Oswald was a self-styled Marxist since adolescence. Lee’s brother Robert Oswald has confirmed that Lee was a communist from the age of fifteen. Oswald took an early interest in socialism after picking up a leaflet about the coming execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who had been convicted of spying for Russia. “I was looking for a key to my environment, and then I discovered socialist literature,” Oswald wrote in his diary. “I had to dig for my books in the back of dusty shelves of libraries.” When he was 16, he wrote the Socialist Party of America:
I am sixteen years of age and would like more information about your youth League, I would like to know if there is a branch in my area, how to join, ect., [sic] I am a Marxist, and have been studying socialist principles for well over fifteen months[.] I am very interested in your Y.P.S.L.
Later in life he made membership inquiries to such organizations as the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Labor Party, The Gus Hall-Benjamin Davis Defense Committee, the Daily Worker, The Fair Play for Cuba Committee and the Communist Party, USA
He went into the Marines not because he was patriotic—but to get away from his mother, following in the footsteps of both his elder brothers. Fellow Marine, Owen Dejanovich, explained: “If you complained about, “Oh, we’ve got to go on a march this morning” or “We’ve got to do this this morning,” scrub barracks or whatever we had to do, if you were complaining about it, he would — he would say that that was the capitalist form of government making us do these things. Karl Marx and his form of government would alleviate that.”
Priscilla Johnson McMillan interviewed him and he informed her that he was a follower of Karl Marx. “I saw,” he said, explaining why he left the U.S., “that I would become either a worker exploited for capitalist profit or an exploiter or, since there are many in this category, I’d be one of the unemployed.”
Oswald's ideal of a Soviet Union utopia was soured by bureaucratic indifference he encontered when he defecte dto Russia, causing Oswald to adopt revolutionary Marxism as opposed to institutionalized Leninism, an was perhaps inspired by some Cuban students he befriended while living in Minsk. By the time Oswald left the USSR in June 1962, Oswald sees in the Castro revolution a truer form of socialism — one not corrupted by Soviet Communist Party apparatchiks and nomenklatura and their perks.
In his Dallas police interrogation Oswald explains his religious beliefs.
“What religion am I? I have no faith, I suppose you mean, in the Bible. I have read the Bible. It is fair reading, but not very interesting. As a matter of fact, I am a student of philosophy and I don't consider the Bible as even a reasonable or intelligent philosophy. I don't think of it...”