Best products from r/socialism

We found 68 comments on r/socialism discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 488 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

TLDR: the best products according to r/socialism

1. Marx for Beginners

Marx for Beginners
  • Pantheon Books
▼ Read Reddit mentions

Top comments mentioning products on r/socialism:

u/macshot7m · 8 pointsr/socialism

yes, but who built the machines? this is why marx says that capitalists fetishize technological innovation.

yes, the idea is that labor is the only commodity available in the market which produces surplus value. Value, in marx, is defined as 'socially necessary labor time.' one should never lose sight of this definition and confuse value with either the money form of capital or which capital sui generis.

also, let us look at the reason why machines do not produce (absolute) surplus value, but only relative surplus value. machines, again, are commodities and as such are available to the market (or at least portions of it). Let us assume a certain business invests in a $25,000 machine which will eliminate several jobs, saving the company $50,000 a year. wow, thats really great, now the company can be more competitive with their pricing or, at the very least, will have a greater surplus this year. but what happens when this company's competitors start investing in these similar machines, and start undercutting our hypothetical company's profit margin. well now we see that the surplus value that the machine created was really only relative to that singular company. over time, as the machine or technological solution (or new organizational structure, or new process, or new space....) becomes the norm of the industry, the surplus value diminishes and it becomes an assumed cost of doing business.

marx again is making a class or macro-economic argument here: he does not care too much about singular capitalists making larger profits (he does in the sense that they are useful for his data on capitalists society), he is concerned with how a class of persons is able to exploit another class. within the capitalist class, yes, some are able to gain a better competitive advantage over other capitalists by being the first to utilize the latest technological achievement; however, that advantage will either spread to the entire industry as a commonplace necessity, or the company will begin to monopolize the industry.

labor as a surplus value producing commodity is useful for the entire capital class over the working class. it is the law of economics in general that labor must produce and it is the only thing capable of turning raw (or semi-raw) materials into use values. it is the law of capitalism that to produce a profit one must hire workers at a salary less than the sum of your revenue.

i would suggest reading some david harvey. he is a contemporary and really does a fantastic job at explaining marxism for the 21st century. i suggest either a companion to marx's capital vol i or the enigma of capital. the former address your question specifically in chapter 6 'relative surplus value'.

let me know if any of this is unclear or if you would like to discuss further. cheers and happy new year comrade.

u/StandupPhilosopher · 1 pointr/socialism

> That's called capitalism. The owners of each firm are capitalists - they are investing their capital in order to maximize their profits.

One of the central tenets of any type of socialism --and I'd argue that its the primary one-- is worker control of the means of production, whether this is via the state, worker cooperatives, trade unions or in common by all of society. Whether this is done is a market economy or not is irrelevant to calling it socialism.

"The market" is just a mechanism, and neither intrinsically socialist nor capitalist. Socialism and capitalism primarily ask the question: "WHO owns the means of production?" That's it.

> Imagine a factory in your scenario that produces dialysis machines. Since they are a for-profit firm, and earn profits on each machine they sell, they will only provide their machines to sick and dying people who have the money to pay up.
According to you, this is "socialism".

Except in my scenario, the state would provide universal healthcare (including dialysis machines, catheters, medical butt plugs, etc) to all its citizens, making your point moot.

> Everyone is a worker. If the workers never truly cared about profits, how do you explain the widespread existence of capitalism?

I really hate to putting things this bluntly, but from what you're telling me, you know absolutely jack about socialism. Think I'm wrong? You currently have NO positive comment karma in this entire thread. Why is that? Hell, you've even managed to go below the comment threshold.

Prove to me that, under capitalism, workers generally care how much profit the company pulls in. Workers care about keeping their jobs, their benefits, and getting regular raises. Beyond that, why should they care?

Capitalism's "widespread existence" is attributed to many factors, including capitalism's intrinsic greed and need for a workforce, workers' need to not starve to death, the base's influence on the superstructure and the superstructure's subsequent influence on the base, etc.

> Then why do so many people buy lottery tickets, or spend years getting an education in order to earn more money?

Jesus. Because in modern society, especially in America, only wealth can bring a dignified existence (which I define to mean an existence in which one has their needs met to the point where one is free to maximize their personal potential). There are few good social safety nets, and so in order to not live like a glorified rat, a large income is required. Under socialism, workers would own the means of production and get a larger slice of the pie, larger benefits, a large safety net, etc (under a market economy) or have all of their needs met under a non-profit, "use-value" economy (under "regular" socialism).

> Unbelievable. How the hell can you possibly believe that what you are describing has anything whatsoever to do with socialism.

I can possibly believe that what I am describing has anything to do with socialism because I've actually read about socialism! (I especially like the selective editing, in which you declined to include my explanation that goes much more in-depth than just "Let's hope so".)

You, on the other hand, sound like you haven't read anything on the topic short of some Rage Against the Machine lyrics. That being said, here's some recommended introductory texts:

Marx for Beginners -- an excellent book that does a great job of distilling Marx's philosophical, economic, and revolutionary aspects into an easy-to-digest format.


