Studying Marx

Buhle, Paul

Publisher:  Insurgent Notes
Date Written:  20/05/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23440

Buhle discusses how often participants in "The Movement" were not formally educated in Marxism but rather held self-studies conducted individually and in groups.




By 1965, we have a middle class radicalism for which personal working class destiny is a stretch, if also definitely part of the basics of what the young Marxist would wish to believe. By that time and more so a few years later, radical bookstores with abundant used volumes sprung up around many campuses, in student areas, also university bookstores with left-sympathetic clerks served the same purposes: offering a larger variety of Marxists texts than ever before available, at pretty low paperback prices.

Young people, more often male than female and more often Jewish than gentile, at least in demographic terms, dug in, often learning between campus or community demonstrations. The first substantial Rosa Luxemburg anthology appeared in 1970 (it was a "Radical America Book" under the MR imprint) and this may be a good indication.

The Kerr Company and International Publishers published copies of The Communist Manifesto by the tens of thousands, mostly on assignment of college instructors. Small Marxist groups offered inexpensive pamphlets, their own versions of classics mostly not of the "theoretical" variety but sometimes rooted in factional disputes, and so on. These could be described as the salad days of the printed Marxist word, better in variety and style than even in the 1930s–40s, when the Left, at least the cp-oriented Left, had widely read magazines and active bookstores of its own.

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