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Karl Marx books ?

Discussion in 'Book Search & Suggestions' started by arnuld, May 21, 2008.

  1. arnuld

    arnuld Member

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    I like reading about real-life things for example:

    1.) Political Structures of different countries
    2.) CIA's involvement in military Coup in Chile in 1973
    3.) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    4.) Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman


    Can anyone recommend any one of Karl Marx's best books ?
     
  2. silverseason

    silverseason New Member

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    For political structures, you can't do much better than our current book of the month, The First Circle. An earlier book, Children of the Arbat (don't remember author) also depicts the Soviet system before World War II.

    Many English novels cover the territory, especially C. P. Snow's series.

    I understand that Karl Marx is pretty much unreadable, but try The Communist Manifesto. It's short.
     
  3. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the most important book he wrote was The Communist Manifesto. It's short and a very simple read. For it's day and age, it was quite the eye opening book. I had three or four college classes that had it as part of the required reading. Luckily for me, I don't sell books back, so I got some good value out of it.:D If you want to get into the thick and heavy of Marxism and econmics, check out Das Kapital. The Grundrisse is his other work of economic density. I didn't like it so much, but if a person is inclined to economics, perhaps you'll like it as well. The book was a partial one that some how made it to print. It reads like an incomplete book as well IMHO. Enjoy!:)

    For some cool internet links, check out.....

    Marxist Internet Archive

    Another Marx archive-with other writers
     
  4. arnuld

    arnuld Member

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    Thanks for the links :) though I can't read all of them :p . I am not interested mainly in Karl Marx but rather I am interested mainly in understanding different political structures and their underlying foundations, so that I can build one for my country, INDIA. Presently, my country is too much corrupted, you can not do anything without offering some bribe and even charges are fixed for different types of domains like 300 INRs (INdian Rupee) for Driving-License, 20,000 for the Murder of a general man, 500 for not having the Registration-Certificate of the vehicle you are driving etc etc. Nearly all of the talented individuals leave India and go to some Foreign land and improve that country but I want to build a sound architecture for my own country and I know I can do that by developing some specialized skills and for that I am reading these kind of books. Political and Economical structures are the basic foundations of a country.

    BTW, My job as a Software Engineer does not leave me with much time on my hands. Anyway This is my next reading list:

    though none of them are available in my country, except Neal Stephenson and Isac Asimov, which are again very-very difficult to obtain. The only book I have found yet is, "The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) -- Neal Stephenson" , which again is not the place to start reading Neal. Here is my Non-Fiction list:


    The Communist Manifesto -- Karl Marx
    Capitalism and Freedom -- Milton Friedman
    The Social Contract -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Politics -- Aristotle
    The Wealth of Nations -- Adam Smith
    The Road to Serfdom -- F. A. Hayek
    The Constitution of Liberty -- F. A. Hayek

    The General Theory of Employment,
    Interest, and Money
    -- John Maynard Keynes

    Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy -- Joseph A. Schumpeter


    Everyone has different tastes. Do you have any recommendations or advice or addition or reduction on my 2 lists ? :rolleyes:


    I also have a Sci-Fi list:


    Isaac Asimov :
    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire

    Olaf Stapledon:
    Last and First Men and Star Maker ( 2 in 1 novel)

    Verner Vinge:
    Across Realtime
    True Names


    Robert A Heinlein:
    Time Enough For Love
    Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    Double Star


    Neal Stephenson:
    Snow Crash
    Cryptonomicon


    Tim Winton:
    Cloud Street
     
  5. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    It's admirable that you want to read the theorists themselves, but I'd recommend that you combine that with some general history of economics and politics to put them all in context (after all, people like Smith, Marx and Aristotle aren't exactly up-to-date). I don't have any particular recommendation, but most University courses publish their reading lists online.
     
  6. arnuld

    arnuld Member

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    Thanks I appreciate your words :)

    Academic texts are purely for living inside a building called college/school/university. Outside of that boundary exists real life. Every thing I have studied in my college/university has been refuted by my experience and after much though and experimentation I concluded that student life is a dream life and dreams are not real. . Same way, I don't even give a damn about motivational speakers like Shiv Khera or Zig Zigler and put themin the academic category. Real-Life is not about motivation, its about friendship, ethics , a free society and developing specialized skills and all of them need understanding and reasoning on your part which is totally contrary to present schooling and motivation. e.g I have read in my school about how UK has ruled India for 200 years but most of the facts, incidents and explanations of histories I have read in my school are completely opposite to what I found with my reasoning and even sources like wikipedia says opposite to what my school books say. If you are in USA, read: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong -- James W. Loewen . Though I have not read it but you should have a look. 2 Years ago, when I never heard of that book I was planing to write the book of same title but with one word replaced: American replaced by Indian :eek:
     
  7. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    Woah.

