Reviews by Jason J. Kim

The Communist Manifesto

by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Great review of the book, QED.

Reviewed on 2010.07.24

The Communist Manifesto

by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

I bet that the previous reviewer could indeed go on (spouting self-referential horror stories manufactured by fascists, pro-fascists, and ultranationalists and propagated by capitalists and nationalists). Interestingly enough, he even advocates banning this book, and by extension banning Marx's ideas.

Not only does he casually drop impossible figures like "20 million murdered" (as if Stalin himself went around the streets with a gun shooting 15% of the population individually, and no one noticed), he fulfills Godwin's Law by the second paragraph. As an appeal to emotion, reductio ad Hitlerum is an intellectually bankrupt method of argument. Implying that the Soviet Union under Stalin was worse than Nazi Germany in what is supposed to be a review of the Communist Manifesto is non-sequitur.

The Communist Manifesto does not advocate "vile and degenerate" actions. The Bible, with its passages justifying genocide, stoning, anti-homosexuality, and sexism, would be a better candidate for the title of "most vile and degenerate book".

I agree that the Communist Manifesto was never about utopia. It was indeed about "greed and cruelty", in that its purpose was, and is, to end the greed and cruelty inherent to the capitalist system.

The Communist Manifesto is a short and succinct introduction to Marxist thought. It should of course lead one to read one of the most in-depth analyses of capitalism Das Kapital. I only hope that it continues to encourage people to question and analyze our current form of human organization, which we are told is the best and only possible. The Communist Manifesto is as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago.

Reviewed on 2010.07.04

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