9781784786908-max_221 more images image image image

The Communist Manifesto / The April Theses

A new beautiful edition of the Communist Manifesto, combined with Lenin’s key revolutionary tract
It was the 1917 Russian Revolution that transformed the scale of the Communist Manifesto, making it the key text for socialists everywhere. On the centenary of this upheaval, this volume pairs Marx and Engels’s most famous work with Lenin’s own revolutionary manifesto, “The April Theses,” which lifts politics from the level of everyday banalities to become an art-form.



The Communist Manifesto

“Oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

The Communist Manifesto is the most influential political text ever written—few other calls to action have stirred and changed the world. Now, in the wake of a punishing financial crisis, in a world built on regimes of permanent austerity, each rife with horrific disparities in wealth, this short book remains a reference point for those trying to understand the transformations being wrought by capitalism and its concomitant forms of exploitation.

This centenary edition includes a new introduction by Tariq Ali, contextualizing the period—the eve of the 1848 revolutions—in which Marx and Engels penned their masterpiece and argues that it desperately needs a successor.



“The April Theses”

“The chain breaks first at its weakest link.”

In Lenin’s “April Theses,” written in 1917, he presented his ten analytical maxims, outlining a programme to accelerate and complete the revolution that had begun in February of that year. Now, on the revolution’s centenary, Verso presents them here alongside Lenin’s ‘Letters from Afar’, written in exile that March and addressed to his comrades in Petrograd. In these missives, he offers advice and instruction to comrades pushing ahead with their ideals in the aftermath of the February revolution.

The introduction by Tariq Ali traces The Communist Manifesto’s influence on Lenin’s “April Theses,” the text that brought the manifesto to life and made it one of the most widely read books in history. For Lenin, writes Ali, it was the birth of imperialism, the legitimate offspring of capitalism, that signalled the end of the latter’s “progressive capacities.”

Blog

  • The Labour Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation

    The Value Controversy, published by Verso in 1981, followed a series of debates over Marx's labor theory of value that began with the publication of neo-Ricardian economist Piero Sraffa's The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (1960), and which took particular salience in socialist economic theory with the 1977 publication of Ian Steedman's Marx After Sraffa. Including contributions by Pradeep Bandyopadhyay, G.A. Cohen, Michel De Vroey, Sue Himmelweit, Geoff Hodgson, Makoto Itoh, Anwar Shaikh, Ian Steedman, Paul Sweezy, and Erik Olin Wright, the collection was designed — according to its editors — "to present a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the discussion to date." 

    G.A. Cohen's essay, reproduced below, was initially published in the Summer 1979 issue of Philosophy and Public Affairs; one year after the appearance of his Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence, a foundational document of Analytical Marxism  



    It is we who ploughed the prairies, built the
      cities where they trade,
    Dug the mines and built the workshops,
      endless miles of railroad laid,
    Now we stand outcast and starving, 'mid
      the wonders we have made . . .

    Solidarity
    , by Ralph Chaplin (to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

    This essay shows that the relationship between the labour theory of value and the concept of exploitation is one of mutual irrelevance. The labour theory of value is not a suitable basis for the charge of exploitation laid against capitalism by Marxists, and the real foundation of that charge is something much simpler which, for reasons to be stated, is widely confused with the labour theory of value.

    Continue Reading

  • Philosophy and Revolution: from Kant to Marx — an interview with Stathis Kouvelakis

    To mark the publication of La Fabrique's new edition of Philosophy and Revolution: from Kant to MarxRévolution Permanente spoke with Stathis Kouvelakis about his 2003 book. Translated by David Broder.  


    Stathis Kouvelakis, 2015. via Youtube.

    Stathis, could you introduce yourself to those who do not know you already? What is your experience as a militant?

    Stathis Kouvelakis: Since 2002 I have taught political philosophy at King’s College London, but my own university education was in France. In terms of my militant record, since my high school days I was active in the anti-capitalist radical Left in Greece and then in France. In 1981 I joined the youth organisation of what was called the Greek Communist Party "Interior," a current that subsequently participated as one of the components that founded Syriza. I also took part in Syriza’s leadership bodies between 2012 and 2015, and then left that party, together with thousands of other militants and cadres, when Alexis Tsipras shamefully capitulated to the diktat from the lenders’ Troika. Subsequently I participated in the foundation of Popular Unity — a formation I am still part of — which rallies the forces that came out of the left wing of Syriza and part of the far-Left coalition Antarsya.

    Continue Reading

  • The Landing: Fascists without Fascism

    This post first appeared at Research & Destroy.



    We can imagine a person slowly becoming aware that he is the subject of catastrophe. The form of consciousness might be likened to someone peering out the window of a plane. They have been aboard for a long time, years, decades. From cruising altitude the landscape below scrolls past evenly, somewhat abstracted. The stabilizing mechanisms of eye and brain smooth the scene. Perhaps they are somewhere above the upper midwest. Their knowledge of the miseries that have seized flyover country hovers at the periphery of a becalmed boredom. Steady hum of the jet engines, sense of stillness. Borne by prevailing winds the first balloonists detected no wind whatsoever. So this flight. Though the passengers will never travel faster than this they scarcely feel any motion at all.

    Continue Reading

Other books by Frederick Engels, V. I. Lenin, and Karl Marx Introduction by Tariq Ali