Karl Marx – pamphlets, books and commentaries

Karl Marx - circa 1850
Karl Marx – circa 1850

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels Collected Works

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels – Writings, compilations and analyses

Frederick Engels – pamphlets, books and commentaries

View of the world

Ukraine – what you’re not told

Karl Marx – pamphlets, books and commentaries

Virtually everything that has been published by Karl Marx is included in the 50 volume Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

However, his contribution to the world revolutionary movement has meant that many of his most significant works have been produced as individual pamphlets/books. The intention is to post as many of those as possible on this page.

Those works that he produced in collaboration with his close comrade-in-arms, Frederick Engels are also available here.

Selected Works

Selected Works in One Volume, Progress, Moscow, 7th printing, 1986, 788 pages.

Selected Works in Three Volumes, Progress, Moscow,

Volume 1, 3rd printing, 1976, 596 pages.
Volume 2, 4th printing, 1977, 502 pages.
Volume 3, 3rd printing, 1976, 577 pages.

Selected Writings in sociology and social philosophy, edited by TB Bottomore and Maximilien Rubel, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964, 268 pages.

Selected Writings, 2nd edition, edited by David McLellan, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, 687 pages.

Collected Works of Karl Marx, illustrated, Delphi Classics, Hastings, 2016, 3561 pages.

Capital

Capital, Volume 1, a critical analysis of Capitalist Production, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1974, 767 pages.

Capital, Volume 2, the process of circulation of capital, original English language edition, 319 pages.

Capital, Volume 3, the process of capitalist production as a whole, original English language edition, 645 pages.

Theories of Surplus Value, (Volume IV of Capital), Part 1, Karl Marx, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1969, 506 pages.

Theories of Surplus Value, (Volume IV of Capital), Part 2, Karl Marx, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1968, 661 pages.

Theories of Surplus Value, (Volume IV of Capital), Part 3, Karl Marx, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1971, 637 pages.

Grundrisse, foundations of the critique of political economy (rough draft), written in 1857-1861, English translation by Martin Nicolaus, 862 pages.

Individual pamphlets and books

Value, Price and Profit, Allen and Unwin, London, 1935, 94 pages.

A Handbook of Marxism, with selections from the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, International Publishers, New York, 1935, 1082 pages,

Wage, Labour and Capital, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1942, 48 pages.

Wages, Price and Profit, FLP, Peking, 1965, 83 pages.

Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations, mostly being a section of the Grundrisse, circa 1857-1858 (as translated by Jack Cohen) and also of few letters by Marx, International Publishers, New York, 1965, 158 pages.

The Civil War in France, FLP, Peking, 1966, 287 pages.

The Communist Manifesto, with Frederick Engels, introduction by AJP Taylor, Pelican, London, 1967, 124 pages.

The Civil War in France, Progress, Moscow, 1968, 91 pages.

The class struggles in France 1848 to 1850, Progress, Moscow, 1968, 143 pages.

Genesis of Capital, Progress, Moscow, 1969, 70 pages.

Manifesto of the Communist Party, with Frederick Engels, FLP, Peking 1970, digital version by From Marx to Mao, 47 pages.

Karl Marx – Notebook on the Paris Commune, Press excerpts and notes, edited by Hal Draper, Independent Socialist Clippingbooks No. 8, Independent Socialist Press, Berkeley, 1971, 108 pages.

The Unknown Karl Marx, edited by Robert Payne, New York University Press, New York, 1971, 339 pages.

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972, 132 pages.

Critique of the Gotha Programme, FLP, Peking, 1972, 91 pages.

The Poverty of Philosophy, Progress, Moscow, 1973, 205 pages.

Preface and Introduction to ‘A contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’, FLP, Peking, 1976, 63 pages.

A contribution of the Critique of Political Economy, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 262 pages.

Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, 1844, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 226 pages.

Wage, Labour and Capital, lecture by Marx, 1847, as edited by Engels in 1891, 25 pages.

Value, Price and Profit, lecture by Marx, 1865, 32 pages.

Marx-Engels Correspondence, from the Marxist Internet Archive, 608 pages.

Wage-Labour and Capital and Value, Price, and Profit, International Publishers, New York, 2006, 110 pages.

The first writings of Karl Marx, edited by Paul M. Schafer, Ig Publishing, New York, 2006, 223 pages.

Dispatches for the New York Tribune – Selected Journalism of Karl Marx, selected by James Ledbetter, Penguin, London, 2007, 322 pages.

Manifesto of the Communist Party, with Friedrich Engels, International Publishers, New York, 2007, 48 pages.

The Communist Manifesto, with Frederick Engels, introduction by Yanis Varoufakis, Vintage, London, 2018, 63 pages.

Wage Labour, and Capital and Value, Price and Profit, Foreign Languages Press, Paris 2020, 128 pages.

Compilations with other great Marxists

Ten Classics of Marxism, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, International Publishers, New York, 1940, 785 pages.

Marx, Engels and Lenin on the Irish Revolution, Ralph Fox, The Cork Workers Club, Cork, 1974, 36 pages.

Marx, Engels and Lenin – On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1975, 41 pages.

On Scientific Communism, Marx, Engels and Lenin, Progress, Moscow, 1976, 537 pages.

On Dialectical Materialism, Marx, Engels and Lenin, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 422 pages.

The Woman Question, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, International Publishers, New York, 1977, 96 pages.

Marxism and the Liberation of Women, Quotations from Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, VI Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung, Union of Women for Liberation, London, n.d., mid-1970s?, 64 pages. Includes a statement of aims of the Union of Women for Liberation.

The Civil War in France: The Paris Commune, Karl Marx and VI Lenin, International Publishers, New York, 1988, 182 pages.

Biographies

Karl Marx, the story of his life, Franz Mehring, Covici Friede, New York, 1935, 608 pages.

Karl Marx, his life and work, reminiscences by Paul Lafargue and Wilhelm Liebknecht, International Publishers, New York, 1943, 64 pages.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, D Riazanov, International Publishers, New York, n.d., 1940s, 224 pages.

Karl Marx, a biography, Heinrich Gemkow, Verlag Zeit im Bild, Dresden, 1968, 427 pages.

Marx comes to India, earliest Indian biographies of Karl Marx by Lala Hardayal and Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai, with critical Introduction, edited by PC Joshi and K Damodoran, Manohar Book Service, Delhi, 1975, 133 pages.

Karl Marx, Beacon for Our Times, Gus Hall, International Publishers, New York, 1983, 94 pages.

Karl Marx and our time, articles and speeches by various revisionist leaders and commentators of the post-1956 Soviet Union, Progress, Moscow, 1983, 203 pages.

Marx in London, an illustrated guide, Asa Briggs and John Callow, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 2008, 110 pages.

Analyses and Commentaries

Marx and the Trade Unions, A Lozovsky, International Publishers, New York, 1942, 188 pages.

Marx on Money, Suzanne de Brunhoff, Urizen Books, New York, 1973, 139 pages.

Karl Marx – Interviews and Recollections, edited by David McLellan, Macmillan, London, 1981, 186 pages.

Marx’s Theory of Commodity Surplus Value, Formalised exposition, KK Valtukh, Progress, Moscow, 1987, 360 pages.

How To Read Karl Marx, Ernst Fischer, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1996, 192 pages.

Rereading Capital, Ben Fine and Laurence Harris, Columbia University Press, New York, 1979, 184 pages.