Types of socialism

Market Socialism

Socialist Economics

I sincerely and genuinely hope that you'll check out the above links. You're a bit confused about some of the definitions, and educating yourself a bit more on the topic can only benefit you.

u/StarTrackFan · 1 pointr/socialism

In addition to seconding Qwill2's suggestion of the Harvey lectures, I'd also suggest reading Marx's Preface to the Critique of Political Economy it's incredibly short and is a good very first introduction to Marx, I think.

As a really simple introduction, you should look into getting Marx's Kapital for Beginners. It's made in the same style as "Marx For Beginners" by Rius which is linked to in this subreddit's sidebar. It's basically like a comic book documentary. It might seem silly but it's actually a very effective way of communicating the basics and I think serves as a great introduction. It's also pretty cheap to get used.

If you're looking for more substantial books to help you read it, I'd actually suggest David Harvey's Companion to Marx's Capital which has a lot of the same content as his lectures, but some additional info and has the added bonus of being text that you can make notes on, refer back to etc. I used it and found it very helpful.

I'd also suggest checking out Brenden McCooney's Law of Value Series as well as all his other videos which do a great job of presenting not only Marx's ideas but some ideas of later Marxists in a very accessible way.

Also, Ernest Mandel's Introduction to Marxist Economic theory is a popular resource. You can read reviews of that here.

Edit: I agree with Ksan's advice too.

u/Lord_Blathoxi · 1 pointr/socialism

You really don't understand how this works, do you?

Here's a good primer for you.

>"Nonviolence is fine as long as it works," Malcolm X once said. Recently, Columbia University Press published an extraordinary scholarly book that proves how nonviolence works far better as a method for social change than violence. This breakthrough book demonstrates that Gandhi was right, that the method of nonviolent resistance as a way to social change usually leads to a more lasting peace while violence usually fails.

>Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan uses graphs, charts, sociological research and statistical analysis to show how in the last century, nonviolent movements were far better at mobilizing supporters, resisting regime crackdowns, creating new initiatives, defeating repressive regimes and establishing lasting democracies. Their evidence points to the conclusion that nonviolent resistance is more effective than armed resistance in overturning oppressive and repressive regimes and in leading to more democratic societies.

>This report should cause the whole world to stop in its tracks and take up nonviolent conflict resolution and nonviolent resistance to injustice instead of the tired, old, obsolete methods of war and violence.

>Why Civil Resistance Works is the first systematic study of its kind and takes us well beyond the research of Gene Sharp and others to demonstrate once and for all the power of nonviolent civil resistance for positive social change. Anyone interested in the methodology of nonviolent conflict resolution should get this book and study it. Indeed, one wishes the State Department and the government would learn its lessons, renounce its violence and start supporting nonviolent, people-power movements.

>For more than a century, from 1900 to 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were "more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals," the authors conclude. By attracting widespread popular support through protests, boycotts, civil disobedience and other forms of nonviolent noncooperation, these campaigns broke repressive regimes and brought major new changes for justice and peace. Much of the book focuses on four case studies to explain their conclusions: the Iranian revolution of 1977-1979; the first Palestinian Intifada of 1987-92; the Philippines People Power revolution of 1983-1986; and the Burmese uprising of 1988-90.

>Through their statistical analysis, the authors found that nonviolent resistance presents "fewer obstacles to moral and physical involvement and commitment, and that higher levels of participation contribute to enhanced resilience, greater opportunities for tactical innovation and civic disruption (and therefore less incentive for a regime to maintain its status quo), and shifts in loyalty among opponents' supporters, including members of the military establishment."

>Contrary to popular belief, "violent insurgency is rarely justifiable on strategic grounds," they write. "Nonviolent resistance ushers in more durable and internally peaceful democracies, which are less likely to regress into civil war."

>"We analyze 323 violent and nonviolent resistance campaigns between 1990 and 2006," the authors explain in their introduction.

>Among them are over one hundred major nonviolent campaigns since 1900, whose frequency has increased over time. In addition to their growing frequency, the success rates of nonviolent campaigns have increased. How does this compare with violent insurgencies? One might assume that the success rates may have increased among both nonviolent and violent insurgencies. But in our data, we find the opposite: although they persist, the success rates of violent insurgencies have declined. The most striking finding is that between 1900 and 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as their violent counterparts. Among the 323 campaigns in the case of anti-regime resistance campaigns, the use of a nonviolent strategy has greatly enhanced the likelihood of success… This book investigates the reasons why—in spite of conventional wisdom to the contrary—civil resistance campaigns have been so effective compared with their violent counterparts.

>While only one in four violent campaigns succeed, about three out of four nonviolent campaigns succeed, they report. "We argue that nonviolent campaigns fail to achieve their objectives when they are unable to overcome the challenge of participation, when they fail to recruit a robust, diverse, and broad-based membership that can erode the power base of the adversary and maintain resilience in the face of repression."

>The evidence of their research points to the superiority of nonviolent resistance at every level, including against genocidal regimes. "The claim that nonviolent resistance could never work against genocidal foes like Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin is the classic straw man put forward to demonstrate the inherent limitations of this form of struggle," they note.

