Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society, allowing us to understand why capitalism perpetually goes into crisis.

Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society, allowing us to understand why capitalism perpetually goes into crisis.


The economic system we live under today is capitalism: based on competition, private ownership and the production for profit. Karl Marx revolutionised our understanding of the capitalist system. With his vast collection of economic writings – including the three volumes of Capital – Marx stripped away the mysticism surrounding capitalism, uncovering and explaining its inner processes, emergent laws, and intrinsic contradictions.

Marx built upon the work of his ‘classical’ predecessors – in particular the British economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo. These enlightenment thinkers had attempted to examine capitalism on a scientific basis. In doing so, they hit upon the idea that labour was the source of all new value within society.

By developing this ‘labour theory of value’, Marx was able to explain an enigma that had eluded the classical economists: that of profit. This, Marx demonstrated, arises from exploitation – that is, from the surplus value produced by the working class. Simply put, the capitalists’ profits are obtained from the unpaid labour of the workers.

But this fact, in turn, led Marx to an even more shattering conclusion: that the capitalist system is inherently prone to periodic crisis of overproduction – crises that break out and paralyse the entirely of society, as the forces of production crash up against the narrow limits of the market.

This is the picture we find ourselves in today, as workers and youth are forced to pay for the crisis of capitalism. Armed with the ideas of Marxism, we can see that there is no way out of this crisis within the confines of capitalism. The only solution is socialist revolution.

Introductory articles

Introduction to Marxist Economics - Alan Woods and Rob Sewell

In Defence of the Labour Theory of Value - Rob Sewell

Capitalism and Crisis - Nigel Warren

Monopoly and Imperialism - Ravi Mistry

An Introduction to Marx's Labour Theory of Value - Mick Brooks (And Part Two )

Wage Labour and Capital - Karl Marx

Value, Price, and Profit - Karl Marx


Longer articles

Will There Be a Slump? - Ted Grant

"Underconsumption" and the Marxist Theory of Crisis - Rob Sewell

The Capitalist Crisis and the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall - Rob Sewell

Marx, Keynes, Hayek, and the Crisis of Capitalism - Adam Booth

What is Money? - Adam Booth

Marxism vs Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) - Adam Booth

Marxism and the Theory of "Long Waves" - Alan Woods


Marxist classics

A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy - Karl Marx

The Poverty of Philosophy - Karl Marx

Theories of Surplus-Value - Karl Marx

Capital: volumes One , Two , and Three - Karl Marx

Anti-Duhring, Part Two: Chapters 6-10 - Frederick Engels


Capital reading guide

Chapter 1 - The Commodity

Chapters 2-3 - Money

Chapters 4-8 - Surplus Value

Chapters 9-11 - Exploitation and the Working Day

Chapters 12-14 - Productivity, Co-operation, and the Division of Labour

Chapter 15 - Machinery

Chapters 16-22 - Wages

Chapters 23-25 - Accumulation

Chapters 26-31 - The Origins of Capitalism


Audios and videos

Marxist economics and the Crisis of Capitalism - Rob Sewell

The Origins of Marxist Economics - Ben Gliniecki

Crisis and Capital: why Marx was right - Adam Booth

Capitalism, automation, and technology - Adam Booth

From barter to Bitcoin: what is money? - Adam Booth

Marxism, Keynesianism, and Modern Monetary Theory - Adam Booth

Marx, Piketty, Capital, and Inequality - Adam Booth

Socialist Appeal are proud to publish this education guide to help focus your studies of Marxist theory and practice. Visit the various tabs below to find links to introductory articles, classic texts, videos and audio talks for different topics. Read More
We present here Marxism 101: a series of responses and short video talks answering the most common myths and questions about Marxism, socialism, and revolution. Read More
Check out this selection of writings for an excellent introduction to many of the fundamentals of Marxist theory, providing a strong basis for those wishing to equip themselves with the ideas necessary in order to fight for socialism. Read More
Dialectical materialism is the philosophy or methodology of Marxism. We must seek to understand the laws of society and nature in order to change them. Read More
Historical materialism is the general theory of how and why society develops in the way it does. Each social system has its inherent laws of motion. If we want to overthrow capitalist society, we must understand how capitalism works. Read More
Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society, allowing us to understand why capitalism perpetually goes into crisis, where inequality comes from, and what the alternative is. Read More
The Russian Revolution is the greatest event in world history for Marxists. Studying the events of 1917, and understanding why the Revolution degenerated into Stalinism, provides vital lessons for revolutionaries today. Read More
For Marxists, the state is not at all neutral. We must understand the state’s real basis and strip away its mysticism by treating it historically - taking in its origins, rise, and eventual fall. Read More
Anarchism is naturally attractive for those wanting to abolish capitalism. But only Marxist ideas can explain why bureaucracy and oppression exist - and how to overthrow the exploitative capitalist system. Read More
Marxists are irreconcilably opposed to the oppression of women and fight determinedly for liberation and against discrimination. We believe this will be achieved through the class struggle - to abolish the oppressive capitalist system. Read More
The madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism. But it could have been avoided if the working class had a united revolutionary leadership, prepared to take power. Read More
Nations have not always existed, nor will they always exist in the future. Marxists are internationalists, fighting for world socialist revolution as the only way forward for humanity and our planet. Read More
Wars represent the sharp extreme of capitalism’s impasse. Imperialism, Lenin said, was the "highest stage of capitalism". As long as the profit system exists, there will be wars over markets and spheres of influence. Read More
All written history, Marx stated, is the history of class struggle. Our task is to learn the lessons from history in order to prepare for the revolutionary events taking place today and in the future. Read More
Our aim is to spread the ideas of Marxism, in an organised fashion, amongst workers and youth. In order to do this, we must study the history and traditions of the working class. Read More
  • Educate Yourself
  • Marxism 101
  • Fundamentals of Marxism
  • Dialectical Materialism
  • Historical Materialism
  • Marxist Economics
  • Stalinism and the Soviet Union
  • The State
  • Anarchism
  • Identity and Oppression
  • Fascism
  • The National Question
  • Imperialism and War
  • Revolutionary History
  • Revolutionary Strategy