Marx for Beginners, Rius, Pantheon Books, New York, 1976, 156 pages.

Karl Marx and World Literature, SS Prawer, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1978, 446 pages.

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels Collected Works

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels – Writings, compilations and analyses

Frederick Engels – pamphlets, books and commentaries

View of the world

Ukraine – what you’re not told

18th March – Paris Commune 1871

18th March - Avenue Jean-Jaures

18th March – Avenue Jean-Jaures

More on the ‘Revolutionary Year’

View of the world

Ukraine – what you’re not told

18th March – Paris Commune 1871

‘World history would indeed be very easy to make, if the struggle were taken up only on condition of infallibly favourable chances.’ Karl Marx, April 17th, 1871

The 18th March 2018 marks the 147th anniversary of the start of the Paris Commune. For the workers and oppressed of the world this was probably the most significant event of the 19th century. During the short 72 days of its existence it demonstrated that once workers are united in a common goal they can quickly change their lives for the better. At the same time the murderous manner in which it was suppressed showed that the ruling class will stop at nothing to prevent the workers from taking control of their own lives.

What was the spark that caused this prairie fire?

Before it got light on the morning of 18th March 1871 washer-women, on their way to work, came across a group of soldiers trying to steal some of the artillery pieces which the local National Guard had secured in working class districts once the Prussians had entered Paris. After a long siege the national government had acquiesced to Prussian demands that the National Guard be disarmed and this group of, reluctant, soldiers were given the task to do so before the general population was awake.

Feelings were running high as those in the working class districts of the capital were prepared to hold out against the invaders and this attempt to take away the guns they had paid for was seen as the last straw. The alarm went up. Angry crowds started to gather. A couple of the state’s generals were shot and things moved quickly.

What in other circumstances might have just have been a riot became one of the most significant political events of the 19th century, where working people not only opposed the existing regime but decided to replace it with a structure that benefited the working class and not just the rich. This structure became known as the Paris Commune.

The Communards hadn’t planned in advance what to do and didn’t really understand how they were entering into brand new territory and the majority of those involved in the Commune wouldn’t have known the exact nature of the progressive organisation they were building – or of it’s possible long-term effects.

Mao stated in August 1927, 56 years after the Commune, that ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’ (Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II, pp. 224-225) and the spark for the Commune was the attempt by the bourgeois Thiers government to disarm the workers. Due to the siege of Paris by the Prussians many workers in the National Guard actually knew how to use what they had and this combination of armed workers with dangerous ideas made them a threat to the very existence of the bourgeois, capitalist state.

And how did they respond?

There had been political tension in Paris since the end of January when the bourgeois government capitulated to the Prussians and had allowed them to enter the city. The petty-bourgeois elements of the National Guard dissolved away and the Central Committee of the National Guard was staunchly proletarian. This meant there was a structure that was able to step into the vacuum created on that tumultuous day in March – what they did next took the Parisian workers into the unknown.

18th March - Rue Basfroi

18th March – Rue Basfroi

By the evening of the 18th the National Guard was in control of key points in the city and had occupied the Town Hall (the Hôtel de Ville), where the Red Flag was hoisted. The next day, the 19th, elections for the Commune were announced for March 26th. On March 28th the Paris Commune was officially proclaimed.

However, instead of following the tried (and failed) road of parliamentary cretinism the Commune started to create a new organisation which had as its central tenet the interests of the working class. For such temerity, for such audacity they were to be severely punished within less than 70 days.

I can do no better than quote the words of the great theoreticians of Marxism for their analysis of the experience of the Commune, some thoughts written within days of the destruction of the first example of workers taking power into their own hands.

The Communards ditched the old reverence to the established electoral order;

‘From the very outset the Commune was compelled to recognize that the working class, once come to power, could not go on managing with the old state machine; that in order not to lose again its only just conquered supremacy, this working class must, on the one hand, do away with all the old repressive machinery previously used against itself, and, on the other, safeguard itself against its own deputies and officials, by declaring them all, without exception, subject to recall at any moment.’ Frederick Engels, Introduction to The Civil War in France, p15

And that;

‘ … the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy; and at best an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy, whose worst sides the victorious proletariat, just like the Commune, cannot avoid having to lop off at once as much as possible until such time as a generation reared in new, free social conditions is able to throw out the entire lumber of the state.’ Frederick Engels, Introduction to The Civil War in France, p17

That;

‘… the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.’ Karl Marx, The Civil War in France, p66

However, the Paris Commune saw the significance of their new organisation as something that would have to extend beyond the Paris city limits.

‘In a rough sketch of national organization which the Commune had no time to develop, it states clearly that the Commune was to be the political form of even the smallest country hamlet, and that in the rural districts the standing army was to be replaced by a national militia, with an extremely short-term of service.’ Karl Marx, The Civil War in France, p71

It also bore the seeds of longer term ambitions and had international implications.

‘It was essentially a working-class government, the produce of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economic emancipation of labour.’ Karl Marx, The Civil War in France, p74

What did the Commune achieve – if only for a short time?

On March 30th the first decree of the Commune concerned the suppression of a standing army and an armed people, the National Guard, would be the only army – all citizens capable of bearing arms to be enrolled, both men and women.

Your Commune has been established!

Citizens:

Your Commune has been established.

The vote of March 26 has sanctioned the victorious revolution.

A craven aggressive power had seized you by the throat; in your self-defence you have driven beyond your walls the government that sought to dishonour you by imposing a king.

Today, the criminals whom you had not even thought to prosecute, abuse your magnanimity in organizing a centre of monarchical conspiracy at the very gates of the city. They invoke civil war, they seek to corrupt; they accept every complicity; they have even dared to beg for foreign support.

We summon these abominable intrigues to the judgement of France and the world.

Citizens:

We have just given you instructions which defy all comparisons.

Your are masters of your destiny. Strengthened by your support, the representatives that you have designated will undertake to repair the disasters brought about by the defiant power. The industry that has been compromised, the labour that has been suspended, and the commercial transactions that have been paralysed will all receive the most vigorous impetus.

Today, the awaited decision on rents;

Tomorrow, that on loans;

All public services re-established and simplified;

The National Guard, henceforth the only armed force in the city, reorganized without delay;

Such will be our first acts.

The elected representatives of the people only ask, to ensure the triumph of the Republic, that you give them your support and confidence.

They will do their duty.

Hotel-de-Ville of Paris March 29th 1871
The Paris Commune

Among the other decrees (which were enacted with greater or less success with the time constraints) were;

  • rents for dwellings abolished
  • articles that had been pawned declared not for sale
  • the wage differentials between men and women were abolished
  • officials would not get any more than ‘workingmen’s wages’
  • the church was separated from the state
  • church property was to be national property
  • religious iconography was to be removed from schools
  • the guillotine to be publicly burnt, as a symbol of the old regime
Burning the Guillotine in front of Voltaire's statue

Burning the Guillotine in front of Voltaire’s statue

  • night work for bakers was abolished
  • planned the reopening of factories closed by owners and these to be run on a collective basis
  • razed the Chapel of Atonement – built to expiate the execution of Louis XVI

Paradoxically, in a city on a war footing, besieged by hostile forces, both national and international, this all resulted in a situation where the streets of Paris were safer than they had been for decades – without a police force.

Did the Commune make any mistakes?

