The Communist Manifesto

Author: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles.  Marx was a German philosopher, economist, and a revolutionist. Marx published many widely known articles, but some of the most famous include Das Capital, Estranged Labor, and The Manifesto of the Communist Party. Marx worked on a radical newspaper as well, and his ideas remain influential and relevant today. Friedrich Engles assisted with the writing of The Communist Manifesto, and he was a social scientist, philosopher, and political theorist. He was good friends with Marx, and worked with Marx in other writings, such as Das Capital. 

Context: The industrial revolution had rapidly changed the structure of the European economy, and the working class lived in squalor conditions, owning next to nothing. The poor living conditions created feelings of discontent, and the socialist and communist movement was quickly gaining momentum.

Language: The Communist Manifesto is a political pamphlet, and is written as such. It was created to appeal to the common people, and was written in language to appeal to the masses.

Audience: The Communist Manifesto was written to the people of Europe, and it was published in English, French, German, Italian, Flemish, and Danish.

Intent: The intention of the document is to incite a rebellion against the capitalist system, while unifying the Communist movement at the same time.

Message: There are numerous themes in The Communist Manifesto, but one of the most important is the development and overthrowing of previous economic and social structures. The feudal aristocracy was a system built upon a hierarchy, although the feudal system was eventually unable to support the needs of the growing population. Therefore, the growing middle class, the bourgeoisie, eventually overthrew the feudal system. However, the system of class hierarchy did not disappear, as it simply created new classes. For a time, the bourgeoisie was able to support the population, although power and money became concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few. Due to this wealth gap, the vast majority of the population lived in terrible conditions, and because of the terrible conditions, the bourgeoisie lost their right to remain the dominant class. An interesting point made by Marx, however, is that the dominant economic system much reach its fullest potential before it can be overthrown. The guilds, for instance, at their maximum production, were unable to supply the population with their growing needs, so the guild system was replaced by manufacturing. According to this logic, the capitalist system would have needed to reach its fullest capacity in order to be overthrown by the communists.  Do you think Marx would be opposed government regulation of industry if it could make way for a worker’s rebellion?

3 thoughts on “The Communist Manifesto

  1. I think your ACLIAM method is very good! I enjoyed reading your explanation on the social classes and how when the middle class took over there was no longer a support system. I like the point you made when you quoted Marx saying that in order for there to be a support system, there has to be a well grounded economic system.

  2. The way in which you explained this piece by Marx and Engles was spot on. The explanation of the message in this post; with all of its density, was key in understanding the reading. I believe you did a spectacular job with those key points. With the explanation of wage gaps, and the development of a system that attempted to thrive with power that they didn’t possess, was great. To answer your question however, Marx would be against government regulation of industry. After reading Marx’s “Capital”, the ideas surrounding government regulation of any kind wouldn’t resonate with these ideals. Adam Smith’s thoughts on government regulation relates to his “invisible hand theorem.”

  3. I believe your analysis of the Communist Manifesto is accurate. Marx wrote this piece to inspire economic change from the previous capitalist systems that left the working class poor to a system where people work for the good of their country and each other.

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