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✪ Welcome to The Communist Bloc's Official Book Club! ✪

LinkTCB Discord | LinkTCB Forums | TCB Constitution | Leftist Resources

You can join us every month as we read one piece of leftist theory and one other piece of literature from another genre.

We will host discussions on the RMB so you can talk with fellow comrades on what you've read.

For questions or to be added to the contact list, please contact Information of the Communist Bloc

Current Reading List

Leftist: LinkThe Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism by Vladimir Lenin

Other: LinkKing Pest by Edgar Allen Poe.

  1. 5

    TCB Book Club Announcement (December 2021)

    BulletinNews by The communist blocs book club . 44 reads.

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The communist blocs book club

I figured it was time to get some of the ~structured conversations~ I promised going now that it's almost the end of the month. I really appreciate that people have been talking about these readings so far, and feel free to keep asking your own questions and talking about what you took from Engels' writing and the Owen poem

Some of this has already come up, but here are some questions I'd be interested in hearing your opinions on:

  • What parts of Principles stuck out to you as most relevant to your life/the state of the world?

  • Was there anything you found difficult to relate to or antiquated?

  • Section 15 asks, "Was not the abolition of private property possible at an earlier time?" Engels' definitive answer is, "No." Do you agree? And is this still true? Has everything that's happened since then also been necessary?

  • This especially goes for those of you who are not a Marxist(-Leninist): How do you feel about Engels' assertion that peaceful transition is not realistic? What about the idea that the transition to communism will be a gradual one? And Section 24 on the different types of socialists?

  • Does the revolution in Engels' mind differ from the successful communist revolutions throughout history?

via The Communist Bloc

The Proletarian rule of AJ Empire

The communist blocs book club wrote: questions

I am just a beginner so sorry if I get my answers wrong.
1) I guess the book has clearly shown the current day to day situation of proletarians. Engels had predicted years ago what it would be like being worker. His line in the summary stating that more worker = more profit for bourgois is also very true irl

2) umm.... Actually we live in a time where slavery has ended. So comparing slaves with workers may not be easy for everyone to understand.

3) I agree with Engels that banning private property wasn't possible at earlier time. You see, the industrial revolution has sown seeds for demise of property by itself. And for the last part of answer, I think we can't give definite answer of alternate history questions. It isn't like if marx hadnt written manifesto, communism wouldn't born. But it isn't either that this event wasn't important for us, so no comments at last part.

4) comrades, I do believe that reforms can be an alternative path for revolution. But comrades in TCB made me understand that peaceful protests are useless because then bourgois just ignores it. Take india for example, If mahatma gandhi didn't work of non violence path of independence, then we would have achieved independence as early as 1920s. And I believe bourgois socialism is a bad ideology. It isn't socialist at all. It aims to make all proletarians Bourgeoisies, which can't ever happen. Class dissolution is easier way than this. Democratic socialism is also not much better and that we all know why

5) I guess no? USSR revolution was a violent one, and that's because all sufferings of proletarian Reached on extreme levels. USSR revolution was inevitable. Same as China (although situation was little complex there) and other socialist countries

Sorry for any typo in message or if you disagree with my stance as I am just beginner :)

via The Communist Bloc

The Dictatorship of the Catgirl of Feyrisshire

Just to reinvigorate discussion by answering one’s question!

Socialist Heronia wrote:i do have a question
how would economically secure and highly educated specialists such as software engineers or anesthesiologists fit into engels's framework of classes?


The Marxist definition of the “petty-bourgousie” being people who still labor but who derive benefits from the appropriation of labor i.e the stereotypical example of small business owner is still correct and is still our base of the concept today – The “petty-bourgouisie” is also conceived by Marx and Engels as that strata that is above the proletarian but below the bourgouisie...

One’s income and wages one receives is also a relationship to the means of production, either if one is exploited or one’s wages is derived from surplus labor. That is, if the wages one receives is more than the value of their labor or is far more to cover the cost of their daily needs (cost of reproduction).

