I'd like to become a Leftist genius, how should I best organize my personal studies?

I was thinking an hour of history, an hour of economics, an hour of left theory, followed by an hour researching anything relevant, climate change, western atrocities, social justice, perpetual poverty, etc. etc.

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Kek start by reading the whole dictionary.
It is literally the starting point for all leftists. The whole thing. Don't come back until Webster is satisfied.

you need some general /phil/ in there. good lefties love /phil/. The rest are the sort that would use the word "Amerikkkan$" unironically.

Too be honest if you did three hours of history it would be just as beneficial. Study the theory as you come across its applications

Also I would start as recent as possible and work your way backwards

Why not the opposite?

Hmm, good point. Guess I'll try the "start with the Greeks" meme.

whatever floats your boat,

its just it means you can see the direct consequences of recent history on the world, then find out everything that caused it

Ignore all the other post, go to the internet marxist archive and start with wage labor and capital or with the communist party manifesto

start with this it's easy as shit and it was so effective at rapidly turning people class conscious and poltically literate that it was banned in turkey during the 1980s political unrest.

Just dive headfirst into some theory my man.

Start with the basics, so communist manifesto and The State and Revolution are your best bets there. From there you will have a better idea of what interests you about leftism, and you'll be able to better find theory that you wanna read about yourself.

Thanks guys.

If youre doing philosophy, dont actually start with the greeks. Start with what you like. Philosophy can be very fun, so dont let it become a chore.

Don't try to parcel it out like that. Read all the major philosophers starting at the Greeks. This will take a few years if you're thorough and diligent. Should be a reading guide posted on /freedu/. Studying history will require a fuck ton of reading as well. You won't be able to cover it as thoroughly as philosophy. Spending your time more so on western civilization up until industrialization would make it a bit easier. You could cheat and focus on the late middle-ages to now, but the earlier stuff is really fucking fun. For economics you will want to reads all the classics, including Marx, and move on to later stuff after you have achieved a very thorough understanding of Marx. For some reason most people seem to misunderstand even the very basic Marxist economic theory.

Having a thorough understanding of philosophy, history, and economics will take a long ass time. It will probably take a couple decades of reading in all of your spare time. You will also need to discuss the material with people smarter than you and debate when you can to cement the knowledge you acquire. If you scale back your ambitions from being a "leftist genius" you could aim for more narrowly focused study of these topics, but it will leave a lot of blind spots. You'll still know more than at least 99.999% of the left even if you aim for a more narrowly focused study of these subjects.

lol not even once.

I disagree. Start with Greeks, you won't get a lot of stuff if you don't read the Greeks. Modern philosophy references them a lot.

"it is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and especially its first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic. Consequently, half a century later none of the Marxists understood Marx!!" - Lenin

It depends on how thorough you want to be, and what "level" of knowledge you want to acheive. The issue with the softer humanities are that each thinker has incorporated the intellectual environment of their time- they are building on existing thinkers' systems they agree with, refuting existing thinkers' systems they disagree with. It may be possible to pick up some thinkers from an arbitrary point in history and understand the whole of their works without any other context, but not for the majority of them. Besides understanding them fully, studying in chronological order will help you develop your abilities to reason and give you a very rich pool to develop your own ideas from. Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant have been irreplaceable for my own system of belief and you will find your own intellectual lineage to decend from. I also argue for studying the history of ideas in this way with appeal to authority; every philosopher I have ever found worthwhile in any subject has regularly displayed an encylopedic knowledge of the history of ideas.

"So many people today—and even professional scientists—seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth." - Einstein

You will need four primary subjects for political thought: philosophy, history, economics, psychology, and of course, political science.
Other subjects will come about as you read (for example when game theory comes up, or stuff like that) but you can read contemporary books for those subjects and ignore for the most part thier history of development.

I suggest getting a Goodreads account or something similar to categorize these books in. It will help you keep track of what you have left to read, and will allow you to sort lists of books by their original publication date. Read everything in order. As you go, you will get a better idea of who you must read to understand who.

