J. Peters
The Cadres: Backbone of the Revolution by Ernesto Che Guevara
Two, Three, Many Parties of a New Type by Proletarian Unity League

= Beginning and Essential Texts


From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

The State and Revolution


“The state is a weapon of class struggle, a machine by which one class represses another. Every
state is the dictatorship of a definite class. So long as the state exists, it cannot possibly stand
above class or belong to the whole people.” – Mao Zedong, “The Proletarian Revolution and
Krushchev’s Revisionism”
Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the
State by Frederick Engels
The State and Revolution by V. I. Lenin

The State by V. I. Lenin

“Democracy” and Dictatorship by V. I.


Lenin
Bourgeois and Proletarian Democracy by V. I.
Lenin
The Vulgar Bourgeois Representation of
Dictatorship and Marx’s View of It by V.I.
Lenin

Marxism and Reformism by V. I. Lenin


Should We Participate in Bourgeois Parliaments? by V. I. Lenin
Tactical Foundations of the Marxist Party from the History of the CPSU – Short Course
Strategy and Tactics by J. V. Stalin

The Proletarian Revolution and Krushchev’s Revisionism by Mao Zedong


Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses by Louis Althusser
Bourgeois Democracy and Fascism by Harpal Brar

= Beginning and Essential Texts


From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

Socialist Political Economy & Proletarian Dictatorship


“Socialism is the declaration of the permanence of the revolution, the class dictatorship of the
proletariat as the necessary transit point to the abolition of class distinctions generally, to the
abolition of all the relations of production on which they rest, to the abolition of all the social
relations that correspond to these relations of production, to the revolutionizing of all the ideas
that result from these social relations.” – Karl Marx, Class Struggles in France
Critique of the Gotha Programme by Karl
Marx
Economics And Politics In The Era Of The
Dictatorship Of The Proletariat by V. I. Lenin
The Economic Basis of the Withering Away of
the State by V. I. Lenin
Lenin’s Plan for the Initial Steps in Socialist
Construction from the History of the CPSU –
Short Course
The Bolshevik Party in the Struggle for the
Socialist Industrialization of the Country from
the History of the CPSU – Short Course
The Bolshevik Party in the Struggle for the Collectivization of Agriculture from the History of
the CPSU – Short Course
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat by J. V. Stalin

Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR by J. V. Stalin


Critique of Stalin’s ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR’ by Mao Zedong
Reading Notes on the Soviet Text ‘Political Economy’ by Mao Zedong

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People by Mao Zedong


The Laws of Class Struggle in the Socialist Period by Chi Ping
On the Social Basis of the Lin Piao Anti-Party Clique by Yao Wen-yuan
On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie by Zhang Chunqiao
Socialism Is the Class Dictatorship of the Proletariat by Po Ching
Socialist Industry: The System of Ownership—A visit to the Talien Hungchi Shipyard by Chou
Chin and Hsiang Jung

Continue the Revolution Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to the End by Hua
Guofeng
Frederick Engels and scientific socialism in contemporary China by Peter Franssen
Reasons to Support China videos of a program by the CPGB-ML

= Beginning and Essential Texts


From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

Anti-Revisionism & Ideological Struggle


“It cannot be disputed that these arguments of the revisionists amounted to a fairly well-
balanced system of views, namely, the old and well-known liberal-bourgeois views.” – V. I.
Lenin, “Marxism and Revisionism”
Marxism and Revisionism by V.I. Lenin

How Kautsky Turned Marx Into A Common Liberal


by V. I. Lenin
Struggle of the Bolsheviks Against the Liquidators and
Otzovists from the History of the CPSU – Short Course
Struggle of the Bolsheviks Against Trotskyism and the Anti-
Party August Bloc from the History of the CPSU – Short
Course
Trotskyism or Leninism? by J.V. Stalin
The Fight Against Right and “Ultra-Left” Deviations by J.V.
Stalin
Bukharin’s Group and the Right Deviation in Our Party by
J.V. Stalin
Marxism versus Liberalism by J.V. Stalin
Stalin and the Defence of Science from Lalkar
On the Question of Revisionism by W.Z. Foster
Combat Liberalism by Mao Zedong
On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party by Mao Zedong

