This three-part course is based on a pamphlet of the same name written by Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain (2003). It focuses on introducing the core of Marxism as both a rigorous critique of capitalism and as a scientifically rooted set of practices to transform capitalism into socialism.
As an introduction to Marxism, it is not intended to deal with every practical issue confronting the working class in its struggle for social transformation. For instance, it does not sufficiently address the links between class exploitation and national, race or gender oppression. It does, however, provide the Marxist understanding of how capitalism develops in its search for capital accumulation for the few based on the exploitation of the many.
The Education Commission of the Communist Party of Canada has updated some of the material and has also altered the original British pamphlet by occasionally substituting, where applicable and possible, Canadian for British examples.
Precisely how the course should be organised is best decided by individual presenters or groups in the light of their local circumstances. In keeping with a Marxist approach, the content and discussion questions of the three sessions are also open for revision or variation.
Finally, a list of further readings is provided at the end of this pamphlet. While by no means exhaustive, the readings selected provide a fairly comprehensive overview of key aspects of Marxist thought, and most are accessible in either published form or on the web.
Class 1: The Marxist world outlook
Class 2: Capitalism and exploitation
Class 3: Political struggle and revolution