Of course. Many. Some forced due to the circumstances, some because someone, for some reason, made the wrong decision. Perhaps some mistakes could have been foreseen and lack of experience, lack of knowledge or even stupidity got in the way. And even in a revolutionary situation there will always be those traitors who hide themselves behind revolutionary rhetoric and seek to undermine the movement to benefit of their traditional ‘masters’.

The Commune wasn’t planned, it evolved. It wasn’t the result of a group of revolutionaries working out how best to change society. At the time of the Commune most revolutionaries in Europe were following the Blanqui model of a small group of insurrectionists creating a situation where the rest of the population would follow. (This failed approach was resurrected by Che Guevara in the 1960s under the name of the ‘foco’ theory.) The Commune was different. It was a period when thinking men and women had taken state power and they were trying to work out how to go forward – against all the odds.

And during all this they were under military attack, both from the reactionary bourgeois forces of Thiers and the presence of the Prussian occupying force.

The majority of them were workers who had never been in a position of making decisions about the rest of their community in their lives. They weren’t the trained sycophants and lackeys the ruling class accumulates around themselves. If they had not made mistakes that would have been a surprise.

Some of their mistakes were strategic, some tactical. They had no over-arching theory to guide them. The theory that would lead to a successful revolution of the oppressed and the exploited, Marxism, was in the process of being formed by its originators.

In 1927 Chairman Mao wrote;

‘A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.’ Mao Tse-tung, “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” (March 1927), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 28.

He had learnt from past experience, in China’s failed insurrections and revolutions, the success of the October Revolution in Russia and the failure of the Commune in Paris in 1871. Chairman Mao learnt from the past but the Paris Commune was the present for the Communards, for the Parisians. They had no experience to guide them. The were true trail-blazers and so mistakes were inevitable.

With hindsight it’s always easy to criticise what people did in the past.

But some of their mistakes need reiteration, not least to remind future revolutionaries of some of the matters they have to consider.

  • The Central Committee of the National Guard (the precursor of the Commune) gave the reactionary forces almost ten days grace after the thwarted seizure of the guns on Montmartre. This allowed reaction to organise and allowed them to create chaos within the centre of Paris. When you have power you must use it – reaction never rests.
  • The Central Committee of the National Guard was too magnanimous during this period and allowed a violent demonstration by reactionary forces to take place. Marx criticised ‘this magnanimity of the armed working men’ (The Civil War in France, p60). Reaction is the viper in the nest – it has to be crushed.

This lesson was well learnt by future revolutionaries after the October Revolution in Russia in 1917. If you can criticise Comrades Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Joseph Stalin and ‘Iron’ Felix Dzerzhinsky for some of their actions (but not many) it will not be due to their ‘magnanimity’.

‘It is still necessary to suppress the bourgeoisie and crush its resistance. This was particularly necessary for the Commune; and one of the reasons for its defeat is that it did not do this with sufficient determination. But the organ of suppression is now the majority of the population, and not a minority, as was always the case under slavery, serfdom and wage slavery.’ VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p50

  • They didn’t take over the banks. How this would have worked in practice is difficult to say, especially as they had such a short time in control, but if the Commune had lasted longer then this would have become a very serious matter. Better to take them over and not have an impact than not and then suffer the consequences down the line. Something else the Soviets learnt.
  • Reactionary parties were allowed to stand in the elections for the Commune on 26th March. This can be a difficult one. There will be the argument that not everyone supports the new order and that opposition forces should be given an opportunity to have their say. The problem is that they have been having their say for thousands of years and still the rich get richer and the poor get poorer – that’s the case in the 21st century world and was definitely the case in 1871 Paris.

The slaughter during the last week of May 1871 was a direct consequence of the innocence, naiveté and magnanimity of the Parisian working class. They suffered for their mistakes – how many more others are to suffer because future generations haven’t learnt the lessons of the past – and of the Paris Commune in particular?

But whatever the failings of the Commune it was not given the time to sort out its shortcomings or mistakes.

What can we still learn from The Commune?

The biggest ‘crime’ of the Communards was that they wanted to plan things for and by themselves and did not choose to be limited by the established bourgeois state. Play the game by their rules and you’ll get a pat on the head. Play another game which doesn’t include them and they will (attempt to) destroy you. That’s what happened in May 1871.

In ‘theory’ revolutions of the oppressed and exploited should be an easy matter. After all we outnumber the ruling class (in whatever country, in whatever social situation – beit slavery, feudalism or capitalism) by factors of hundreds of thousands in some instances. But it doesn’t work that way.

How many slave revolts can people cite during the whole of the Roman Republic and Empire – a period of something like 2,000 years? Spartacus, yes. And?

How many slave revolts can people cite in the 300/400 period of slavery in the United States of America? Nat Turner (possibly but not guaranteed – and that only lasted less than two days). And?

However dire their existence and conditions most people cling to life and misery rather than freedom and dignity. Many individuals in the past have chosen the latter but history doesn’t always record those brave men and women as the ‘prize’ for their independence was death. There are a few episodes in history where the oppressed and exploited have come together to change their situation. In a British context I will cite the Peasants Revolt of 1381 and the English Revolution of 1640.

Fourteenth century peasants would have normally lived and died within sight of their home, only leaving it if they were conscripted into some war for a tribal warlord (as that was basically what the monarchy was at that time) to establish his (and sometime her) right to rule them. The Rebellion, led by Wat Tyler, therefore, was something that came out of the blue, something which would have left most peasants thinking they were in some sort of dream.

When some of them went to London and their leader had a meeting with the King they were probably even more bemused. Then terrified as they were once again ‘put in their place’. They followed their charismatic leader to the capital who, riding a horse (what peasant rode a horse in 1381?), was set to meet the child monarch. Once out of his environment Tyler was treacherously stabbed in the back by the Sheriff of London. The rebellion melted quicker than summer snow.

(Traditionally, ‘commoners’ – i.e., anyone not of Royal birth – in Britain walk away backwards from a meeting with the monarch. This is interpreted as a sign of respect but it comes from the fact that, in the past, no one would trust a King/Queen as they were as likely to stab you in the back as look at you. That’s a lesson Wat Tyler learnt too late and which everyone should remember. Never literally, or figuratively, turn your back on the oppressor.)

Just about 260 years later there was another revolt against a British monarch. Although there were enough grievances amongst the population this particular revolt was led, and instigated, by the nascent bourgeoisie who had their own agenda but needed the anger of the people to achieve their aims – they also needed young, working class men to fight in their war. After nine years of war, where something like 11% of the male population lost their lives, the war criminal Charles Stuart had his divine head separated from his less than divine body.

The reason I mention these two events is to try to suggest how rare are those episodes in history where the oppressed and exploited actually get to a stage of challenging the fundamentals of power. They will always riot (especially in summer, riots rarely happen in the winter, although revolutions often do), they will always go on strike, they will always gripe and make things awkward for the ruling class, but they rarely challenge the class rule.

In 1381 the peasants trusted the monarchy and their trust was thrown back at them and they returned to their misery. In 1640 the few revolutionaries that did exist in Britain thought they could advance their ideas and practices (Gerrard Winstanley, for example, with the Digger Movement) but once the monarchy had been tamed the bourgeoisie had no need of certain sections of the army and used the forelock-tuggers to destroy progress – another lesson that we should learn, not all the oppressed and exploited will side with us against the oppressors and exploiters and are quite happy to destroy their own people.