Overall though, its hard to think of “economically secure” and “highly educated specialists” such as software engineers and anesthesiologists fitting into Marx and Engels’ definition of “proletarian” which is “nothing to lose but their chains” so fits both above

In regards to the broader example of professionals and specialists (going away specifically from software engineers and anesthesiologists), going away from Engels a bit, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong has answered this question:

Lenin in his work “The Working Class and Its Press”: “In the first case, the contributions obviously came from lower-paid office workers, civil servants, etc., and from the petty-bourgeois elements of a semi-proletarian character.” So Lenin considers “lower-paid office workers, civil servants” as “petty-bourgouis” and “semi-proletarian”. Lenin also talks about a “semi-proletarian” class, which is an interesting class. This ties in with Lenin’s thesis of a “labor aristocracy”.

Mao in his work “Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society” includes as part of the petty-bourgouisie lower government functionaries, office clerks, small lawyers, small traders.

Overall though I think that Mao and Lenin’s definitions of the “petty-bourgousie” as a wider class helps to make clear Marx and Engels and fits in with the both above

And this can be a materialistic explanation, for why in your specific example, some people in the tech industry and IT or others, such as tech bros tend to be reactionary

via The Communist Bloc

The People's Republic of Greater Hongshan

Dynamic Revolution wrote:It’s been a while.

I wonder how Engels insistence that monarchy is followed by a bourgeoise state followed by revolution followed by communism squares with the two greatest examples of Marxist states that we’ve seen in both the Soviet Union and The Peoples Republic of China.

The Soviet Union went from tzarist russia and skipped to Soviet Union

The PRC went from feudal warlords to The PRC

you may be interested to know that the Xinhai Revolution (1911, ended with the overthrow of the Qing monarchy) was characterized as a Bourgeois revolution because of the revolutionaries involved. But then several wars happened in rapid succession, so it's kind of hard to say how bourgeois chinese society was by 1949. Lenin and Mao didn't think there needed to be a bourgeois society to overthrow first, they just wanted to get to the end stage. I guess it does contradict Engels on there needing to be private property in the early stages of mass industrialization, but Engels does say that private property can't be abolished immediately after revolution either

via The Communist Bloc

The People's Republic of Greater Hongshan

Marx and Engels were writing from the point of view of people living in already industrialized countries, so the subtleties of conditions in pre-industrialized societies and communist revolutions in that context were not explored in great detail. They might've thought that imperialism would bring about industrialization in preindustrial countries and that the imperialists would constitute the bourgeois class to be overthrown. Imperial Russia also did experience a lot of revolutionary changes between Marx and Engels writing about them as an agrarian serf society and the october revolution happening. So in neither case was communist rule installed immediately after a society operating with strictly feudal modes of production.

The communist blocs book club

Poll time:

December TCBook Club Poll

by The communist blocs book club

December TCBook Club Poll

I hope everyone is enjoying this experiment and getting something out of it. Thank you for talking about your interpretations of the two texts and helping fellow comrades with questions they have.

We're about 2 weeks away from the start of our second month of book club, so I wanted to give everyone a chance to vote on what we read next. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

LinkVote here!

The Passerine Islands
Minister of Information

To-Do List

LinkVote on what texts you want to read next by 14 December.

Continue discussing November's readings and asking questions on the RMB.

CC: Dynamic Revolution, Bamana, AJ Empire, Therlica, Eriadni, Solveneia, New Astri, Albatraoz, Pajonia, Radicalania, Unified Communist Councils, Greater Hongshan, Socialist Heronia, Arsa, Peace and Love but Better, Janpia, Renjeva

If you want to be removed from this list, please message me.

Read dispatch

via The Communist Bloc

The Planar Isotopies of The Passerine Islands

Finally put together some thoughts on the poem because I really enjoyed it.

