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Reading list

The aim of this reading list is to condense as much as possible into a short, accessible list which ticket holders can use to prepare in the runup to the event. We have collected ten articles and texts which, when combined, will be useful for every session. Reading groups on this list will be organised in your area running up to the Revolution Festival – contact us on to find out more. 

To see more specific reading for each session, head to the talks page and click through the links in the session titles. 

Marxism 101 sessions

The discussions for the Marxism 101 sessions will be organised in a ‘break out room’ style. We recommend that those new to the ideas of Marxism attend these sessions, and politically prepare to participate in the break-out rooms. This will give you an opportunity to participate in a serious political discussion, ask questions and voice your thoughts without the intimidation factor of having to do so in front of 100+ people for the first time! The best way to prepare for all three of our discussions is to read What is Marxism , available online here or from our bookshop.

These shorter introductory articles for each talk should be read by anyone planning to attend these sessions.

Marxism 101 discussion questions


1. Why does the working class need a philosophy?
2. Is ‘common sense’ a philosophy?
3. What is materialism?
4. What is idealism?
5. How would you define dialectics?
6. What is formal logic?
7. Does a pound of sugar equal a pound of sugar?
8. Why do workers sometimes accept major attacks on their terms and conditions, then strike over some ‘small’ incident?
9. Was the First World War caused by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand? What is the role of accident in history?
10. Why can it be said that nature is the proof of dialectics?


1. How did the Marxist theory of history develop?
2. Why is Marxist history ‘materialist’? What do we mean by ‘productive forces’?
3. Are we naturally selfish beings?
4. What do we mean by ‘class’?
5. What is the state?
6. What were the tasks of the bourgeois revolutions?
7. How does the proletarian revolution differ from bourgeois revolutions?
8. How does human consciousness change?
9. Do we have free will?
10. How can we change history?


1. What is a commodity?
2. Explain the difference between use-value and exchange-value.
3. Explain the labour theory of value. How did Marx develop upon it?
4. What is socially necessary labour time?
5. What governs the price of commodities?
6. How do labour-power and wages correlate?
7. Where does surplus value come from, and why can’t it arise from the circulation of capital?
8. What is the fundamental cause of capitalist crisis?
9. How does the class struggle relate to Marxist economics?
10. How would a socialist planned economy function?