But Marx saw something different with the working class revolt in Paris. There had been revolutions in France in 1789, 1830 and 1848 but they had been subverted for the benefit of the ruling class, if not initially, eventually. The Paris Commune was something qualitatively different.

‘In September 1870, Marx called the insurrection an act of desperate folly. But, when the masses rose, Marx wanted to march with them, to learn with them in the process of the struggle, and not to give them bureaucratic admonitions. He realised that to attempt in advance to calculate the chances with complete accuracy would be quackery or hopeless pedantry. What he valued above every thing else was that the working class heroically and self-sacrificingly took the initiative in making world history. Marx regarded world history from the standpoint of those who make it without being in a position to calculate the chances infallibly beforehand, and not from the standpoint of an intellectual philistine who moralises: “It was easy to foresee … they should not have taken up … “. VI Lenin, Selected Works, Vol 12, p111

For the first time the working class were fighting, consciously, for themselves. Not that they were necessarily conscious of all that they were doing. They moved the working class movement forwards by defending and promoting the interests of their class. Starting by defending their right to their armaments they decided they could promote those interests that had been denied them by the ruling class.

Serendipity (the washer women arriving at the time the government troops attempted to steal the artillery of the National Guard and those troops preferring to be mutinous rather than go against their class brothers and sisters) also had a role to play. Being in the right place at the right time even has a role in social advancement.

 …. and what has already been learnt.

Karl Marx had always closely followed events in Europe and especially what was happening in France with the country at war with Prussia. With the ignominious defeat of the French – and the subsequent declaration of the unification of Germany, on 18th January 1871, which took place in the ‘occupied’ Palace of Versailles in the humiliated France – Marx knew that the situation in Europe was about to change as the new, militaristic and powerful economic power of the new country would have to come into conflict with the most dominant economic power, Britain. It wasn’t a matter of if a war between these two powers would occur, only when. The world was too small for two such ambitious, imperialist powers to exist side by side.

Both Marx and Engels had also very closely followed and studied the revolutionary workers movements in France and Germany (especially) but other movements in Eastern Europe as well. Engels actually fought on the barricades in the Baden, Prussia, during the 1848 Revolution – even writing articles on military tactics which were published in the Manchester Guardian.

They knew that Paris was a seething cauldron of proletarian discontent but that were in a perilous position to take on the combined might of the French state – which had the tacit support of the Prussian occupiers. Although he recommended caution Marx was fully behind the Parisian workers when they were forced to either fight or capitulate after the incident of the attempted theft of the artillery of the National Guard by the reactionary government of Thiers.

He followed matters as closely as possible and, in fact, the first draft of The Civil War in France was written before the Commune was crushed in the blood soaked week at the end of May, 1871.

Apart from that seminal work Marx made an extremely important, and often ‘forgotten’ or ignored, annotation to The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848. In the 1872 Preface to the German edition of the book one sentence is of special significance:

‘One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that ‘the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.’ Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto, p2.

The reason this short sentence is frequently overlooked is because this had the effect of challenging those who believed that a workers’ revolution could succeed peacefully and through bourgeois, parliamentary means – the ideas that have been shown countless times in the almost 150 years of the Commune to be a fallacy but which are still promulgated by modern-day Social Democrats.

Lenin also learnt from the organisation structure of the Commune and later, after the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviets were introduced with many of the attributes of proletarian democracy that had existed in Paris for a couple of months in the spring of 19871.

‘The way out of parliamentarianism is not, of course, the abolition of representative institutions and the electoral principle, but the conversion of the representative institutions from talking shops to “working” bodies. “The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time.” VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p55

Lenin believed in elections and representation but of a new kind that didn’t trap the workers who were attempting to build Socialism into the stultifying trap of parliamentary cretinism.

‘We cannot imagine democracy, even proletarian democracy, without representative institutions, but we can and must imagine democracy without parliamentarism,’ VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p56

For the first time ever the proletariat had a model which worked – in all sorts of ways – if only for a short time.

‘The Commune is the form “at last discovered” by the proletarian revolution, under which the economic emancipation of labour can take place…. [It] is the first attempt of a proletarian revolution to smash the bourgeois state machine; and it is the political form ….. by which the smashed state machine can and must be replaced.’ VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p66

Although Marx had based his theories of scientific socialism on the experiences of the workers’ and peasants’ struggles in the past he was more than willing to change his approach if new experience told a new story or gave a better example of how to do things in the future.

‘Marx did not indulge in utopias; he expected the experience of the mass movement to provide the reply to the question as to what specific forms this organization of the proletariat as the ruling class will assume and as to the exact manner in which this organization will be combined with the most complete, most consistent “winning of the battle of democracy.’ VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p48

All great revolutionary thinkers learn from great events – from both their success and failures. It can’t be otherwise and this is why both Marx and Engels constantly referred to the Commune in their writings after 1871. When Lenin was trying to make sense of the Russian situation he found inspiration in the events in Paris – which were taking place at the very time he was celebrating his first birthday 3,249 kilometres away in Simbirsk, Russia.

Lenin also liked the way the Communards organised themselves, in a new way and very different from the hierarchical structure that characterises capitalist states.

‘There can be no thought of abolishing the bureaucracy at once, everywhere and completely. That is utopia. But to smash the old bureaucratic machine at once and to begin immediately to construct a new one that will permit to abolish gradually all bureaucracy – this is not utopia, this is the experience of the Commune, this is the direct and immediate task of the revolutionary proletariat.’ VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p57

The proletarian dictatorship replaces the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This turns the world upside down and now instead of subordination to a monarchy, an aristocracy or an industrial or financial bourgeoisie society would now be under the control of the armed working class.

‘We are not utopians, we do not indulge in “dreams” of dispensing at once with all administration, with all subordination; these anarchist dreams, based upon a lack of understanding of the tasks of the proletarian dictatorship, are totally alien to Marxism, and, as a matter of fact, serve only to postpone the socialist revolution until people are different. No, we want the socialist revolution with people as they are now, with people who cannot dispense with subordination, control and “foremen and bookkeepers.” But the subordination must be to the armed vanguard of all the exploited and toiling people, i.e., to the proletariat.’ VI Lenin, The State and Revolution, p58

It was the Commune, without an organised, revolutionary Party leadership, that came up with the form of the new State that Marx had been looking for. It was workers themselves, and not ideologues, who realised what was needed to liberate themselves from oppression and exploitation.

They were not a movement as Lenin wrote about 31 years later; ‘Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.’ (VI Lenin, What is to be Done? – Burning questions of our movement, p28), but without the Paris Commune Lenin might not have come up with this important conclusion.

However the lack of organisation was one of the contributory factors in the defeat of the Paris Commune. Not the only factor, as they had so many things going against them, but divisions based upon different political interests didn’t help in the struggle against the reactionaries. Future revolutionaries who have not learnt that lesson will end up suffering the same fate.

Women and the Paris Commune

Women had played a role in previous revolutions in France but the part they played was not recorded in a consistent manner and is often overlooked. Their role in the French Revolution (1789-1799) is often caricatured with harridans knitting at the public executions of the aristocracy but this is merely promoted to deny what actually was taking place – even when against the odds.

The Women’s March on Versailles, in October 1789, forced the royal court back to Paris – and was the virtual beginning of the end for this episode of the Bourbon’s. The Society of Revolutionary Republican Women agitated for full citizenship for women – their position in society being vague (to say the least) when the Declaration of the Rights of Man was published in August 1789.

