What is Marxism?


  • Paul M. Sweezy
  • Harry Magdoff






How would you answer the question: What is Marxism? A young friend of ours, in that wonderful period of life when the need to understand what goes on in the world is insatiable, asked us that question the other day. She had been reading in the newspapers about recent developments in China, and the more she read the more puzzled she became. Is it true, she said, that the Chinese are abandoning Marxism because they now admit that solutions to all their problems are not to be found in the writings of Marx? Did Marx really try to give answers to all the problems of the world, not only of his own time but for all time to come? If so, she thought he must have been some kind of mystic, or maybe even a crackpot. And how about the Chinese slogan "Learn truth from facts"? Was that what Marx taught about the way to get knowledge (truth and knowledge to her were the same thing)?

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