>While it is possible that nonviolent resistance could not be used effectively once genocide has broken out in full force, this claim is not backed by any strong empirical evidence. Collective nonviolent struggle was not used with any strategic forethought during World War II, nor was it ever contemplated as an overall strategy for resisting the Nazis. Violent resistance, which some groups attempted for ending Nazi occupation, was also an abject failure. However, scholars have found that certain forms of collective nonviolent resistance were, in fact, occasionally successful in resisting Hitler's occupation policies. The case of the Danish population's resistance to German occupation is an example of partially effective civil resistance in an extremely difficult environment.

>The famous case of the Rosenstrasse protests, when German women of Aryan descent stood for a week outside a detention center on the Rosenstrasse in Berlin demanding the release of their Jewish husbands, who were on the verge of being deported to concentration camps, is a further example of limited gains against a genocidal regime brought about by civil resistance. The German women, whose numbers increased as the protests continued and they attracted more attention, were sufficiently disruptive with their sustained nonviolent protests that the Nazi officials eventually released their Jewish husbands…The notion that nonviolent action can be successful only if the adversary does not use violent repression is neither theoretically nor historically substantiated.

>These studies "call for scholars to rethink power and its sources in any given society or polity," the authors suggest. "Our findings demonstrate that power actually depends on the consent of the civilian population, consent that can be withdrawn and reassigned to more legitimate or more compelling parties ... We hope that this book challenges the conventional wisdom concerning the effectiveness of nonviolent struggle and encourages scholars and policy makers to take seriously the role that civilians play in actively prosecuting conflict without resorting to violence."

>I have long believed that Gandhi -- and Jesus -- were right to insist on the method of nonviolent resistance for both moral and practical reasons, but now the facts are in. The evidence is all laid out in this scholarly report.

>The book went to press just as the revolutions of the Arab Spring were beginning. "If these last several months have taught us anything, it is that nonviolent resistance can be a near-unstoppable force for change in our world, even in the most unlikely circumstances." This book is a great resource for those of us who teach and advocate peace and nonviolence. More, it is a source of hope proving the ancient wisdom that mobilized nonviolent resistance is the best weapon for peaceful change. May it be taught far and wide and inspire many more to join the grassroots nonviolent movements for a new world of justice and peace.

u/emnot3 · 10 pointsr/socialism

As /u/t8nlink has already suggested but what I think is worth reiterating is using /r/communism101, which will likely become the most important sub to you for learning about socialism and communism.

In my opinion, the best start to Marxian economics is Kapitalism101's Law of Value series on YouTube. These videos are highly accessible, easy to understand, and fun (at least compared to other resources of Marxist knowledge). /u/audiored has linked to Kapitalism101's WordPress blog, which is an essential supplement to the videos.

/u/Moontouch has linked to Richard Wolff's Introduction to Marxism series on YouTube - you should check it out.

You should probably also look over the Welcome to Socialism page on the /r/socialism wiki, as well as the Suggested Readings.

Eventually, you're going to want to read Das Kapital. If you want to read it as a .pdf, here's the link to the file, but if you prefer a hard copy, I recommend the Penguin Classics edition. But don't feel at all pressured to read it just yet - it is a very dense work.

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a PM anytime. I'm pretty busy most of the time, but I'll make sure to set some time aside.

u/cometparty · 1 pointr/socialism

> I don't think it's a mindset, so much as a reality.

It's both a reality and a mindset. It's kind of hard to explain, but in jurisprudence (specifically legal positivism) there is what's called an internal aspect of law and an external aspect of law. That's why this book is so brilliant. And almost incomprehensibly poignant. It's crazy that I read the books that I read in the order that I read them so that this is even clear to me. It's somewhat of an epiphany for me. A synopsis would be that the internal aspect of law is a perspective of endorsing the established order whereas the external aspect of law is only a perspective of recognizing that the established order exists. Marjorie Kelly describes it as not being able to distinguish between normative laws and natural laws. (Read this short 3 page chapter on it, if you're interested.)

In feudal times people perceived the hierarchy of their system as being natural and right and/or unavoidable. This was called the divine right of kings. What she's saying is that businesses are feudal in nature and we, for the most part, see the hierarchy of the system as being natural and right and/or unavoidable. They are pre-democratic institutions, just like the medieval state. This internal aspect of the law is what's keeping the system of corporate aristocracy/feudalism in place. This she calls the divine right of capital. So, for socialists, we need to take note of what was done to overthrow monarchy and apply that to capitalism.

> That is, I doubt workers and people in the middle class believe that only the super-rich should have a say.

But they do. They have this kind of quiet endorsement of the divine right of capital. If they start a business one day, they, through the amorphous concept of ownership, see themselves as having the right to all production that results, short of what the state mandates they pay in wages.

> But the class you are in highly correlates with the wealth you have. And it doesn't divide us; it divides them (the super wealthy who control everything) from us (who have no say whatsoever in what happens). This division exists and is the product of capitalism. We should be pointing it out every chance we get.

