This page aims to make learning about the philosophy of Marx as easy as possible by bringing together the best articles, podcasts, and videos from across the internet onto one page. To get started, simply choose one of the resources listed below, or browse a selection of key quotes by Marx at the bottom of the page.
This section features an article from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The SEP is probably the most comprehensive online philosophy resource. It features in-depth articles on a huge number of philosophical topics, however, it is aimed at an academic audience and may be too detailed and technical for beginners.
This section features short articles written by professional philosophers and aimed at a general audience. These articles are ideal for anyone looking for a shorter or more beginner-friendly introduction to Marx than the encyclopedia article listed above.
- Who is Marx now and what can he say to the 21st century?
- How Marxism and Buddhism complement each other
The Times Literary Supplement
- What Karl Marx has to say about today’s environmental problems
- Karl Marx: ten things to read if you want to understand him
- Karl Marx at 200: why the workers’ way of knowing still matters
- Karl Marx wouldn’t agree that worker power has been killed by the 21st century
The New York Times (The Stone)
- Two centuries on, Karl Marx feels more revolutionary than ever
- Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out
This section features episodes from leading philosophy podcasts. These are also aimed at a general audience and are a good option for beginners who prefer audio content.
In Our Time
The Philosopher’s Zone
London School of Economics
Short Videos (<30 mins)
This section features short videos aimed at beginners.
BBC Radio 4
Lectures/Longer Videos (>30 mins)
This section features longer videos and lectures.
- Marx’s Theory of History
- Marx’s Theory of Capitalism
- Crisis and Openings: Introduction to Marxism – Richard D Wolff
- Marx’s Theory of Historical Materialism
This section features a selection of university course syllabi. Browsing course syllabi can be a useful way to find reading recommendations.
- Marx and Marxism – Phil 217 | Oxford University
- Marx – Phil 453 | University of Oregon
- Marxist and Post-Marxist Political Philosophy – Political Science 214 | University of California San Diego
- Introduction to Marxist Philosophy – Phil 2201 | Carleton University
- Marx and Marxism – Phil 132 | Harvard University
This section features requests for book recommendations on philosophy forums. These can also be useful to browse when trying to find reading recommendations.
- How should I start in Marx/Marxism?
- What to read before Marx and in what order should I read Marx’s work
- Where should I start reading Karl Marx theory?
- The best books on Marx and Marxism recommended by Terrell Carver
There is only so much that you can learn using free online resources. This section features books that may be useful if you’re looking to learn more about Marx. This list was created using the books featured in the course syllabi and forum recommendations above.
- Selected Writings – Karl Marx
- Why Read Marx Today? – Jonathan Wolff
- Karl Marx: A Biography – David McLellan
- The Cambridge Companion to Marx – Terrell Carver
- The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
- Capital – Karl Marx
- The German Ideology – Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
- The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 – Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
This section features online courses on Marx.
- Marx, Robert Paul Wolff Lecture 1
- Marxism lecture by Prof. Raymond Geuss 1/8
- Reading Marx’s Capital Vol I with David Harvey
This section features a selection of key quotes by Marx.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
– Theses of Feuerbach, XI
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world … It is the opium of the people.
– A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.
– A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Preface
[The worker] does not fulfil himself in his work but denies himself, has a feeling of misery rather than well-being, does not develop freely his mental and physical energies but is physically exhausted and mentally debased. The worker, therefore, feels himself at home only during his leisure time, whereas at work he feels homeless. His work is not voluntary but imposed, forced labour. It is not the satisfaction of a need, but only a means for satisfying other needs.
– Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts 1844, Estranged Labour
Marx and Engels:
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
– The Communist Manifesto, I
The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value. And in place of the numberless and feasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
– The Communist Manifesto, I
Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
– The Communist Manifesto, II
You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. … In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend. … Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation.
– The Communist Manifesto, II
It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us. According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything, do not work.
– The Communist Manifesto, II
The Daily Idea aims to make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by bringing together the best philosophy resources from across the internet. To get started, check out this organized collection of 400+ articles, podcasts, and videos on a wide range of philosophical topics.
If you’re looking for the easiest way to learn more about philosophy, sign up below to get a thought-provoking philosophical quote delivered to your inbox each day, along with links to relevant resources to help you learn more.
If you’d rather dive right in and start reading classic works of philosophy, check out my free eBook: The Philosophy Handbook: Practical Readings and Quotations on Wisdom and the Good Life. It features short, beginner-friendly readings from some of history’s greatest philosophers, including Plato, Seneca, Bertrand Russell, and more. It’s an ideal collection for anyone looking to get started learning about philosophy.