Accessible Leftist Content

Sandy Pug Games
5 min readJan 10, 2021

This is a non-complete list of accessible socialist and communist materials. I can not promise all of them will be exactly at the level you’re at, but this should provide a broad spectrum across several mediums and I hope it helps you in your revolutionary journey. Also be aware — I’m principally a marxist, so my recommendations will be largely from that perspective, though not uniquely.

Starting with books;
Terry Eagleton’s Why Marx Was Right is not a great book, but it is easy to read and gives you a broadstrokes of Marx’s philosophical ideas and how they predicted the world around us.

Another 101 level text is What Marxism Is All About hosted here at Workers dot org. This is a birds eye view of the ideas behind marxism, and should leave you with questions about further stuff, hopefully (…)

Two things I think are of great value for any proto-commie is reading 1) Books by people who tried to build communism and 2) Books about people who tried to build communism. To that end, Assata Shakur’s autobio is great (…)

Lenin’s “State and Revolution” is an old book, but it’s a beautiful one that should lead you to two conclusions very quickly — 1) Lenin was a Posters Poster, and 2) The struggles of the past are the struggles of the now (…)

For a more modern text and a development of anarchist theory, I recommend you read up on the guiding ideologies behind the Kurdish communist revolution, specifically Abdullah Ocalan’s political ideas. His prison letters are also excellent. (…)

And the selected writings of Subcommandante Marcos, one of the people fighting for indigenous liberation in Chiapas. This stuff is straight up revolutionary poetry from someone actively fighting the revolution. (…)

I know reading is a hurdle many struggle with, so lets move on to audio and visual stuff.

Socialism Explained has a number of videos that give you a very quick (5 minutes or less usually) overview of particular ideas within Socialism and gives you a solid definition of their common terms. Limited, but what’s there is brilliant. (…)

This thread of videos by Richard D Wolfe presented and clipped by the Black Socialists of America is also a very direct and clear explanation of one of the founding ideas behind socialism/communism.

Speaking of Wolfe, if you can bare it, or you are willing to have it on in the background, he has a dozen or so 1 hour+ long lectures on Youtube where he goes over some very practical theory. This one on workers co-ops is excellent.

This is a very long one, but works as a great companion piece. You should watch this after having consumed some of the other materials and use it as a way to analyze historical Horrors through the lens you’re developing while the narrator kinda helps you.

The same creator, Adam Curtis, has done a number of documentaries that similarly explore Historical Nightmares in an evocative and gripping way that should equip you to better understand the impact of capitalist ideology — The Mayfair Set and Bitter Lake are both v good

Remember that being a communist is equally about understanding the fundamental ideas of the world we live in as much as much as the world we wanna live in.

“Instead of building Communism, he now builds a precise model of this grotesque, duplicitous world”

Stepping aside to audio, there’s a whole world of Leftist Podcasts, but I won’t recommend any. There’s a hurricane of drama and complicated Issues surrounding them and personalities over education and it’s a lot. Instead:

What I recommend is Michael Parenti’s lectures on Spotify. Parenti has a really charismatic way of speaking and a historical understanding that makes his work deeply listenable. Put this on and get Mad at the world. (…)

Lemme tell you something else tho — the path to leftism is about community and communication. It’s about hearing people talk and discussing issues and organizing around practical, real life stuff. It is legitimate to learn about socialism through following people on twitter! I can not recommend @bombsfall enough. They are not out there trying to educate for the most part, but their threads about union history, their on-the-button focus on labour issues in games, and their humor make them an excellent place to learn about socialism in a grounded way

I also think following goofy shit like @dasharez0ne is legit. Its memes, but memes are just ideas someone made into a form you recognize at first glance. Also encourage you to read fiction by socialists. Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, and Ursula K Le Guin’s books (The lathe of heaven and The Dispossessed are both wonderful stuff)


Disco Elysium — an excellent video game by a bunch of commies

NeoFeud — Real Cyberpunk Starts Here

The music of Boots Riley and Run the Jewels

The writings and transcripts of Thomas Sankara

This twitter account doing a couple pages a day of Kapital with commentary by Johnny Silverhand

Finally, the most important thing you can do to learn theory and practice is this; start doing what feels right, and keep an eye out for corrections. Show up (in whatever form that takes) to help your local movements, and listen to what the people there are saying. Learning the theory through practice is how millions of communists have learned their ideology in every nation that has had a successful revolution. It was not built on books, it was built in workers councils and debates and reading clubs and through strike actions.

DISCLAIMER: I am by far and away not the arbiter of this kinda thing. I am just another student of socialism. This isn’t foolproof and def has blindspots that I’ve overlooked due to my material conditions. But I hope it helps you as you explore these ideas and find your path

I often say that the ideas of communism will seem complicated to many because they are ideas that have purposefully been kept from you — I say this not to excuse inaccessibility, but to advocate for us as communists to build the easiest onramps we can. I hope this is kinda that. S/O to people speaking up about this rn and bringing attention to it. It’s hard to do, and scary to call out like that and I’m glad you did it.