Meetings of the Patriotic Women’s Clubs were held in churches – something that was copied in many of its aspects during the Commune.

Women's Club - 1793

Women’s Club – 1793

Revolutionary women also played a major role in the funeral of Jean-Paul Marat, the radical writer who produced the periodical ‘Friend of the People’, who was assassinated by a counter-revolutionary woman (not everyone who should be is always a revolutionary) in July 1793. They carried the bath tub in which he had been murdered – which even I think is a strange way of playing tribute.

Women were also very much involved in demonstrations against the increase of the price of basic foods and were prepared to riot when their demands were not met.

However, as the revolution was hijacked and moved to the right organised women’s groups were permanently shut out of the French Revolution after October 30, 1793.

So there was a tradition of women fighting for their freedom in uprisings and revolutions in France but in the Paris Commune of 1871 it (like the workers’ movement in general) took a qualitative leap.

It should be remembered that women were the ones who really started the revolution in March 1871 when they prevented the theft of the workers’ armaments and sounded the alarm which woke Paris to the theft and to a new dawn in so many ways.

They revived the clubs using, as in the 1790s, the same churches from where the clergy had been evicted following the decree on religion.

'The sacred revolt of the poor, the exploited and the oppressed'

‘The sacred revolt of the poor, the exploited and the oppressed’

Although there are examples of women taking up arms in the 1790s this was more prevalent in the Paris Commune, especially so when the reactionary state machine started its slaughter of all those who had dared to challenge state power at the end of May 1871. Not only fighting side by side with their male comrades on the barricades but also causing mayhem by setting alight and destroying many buildings in the centre of the city. These ‘petroleuses’ (women incendiaries) were especially vilified by the reaction for the contempt they held for bourgeois property.

'A girl soldier'

‘A girl soldier’

One renowned woman of this group of female revolutionaries was Louise Michel. Louise was an anarchist – and this will probably be the only time where an anarchist will be lauded on this blog – but was steadfast in the face of the threat of death once the Commune had been destroyed. She showed her contempt for the court at her trial – which took place as the fires in the city were still smouldering.

The reaction wanted contrition and regret, what they got was defiance and hatred;

‘You must cut me off from society! You have been told to do so, well, the Public Prosecutor is right! Since it seems that every heart that beats for liberty has the right only to a lump of lead, I demand my share! If you let me live, I shall not cease calling for vengeance, and I shall denounce to the vengeance of my brothers the murderers of the Commission of Pardons! … If you are not cowards kill me!

They were cowards and she was sentenced to, first, imprisonment in Paris and then deportation to the French colony of New Caledonia (off the eastern coast of Australia), returning to Paris when the surviving Communards were given an amnesty.

Louise Michel

Louise Michel

She wrote a poem in honour of her fellow Communard and friend, Théophile Ferré, the Blanquist Delegate to the Police, who refused to recognize a military court’s right to judge him after the defeat of the Commune and was sentenced to death and executed.

The Red Carnation

If one day to the cold cemetery I were to go,
brothers, cast on your sister,
like a final hope,
some red carnations in bloom.

In the final days of the empire,
as the people awoke,
red carnation, it was your smile
that told us all was reborn.

And now, go blossom in the shade
of dark and drear prisons,
go blossom near the sombre captive,
and tell him we love him.

Tell him that in these changing times
everything belongs to the future;
that the victor with his pallid brow
can die as easily as the vanquished.

She remained active in revolutionary politics (if anarchist politics can be called ‘revolutionary’) until her death in 1905 – the year of the revolutionary events in Russia which were to lead to the October Revolution of 1917.

In 2008 a film was released, ‘Louise-Michel’, directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, where female workers made redundant from a textile factory decide to pool their redundancy payments to hire a hit man to eliminate the boss. I’m sure Louise would have approved

Long Live the memory of The Paris Commune!

Eternal glory to the Parisian Martyrs of the Working Class!

Further Reading

If the only thing I achieve with this post is to stimulate an interest in this oft forgotten event in the 19th century it would have been worthwhile. When I say ‘forgotten’ I’m not saying that it has been forgotten by the world revolutionary movement. The Paris Commune sits in the pantheon of our revolutionary past.

However, not unsurprisingly, it is ignored in general history education in – at least – schools in the UK. The war between France and Prussia will be taught as this led to the creation of the German State which, ultimately, led to the clash between the European  imperialist powers and the ‘First World War’ – called the ‘Great War’ by the murderous British imperialists. 

That killing fields of the young working class and peasantry between 1914 and 1919 did have a positive result – the October Revolution of 1917. VI Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Party that initiated that revolution learnt from the positive and negative aspects of the valiant struggle of the Parisian workers in 1871.

So the ‘forgotten’ event of 1871 has had a direct effect upon the society in which we live today, coming towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century. Capitalism and imperialist of the Anglo-Saxon world has never forgiven, and will never forgive, the Russian workers for their audacity to challenge capitalist rule and succeeded in the construction of a Socialist society for, an unfortunately short period of 39 years.

That 39 years, as opposed to 72 days, would not have been possible but for the determination, imagination and sacrifice of the Parisian proletariat from March to May 1871. 

From a Marxist-Leninist perspective:

The already referenced works by Marx and Lenin:

Karl Marx – The Civil War in France, 1871

VI Lenin – The State and Revolution, 1917

And earlier analyses of the Paris Commune by Lenin;

In Memory of the Commune

Lessons of the Commune

A History of the Paris Commune:

The best general history of the Paris Commune, as far as I’m concerned is:

The Paris Commune of 1871

written by Frank Jellinek, and originally published in Britain in 1937 as part of the series of books under the umbrella of ‘The Left Book Club’. 

To put The Paris Commune into its historical context the Left Book Club Edition of Frank Jellinek’s ‘The Paris Commune of 1871’ included a very short – but useful – pamphlet by Dona Torr.

An Introduction to The Paris Commune by Dona Torr

Women in The Paris Commune

One book that investigates how women fought for their own freedom during The Paris Commune is:

The Women Incendiaries by Edith Thomas – not yet available in digital format 

More on the ‘Revolutionary Year’

View of the world

Ukraine – what you’re not told

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin – individual works, compilations, biographies and including earlier Collected and Selected editions

Lenin in the Smolny

Lenin in the Smolny

More on the USSR

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin – individual works, compilations, biographies and including earlier Collected and Selected editions

This page will include individual pamphlets of the works of VI Lenin as well as a more information about his life and work. Available elsewhere on the site are the Collected Works – a total of 47 volumes – which is the most extensive resource in the English language of the ideas of the leader of the Bolshevik Party and the first Socialist State.

(This is an on going project and other material will be added as and when it becomes available in a digital format. If you are after a particular pamphlet and it is not here at the moment then it might appear in the future.)

Collected and Selected Works

Collected Works of V. I. Lenin, 1930s International Publishers Edition, New York,

Volume 13, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, 1927, 347 pages.

Volume 18, The Imperialist War, 1930, 499 pages.

Volume 21, Book 1, Toward the Seizure of Power, 1932, 305 pages.

Volume 21, Book 2, Toward the Seizure of Power, 1932, 353 pages.

VI Lenin: Selected Works, in 12 volumes, International Publishers, New York, late 1930s, arranged by period and by topic.

