Communist Manifesto

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Communist Manifesto

Communist Manifesto


The Communist Manifesto reflects an attempt to explain the goals of Communism, as well as the theory underlying this movement. It argues that class struggles, or the exploitation of one class by another, are the motivating force behind all historical developments. Class relationships are defined by an era's means of production. However, eventually these relationships cease to be compatible with the developing forces of production. At this point, a revolution occurs and a new class emerges as the ruling one. This process represents the "march of history" as driven by larger economic forces. In this we analysed the book “Communist Manifesto”.


It is worth noting that this is essentially a marketing document. When Marx wrote about a unified proletariat, seething with bitterness toward the bourgeosie, fully recognizing that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles"-- he was not writing what was true at the time. He was writing what he wanted to create. There was no Communist Party in 1848; Marx was trying to found one, so he wrote a "manifesto" and claimed that it had been drawn up by an elite group of Communists meeting in London. Actually, he himself dashed off the Manifesto in a matter of weeks (Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels & Martin Malia, 2009).

The Communist Manifesto was further used for marketing by Lenin in 1917. The Russian proletariat did not read the Manifesto and rise up as Marx always imagined -- most lower class Russians in 1917 were illiterate! Lenin wanted to stage a revolution, so he cast about for propaganda, and conveniently found Marx's manifesto. He interpreted it for the Russian people, turning it into political rhetoric (Michael Löwy, 2008).

Knowing that takes some of the steam out of this document. But anyway, what is Marx saying? He is reacting against the rise of the Industrial Age, which is causing factories to spring up in areas that used to be dominated by family farms. People are working hard at fairly repetitive tasks, with less time to spend with family. Increasingly, they do not directly benefit from their work, but rather exchange their labor for a monetary wage. Marx suspects that society is bifurcating into those who own capital (the bourgeosie) and those who must "sell themselves" to fuel industrial production (the proletariat). The rich get richer and the poor get poorer (Sukomal Sen, 1998).

Marx's vision is that ...
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