No. To repeat what I said to amember, the wealthist concept of class is often the impetus behind the induction of individuals into the hierarchist/capitalist system. Removing wealth from class distinctions re-defines the concept of class altogether and re-draws it along purely behavioral lines. The rich become low class (for reasons of their poor moral character).

u/JayRaow · 3 pointsr/socialism

There are a couple of good textbooks I am aware of:

The links to Gouverneur's textbook are here

You may also want to check out Wolff's own textbook authored with Stephen Resnick, entitled Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical. (If you want to have a look through it I'm pretty sure the pdf is on Apparently he is a publishing an updated edition sometime this year, but I am yet to see any details of that happening.

Also, you've probably heard this many times before, but if you want to get into Marxian economics, I highly suggest you start out by purchasing a copy of Vol. 1 of Capital and going through it alongside David Harvey's lecture series which is also invaluable (everyone on /r/socialism probably knows Harvey but i'm not sure if they're all aware of his lectures). ALSO You would probably like to grab A Companion to Marx's Capital - It's probably the most recent and thorough introduction to capital you could ask for and goes great with the lectures if you want more detail.

While I'm on a role here, you would probably benefit from reading The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism, Harvey has a great interpretation of the "GFC" and goes through a great overview of how capital works.

Other than that I highly suggest you watch Kapitalism101's bibliography videos here. I've found his knowledge and extensive bibliography of recommendations of Marxian economics books extremely invaluable.

u/arjun10 · 3 pointsr/socialism

You might get some people here to read your manuscript, but its generally a lost cause to get visibility for personal writing unless you already have a reputation for good writing.

Anyways, I'll just recommend you some additional reading on socialism. Be sure to check out the suggested readings list from the sidebar, and in particular these two that I recommend:

  • Albert Einstein's Why Socialism?
  • Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man Under Socialism

    Also, if you are up for some really heavy, but really well written books, I can't recommend Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction enough. The book is a brilliant narrative that shatters all illusions one might have about the monolithic/simplistic nature of Marxism and socialism, as well as the centrality of European philosophy and ideology in the grander schemes of the world. I think its a fantastic book to lay bare the complexities of ideology, the role that capitalism and colonialism have played in shaping the modern world, and the way that theory mixes with practice in the context of the anti-colonial struggles.
u/geargirl · 3 pointsr/socialism

The first and hardest concept to grasp is that socialism is only an economic system. It is often conflated with the political system, communism, but both are very broad. Wikipedia's article is actually very good for an overview.

The question that neturally arises from an overview of socialism is, "well, how would we implement this so we can enjoy [insert level of quality of life]?" And that is a very involved discussion.

I've also found that Michael Harrington's Socialism: Past and Future to be a good read, but I'm sure there are others here that could recommend better books.

u/IllusiveObserver · 29 pointsr/socialism

The issue of female liberation in relation to socialism has been written about since the first conceptions of the idea of socialism; Frederick Engels, Karl Marx's colleague, wrote about it in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. That's the introduction to socialist feminism as a whole, and the main work of Marxist feminism.

There is a bit of a debate about the role feminism plays as an individual struggle. Some socialists believe that by abolishing capitalism the feminist issues will be solved, so it does not have to be attended to as its own individual issue. When the USSR formed, that certainly wasn't the case; while there were many great strides forward there were also setbacks. When females proposed a restructuring of the traditional familial structure, and proposed changes to the role of women in households, there was political backlash. Alongside this, feminist groups outside of the established government group were not allowed. Subsequently the USSR restricted abortion and divorce. The manifestations of feminism in Leninist countries is a huge topic. There have been different experiences in Cuba and the People's Republic of China.

This book is a nice introduction to socialism. It covers socialism's beginnings in the 18th century, how it developed during the 20th century, the role that ecological issues and feminist issues play a role in its theory, and the future of socialism. It covers most of its important figures through two centuries.

The book doesn't do enough justice to the Anarchist movement and its feminist leaders however. This is relevant particularly because of the abolition of hierarchy that Anarchists want, and the continuation of many patriarchal and hierarchical structures in many 20th century socialist countries. In this respect, learning about the female liberation movement of Anarchist Spain during the 30's would interesting. Here is a movie about the role of women during that movement. You should do a bit of reading about the context before you dive right in though.

So with that, I'll leave you with the works of Alexandra Kollantai, the first director of the women's department of the USSR, and Emma Goldman, who is probably the most prominent female Anarchist from the US. By reading the book I recommended above, you'll learn much more about feminist figures within the socialist movement.

You should take a look at the communism, anarchism, and feminism subreddits. The anarchism and communism subreddits have an unbelievable amount of resources on their sidebars, and I'm sure it will be of some use to you.

Put plainly though, most socialists that don't see the use of feminist struggles outside of socialist struggles aren't respected on this subreddit. I know a bit about how you feel being a minority within socialists groups; while I'm a male, I'm black and most socialist gatherings I've been to are white. It's still something I don't know how to feel about to be honest. I've still much to learn.

u/overlordRush · 2 pointsr/socialism

[here]( I, Chapter 1) is book one, and you can find book 2,3 on that site as well. there are also free audiobooks of Capital here. Happy reading and good luck!

