Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: "Manifesto of the Communist Party"

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Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: "Manifesto of the Communist Party"
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: "Manifesto of the Communist Party"

Video: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: "Manifesto of the Communist Party"

Video: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: "Manifesto of the Communist Party"
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"Manifesto of the Communist Party" - the famous work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In it, the authors outlined the main goals and objectives of the communist organizations, which in 1848, when this work was written, were just emerging. For Marxists, this is an important and fundamental work.

Meaning of the treatise

Communist Manifesto
Communist Manifesto

The "Manifesto of the Communist Party" is important in the sense that in this work the authors argue that the entire history of mankind up to this point has been aimed at the struggle between different classes. According to Marx and Engels, the death of capitalism at the hands of the proletariat is inevitable in the foreseeable future. As a result, a communist society with no classes will be built, and all property will be public.

Karl Marx in the "Manifesto of the Communist Party" sets out his own vision of the inevitability of changing the modes of production and the laws of social development. A special place in this treatise is occupied by a detailed reviewall sorts of non-Marxist theories of socialism, as well as teachings that the authors call pseudo-socialist. For example, they strongly criticize common private property, when the principle of private property is unreasonably extended to everyone.

In addition, Marx in this work calls the communists the most decisive part of the proletariat, which everywhere supports the revolutionary movement aimed at overthrowing the current political and social system. He also notes that they are seeking unification and agreement between the democratic parties of different countries.

The first words of the "Communist Manifesto" became winged.

A ghost haunts Europe - the ghost of communism. All the forces of old Europe have united for the sacred persecution of this ghost: the pope and the tsar, Metternich and Guizot, the French radicals and the German policemen.

It was first published in London in 1848, after which it was reprinted several times, while no changes were made to it. In 1872, Friedrich Engels, in the preface to the next edition of the Communist Manifesto, notes that the treatise has become a historical document, which no one has the right to change.

History of Creation

Karl Marx
Karl Marx

This work was written by Marx and Engels on behalf of the propaganda society "Union of the Just", which was organized in England by German emigrants. When the authors of the manifesto joined it, the organization was renamed the Union of Communists.

BIn 1847, the first congress of the Union took place, at which Engels was instructed to draw up the text of a program document for the organization. Interestingly, this work was originally called "The Communist Creed Project".

The text of the communist manifesto is being drafted at the second congress. It becomes the program of the international organization of the revolutionary proletariat. Marx completed work on the "Manifesto of the Communist Party" in early 1848, when he was in Belgium.

Edition of the manifesto

Publication of the manifesto
Publication of the manifesto

It was first published anonymously in London. The work was published in German. It was a green cover booklet with 23 pages.

In March, the text was reprinted by a German émigré newspaper, and the next day, Marx was expelled from Belgium by the police.

Interestingly, the preface noted that the manifesto needed to be published in different languages. So soon there will be translations in Danish, Polish, Swedish and English. It was in the preface of the English edition, issued by the journalist and socialist Helen Macfarlane, who published under the pseudonym Howard Morton, that the names of the authors of the manifesto were first named. Previously, they remained unknown.


Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels

When revolutions broke out across the continent in 1848, this work became extremely popular. However, in reality, few had the opportunity to get acquainted with him, so he did not have a significant impact on the course of events. Exceptions includeto name only the German city of Cologne, in which a local newspaper was published in large circulation, glorifying the communist manifesto of Karl Marx in every possible way.

Mass interest in the treatise arose only in the 1870s, when the First International and the Paris Commune began their activities. Also, the "Manifesto of the Communist Party" of Karl Marx appeared in the process against the Social Democratic Party of Germany. The prosecution read out excerpts from it.

After that, according to German laws, its official publication became possible. In 1872, Marx and Engels quickly prepared a new edition in German. In the coming years, nine editions were published in six languages. In 1872, suffragist Victoria Woodhull issued the first manifesto in America.

Tractate distribution

Emerging in different countries, the social democratic parties began to actively distribute the manifesto. Interestingly, Engels, in the preface to the English edition in 1888, wrote that their work reflected the history of the modern workers' movement, becoming one of the most widespread works of socialist literature in the modern world. This program was recognized by workers from California to Siberia.

The treatise was first translated into Russian by the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, who was a colleague of the authors in the First International. In 1869, the Russian version of the treatise was printed in the printing house of the Kolokol magazine.

In 1882, the second edition appeared in the same place, translated by Georgy Plekhanov. It already contained a special preface in which Marx andEngels tried to answer the question of whether Russian society is capable of moving to a communist form of universal ownership, bypassing the capitalist stage, which all countries of Western Europe go through.

The first edition of the manifesto in Ukrainian was prepared by writer Lesya Ukrainka.


communist manifesto
communist manifesto

Of course, over time, the circulation of the manifesto became simply huge, especially in the USSR. But nothing is known about the total number of issued copies. It can be argued that only in the Soviet Union by 1973 there were 447 editions of this work with a total circulation of almost 24 million copies.

It is noteworthy that in the 21st century the work of Marx and Engels has regained interest. For example, in 2012 the British edition was accompanied by a foreword by the historian, a Marxist by conviction, Eric Hobsbawm. And in 2010, an illustrated edition of this treatise was published in Canada by a publishing house that specializes in publishing radical historical texts in the form of manga or comics.

Manifest contents

The Communist Manifesto has four chapters. The first is called "Bourgeois and Proletarians", and the second - "Proletarians and Communists".

The third chapter - "Socialist and communist literature" - is divided into several parts. These are "Reactionary Socialism", "Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism", "Critically Utopian Socialism and Communism".

The final chapter of this work is called "The attitude of the communists to variousopposition parties".

Rejection of capitalism

Author of the communist manifesto
Author of the communist manifesto

The rejection of capitalist society is one of the main goals of this treatise. The program for the transition to a communist social formation is given in the second chapter. The authors suggest that everything will happen by force, the key will be the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The transition program itself contains ten points, or stages. These are the expropriation of landed property, the introduction of a high progressive tax, the confiscation of the property of rebels and emigrants, the abolition of inheritance rights, the free education of children, the merging of industry and agriculture, the growth in the number of state enterprises, the introduction of compulsory labor for all, the centralization of credit in state banks.

Marx and Engels in their treatise assumed that by liquidating capitalism, the dictatorship of the proletariat would exhaust itself, giving way to a kind of "association of individuals". However, the authors do not write anything about her.