This important manuscript was commissioned by a Paris-based organization called the Communist League.
It was composed by German communist thinkers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
It was published on February 21, 1848.
Karl Heinrich Marx was born in Trier, Prussia on May 5, 1818.
He witnessed the exploitation and misery of the working class people, and was inspired to fight for social justice.
After graduating with a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Berlin in 1841, Karl went to Cologne and worked as an editor for the liberal democratic newspaper Rheinische Zeitung.
After Rheinische Zeitung was banned by the Prussian government in 1843, Karl decided to move to Paris, France with his wife, Jenny von Westphalen.
While Marx was in Paris, he met a devoted communist named Freidrich Engels, who brought the plight of the working class to Karl’s attention.
Marx settled in Brussels, and he collaborated with Engels to write the Communist Manifesto.
In 1849, Karl moved to London, England and wrote his last major work was Das Kapital, in which he revealed a new theory of human society.
Karl passed away in London on the 14th of March, 1883.
Friedrich Engels was born on 28 November 1820 in Barmen, Prussia.
As a young man, his father sent him to England to help manage his cotton-factory in Manchester, but Engels was shocked by the poverty in this city.
In 1845 Engels met Marx and the two men became close friends.
It was a good partnership, whereas Marx was at his best when dealing with difficult abstract concepts, Engels had the ability to write for a mass audience.
Marx and Engels decided to move to Belgium, a country that permitted greater freedom of expression than any other European state.
Karl Marx died in London in March, 1883. Engels devoted the rest of his life to editing and translating Marx's writings. This included the second volume of Das Kapital in 1885. Engels then used Marx's notes to write the third volume that was published in 1894.
Engels died in London on 5th August 1895.
It provides an analysis of the limitations of capitalism and class struggle, and it presents the main principles of communist ideology in detail.
Marx explains that each class of people in the society will work towards the destruction of classes that are inferior to them, and he suggested that all classes and governments should be abolished.
It influenced many politicians and scholars around the world, and it inspired revolutions that resulted in the formation of communist states.
In first part of the manifesto, Marx goes into how society started communal, but then became more unequal as time went on.
Systems such as Feudalism, Mercantilism, and finally Capitalism benefited from the use of exploitation.
Marx first introduces the idea that economic concerns of a nation drive history, and that the struggle between the rich bourgeoisie and the hard working proletariat would eventually lead to Communism.
He goes on and on how the bourgeois have always got what they wanted. Marx does site positives that were done by proletariat, but he certainly seemed more reflective on the negatives committed by the bourgeois.
Marx states the bourgeoisie "has agglomerated population, centralized means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands.“
He then describes the proletarians, or the labor class, and how they were formed, how they have suffered, and how they must overcome their struggles.
Marx declares that this "`dangerous class,' the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution.“
A revolution where the proletariats take over and dethrone the bourgeoisie.
-Proletarians (Labour Segment)
-Family Stracture ( Marriage and Children)
-Culture,Religion and National Identity
- The Role of State
In the communism principles , the following will be pretty generally applicable.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
A- Reactionary Socialism
B- Conservative Socialism
Feudal Socialism :-A type of prescientific socialism, whose proponents, critical of capitalism, saw a possibility of transcending its contradictions in a return to patriarchal feudal relations. -According to feudal socialism, the establishment of political hegemony by the industrial bourgeoisie had resulted in the breakdown of traditional social bonds and given birth to anarchic masses egotistically pursuing individual goals.
-By hindering the development of the political activism of the popular masses, it left the foundations of capitalism intact.
- Feudal socialism attracted social strata that had been uprooted from their traditional places by the advent of industrial capitalism—the urban merchant class, bureaucrats and civil servants, and a segment of the intelligentsia.
-Bourgeois dominance increasingly divides society into two classes, bourgeoisie and proletariat.
-There still exists a third class, though, which constantly fluctuates between bourgeoisie and proletariat, the petty-bourgeoisie. Petty-bourgeois socialism arises from this class
-They do not see that the answer to bourgeois exploitation is to develop the proletariat into a revolutionary class rather than to return the worker to the country and renew a failed feudalism.
-Marx credits this school of socialism with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production," but ultimately upbraids them for wanting to reinstate old social formations.
-German thinkers universalized the French ideas, raising them to the status of immutable laws of human Reason, transcending the narrow concerns of any particular class.
-Socialist values was a hardening of aristocratic resistance to the bourgeoisie.
-While the political rhetoric of this movement has earned it many admirers, its lack of class character and its decrying of violent revolution make it weak and ineffectual.
Critical Utopia Socialism and Communism
-The attempts were reactionary, and the proletariat had not yet reached the maturity and economic conditions necessary for emancipation
-Socialists therefore looked for new social laws to create the material conditions necessary to free the proletariat
-Their writings are important because they attacked every principle of existing society
-Although their vision did reflect authentic proletariat "yearnings" to reconstruct society, it was ultimately a "fantastic" vision, providing no basis for practical action
-The Critical-Utopian Socialists become less significant as the modern class struggle takes shape; lacking practical significance, their "fantastic" attacks lose theoretical justification.
In final part of the manifesto Marx goes on giving the view of the Second Congress of the Coummunist League for which he was asked to write the manifesto for.
He reiterates that "the Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement."
Yet again, no economic theory for Communism is stated.
Thus, the Communist Manifesto is a very brief political rather than economic summary of what Communism is about.
If one wishes to find capitalist bashing, other socialist ideas rebuked, and an opinion of bourgeoisie and proletariat life, the Communist Manifesto has all of this.
But if one wants to find concise, specific information on what Communist ideologies and economic theories propose, the Communist manifesto will be too general.