Edit: you can find the hard copy on amazon but getting all 3 books are going to cost you around $40 + shipping, but you should be a good Marxist and read them online for free.

u/play_a_record · 1 pointr/socialism

Michael Harrington's Socialism: Past and Future is an excellent primer (though it assumes some familiarity with the topic and players at hand). I don't know that there can be a "best" book on socialism, but that's generally what I recommend to friends.

Harrington isn't primarily concerned with picking apart capitalism here, and it won't serve as a refutation of Friedman if that's what you're looking for -- it stays basically within the bounds of what the title suggests -- but it's a well-written, valuable read nevertheless.

u/EbDim9 · 1 pointr/socialism

Although I can't think of any free articles or videos off the top of my head, this is a nice, short book that covers a lot of what you have questions about. Cohen is an amazingly clear writer, and while it is certainly not comprehensive, it will give you a good overview of the issues, and some further places to start looking for these answers.

u/GruntingTomato · 1 pointr/socialism

Richard Wolff's "Contending Economic Theories" would probably be a better start. It compares the three major economic schools, neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian, and studies each economic model in depth. It even gives the mathematical models used by economists in each school (but in no way is it math heavy at all). After it looks into each school in depth it analyzes late neoclassical thought, oscillations in the systems, and some of the philosophical premises behind each system. Wolff is a prominent Marxian economist, and the book undoubtedly spends the most time with and favors Marxian economics, but it's a great source to gain an extensive knowledge of each system.

u/A_pfankuchen_Krater · 4 pointsr/socialism

There are many threads similar to this one, you might want to search for them in addition to what people are willing to post in this thread:

For a first intake of libertarian socialism:

"Basic Bakunin" by the UK Anarchist Federation

If you are interested in marxian tendencies of libertarian socialism:

"Theory and practice: an introduction to Marxian theory" by Root and Branch

To get more into moderate forms of socialism, where you seem to be at the moment if I look at your flair, read this:

"Why not Socialism?" by G.A. Cohen

or this:

"Why Marx was right" by Terry Eagleton

You might also be interested in one of the absolute classics of marxism:

"The Communist Manifesto" by Marx/Engels

You can find it online here

For a more "in depth" look at libertarian socialism, you can also look at Kropotkins main work:

"The Conquest of Bread" by Kropotkin

also available online on libcom

If you want a quick way to understand the revolutionary history of early 20th century Europe, you can also listen to this lecture series by left communist Lauren Goldner:

Goldner on: German Revolution, Luxemburg and Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky

Or you might be interested in socialist fiction to immerse yourself in the utopian ideas fleshed out by past and present comrades:

50 SciFi and Fantasy works every Socialist should read

To get a first impression of up-to-date marxian enonomic analysis of todays society, you can always listen to "Economic update" by Richard D. Wolff.

To further your understanding of socialism, you should also take a look at socialist feminism, maybe with this work (one click hoster!):

Liese Vogel: Marxism and the Oppression of Women /attention: new book hosted on a one click hoster ;)

To get further reading ideas and recs regarding problems like imperialism, fascism, biologism, critical psychology, materialist history etc. etc., you may want to check the Revolutionary Reading Guide

Knock yourself out, comrade!

u/somewhathungry333 · 2 pointsr/socialism


Our brains are much worse at reality and thinking than thought. Science on reasoning:

"Intended as an internal document. Good reading to understand the nature of rich democracies and the fact that the common people are not allowed to play a role."

Crisis of democracy

Manufacturing consent (book)

Protectionism for the rich and big business by state intervention, radical market interference.

Energy subsidies

Manufacturing consent:

Testing theories of representative government

Democracy Inc

For your interest:

The Citibank memo

US distribution of wealth

u/Illin_Spree · 1 pointr/socialism

Schweikart's "After Capitalism" offers a critique of capitalism, arguments why socialism would do better, and a practical vision of how we might take concrete steps toward socialism. It is written with activists in mind and doesn't require alot of background knowledge.

Harrington's "Socialism Past and Future" is an outstanding historical and theoretical discussion of how socialists have interpreted 'socialism' and what the future of 'socialism' might be.

This piece by Bakunin is a pretty good introduction to what the First International socialists believed in and were trying to bring into fruition. This was the ideology of the Commanards, prior to the division of socialism into anarchist and state socialist camps. Other pieces by Bakunin, including "God and the State", are classics and can be found in the archive below.

u/madavalt · 2 pointsr/socialism

For more advanced readers I recommend New Departures in Marxian Theory. The book is essentially a formulation of their life project. I'm currently working my way through it and I have nothing but positive things to say about it.

> Over the last twenty-five years, Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff have developed a groundbreaking interpretation of Marxian theory generally and of Marxian economics in particular. This book brings together their key contributions and underscores their different interpretations.

