Fundamental Problems of Marxism by Georgi Plekhanov

Mehring Books featured title
28 April 2010

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/apr2010/mehr-a28.shtml

This week Mehring Books is featuring Georgi V. Plekhanov’s last major work, Fundamental Problems of Marxism, an invaluable explanation of the Marxist method.

Plekhanov was the founder of the Russian Marxist movement. He contributed to the education of the first generation of Russian Marxists, those who led the October 1917 Russian Revolution. His theoretical writings remain of great interest to those seeking to broaden their understanding of Marxism and its intellectual history today.

In Fundamental Problems of Marxism, Plekhanov writes in a clear, direct manner. He outlines the basic trends in philosophy, showing how they shaped the thinking of Karl Marx and his close associate, Friedrich Engels. Of particular interest is Plekhanov’s assessment of the influence of the German philosophers Ludwig Feuerbach and Georg Hegel on Marx and Engels.

In subsequent chapters Plekhanov provides an exposition of the historical materialist method, using a series of examples to demonstrate the manifold ways in which social being determines social consciousness. At the same time, he argues against a mechanical conception of the relationship between the economic base and the political superstructure of society.

This book contains two appendices. The first, The Materialist Conception of History, is a reply to issues raised in a work by Italian Marxist Antonio Labriola. The second essay, The Role of the Individual in History, considers the relationship between historical necessity and human volition.

Price: $8.00 plus shipping
Pages: 190
Publisher: International Publishers
Year: 2010

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