Marxists Internet Archive

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Marxists Internet Archive
MIA symbol.png
MIA english archive.png
Type Online literature collection, encyclopedia
Available in 80 languages
The Marx/Engels Archive

Espoused ideology Marxism

The Marxists Internet Archive (also known as MIA or by its domain name is a non-profit online archive of Marxist and other socialist texts. hosts writings from "close to 1,000 authors" in 83 languages,[1] often with explanatory notes and introductions providing historical context for the reader. In addition, the site maintains the Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia (MIAE), which contains brief entries on topics relevant to Marxist philosophy, Marxist economics, historical materialism, and leftist history. The MIA claims to have over 100 active volunteers from several dozen countries around the world.[1] In addition to leftist authors, the site also hosts some material which is otherwise relevant to the study of Marxism, including selected works from Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and J. M. Keynes. The founders of the site were primarily Trotskyist, and the Encyclopedia and other aspects of the site are considered to have a Trotskyist bias.

As of April 2014, the Marxists Internet Archive is missing a significant number of rarer Marx and Engels works, primarily letters, due to a copyright notice from the holders of the rights to the Marx/Engels Collected Works.[2] The works remain available on MIA mirrors such as this site.


In 1990, a user known as Zodiac began cataloguing plaintext versions of the works of Marx and Engels and distributing them on Usenet and in BBS groups. These texts came to be redistributed by other users and came to be shared all over the world, even in countries like Singapore where such texts are censored.[citation needed] However, the platform was poorly suited to the distribution of such texts. In 1993, Martha Gimenez, a Monthly Review contributor[3] and longtime professor of sociology at the University of Colorado,[4] invited Zodiac to host these works at the university's website through a project known as the Progressive Sociology Network.[5] The site's History page claims that a diverse field of leftists "from Anarchists to Maoists, from Stalinists to Trotskyists" became involved during this early period:

Instead of arguing one opinion against another, we saw that the way to resolve this misinformation was to type up the works of Marx and Engels and distribute them as widely as possible. We believed that the overwhelming dominance of secondary and tertiary information obscured and distorted Marx and Engels—transparent even in the works and positions of so-called Marxists, who, lacking in thorough and broad understanding of the works themselves, had been reduced to dogma.[5]

In June 1995, the archive received a mocking acknowledgement in the American business magazine Forbes,[6] prompting greater scrutiny which led the university to shut the archive down.[7] In an email announcing the closure, Zodiac remarked, "Apparently Karl Marx is still a dangerous man."[7] In 1996, the site was renamed the Marx/Engels Internet Archive (MEIA) and rehosted at the domain name David Walters became the first director of the Leon Trotsky Internet Archive, and Mike Lapore took over the Daniel De Leon Internet Archive.[5] As Zodiac continued to hold "top-down" control of the site, disagreements about its objective and governance arose:

Zodiac explained in retrospect that Marx and Engels were the main thrust of the project, that the project was solely academic and not political, and that dealing with the rest of Marxism was a "slippery slope" of sectarianism and division. Thus, while the expansion of the project was momentarily tolerated, it became continually more difficult for Zodiac to deal with. By the spring of 1998, after internal dispute with volunteers about how the archive should be organised, both in terms of Marxist content and organisational structure, Zodiac informed Sally [Ryan] and David [Walters] that all writers but Marx and Engels would be removed from, thus cutting off many volunteers from continuing their work. In March 1999, even Marx and Engels were removed, leaving an empty marooned to vacancy.[5]

The internal dispute in the spring of 1998 had led David Walters to discuss a collaboration with the Encyclopedia of Trotskyism Online (ETOL). The name Marx/Engels, Lenin, Trotsky Internet Archive (MELT) was proposed for the new project, but this was ultimately rejected in favor of Marxists Internet Archive (MIA). In July 1998, David Walters, Jørn Andersen, Brian Baggins, Chris Croome, and Alphonsos Pangas founded the new MIA with "a more encompassing purpose" than before and a commitment to "completely open and democratic" administration as opposed to the top-down philosophy of Zodiac. One of the first moves of the new MIA was to create a History Archive (holding Soviet History), later "separating Marxists from Reference Writers by placing Stalinists in the Reference archive". In 2002, when Zodiac gave up control of the neglected domain name, MIA took over the address.[5]


The Marxists Internet Archive is most notable for its library and encyclopedia but also hosts other types of resources, including photos, portraits, artworks, and images of historical documents.


In addition to annotated reproductions of dozens of works from Marx and Engels, the MIA Library contains works from the most prominent socialist writers of the 20th century, including Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, Kautsky, Plekhanov, Bukharin, Gramsci, Rosa Luxemburg, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Louis Althusser, Kim Il Sung, Kwame Nkrumah, Enver Hoxha, and hundreds of others in addition to articles from dozens of communist and anarchist publications. Many of the most notable works are available in PDF format. However, other sites may be considered better resources for more specific areas or tendencies, such as,, or The Anarchist Library.


The Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia (also known as the Glossary) contains entries on various topics:

The Encyclopedia is cumbersome to use, but it can be searched using the Index or the modified Google search box, both available here.



The Marxists Internet Archive's potential use as an educational resource is hampered by the Trotskyist bias imparted by some of the site's earliest contributors. The most obvious example is the inclusion of Trotsky's writings on the curated "Selected Marxists" page while omitting authors like Stalin and Mao.[8] Trotsky's portrait is also featured on many of the front pages for different languages on the site, including Chinese, French, Spanish, and Persian. The site's glossary entry for "Stalinism" holds the USSR under Stalin's leadership, and "Stalinism" itself, to be unrepresentative of Marxism, having "uprooted the very foundations of Marxism and Leninism"[9] and constituting "probably the most effective totalitarian regime in history."[10][Note 1]


  1. The MIAE classifies Josip Broz Tito and Mao Zedong and others as "Stalinists",[citation needed] both of whom were known for theoretical disagreements with Stalin.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Introduction Marxists Internet Archive. Accessed 23 Sep 2023.
  2. “File No Longer Available!”, Marxists Internet Archive. Accessed 23 Sep 2023.
  3. "Contributions from Martha E. Gimenez". Monthly Review. Retrieved 23 Sep 2023.
  4. "Martha Gimenez". University of Colorado Boulder. Retrieved 23 Sep 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Baggins, Brian (2005). "MIA History". Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 23 Sep 2023.
  6. "How to Find It on the Internet: There's a Vast and Growing Trove of Online Information You Can Use to Track the Economy. It's Free—And Just a Mouse Click Away". Forbes. 12 Jun 1995. Archived from the original on 7 Sep 2010. Retrieved 23 Sep 2023.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Marx/Engels WWW Archive -- REMOVED (06/16/1995)". Marxists Internet Archive. 16 Jun 1995. Retrieved 23 Sep 2023.
  8. Frequently Asked Questions. Marxists Internet Archive. Accessed 23 Sep 2023.
  9. Glossary of Terms — Stalinism Marxists Internet Archive. Accessed 23 Sep 2023.
  10. Glossary of Terms — Totalitarianism Marxists Internet Archive. Accessed 24 Sep 2023.

External links