Although the later 45-volume Collected Works is more complete and more carefully prepared, this earlier set provides alternate translations which may be helpful in some cases. Plus, this set may facilitate identifying references to Lenin’s specific writings which point to these volumes. Further to that they were also produced at a time when the Soviet Union was following the Socialist Road and the translations were not subject to a Revisionist interpretation, which is the possibility with the versions published in the 1970s.

Volume 1: The Prerequisites of the Russian Revolution (1891-1899), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 564 pages.

Volume 2: The Struggle for the Bolshevik Party (1900-1904), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 587 pages.

Volume 3: The Revolution of 1905-1907, International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 649 pages.

Volume 4: The Years of Reaction and of the New Revival (1908-1914), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 465 pages.

Volume 5: Imperialism and Imperialist War (1914-1917), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 409 pages.

Volume 6: From the Bourgeois Revolution to the Proletarian Revolution (1917), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 679 pages.

Volume 7: After the Seizure of Power (1917-18), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 535 pages. Different scan, Volume 7: After the Seizure of Power (1917-18), Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1936, 536 pages.

Volume 8: The Period of War Communism (1918-1920), International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 473 pages.

Volume 9: New Economic Policy; Socialist Construction, International Publishers, New York, 1937, 521 pages.

Volume 10: The Communist International, International Publishers, New York, 1938, 345 pages.

Volume 11: The Theoretical Principles of Marxism, International Publishers, New York, n.d. 1930s, 779 pages.

Volume 12: Theory of the Agrarian Question, International Publishers, New York, 1938, 351 pages. Different scan, Volume 12: Theory of the Agrarian Question, International Publishers, New York, 1938, 349 pages.

VI Lenin: Selected Works in Three Volumes, Progress Publishers, Moscow 1970/71.

Volume 1, 1970, 890 pages.

Volume 2, 1970, 818 pages.

Volume 3, 1971, 866 pages.

Individual pamphlets

The War and the Workers, speech May 27 1917, International, New York, 1929, Little Lenin Library No 24, 36 pages.

The Teachings of Karl Marx, International Publishers, New York, 1930, 48 pages.

The War and the Second International, (London, Martin Lawrence, 1931), Little Lenin Library, Volume Two, 63 pages. Two documents written in 1914, ‘The Collapse of the Second International’ and ‘The War and Russian Social-Democracy’.

The April Conference, (N.Y., International, 1932), 62 pages. Little Lenin Library, Volume Ten. The Conference actually took place from 7th to the 12th May, 1917 (the backward Tsarist state used the Julian calender which was – in 1917 – 13 days adrift from the Gregorian calender used in most of Europe, hence the ‘April’ Conference of 24th to the 29th Old Calender took place in May).

Lenin on Religion, (London, Martin Lawrence, N.D. 1930s), Little Lenin Library, Volume Seven, 56 pages.

State and Revolution, (London, Martin Lawrence, 1933), Little Lenin Library, Volume Fourteen, 96 pages.

The Paris Commune, (London, Martin Lawrence, 1935), Little Lenin Library, Volume Five, 62 pages.

The Teachings of Karl Marx, (London, Martin Lawrence, 1937), Little Lenin Library, Volume One, 47 pages.

Women and Society, an early collection of articles and excerpts, International, New York, 1938, 36 pages.

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1939), 127 pages. Little Lenin Library, Volume Fifteen.(My copy is seriously damaged, particularly in one place, and so it was impossible to scan pages 82 and 83. In their place I have scanned the missing text from pages 709-711 from ‘The Essential Lenin in Two Volumes, Volume 1, London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1947’. It’s not exactly the same but the closest to the 1939 text I have been able to find.)

War and the Workers, (N.Y., International, 1940), 32 pages. Little Lenin Library, Volume Twenty Four. A reprint of a lecture delivered by VI Lenin in Petrograd on May 27th, 1917, about a month after his return from exile. The manuscript was not discovered until twelve years afterwards and was published for the first time in the Moscow Pravda on April 23rd, 1929.

Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder, a popular essay on Marxian strategy and tactics, International Publishers, New York, 1940, 95 pages.

Ten Classics of Marxism, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, International Publishers, New York, 1940, 785 pages.

The Tasks of the Proletariat in our Revolution (London, Lawrence and Wishart, ND, 1940?), Little Lenin Library, Volume Nine, 52 pages.

On Britain, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1941), 316 pages. Marxist-Leninist Library, Volume Eighteen, with two Prefaces by Harry Pollitt (1934 and 1941).

The Deception of the People by the Slogans of Equality and Freedom (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1942), Little Lenin Library, Volume Nineteen, 47 pages.

A Dictionary of Terms and Quotations – Compiled from the Works of VI Lenin by Thomas Bell, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1942), Little Lenin Library, Volume Twenty Five, 45 pages.

One step forward, two steps back, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1948, 115 pages.

The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government, (Moscow, FLPH, 1951), 79 pages.

The National Pride of the Great Russians, (Moscow, FLPH, 1951), 15 pages.

Marx, Engels, Marxism, FLPH, Moscow, 1951, 577 pages.

In commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the birth of VI Lenin the Foreign Languages Press in Peking produced a series of books with quotations from the extensive works of the leader of the October Revolution and First Socialist State on various topics pertinent at the time of the struggle against Soviet Revisionism and the restoration of capitalism in the USSR.

This approach to the works of Lenin, where significant quotations were taken from longer works, was the principal that was followed later with the production of the ‘Little Red Book’ of quotations from the works of Chairman Mao at the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

We are aware of six volumes in this series.

On War and Peace, 2nd ed., (Peking, October 1960), 84 pages.

On Proletarian Revolution and Proletarian Dictatorship, 2nd ed., (Peking, FLP, October 1960), 89 pages.

On the National Liberation Movement, 2nd ed., (Peking, FLP, October 1960), 58 pages.

On the Struggle Against Revisionism, 2nd ed., (Peking, FLP, October 1960), 98 pages.

On Imperialism, the eve of the Proletarian Social Revolution, 2nd ed., (Peking, FLP, October 1960), 91 pages.

On the Revolutionary Proletarian Party of a New Type, 2nd ed., (Peking, FLP, October 1960), 79 pages.

Lenin’s Fight Against Revisionism and Opportunism – compiled by Cheng Yen-shih (Peking, FLP, 1965), 275 pages

Against dogmatism and sectarianism in the working class movement, Progress, Moscow, 1965, 235 pages.

On War and Peace – Three articles, (Peking, FLP, 1966), 108 pages.

On Culture and Cultural Revolution, Progress, Moscow, 1966, 297 pages.

Karl Marx, a Brief Biographical Sketch with an Exposition of Marxism, (Peking, FLP, 1967), 63 pages.

On Youth – Selection of articles from VI Lenin’s Works, (Moscow, Progress, 1967), 298 pages.

The Right of Nations to Self-determination, (Moscow, Progress, 1967), 80 pages.

A characterisation of economic romanticism, Progress, Moscow, 1967, 143 pages.

Socialism and War, (Moscow, Progress, 1967), 55 pages.

Lenin’s Prediction on the Revolutionary Storms in the East, (Peking, FLP, 1967), 15 pages.

On the National and Colonial Questions – Three articles, (Peking, FLP, 1967), 40 pages.

On the so-called Market Question, (Moscow, Progress, 1968), 51 pages.

Socialism and Religion, (Moscow, Progress, 1968), 7 pages.

May Day. May Day action by the Revolutionary Proletariat, (Moscow, Progress, 1968), 31 pages.