> In facing and trying to resolve contradictions and lapses within Marxism, the authors have confronted the basic incompatibilities among the dominant modern versions of Marxian theory, and the fact that Marxism seemed cut off from the criticisms of determinist modes of thought offered by post-structuralism and post-modernism and even by some of Marxism’s greatest theorists.

For beginners who want more than Youtube videos, I recommend their outstanding textbook Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian.

u/FrznFury · 1 pointr/socialism

No, I'm objecting to the fact that we assign the greatest currency value to the labor of those who produce the least use-value.

As for the rest, I'll tell you exactly why it matters.

Take all the imaginary currency out of the equation. Does your CEO have a useful skill that can be applied to the (actual, not financial) benefit of mankind? No? What the fuck is he being paid for, then?

A steamfitter makes a difference in the world, as does a cook, a nurse, a midwife, and a biomedical engineer. All of these people, if financial instruments were to simply cease to exist, have value and add value to the world with their labor.

That is use-value. When your labor actually serves some kind of purpose other than pissing about with money, then you create use-value.

Might I suggest an excellent book, if you would like some real understanding of the topic?

u/Adahn5 · 1 pointr/socialism

I recommend you read Thaddeus Russel's A Renegade History of the United States There's some fascinating (as well as shitty) stuff in there. He's essentially an Ancap, so take his criticisms of the left with a grain of salt. There is, however, some very good research done on the puritan's work ethic, the way we've integrated it and amalgamated it with our societal behaviour, and subsequently how we've actually always been leisurely wastrels.

u/HoneyD · 8 pointsr/socialism

I'm glad you asked! This Che manga was absolutely hilarious to read. Really goofy stuff.

This comic about Lenin was pretty cool too, though it was a lot more educational than the last one. There's also one on Marx by the same publishing company.

u/rbnc · 5 pointsr/socialism

Really, really, good. The guy isn't a big anti-Capitalism guy, but this book has 23 very good counter-arguments about certain things you will hear Capitalists say and argue. The book is written in a way that a layman such as myself can understand and he's very entertaining.

You can read the first few chapters here. I would recommend reading "There is no such thing as a free-market" - Chapter 1.

u/xNuckingFutz · 8 pointsr/socialism

I used to call people out on their preconceptions and bullshit. I tend not to anymore, unless they seem capable of seeing something from another point of view. Holding firm to your views and using facts to quash counter arguments is your best bet. If that doesn't work you need to give up, no amount of logic is going to sway them.

I also copy and paste previous comments I have made, 9/10 I can get them to fit into a counter argument and you don't get emotionally drained by typing up a response.

But if you insist on being a masochist here are my go to rebuttals....

My top three most annoying things capitalists say to me.

At number three we have the classic:

"Face it socialism failed get over it"- my go to response is this. No system is implemented overnight the transition from feudalism to capitalism wasn't spontaneous it took years of struggle for capitalism to win out. the capitalists took ground and lost ground, learned from their mistakes and eventually overcame the system that came before.

Coming in at number two:

"look how successful capitalism is compared to socialism "- you can use various arguments on this one.

  • 8 economic downturns in the past century suggest that capitalism isn't as successful as you are being led to think.
  • higher wages are a thing of the past. The computer, the ever increasing automation of production, the transferal of jobs overseas, the introduction of women into the labour force all mean that there is a huge surplus in the workforce now. These well paid jobs were only ever there because of the demand for labour, this is no longer the case
    a capitalist can pay what ever he wants as there are a 100 people waiting in line for your job.
  • when 1% of the population owns 50% of the wealth that isn't a success.
  • most of the great inventions trumpeted as huge successes of capitalism are due to huge funding from the government. Huge advancements made in technology are down to public funding, capitalists hate risk the only way to get them to innovate is to make sure it's not their money being spent. The internet, the algorithm Google uses etc were all created using government funds. Read this book and you will have plenty of counter arguments

    And finally, you guessed it folks, number one:

    "why do you want to take all my stuff and put me in a gulag"

    If you can manage to unroll your eyes a direct quote of what socialism actually is, is a good start.

u/thouliha · 3 pointsr/socialism

here's the content of the gist:

Credit to /u/gab91, /r/socialism, /r/socialism_101, /r/communism101 :

Socialism is an economic and social system defined by social ownership of the means of production. (Workers democratically own and operate the places in which they work, as opposed to private control of production aka capitalism)

The means of production are non-human inputs that create economic value, such as factories, workplaces, industrial machinery, etc. The means of production are the means of life. Socialists refer to the means of production as capital, or private property. Private property in the socialist context shouldn't be confused with personal property, such as your home, car, computer, and other possessions.

In a capitalist society the means of production are owned and controlled privately, by those that can afford them (the capitalist aka those with capital). Production is carried out to benefit the capitalist (production for profit). Workers are paid a wage, and receive that amount regardless of how much value they produce. Socialists call this difference the surplus, IE (value produced - wage paid). A 1983 report by England national income and expenditures found that on average, 26 minutes of every hour worked(or 43% of labor value added) by english workers across a wide range of industries went to various exploiting or unproductive groups, with workers receiving only 57% of their pre-tax productive output as wages.

