Dialectical Materialism

Discussions on Communist Part of India (Maoist) (formerly People's War Group) and its operations in Andhra Pradesh
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Postby Anand » August 29th, 2005, 12:05 pm

I have read only some popular books about Marxism written generally by independent observers. Two which I found readable are: Robert Heilbronner's "The Worldly Philosophers" (Simon and Scuster, 7th Edition 1999). The chaper on Marx contains an easy discussion of dialectic materialism in the social and economic context without any metaphysics (see pages 144-146). Marx's application of this an idealized version of capitalism is described in pages 155-161. Some of Marx's predictions about boom bust cycle in caiptalism and other matters are described on page 164.

A more critical study is Edmund Wilson's "To the Finland Station" (First published in 1940 and republished with a new introduction in 1971 by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York). See particularly the section 15 of part 2 with the title "Karl Marx:Poet of Commodities and Dictator of the Proletariat". There is a critique of the theory of "Surplus Value" on pages 346-347, and Marx's theory of the collapse of capitalism is described on pages 372-373.
Apparently, Marx's analysis was mainly meant for Western europe and when some Russians enquired about the application of his idas to Russian Society, he was somewhat at a loss; see pages 408-410 of Wilson's book.

There is another popular book written in the 30's by a Marxist Leo Huberman called "Man's Worldly Goods". This is very readable, but I read it 20 years ago and have forgotten. It is still published by many leftist publishers. Later parts of the book are supposed to be favourable to Stalinism.

Some of the more complex current theories are in "The Truth About Markets" by John Kay (Penguin 2003). The website of Brad De Long (http://econ161.Berkeley,edu/) has many notes on Marxism and Indian Economics.

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Postby venkateswarlu » September 1st, 2005, 8:03 am

There are no good concise books on this subject in telugu. I urge all friends to provide a plan to generate such a product.
Understanding Dialectical Materialism is the Key to changing the World

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Postby Anand » September 1st, 2005, 10:19 am

Sri venkateswarlu wrote that there are no concise books on dialectical materialism and such matters in Telugu. I am surprised. In July, I visited Navodaya Book Shop in Kachiguda (in the Lane opposite to Aryasamaj) and found that they have some books in telugu on globalization and NGOs. That may be a good place to try first. Opposite, there is Prachee Publications, and the publisher P.P.C.Joshi seems to know a lot of published books in telugu. I got a list of childrens' books in Telugu and also a list of science books in telugu up to 1972. That is another good place to enquire. There is journal "Veekhanam" edited by N.venugopal and published by V.Hanumantha Rao,301 Mythri Residency, 3-6-394, Road No. 3, Mimayat Nagar, Hyderabad-500 029 (Phone number 5584 3495) which has articles in Telugu on economic ans social matters. I think there is an associated centre CDRC for documentation and research. I understand that this group are making efforts to write on these issues in Telugu. there is of course Sundarayya library. I am not saying that there are good books in telugu on these matters, but these would be good places to try if you are in Hyderabad.

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