What Is Marxism?. Emile Burns 1939


The publishers of this little volume have no hesitation in stating that this is the best, short exposition of Marxism yet published in the English language. This, however, does not mean that it is a complete work on Marxism. Obviously, the full treatment of any branch of science would require the space of many large volumes. As Marxism embraces the sciences of political-economy, sociology and philosophy, and touches upon every aspect of man’s activity from pre-historic times to the present day, a complete understanding of Marxism can be gained only by a study of the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and others, listed in the bibliography on the back of this booklet.

However, Emile Burns’ WHAT IS MARXISM?, as an introduction for new students, or as a handy refresher for past students and lecturers, will be found an adequate guide. It is not just another booklet to be read and forgotten. It is a concise outline of Marxism that will repay repeated readings and serious study. New investigators of Marxism will find themselves stimulated to seek more knowledge of the theories of Scientific Socialism, as expounded by Marxists; and every Marxist, no matter what his degree of knowledge, will find within these pages a method of exposition most helpful to the imparting of Marxist theory, whether in the lecture hall, or study group.

Finally, we direct the attention of those coming into contact with Marxism for the first time, through the pages of this booklet, that the only banner-bearers of Marxist theory are the Communist Parties of the various countries; that this Party, alone, gives practical application to these principles ... everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing ...” That the Communists everywhere support revolutionary movements against the existing order of things.” And they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.”

The application of Marxian principles by the. architect and builder of the mighty U.S.S.R., The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik), is a lesson in combining theory with practice that must ever be heeded by those who would devote their lives to the emancipation of mankind.

Melbourne, 1945