Wage workers are completely dependent on selling their labor power to those in control of production in order to gain access to the necessities of life (money for food, shelter, clothing, etc). Its similarities to chattel slavery has lead many to term wage work as wage slavery, with voluntary employment being simply a false choice between one exploiter or another.

Many Marxists call the totalitarian regimes typically called socialist, as more correctly defined as State Capitalism, since production was controlled by state bureaucracies who also distributed the surplus, rather than through the democratic input of workers.

Capitalism evolved historically out of feudalism, which itself evolved out of slave societies, all three being dependent on a dominant class receiving the surplus of a subordinate class.

Communism is the highest developed stage of socialism wherein there is no state, no money, no class system. The means of production are owned by all and provide for everyone's needs. There are also presumably high levels of automation so most do not have to work.

Socialism can't exist within a capitalist system, much like capitalism can't exist within a socialist system. There is either private ownership of the means of production or there isn't. Many socialists point to directly democratic worker’s councils as an ideal way to organize production.

Past and present socialist/anarchist societies include - Revolutionary Catalonia, Anarchist Aragon, Shinmin Province in Korea/Manchuria, Free Territory of Ukraine, The Bavarian Soviet Republic, The Paris Commune, The Zapatista controlled areas of Chiapas (current day), Magonista Baja California, Shanghai People's Commune, Rojava (current day), etc

Private ownership of the means of production was established through force and private tyranny, and is only upheld through force. The state is an instrument of class domination which (in capitalist society) exercises a monopoly on violence to forcibly maintain the right to private property. The modern state developed alongside the emergent capitalist system as the bourgeoisie seized political and economic control. It arises from the irreconcilable class antagonisms that exist in society.

Socialism as an economic system is distinct from neoliberalism, as well as social democracy/Welfare state capitalism, which aims to band-aid the ills of capitalism while leaving the exploitation inherent in wage slavery intact.

Revolutionary vs Evolutionary socialism, Economic planning with labor vouchers vs. Market socialism, are a few debated topics within socialism.


Introductory videos:

3 minute intro to Marxism

10 minute intro to Karl Marx --- (Reminder for newcomers that private property refers exclusively to the means of production, not your home and other possessions which are considered personal property)

Introduction to Marxism by Professor Richard D. Wolff (absolutely essential, the best video we can show newcomers to socialism)

Socialism for Dummies by Professor Richard D. Wolff (necessary for north americans)

Against Capitalism by Jerry Cohen

Introduction to Anarchism by Noam Chomsky

Chomsky on capitalism #1

Chomsky on capitalism #2

Chomsky on american or right-libertarianism

Here is a list of some more Chomsky videos <--- Capitalist exploitation explained

Modern introductory books:

Danny Katch - Socialism…. Seriously

Paul D’Amatto - the meaning of Marxism

More books / essays:

Albert Einstein - Why Socialism?

Engels - Principles of Communism (A great glossary of socialist terms)

Engels - Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Rosa Luxemburg - Reform or Revolution

Lenin - State and Revolution

Eugene Debs - Capitalism and Socialism

Academic books on potential socialist economics, planned economies, and market socialism:

Cottrell - Towards a New Socialism

David Schweikart - After Capitalism

Socialist films:

Reds(1981), Salt of the Earth(1954), Pride(2014), Snowpiercer(2013)

u/alexgmcm · 1 pointr/socialism

A Very Short Introduction to Socialism (don't worry I'm not profiting from the gains of the global capitalist pig-dog by using a referral link as I don't know how they work :P ) is pretty good.

u/modulus · 20 pointsr/socialism

On the economic side, there's a fair amount to choose from:

u/mrxulski · 4 pointsr/socialism

>And why the hell do we keep on ignoring government ineffectiv and wasteful spending?

Who is "ignoring" this and why not "go after" wasteful spending in the private sector? Why stop there? Maybe we could establish more democratic forms of workplace management. We can hold the "private sector" more accountable if workers have unions to bargain with corporate. Unions lost bargaining power. It needs to come back in a radical way. Only socialism can do it. A revolution needs to occur.

The Hackers, a book by Walter Isaacson, details how public funding helped Google and Microsoft get established. Bill Gates stole tens of thousands of dollars of tax payer dollars to learn to code BASIC. The founders of Google stole millions of dollars worth of internet bandwidth from Stanford.Computers, the internet, and even phones have all benefited from substantial public funding.


>And of the top 88 innovations rated by R&D Magazine as the most important between 1971 and 2006, economists Fred Block and Matthew Keller have found that 77 were the beneficiaries of substantial federal research funding, particularly in early stage development.

Funny how corporations always steal from both the government and people, but then when Bernie Sanders holds them accountable, people have backlash and want to protect billionaires like Zuckerkorn.

u/xnm444 · 1 pointr/socialism

Protectionism for the rich and big business by state intervention, radical market interference.

You can be told the facts and the figures and reason to the wrong conclusion, see the science:

Testing theories of representative government

"Intended as an internal document. Good reading to understand the nature of rich democracies and the fact that the common people are not allowed to play a role."