On the Question of Stalin by the Chinese CP


Peaceful Coexistence — Two Diametrically Opposed Policies by the Chinese CP

On Khrushchov’s Phoney Communism and Its Historical Lessons for the World by
Mao Zedong
Reject the Revisionist Theses of the XX Congress of the CPSU by Enver Hoxha
Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism by Enver Hoxha
On Trotskyism: Problems of Theory and History by Kostas Mavrakis
Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as Guide to the Philippine Revolution by Armando
Liwanag
Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism by Armando Liwanag
On Certain Aspects of the Struggle Against Revisionism by Ludo Martens

1999 Declaration of the International Communist Seminar


On Krushchevite Revisionism and the Collapse of the Soviet Union videos of a talk by Harpal
Brar
Some Points on Stalin (and Mao) by Comrade Zero

Continuing the Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Mick Kelly of FRSO


From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

= Beginning and Essential Texts

Proletarian Internationalism and the National-Colonial Question


“In the last analysis, the national question in the contemporary world is one of class struggle and
anti-imperialist struggle. Today the workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals, anti-
imperialist and patriotic bourgeois elements and other patriotic and anti-imperialist enlightened
people of all races — white, black, yellow or brown — have formed a broad united front against
the imperialists, headed by the United States, and their lackeys. This united front is expanding
and growing stronger. The question here is not whether to side with the white people or the
coloured people, but whether to side with the oppressed peoples and nations or with the handful
of imperialists and reactionaries.” – Communist Party of China, “Apologists for Neo-
Colonialism”
The Right of Nations to Self-Determination by V. I. Lenin
What is Internationalism? by V. I. Lenin
Socialism and War by V.I. Lenin

Draft Theses on National and Colonial Questions by V.


I. Lenin
Marxism and the National Question by J. V. Stalin
The National Question and Leninism by J.V. Stalin

The National Question by J. V. Stalin

The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist


Party by Mao Zedong

Internationalism and Nationalism by Liu Shaoqi

Apologists Of Neo-Colonialism by the Chinese CP


Long Live the Victory of People’s War! by Lin Biao
Create Two, Three, Many Vietnams by Ernesto Che Guevara
The Pitfalls of National Consciousness by Frantz Fanon
The Weapon of the Theory by Amilcar Cabral
The Mechanisms of Neo-Colonialism by Kwame Nkrumah
Every where we have to establish committees of people’s power by Laurent Kabila
Breznjev and the National Democratic Revolution by Ludo Martens
Lenin and Stalin on the Relationship of Democratic and Socialist Revolutions in Colonial and
Semicolonial Countries by Jose Maria Sison
The Movement Against War in Iraq: A New Period and Our Tasks by FRSO
Revolution in Colombia: ISO Stands on the Wrong Side by FRSO
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

= Beginning and Essential Texts

National Question in the United States


“‘While we Communists fight for every possible democratic demand of the Negro people, and
welcome all advances made, we have pointed out that the Negro question is at bottom the
question of an oppressed nation in the South and a national minority in the North. Therefore, the
Negro question can only be solved on the basis of a revolutionary change in the Deep South.
This difference is fundamental.” – Harry Haywood, “For a Revolutionary Position on the Negro
Question”
The 1928 and 1930 Comintern Resolutions on the African
American National Question
Negro Liberation (PDF) by Harry Haywood

The Negro Nation (Chapter VII of Negro


Liberation) by Harry Haywood
The Struggle for the Leninist Position on the Negro
Question in the United States by Harry Haywood

Two Articles on the African American National


Question by Mao Zedong
Documents from School on Afro-American National
Question by the Revolutionary Political Organization
(Marxist-Leninist) and the Amilcar Cabral/Paul Robeson
Collective

Build the Black Liberation Movement by the


Revolutionary Workers Headquarters
On the Afro American National Question by the
Revolutionary Communist League (M-L-M)

The Struggle for Chicano Liberation by the League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L)
Nationalism, Self-Determination and Socialist Revolution by Amiri Baraka
Introduction to Afro-American Studies a People’s College primer (especially Chapter 16,
Marxism and Black Liberation)
Malcolm X Study Guide by Abdul Alkalimat

