The Communist Manifesto was conceived as an outline of the basic beliefs of the Communist movement. The authors believed that the European powers were universally afraid of the nascent movement, and were condemning as "Communist" people or activities that did not actually conform to what the Communists believed. This manifesto, then, became a manual for their beliefs.
In it we find Marx and Engels' rehearsal of the idea that Capital has stolen away the work of the artisan and peasant by building up factories to produce goods cheaply. The efficiency of Capital depends, then, on the wage laborers who staff the factories and how little they will accept in order to have work. This concentrates power and money in a bourgeois class that profits from the disunity of workers (proletarians), who only receive a subsistence wage.
If workers unite in a class struggle against the bourgeois, using riot and strikes as weapons, they will eventually overthrow the bourgeois and replace them as a ruling class. Communists further believe in and lay out a system of reforms to transform into a classless, stateless society, thus distinguishing themselves from various flavors of socialism, which would be content to have workers remain the ruling class after the revolution.
The manifesto caused a huge amount of discussion for its support for a forcible overthrow of the existing politics and society...
An Author's Republic audio production.
The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) is a short 1848 book written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League, it laid out the League's purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.
The book contains Marx and Engels' Marxist theories about the nature of society and politics, that in their own words, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism.
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Born in Trier, Germany, Karl Marx studied law and philosophy at university. Due to his controversial political publications however, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought and publish his writings, often researching in the reading room of the British Museum. His best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, and the three-volume Das Kapital. His political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic and political history and his name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory. Marx's complex theories about society, economics and politics – collectively understood as Marxism – hold that human societies develop through class struggle. In capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling and working classes. Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that, like previous socio-economic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. Marx actively pressed for its implementation, arguing the working class should carry out organised revolution to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation.Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.
GEOFFREY GIULIANO is the author of thirty two internationally best selling books published by the biggest publishers in the world from 1984 to today. He is also an acclaimed Hollywood film actor, director, designer, and is the voice on over 500 popular audiobooks.
Series producer Avalon Giuliano in New York
Produced by Alex Franchi in Milan
Edited and mixed by Macc Kay in Bangkok
ICON intern Eden Garret Giuliano