Lecture on the 1905 Revolution, (Moscow, Progress, 1968), 19 pages.

Revolutionary Adventurism, (Moscow, Progress, 1969), 40 pages.

The Tasks of the Youth Leagues, this speech includes Lenin’s most extensive comments on morality and the Marxist-Leninist view of ethics, (Moscow, Progress, 1969), 19 pages.

Party work in the masses, (Moscow, Progress, 1969), 170 pages.

On Religion, Progress, Moscow, 1969, 85 pages.

On the Road to Insurrection, N. Lenin (sic), Communist Party of Great Britain, London, n.d., late 1960s?, 519 pages.

The State, (Peking, FLP, 1970), 25 pages. A lecture delivered at the Sverdlov University, July 11th, 1919.

Lenin on Ireland, (Belfast, Irish Socialist Library, New Books, 1970), 35 pages.

Letters on Tactics – a Collection of Articles and Letters, (Moscow: Progress, 1970), 104 pages.

‘Left-wing’ Communism – An infantile Disorder, (Peking, FLP, 1970), 133 pages.

On the Paris Commune – Selection of articles from VI Lenin’s Works, (Moscow, Progress, 1970), 141 pages.

Two tactics of Social-democracy in the Democratic Revolution, FLP, Peking, 1970, 167 pages.

On Workers’ Control and the Nationalisation of Industry, Progress, Moscow, 1970, 260 pages.

On Lenin, (Dublin, ICO, 1970), 28 pages. 4 articles. The organiser and leader of the Russian Communist Party (On the Fiftieth Anniversary of Lenin’s Birth). Sketches (Comrade Lenin’s Convalescence). On the Death of Lenin (Speech delivered at the Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR, 26th January, 1924). On Lenin (Speech delivered at a Memorial Evening of Kremlin Military Students, 28th January, 1924). Irish Communist Organisation.

On Utopian and Scientific Socialism, articles and speeches, Progress, Moscow, 1970, 254 pages.

Where to Begin. Party Organisation and Party Literature. The Working Class and its Press – 3 Articles. (Moscow, Progress, 1971), 54 pages.

Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power, (Moscow, Progress, 1971), 63 pages.

The Third International and its place in history, (Moscow, Progress, 1971) 51 pages.

Speeches at the Eighth Party Congress, (Moscow, Progress, 1971) 86 pages. Held in Moscow from 18th – 23rd March, 1919.

On Peaceful Coexistence, articles and speeches, Progress, Moscow, 1971, 144 pages.

Marxism on the State, (Moscow, Progress, 1972), Preparatory material for the book ‘The State and Revolution’. 134 pages.

Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, FLP, Peking, 1972, 466 pages. Lenin’s major study of materialist philosophy together with strong criticism of its idealist opponents within the Russian revolutionary movement, published in 1908.

About the Press, a collection of articles and excerpts, International Organisation of Journalists, Prague, 1972, 483 pages.

The Revolutionary Phrase, ‘Left-Communist’ mistakes at the Brest Peace, articles and speeches, Progress, Moscow, 1972, 171 pages.

Lenin about the press, International Organisation of Journalists, Prague, 1972, 483 pages.

The State and Revolution, (Peking, FLP, 1973), The Marxist teaching on the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution. 151 pages.

Lenin and Gorky, letters, reminiscences, articles, Progress, Moscow, 1973, 432 pages.

On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet State, Progress, Moscow, 1973, 481 pages.

How Lenin wrote for the Masses, Three articles, including one from Chairman Mao Tse-tung and one from Nadezhda Krupskaya and one from VI Lenin, (New Era Books, London, 1974), 26 pages.

Marxism and the Liberation of Women, Quotations from Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, VI Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung, Union of Women for Liberation, London, n.d., mid-1970s?, 64 pages. Includes a statement of aims of the Union of Women for Liberation.

A caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism, (Moscow, Progress, 1974) 61 pages.

Marx, Engels and Lenin on the Irish Revolution, Historical reprints No. 3, Ralph Fox, Cork Workers Club, Cork, 1974, 36 pages.

Lenin on the Jewish Question, International Publishers, New York, 1974, 160 pages.

Economics and Politics in the era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, (Peking, FLP, 1975), 14 pages.

What is to be done?, FLP, Peking, 1975, 252 pages.

What is to be Done, an alternative digital version, n.p., n.d., 129 pages.

On Marx and Engels, FLP, Peking, 1975, 98 pages.

The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1975, 145 pages.

The Tasks of the Youth Leagues, (Peking, FLP, 1975), 22 pages. Speech delivered at the Third All-Russian Congress of the Russian Young Communist League, October 2nd, 1920.

Against Right Wing and Left Wing Opportunism, Against Trotskyism, Progress, Moscow, 1975, 600 pages.

On bourgeois democratic revolution, Novosti, Moscow, 1975, 135 pages.

On the Soviet State Apparatus, articles and speeches, Progress, Moscow, 1975, 447 pages.

Differences in the European Labour Movement, (Moscow, Progress, 1976), 11 pages.

One step forward, two steps back, FLP, Peking, 1976, 316 pages.

Marx, Engels, Marxism, Progress, Moscow, 8th rev. ed. 1968 [1976 printing], 515 pages. Most pages well-scanned; a small number too light but mostly legible.

Against revisionism, Progress, Moscow, 1976, 600 pages.

On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Progress, Moscow, 1976, 370 pages.

Speeches at Party Congresses, 1918-1922, Progress, Moscow, 1976, 383 pages.

On Scientific Communism, Marx, Engels and Lenin, Progress, Moscow, 1976, 537 pages.

A Great Beginning, (Peking, FLP, 1977), 32 pages. Heroism of the Workers in the Rear, ‘Communist Subbotniks’.

The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism, published in March 1913, (Peking: FLP, 1977), 18 pages.

Last letters and articles, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 70 pages.

Lenin – Selected Works, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 782 pages.

Marx, Engels, Marxism, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 180 pages.

On Dialectical Materialism, Marx, Engels and Lenin, Progress, Moscow, 1977, 422 pages.

The Woman Question, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, International Publishers, New York, 1977, 96 pages.

Lenin and National Liberation in the East, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1978, 468 pages.

Alliance of the Working Class and the Peasantry, Progress, Moscow, 1978, 447 pages.

On Literature and Art, Progress, Moscow, 1978, 335 pages.

On Trade Unions, a collection of articles and speeches, Progress, Moscow, 1978, 540 pages.

On Participation of the People in Government, a collection of articles and excerpts, Progress, Moscow, 1979, 302 pages.

On the development of heavy industry and electrification, Progress, Moscow, 1979, 203 pages.

On the Slogan for a United States of Europe. The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution, (Moscow, Progress, 1980) 29 pages. Two articles.

On the October Revolution, Novosti, Moscow, 1980, 120 pages.

Lenin versus Trotsky and his followers, (Moscow, Novosti, 1981), 127 pages. (Pages 106-107 missing.) A late Revisionist compilation of quotes from VI Lenin attacking the ‘enemies from within the Party’.

On the United States of America, a collection of articles and excerpts, Progress, Moscow, 1982, 636 pages.

On State Capitalism during the transition to Socialism, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1983, 269 pages.

On State Capitalism during the transition to Socialism – selected quotes

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, (Moscow, Progress, 1983), 127 pages.

For those who find 127 pages too much here are some selected quotes from this edition of ‘Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism’.