Crisis of democracy

Some history on US imperialism by us corporations.

Energy subsidies

Interference in other states when the rich/corporations dont get their way

Manufacturing consent:

u/_NapoleonBonaparte_ · 3 pointsr/socialism

Read Imperialism by Lenin. I'm a high school student myself, I read this in about three days. Absolutely fantastic read and provides a fair introduction to the fundamental flaws of capitalism.

u/Denny_Craine · 1 pointr/socialism

there's actually a very good (and short) comic out there called Marx for Beginners which is a real basic intro to the philosophical and historical origins of Marxism (describing Hegel, and the basic ideas of historical materialism, going into how it shaped Marx's ideas on socialism), I'd recommend it highly for anyone whose just getting into socialist theory.

u/undergradgnome · 2 pointsr/socialism

The Communist Manifesto can be found free on the internet,
and this is a fundamental companion to the Das Capital, which is one of the most scathing critiques labeled against Capitalism and how it functions. I have read it multiple times, once with Das Capital itself. It is very well written.

u/arjun101 · 1 pointr/socialism

More stuff that is closer to the 21st century, and reflective analysis of more contemporary revolutionary movements and popular struggles; more stuff related to the Third World

If there is one single book I would recommend it would be this:

u/mibbkinch · 9 pointsr/socialism

Quite positive, he had good environmental policies, increased women's rights, built a system of community self-organization via the CDRs, hospitals, schools etc. were built all over the country and they had lots of public works projects, he fought against reactionary practises and powers exercised by tribal leaders, fought imperialism, established land reform, nationalized industries, literacy and vaccination cmapaigns and encouraged co-operatives. he was by no means the perfect Socialist revolutionary but he didn't seek any sort of cult of personality improved people's lives in various ways and did this under incredibly harsh conditions. A book abut him i would sugest is Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary by Ernest Harsch.

u/mcmk3 · 2 pointsr/socialism

I'd personally start with a few videos, then work your way into literature. The literature I suggest below is intentionally easy to read.

u/NonHomogenized · 1 pointr/socialism

Most of the suggestions in this thread are specifically socialism from a marxist perspective. I think you might find Socialism: Past and Future by Michael Harrington an engaging and insightful read on socialism from another perspective.

u/theCardiffGiant · 2 pointsr/socialism

I think r/socialism got a lot of newbies today from the r/bestof link.

I'm highly critical of capitalism, and as far as that goes I was very interested in this sub. Now that I see people will be downvoted and condescended to for offering an opposing viewpoint, I can't say I really plan on spending more time here. Shame on you, r/socialism.

u/todoloco16 gave a pretty good response. My only addition to his comment is a little more subjective. I'm of the opinion that there are many forms of poverty. Determining human happiness based on GDP or GNP is an enormous oversimplification. That viewpoint certainly would assume a poor quality of life in many places where ethnographic accounts show us quite the opposite. I'm not sure if that was the case for China, but honestly I would be surprised if the average rural villager (excluding factors such as war) was happier than her grandfather. If someone is more informed than myself on early 20th century China, please jump in.

I base some of these opinions on Harvey's Brief History of Neoliberalism, where one chapter specifically covers the last 50 years of Chinese economics. In his view, people are suffering much greater abuses (such as working repeated short term jobs with excruciating work weeks, being promised pay, and never receiving it before a factory closes) now than when people collectively owned land and capital (which did have it's own problems, but again, they weren't pseudo slaves as in the current system).

u/Condemned-to-exile · 2 pointsr/socialism

Marx For Beginners is the closest thing I can think of that's already out there.

u/thesorrow312 · 2 pointsr/socialism

This is written by Wolin himself:

His book:

In the first clip of the youtube interview, check out how Moyers' eyebrows skyrocket when Wolin answers that he believes we do not have a democracy.

u/Rhianu · 1 pointr/socialism

It isn't just right-wing talking heads, though. In the book "Socialism: Past and Future," by Michael Harrington, there is an extensive analysis of all the different kinds of Socialism, and Michael Harrington himself acknowledges that even Socialists have difficulty defining exactly what Socialism is, and he was a Socialist.

u/OpinionGenerator · 1 pointr/socialism

Don't forget to check out Schweikart's Economic Democracy which is a form of market socialism that I think beats everything else including decentralized economies. His book, After Capitalism outlines it and is an incredible read, but if you want a general overview, check out this 10 part video where he lectures on it (the last few parts are Q&A which aren't necessary to watch, but he does address Parecon in it and if you want to skip past him attacking capitalism, skip to part 4 at about ).

u/coldnever · 1 pointr/socialism

Show them the science, their brains don't live in reality, reasoning is hard. Chomsky is great for removing your parents bullshit.

Science on reasoning, reason doesn't work the way we thought it did:

Get them to read some books, or better yet you read them and pick out the details.

The real news:

Look at the following graphs:

IMGUR link -

And then...

WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap

Free markets?

The 9 trillion dollar bank bailout

Libor scandal

"We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this “other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

In the tradition of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this culture—attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies—to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion."

Important history: