Quantcast
Published On: Sat, Feb 21st, 2015

Karl Marx publishes ‘The Communist Manifesto’ on this day, 1848

On February 21, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League.

This is one of the most influential political ideas in history, proclaimed that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever.

Karl MarxOriginally published in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (“Manifesto of the Communist Party”), the work had little immediate impact, but gained increasing force into the 20th century, and by 1950 nearly half the world’s population lived under Marxist governments.

Marx and Engels developed their philosophy of communism and became the intellectual leaders of the working-class movement.

In 1847, the League of the Just, a secret society made up of revolutionary German workers living in London, asked Marx to join their organization. Marx obliged and with Engels renamed the group the Communist League and planned to unite it with other German worker committees across Europe.

In Brussels, Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto in January 1848, using as a model a tract Engels wrote for the League in 1847.

In early February, Marx sent the work to London, and the League immediately adopted it as their manifesto.

Many of the ideas in The Communist Manifesto were not new, but Marx had achieved a powerful synthesis of disparate ideas through his materialistic conception of history.

The Manifesto opens with the dramatic words, “A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism,” and ends by declaring: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!”

In The Communist Manifesto, Marx predicted imminent revolution in Europe. The pamphlet had hardly cooled after coming off the presses in London when revolution broke out in France on February 22 over the banning of political meetings held by socialists and other opposition groups.

Here are ten planks from the Manifesto:

  1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.
  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 hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation 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 the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.
photo by rotemliss via wikimedia commons

photo by rotemliss via wikimedia commons

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Tags

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Recent Posts

Categories

Archives

At the Movies