A Manifesto So Compelling, Intriguing, Controversial, and Most Importantly, Still Relevant Today

The Communist Manifesto (1848)

Author: Karl Marx (1818-1883)

  • One of the most important and influential intellectuals of the nineteenth century
  • Economic situation was very volatile, but usually in poverty
  • Banned from entering many locations due to his radical ideas

Context:

  • Published in 1848
  • Industrial Revolution is either in full swing or starting to take hold, depending on location
  • The Communists has become feared by many in Western Europe, yet the group itself does not have a clear purpose, direction, or organization
    • Many of its members are not that knowledgeable of the complexities and history that Marx was able to notice
  • Western Europe is on the verge of revolution in many different locations – especially Germany

Language:

  • The Manifesto seems to be split into two in this regard:
    • Some sections are very dense with heavy academic wording and style → hard to read
    • Some sections are very straightforward and easy for everyone to understand
      • The list Marx made towards the end of the second section
      • The last words of the Manifesto, which are in all caps and are in simple terms
    • Marx, who ran his own newspaper, likely did this on purpose.
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Capitalism and its critics

  1. The Legacy of Robert Owen to the Population of the World – Robert Owen (1834)
    1. Author
      1. Robert Owen (1771-1858)
      2. English cotton manufacturer
      3. “Utopian” socialist
      4. Advocated for universal education for children and workers’ rights
    2.  Context
      1. Owen is addressing members of the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of Great Britain and Ireland
      2. Written during a time of rebellion
    3. Language
      1. Negative and outraged at the foundations of society.
    4. Audience
      1. For people in rebellion of the unjust system put in place.
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