    You realise that most of the texts you yourself mentioned are studied at the University and can therefore be considered academic texts, right? People have been studying these things for thousands of years. Some come up with new theories, others sum up what's been said so far precisely in order to be able to apply it to the real world. A lot of that gets taught in higher education. That doesn't automatically make it false.

    And no, economic and political theory is not about friendship.
     
  8. arnuld

    arnuld Member

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    well, none of those texts are in my university's list in India and my university is among the top 4 universities of India. And many universities in developed countries do have those books and then again they do have books of excellent good authors in computer programming but then how many teach them like the way they were written, the way author wanted to learn them ? I am a software developer and I know what they teach in college about programming is just shit and I am sure you can find 3 out of 300 universities who teach quality programming. What I am doing as a programmer in my company is totally different and unrelated to what I was taught in college or what many educational institutes teach in India. It is a wastage of money, time and the youth. Most universities in USA prefer Java and someone frustrated with that wrote The Perils of Java Schools

    I said real-life, not political/economic theory. And friendship is just one of the words I use to explain the common-sense. Most high-ranking folks whether in politics or in intelligence agencies or in governments or in MNCs use people and gain resources when in fact, I think , I need to use resources and gain people.

    We can take it as far as we can but I will stop here by saying that what I am talking about is not about single job, a book or some profession or some random views of mine. I am talking about some skills and distinctions which are timeless and are very fundamental.
     
  9. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    I find it interesting that F.A. Hayek is on your list. We had a thread on here about a year and a half ago regarding the popularity of Ayn Rand in your country. Are you thinking that laissez-faire capitalism is the best fit? Or is some form of socialized capitalism more of your liking? I don't think practicality should be a disqualifying category for you to consider. All of those books are theoretical to a good degree, I know for a fact that Hayek's writings would fall into the realm of the theoretical, decidedly on the free-market side of things. Would it not be wise to have discussion regarding on what basis and whose values a nation's ecomomy should be based on and benefit?
     
  10. arnuld

    arnuld Member

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    Wikipedia tells me something about her:

    Another source of controversy is Rand's view of homosexuality. Rand stated at the Ford Hall Forum at Northeastern University in 1971, that homosexuality is "immoral" and "disgusting."[41] Specifically, she stated that "there is a psychological immorality at the root of homosexuality" because "it involves psychological flaws, corruptions, errors, or unfortunate premises."[42]

    Thats really bullshit. Gays existed even thousands of years ago when there was no TV or not even her grandfather. That reminds of one sentence someone once said: First they came for jews.

    I could comment further but this is really going OT. so I stop :rolleyes:
     
  11. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    To be quite honest, I am not all that familiar with Rand's view on homosexuality. I'm surprised by it as she is one who disdains "collectivism" and anti-homosexuality is housed in religious belief. Here is a more seletive article to ponder.

    In essence, her popularity in certain nations is due to socialized, bureaucratic governments that are largely unresponsive. Her views also resonate well in places where "mystical" or religious forces oppress the economy and don't let the "invisible hand of the economy"(i.e.-the market) determine what should or should not exist in a given society. In her mind, a "selfish" capitalist who is out to make as much money as he/she possibly can should be allowed to do so, without "collective" oppression in the form of government or religion.
     
  12. bookishwormish

    bookishwormish New Member

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    There is a Marx biography by a man called Weehan, I think. It is brilliant.
     
  13. Sybarite

    Sybarite New Member

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    The biography of Marx is by Francis Wheen and yes, it is very good.

    Of the books themselves, The Communist Manifesto is easy to read. Capital, Vol I is harder, but repays the effort, since it really does present the theory of the economic relationships between the classes, and as such, it's still valid today.

    You might also appreciate Engel's The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, which still upsets conservatives and some religious individuals, since it describes how what we know as the 'traditional' family unit came into being and why.
     
  14. arnuld

    arnuld Member

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    Thanks for this book, seems exactly like the one I want to read and understand. Thanks again :eek:
     

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