Statement on National Oppression, National Liberation and Socialist Revolution by


FRSO

The Third International and the Struggle for a Correct Line on the African American
National Question by FRSO
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

Fred Hampton – A Fighter for Black Liberation, Revolution and Socialism by FRSO

The Immigrant Rights Movement and the Struggle for Full Equality by FRSO

= Beginning and Essential Texts

Labor Movement & Class Struggle Unionism


“The Party must more than ever and in a new way, not only in the old, educate and guide the
trade unions, at the same time bearing in mind that they are and will long remain an
indispensable ’school of communism’ and a preparatory school that trains proletarians to
exercise their dictatorship, an indispensable organisation of the workers for the gradual transfer
of the management of the whole economic life of the country to the working class (and not to
the separate trades), and later to all the working people.” – V. I. Lenin “Left-Wing” Communism,
an Infantile Disorder

Tactics of the Class Struggle of the Proletariat by V. I. Lenin


Should Revolutionaries Work in Reactionary Trade Unions? by V. I. Lenin

On Strikes by V.I. Lenin


Lenin’s Fight Against “Economism.” from the History of the CPSU – Short Course
Strike Strategy by W. Z. Foster
The Fusion Of The Socialist Movement With The Working Class Movement by the
Revolutionary Workers Headquarters
Report on the Labor Movement in the U.S. by Joe Iosbaker, Chair of the FRSO Labor
Commission

Build a Fighting Workers Movement by the Labor Commission of the Freedom Road
Socialist Organization (review)
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

= Beginning and Essential Texts

Proletarian Feminism & LGBT-Q Liberation


“In order to build a great socialist society it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad
masses of women to join in productive activity. Men and women must receive equal pay for
equal work in production. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the
process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole.” – Mao Zedong, “Introductory
Note to ‘Women Have Gone to the Labor Front’”

Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State by Frederick Engels
Woman and Socialism by August Bebel
Soviet Power and the Status of Women by V.I. Lenin
Letter to Inessa Armand (January 17, 1915) by V.I. Lenin
Letter to Inessa Armand (January 24, 1915) by V.I. Lenin

Lenin on the Women’s Question by Clara Zetkin


Women’s Suffrage and Class Struggle by Rosa Luxemburg
History of the movement of Women workers in Russia by Alexandra Kollontai
The Myth of Women’s Inferiority by Evelyn Reed
On 5th Anniversary of First Women Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress by J.V. Stalin
On Miss Chao’s Suicide by Mao Zedong
Women’s Liberation in China by Soong Ching Ling

Women’s Liberation Is a Component Part of the Proletarian Revolution by Hsu Kwang


Liberation of Women by Lu Yu-lan
The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements by Huey P. Newton
Position Paper on Women in the Movement by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC)
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

Interview with Mariela Castro on the Future of Sex and Socialism in Cuba

The Question of Women’s Leadership in People’s War in Nepal by Parvati

Do’s and Dont’s for the Dudely Organizer a comic-pamphlet by Robin

= Beginning and Essential Texts

Art, Literature & Culture


“In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to
definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above
classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part
of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the
whole revolutionary machine.” – Mao Zedong, Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art

On Proletarian Culture by V.I. Lenin


On Art and Culture by J.V. Stalin
Soviet Literature by Maxim Gorky

The United Front in Cultural Work by Mao Zedong

Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art by Mao Zedong


For Your Reference: About ‘Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art’ from Peking
Review
Literary and Art Workers Must Go Among the Masses by Hsin Wen-tung
Has Absolute Music No Class Character? by Chao Hua
Revolution in Literature and Art: Spring Comes to China’s Stage from Peking Review
Notes on a Materialist Theatre by Louis Althusser
National Culture and the Fight for Freedom by Frantz Fanon
From www.marxistleninist.wordpress.com

National Liberation and Culture by Amilcar Cabral

Socialism and Man in Cuba by Ernesto Che Guevara


The CIA and the Cultural Cold War Revisited by James Petras

= Beginning and Essential Texts