I think it's really fitting that Owen referenced Horace, a poet who was commissioned by the government in Augustan Rome, which was an incredibly nationalistic society. Imo, this background is important because "dying for your country is cool and good" was just as much government propaganda 2000 years ago as it was in the early 20th century as it is today

One kind of random thing the poem made me remember was Virgil's Aeneid. Partially because Virgil was friends with Horace, and partially because of this juxtaposition of propaganda with anti-war sentiment

The Aeneid is uhh...... complicated. It was also commissioned by the government, but unlike Horace, it wasn't just "heck yeah war!" There's this vignette that has stuck with me since the first time I read the poem. It's the story of Nisus and Euryalus. They were lovers who died together in battle, and, in no uncertain terms, Virgil makes it clear one of them was just a boy. This sort of sympathy is lacking in Horace but it's cool that Owens focuses on this by contrasting it with Horace. Just like in the Aeneid, there is an emphasis in the final bit of Dulce et Decorum Est that these men being sent off to war are hardly even men

Like Aq and Heronia said a while back, the people fighting and dying in wars are often working people with no other options, but beyond that, they are young, and there's something really tragic about that. In the US at least, people join the army for 2 reasons: 1) they've been fed nationalist propaganda and convinced what they're doing is noble, or 2) to escape poverty. We have military recruiters come to our high schools enticing literal children with promises of paid university education and cars. It's honestly just pretty horrible, and I like that Owen's poem doesn't just capture the horrors of war (which it does very well) but also the tragedy at the root of it

The communist blocs book club

Here's info about what we'll be reading this month

TCB Book Club Announcement (December 2021)

by The communist blocs book club

December Reading List


Thank you so much to everyone who gave their input on what they want to read. Basically everyone has voted, so I'm closing the poll a little early. If you don't like that, complain in my DMs.

The winners were LinkThe Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism by Vladimir Lenin and LinkKing Pest by Edgar Allen Poe. Click on either title to read them for free online.

This month's book club technically starts in a week (15 December), but feel free to get a head start. Neither text is very long (<10 pages) which is nice. Poe's vocabulary is sometimes a little inaccessible for some modern readers, but you will be fine. Either one of the volunteers or I will post some questions at the end of December, but as always, you can talk about the readings and ask questions on the TCBook Club RMB whenever you want.

The Passerine Islands
Minister of Information

To-Do List

Begin reading LinkThe Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism by Vladimir Lenin and LinkKing Pest by Edgar Allen Poe.

Feel free to ask questions or talk about the texts on the RMB.

CC: Dynamic Revolution, Bamana, AJ Empire, Therlica, Eriadni, Solveneia, New Astri, Albatraoz, Pajonia, Radicalania, Unified Communist Councils, Greater Hongshan, Socialist Heronia, Arsa, Peace and Love but Better, Janpia, Renjeva

If you want to be removed from this list, please message me.

Read dispatch

via The Communist Bloc

The Socialist Republic of Solveneia

Finally got around to reading this month's theory and boy is it short and approachable! I personally wouldn't say I learned anything new, but it certainly acts as a good refresher on the basics of Marxism, and is super quotable as well.

"The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true." is such a powerful statement for such a short sentence lmao

The three chapters (as one might infer from the work's title) go over the three sources (and component parts) of Marxism, that is (German) philosophy, (English) political economy and (French) socialism. Each one is, again, very brief and almost a delight to read, but still sufficiently filled with information. There's really no point in me quoting passages I liked because there's so few of them, I'd basically just copy the whole text lol

More than anything, this work acts as a great jumping off point for deeper dives into one or more of these components of marxism, itself even suggesting several works (These on Feuerbach and Anti-Dühring for philosophy and Capital for political economy, though that one's definitely a bit out of my league for now). I'm not that great with starting discussions and such, so I'll just end this with my favourite passage:

"People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. Champions of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realise that every old institution, how ever barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is kept going by the forces of certain ruling classes. And there is only one way of smashing the resistance of those classes, and that is to find, in the very society which surrounds us, the forces which can—and, owing to their social position, must—constitute the power capable of sweeping away the old and creating the new, and to enlighten and organise those forces for the struggle."

via The Communist Bloc

The People's Republic of Greater Hongshan

Hi guys, I've been kind of gone lately because I had deadlines, I take it we're still not done with december's readings?

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