Differences between Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, and Maoism

While teaching a module on the Communist Manifesto (and the Manifesto alone), a student of mine admitted to struggle with different forms of Marxism. Though I am not an expert on these, being schooled in Marxism only, it became apparent that I should perhaps have a somewhat rudimentary knowledge of what the differences are in order to satisfy different interests. At the same time, there are many forms of Marxism – so to enumerate all […]

A paradox of capitalism in form of a joke

There is this joke about a poor boy from a small village, in the beautiful surroundings of country life, fishing off the coast in his tiny boat. As the boy was fishing, a man approached him, admiring that he had already caught a couple of mid-sized fish. “How long did it take you to catch this many?” he asked. — “A couple of hours”, the boy replied. “Why don’t you stay longer to catch more?” he asked. […]

‘Religion is opium of the people’ paradox

There is a curious case about this much quoted passage. It is almost redundant to point out that this passage has meant for the majority of ‘Marxists’ that religion should be abolished. However, although Marx’ tone may lend to this view, he was also aware of the difficulties inherent to this ‘wish’. In order to understand Marx’ intentions, some context should be provided. To start with, Marx published what was only an introduction to a […]

Death of Marxism paradox – part 1

There is an intense debate on Marxism in the academia, on the validity of Marx’ theories, on the new Left and their use of Marxism, on how much Marx there is left in neo-Marxism, and so on. This debate, it seems, is primarily in the academia – one does not find much Marxism in politics, or public debates, or even worker unions. Is it valid, then, to say that Marxism is dead? And not only […]

The ‘history repeats itself’ paradox – part 1

The popularized proverb ‘history repeats itself’ is somehow paradoxical. On the one hand, most if not all states in the world teach history in progressive terms (i.e. as linear); yet, majority of people actually believe that history repeats itself. How is that possible? We can put the question somewhat differently: If history repeats itself, we should be able to avoid the mistakes from the past; but we do not – and hence we say that history […]