The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History's Most Important Political Document
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“What is globalization? Here is one of the best answers. It is the ‘constant revolutionizing of production’ and the ‘endless disturbance of all social conditions.’ It is ‘everlasting uncertainty.’ Everything ‘fixed and frozen’ is ‘swept away,’ and ‘all that is solid melts into air.’ Yes, you have read this before. It is from The Communist Manifesto, by Messrs. Marx and Engels.”—The New York Times
Here, at last, is an authoritative introduction to history’s most important political document, with the full text of The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels.
This beautifully organized and presented edition of The Communist Manifesto is fully annotated, with clear historical references and explication, additional related texts, and a glossary that will bring the text to life for students, as well as the general reader.
Since it was first written in 1848, the Manifesto has been translated into more languages than any other modern text. It has been banned, censored, burned, and declared “dead.” But year after year, the text only grows more influential, remaining required reading in courses on philosophy, politics, economics, and history.
“Apart from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species,” notes the Los Angeles Times, the Manifesto “is arguably the most important work of nonfiction written in the 19th century.” The Washington Post calls Marx “an astute critic of capitalism.” Writing in The New York Times, Columbia University Professor Steven Marcus describes the Manifesto as a “masterpiece” with “enduring insights into social existence.”
The New Yorker recently described Karl Marx as “The Next Thinker” for our era. This book will show readers why.
Phil Gasper is a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame de Namur University in northern California. He writes extensively on politics and the philosophy of science and is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.
Marx and Engels recognize, requiring a more deliberate effort to propagate communist ideas and to gather the most class-conscious workers in their own organization.5 6. The differences between Marx, Engels and Lenin mentioned above are matters of emphasis and degree. Here, Marx and Engels describe the role of Communists as in effect the vanguard (the leading units in an army) of the working class, an idea later associated with Lenin. 7. Winning political power for the proletariat is the goal of
social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention, direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, etc.? The communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of modern
already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way. (p. 42) The fundamental fact about real individuals is that they must engage in production in order to survive, and this shapes every other aspect of their lives. Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish them- H I S T O RY ’ S M O S T I M P O RTA N T P O L I T I C A L D O C U M E N T 15
redress, without any danger to capital and profit, all sorts of social grievances, in both cases men outside the working-class movement, and looking rather to the “educated” classes for support. Whatever portion of the working class had become convinced of the insufficiency of mere P R E FA C E S F R O M L AT E R E D I T I O N S 125 political revolutions, and had proclaimed the necessity of a total social change, that portion then called itself communist. It was a crude, rough-hewn, purely
confidence and vision to do so. The Communist League and the Manifesto The 1840s was a period of growing political and economic crises in Europe. In response to this situation, Marx and Engels began a Communist Correspondence Committee in 1846, which enabled them to forge ties with communists and other radicals in both Europe and the United States. Among those with whom they made close links were some of the left-wing leaders of the Chartists in Britain (the first mass working-class movement,