I don't think you necessarily have to start with the Greeks. I think you can start with Descartes and fill in the blanks about the greeks as you go, but eventually you will end up wanting to read them yourself, probably around Leibniz. I put together the below for you as a rough "quickest route" for philosophy. I didn't cover 20th century and onward but this will get you started:

1. Descartes (Meditations, discourse on method)
2. Hobbes (Leviathan- read only from chap 11 to the end.)
3. Spinoza (Ethics, EOI)
4. Locke (the Essay- read the abridged obv)
5. Leibniz (Monadology, New Essay Concerning Human Understanding)
5a. Monadoogy: A New Translation and Guide by Strickland has the best Monadology commentary, highly recommended
6. Berkely (Principles. This sucks but his cause/effect as signs is important for Hume. Optional but it's short)
7. Hume (Enquiry, Principles of Morals)
8. Kant (Prolegomena, 3 Critques, Groundwork)
9. Fichte (Natural Right, Science of Knowledge, System of Ethics)
10. Schelling (Philosophy of Nature, On the World-Soul, My System, Transcendental Idealism)
11. Hegel (Lectures on Logic, Philosophy of History, Encyclopaedia, Phenomenology of Mind, Science of Logic, Philosophy of
12. Schopenhauer (Principle of Sufficient Reason - necessary, World as Will, Freedom of Will, Basis of Morality)
13. Kierkegaard (Either/or, F&T)
14. Nietzsche (etc)

For political theory/economics (ending this at the 20th century too, if you've gone this far you'll know where to go):
1. Hobbes (De Cive, Leviathan)
2. Locke (two critiques and letter)
2a. Bonus secondary, I thought this book did a good job illustrating Hobbes, Locke, Pufendorf, Grotius, Bodin, etc - "Hobbes, Locke, and Confusion's Masterpiece: An Examination of Seventeenth-Century Political Philosophy" This can be read prior to the main texts and will make Leviathan easier
3. Montesquieu (spirit of the laws - must read, but you can read the abridged)
4. Rousseau (everything)
5. Beccaria (On Crimes and Punishments)
6. Smith (Wealth of nations)
6a. For economic thought before Adam Smith, I HIGHLY recommend you read Economic Thought Before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought. I am not a right libertarian or a huge fan of Rothbard, but this is my favorite history book ever and I consider it a must read before Smith.
7. Price (Political Writings)
8. Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
9. Paine (Rights of man, common sense)
10. The Federalist Papers
11. The Antifederalist papers (abridged)
12. Bentham (The Principles of Morals and Legislation)
13. Ricardo (Pinrciples of Political Economy and Taxation)
14. Tocqueville (Democracy in America, on America After 1840) - 1835
15. Proudhon (What is Property, Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, ) - 1840
16. Engels (The condition of the working class)
17. Marx (Manuscripts of 1844, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy, Capital I-III)
18. Humboldt (The Limits of State Action)
19. Mill (On Liberty, Utilitarianism)
20. Bakunin (Statism and Anarchy, Selected Writings)
21. Kropotkin (Mutual Aid, Conquest of Bread, Fields factories and workshops)

last thing, the Stanford philosophy encyclopedia is fantastic and you should read the article there on each person you read. plato.stanford.edu/index.html

How can i read Schelling? I can't find his books on goodreads or anywhere else

The discipline of economics is literally just capitalism apologetics. Don't devote so much time to that. Definitely be familiar with the arguments, but put more time toward studying topics that reflect reality.

A lot of the translations are bad but there aren't many options. I checked the ISBNs for you. Here you go.

early schelling:
1438440189 - Exchanges between Fichte and Schelling
0521357330 - Ideas for a philosophy of nature
0813914582 - System of transcendental idealism
0816616841 - The philosophy of art
mid schelling:
0882145932 - Philosophy and religion
0791468747 - Essence of Human Freedom
0472066528 - The abyss of Freedom
079144418X - The ages of the World
late schelling:
052140861X - On the history of modern philosophy

for secondary check out "Philosophies of Nature after Schelling" and "The New Schelling", they both connect schelling's ideas to Marx, Deleuze, Lacan, etc


I'm an idiot. Thank you.


Is this a meme I'm not getting? What would be the point of this?

No the Greeks got many things wrong, so it is better to read them in retroperspective.

It has nothing to do with right or wrong. OP is not going to become educated by only reading people he thinks "were right." The greeks got more right than you think, anyway.