Wednesday August 20th, 2014, 2:32 pm (EDT)

Three Essays on Marxism

Leading Principles of Marxism, Introduction to Capital, Why I Am a Marxist

Three Essays on Marxism
Paperback, 76 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-85345-292-8

Released: 1971

Price: $15

These three essays by the independent German Marxist Karl Korsch offer expositions, often in polemical form, of basic Marxist ideas. Since they cover both sociology and economics, they are excellent guides for the student on the most introductory, though not the most elementary, level. The first essay, “Leading Principles of Marxism,” takes up Marxism on the plane of sociology and deals with the relation of Marxism to Comte and positivism, and to bourgeois sociology in general. The second, his introduction to the 1932 German edition of Capital, consists of an assessment of the work in human thought and an important reader’s guide to Volume I. The third, “Why I Am a Marxist,” is a polemic against various distortions in Marxism and an affirmation of the revolutionary, as against the academic, character of Marxism.

Karl Korsch (1886-1961) was strongly influenced in his youth by the syndicalist movement and later joined the Fabian Society. After the First World War he became a lecturer at Jena University and a member of the Communist Party. In subsequent years he was editor of the party’s theoretical journal and a Communist deputy to the Reichstag, but was expelled in 1926. He left Germany in 1933 for the United States, where he taught at Tulane University and worked with the International Institute for Social Research in New York.