On Religion, (Moscow, Progress, 1984) 83 pages.

About the Younger Generation, (Moscow, Novosti, 1985) 55 pages.

Experience of the CPSU, its world significance, Progress, Moscow, 1985, 588 pages.

On Socialist Ideology and Culture, (Moscow, Progress, 1985), 223 pages.

Some selected quotes from ‘On Socialist Ideology and Culture’.

On national liberation and social emancipation, Progress, Moscow, 1986, 342 pages.

Introduction to Marx, Engels, Marxism, Progress, Moscow, 1987, 109 pages. Poor scan, some crooked pages, but fully legible.

Lenin’s ‘What Is To Be Done?’, V. P. Filatov, Progress, Moscow, 1987, 116 pages.

Materialism and empirio-criticism, Progress, Moscow, 1987, 384 pages.

On Lenin’s ‘The State and Revolution’, V. Gavrilov, (Moscow, Progress, 1988). A revisionist interpretation of one of Lenin’s most important works. 106 pages.

On Lenin’s ‘Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, I Rudakova, (Moscow, Progress, 1988). A revisionist interpretation of one of Lenin’s most important works. 106 pages.

The Civil War in France: The Paris Commune, Karl Marx and VI Lenin, International Publishers, New York, 1988, 182 pages.

Lenin’s Economic Writings, edited by Meghnad Desai, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1989, 372 pages.

Learning with Lenin, selected works on education and revolution, Derek R Ford and Curry Malott, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, 2019, 651 pages.

Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, Foreign Languages Press, Paris, 2021, 149 pages.

On the Communist Press, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung, Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), n.d., 200 pages.

The Life of VI Lenin

Leninism or Trotskyism, Grigory Zinoviev, Joseph Stalin, Lev Kamenev, originally published by the Workers’ Party of America, Daily Worker Publishing, Chicago, 1925. This version FLPH, Moscow, 1949, 75 pages.

Reminiscences of Lenin, Clara Zetkin, Modern Books, London, 1929, 78 pages.

Lenin, by R Palme Dutt, (London, Hamish Hamilton, 1933), 96 pages. A short biography by a British Communist.

Lenin on the Woman Question, Clara Zetkin, International Publishers, New York, 1934, 31 pages.

Lenin in action, the early days of Soviet power, personal reminiscences of Lenin in the Revolution of October 1917, by J Stalin and others, Martin Lawrence, London, 1934, 64 pages.

Lenin – A Biography, (London, Hutchinson, ND, early 1940’s), 204 pages. Prepared by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute, Moscow. Published by authority of ‘Soviet War News’. Issued by the Press Department of the Soviet Embassy in London. The closest to an official Soviet biography of VI Lenin available.

My Recollections of Lenin, Klara Zetkin, FLPH, Moscow, 1956, 92 pages.

Reminiscences of Lenin, NK Krupskaya, FLPH, Moscow, 1959, 570 pages.

Pages from Lenin’s life, L Fotieva, FLPH, Moscow, 1960, 220 pages.

VI. Lenin – a Short Biography, translated into English from the 6th Russian edition prepared by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, CC of the CPSU, 1968. Progress, Moscow, 4th revised edition 1969, 234 pages.

They Knew Lenin, reminiscences of foreign contemporaries, Progress, Moscow, 1968, 287 pages.

Lenin and the Revolution in the East, Novosti, Moscow, 1969, 120 pages.

Lenin through the eyes of the world, letters and comments from abroad, Progress, Moscow, 1969, 184 pages.

Leninist Standards of Party Life, I Pronin and M Stepichev, Progress, Moscow, 1969, 146 pages.

Fine Drawings of Lenin, a collection published by the Communist Party of Germany on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lenin (1970). 12 pages (missing two drawings).

Lenin as head of government, V Drobizhev, Novosti, Moscow, 1970, 179 pages.

Lenin and the Russian Revolution, Christopher Hill, Penguin, London, 1971, 180 pages.

Lenin’s Teachings and Cause are Immortal, from the record of the Scientific and Theoretical Conference held in Moscow in January 1974 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Lenin’s death, Novosti, Moscow, 1974, 40 pages.

Lenin – Life and Work, by V. Zevin and G. Golikov, (Moscow, Novosti, 1975), 228 pages. A revisionist biography of VI Lenin. Second edition, 1977.

Lenin and Modern Natural Science, edited by M. E. Omelyanovsky, Progress, Moscow, 1978, 432 pages.

Lenin: Life and Works, a chronology of Lenin’s life, by Gerda and Hermann Weber, MacMillan, London, 1980, [Originally published in Munich in German in 1974], 240 pages.

Leninism and the agrarian and peasant question, Volume 1, Lenin’s agrarian programmes for the Three Russian Revolutions, Progress, Moscow, 1981, 514 pages.

Leninism and the agrarian and peasant question, Volume 2, historical experience of the CPSU in carrying out Lenin’s co-operative plan, Progress, Moscow, 1981, 597 pages.

The Central Lenin Museum, Moscow – a guide. (Moscow, Raduga, 1986), 160 pages. A guide to the now destroyed Museum dedicated to the life and work of VI Lenin.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Pages from his life, Volume 1, with reminiscences of his associates, Novosti, Moscow, 1990, 174 pages.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Pages from his life, Volume 2, The First Russian Revolution 1905-07, Novosti, Moscow, 1990, 173 pages.

On the so-called ‘Lenin Testament’. A pamphlet produced by W.B. Bland (then of the Communist League UK) of a presentation given to the Stalin Society (UK) in 1991. The ‘Lenin Testament’ was a document that was used by Trotskyites and other anti-Bolsheviks in an attempt to usurp the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik) after the death of Comrade Lenin in 1924. In an effort to maintain Party unity the document was presented to 13th Party Congress in May 1924 where it was overwhelmingly rejected as having no importance in the choice of the Party leadership, with not even Trotsky voting for it.

Compilations from the works of VI Lenin with other great Marxists

A Handbook of Marxism, with selections from the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, International Publishers, New York, 1935, 1082 pages,

Strategy and Tactics of the Proletarian Revolution, (N.Y., International, 1936), 95 pages. Consists of a series of brief extracts mostly from the works of Lenin, Stalin and from some reports of the Comintern.

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, articles and extracts from the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, compiled and arranged by V. Bystryansky and M. Mishin, ‘Readings in Leninism’ series, (NY: International, 1936), 132 pages.

Lenin and Stalin on Youth, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1940), Little Lenin Library, Volume Twenty One, 48 pages.

Lenin and Stalin on The State, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1942), Little Lenin Library, Volume Twenty Three, 48 pages.

Dialectical and Historical Materialism, edited by LL Sharkey and S Moston, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1945, 152 pages.

Selections from V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin on the National and Colonial Question, (Calcutta, 1970), 244 pages.

Selected Writings by Marx, Engels, and Lenin On Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism, International Publishers, New York, 1972, 362 pages.

K. Marx F. Engels V. Lenin On Historical Materialism – a collection, Progress, Moscow, 1972, 751 pages.

Marx, Engels and Lenin: On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, a collection of quotations, (Peking: FLP, 1975), 52 pages. (Some underlining.) This collection also appeared in Peking Review on February 28, 1975.

Marx, Engels, Lenin On Communist Society – a collection, Progress, Moscow, 1978, 157 pages.

More on the USSR

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians