The Communist Manifesto (or Manifesto of the Communist Party) / Edition 1

The Communist Manifesto (or Manifesto of the Communist Party) / Edition 1

ISBN-10:
0717802418
ISBN-13:
9780717802418
Pub. Date:
06/01/1948
Publisher:
International Publishers Company, Incorporated
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The Communist Manifesto 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Karl Marx: Communist Manifesto With this review I hope to cover some areas others have not. I would have the reader to read more than just my review of this product. Karl Marx: The Communist Manifesto, A Norton critical edition Edited by Frederic L Bender. The Communist Manifesto is by all means one of the most (if not the most) controversial documents of non-religious origin. This Norton Critical Edition does this work justice in many ways: It gives a bullet point historical outline of events leading up to the manifesto, provides a brief history leading up to the writing of the manifesto (a must read in my opinion), provides the manifesto itself, and then gives the reader commentary from various writers concerning the manifesto's historical impact and interpretation. All this in just over 200 pages. Those looking only for a brief description of the product need read no further. The rest of this review is my impression of the manifesto and the historical context in this volume. Events leading up to the writing of 'The Communist Manifesto' saw many Europeans in poverty. Marx himself lost three of his own children to quote a note in Oxford's version of Marx's 'Capital' stated, 'Poverty was partly responsible for the death of three of his six children.' At any rate Pauperism was the norm in European society, and Marx attempts to paint a grotesque picture for the reader: The Bourgeois (capitalists, the have's, the rich) vs. the Proletarians (impoverished). Background of the text sees the artisans (middle class) vanishing (loss of the middle class) , and an increase in number of the Proletarians. This helps the reader grasp a clear visual of European society prior to the writing of the manifesto (it is interesting to note that Germany was in ruins prior to the rise of Hitler). Let us now look at Marx himself. What I found most interesting about Marx's writing is that he really saw no other alternative but to call for removal of all Bourgeois power, and abolition of owning property. To quote Marx, 'The communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only be the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!' Marx also openly criticized what he considered other forms of socialism that did not call for 'forcible overthrow' and referred to one of them as 'Utopian.' Marx states further, 'There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.' This is one of the most shocking comments (to me personally) made by Marx in his manifesto. There are individuals that don't understand that under Marxist communism freedom of religion doesn't exist. There is a side note from another writing of Marx (supplied cleverly by Frederic L Bender the editor of this version ) where Marx is very critical of Christianity. To quote Marx, 'The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self -contempt, abasement, submissiveness and humbleness, in short all the qualities of the rabble, and the proletariat, which will not permit itself to be treated as rabble, needs its courage, its self-confidence, its pride and its sense of independence even more than its bread. The social principles of Christianity are sneaking and hypocritical, and the proletariat is revolutionary.' (Marx, The Communism of the Rheinische Beobachter, Marx, Engels Collected works). It is at this moment that I would like to divert momentarily into the difference between Christian thought and Marx. Marx writings are indignant toward Christi
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AReese40 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book espousing what is, at least "in theory", the most fair social and economic system of principles in existence. However practical it is "in practice", that's another question. But a must-read for every citizen, whatever one's political persuasion, especially for those with a particular interest in sociology, economics, politics, and the role that government can play in bettering our lives. This is one of the great manifestos for all mankind. When we look at the politics and economics of today's modern democracy, we see how a few at the top are getting rich and phat off the sweat of the masses, just as Karl Marx says. I still prefer capitalism overall for all the individual opportunity and freedom it allows, but still, our modern-day economic problems have certainly proven the serious fallbacks and excesses of our dog-eat-dog capitalist system. It's basically one man exploiting another for personal financial gain in the name of money, basically, greed. The collective good is sacrificed to individualism. This is true. Buy this book and read it, it's fascinating.