One of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League and written by communist theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it laid out the League's purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.--Wikipedia
we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.
The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms: Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie we
Reading the negative ratings of this book gave me a good laugh. Especially Kris' comment on how people (Americans!) have bought into communism. If communists are a bunch of THUGS, as you call them, I would love to see what your comment would be if you read about your government... What you will find, may or may not please you.
This book is a great read, and it offers historical insight and many mroe things. Some people are just too stupid/biased to realize.
This book was chartered by the central bank of London to be spread to the working class dupes to believe one day they would control the means of production. This manifesto was nothing but an outline of how central banking can take over the world through the stupidity of people willing to give up all of their property, their rights, and brainwash their children with plank 10 to believe the same as them. It is NOT a political movement. It is a banking cartel takeover designed to erase Magna Carta, the Constitution, The Bill of Rights and return us to absolute feudalism just the way it was before we had those documents. Stop listening to your Marxist professors and wake up.
As one of the most influential books in history, I had to read this. It's remarkably well-written. Kind of sad how most of the reviews have nothing to do with the book itself but just have a political axe to grind.
Not a great read, but still an important book, considering the history of the 20th century. Especially disturbing are his 10 items for changing countries to communism, most of which have indeed been put into practice in almost all Western-style social democracies. Items like progressive taxation and public education, for example.
He kind of rewrote history in writing this. One example, Guild Master and Journeyman were not in conflict. He benefited from the training he received as an apprentice, then when he produced a masterpiece, he would be a full member of the guild(a master). Also, Communism, true communism, has existed and continues to exist, but not based off of the teaching of Karl Marx. It is based off of the teachings of a man named Jesus. The Early Church lived communally, as did medieval towns, as did (and continue to live) Monasteries and convents by entering them by free will, ennobling labor, giving everyone the same labor with no one above it, and believing in someone above them(all of them) to strive for. Without that, people have no reason to give up conflict and share.
I find it disturbing that so many people are rating this a 1-star and claiming it has always failed, even though true Marxist Communism has never been attempted, has never been tried, and has never been practiced in any of the so-called "Communist" nations that have been nothing more than totalitarian dictatorships.
This book is an excellent look not only into a different time, but also stands true today and will be true tomorrow as long as unbridled free-market Capitalism is idealized and it will be true for every generation that sees the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
Written in 1848, it tells of a very different world than the one we now (2012) live in.
I found that, although heavily flawed (the dissolution of the family, for instance - Pol Pott tried that one with horrendous results), there were still a few gems of insight to be found.
I was amazed, while reading this, at how much time he uses to "bad mouth" other opposition (usually socialist) movements.
I'm pleased to see, from previous posts, that Marx still, after all this time, has the power to illicit strong reactions.
On the subject of earlier reviews, I'm at a loss as to why reviewers such as "Elliot", "Leslie" and "Jovian" find this pamphlet to be boring. What were they expecting - car chases and buxom blonds?
And as to "Elliot's" statement about the deaths of tens of millions, true, but I can point the same finger at just about every other method of human philosophy/organisation (for example - over 100,000 dead in Iraq, a similar number in Afghanistan, and the there was Vietnam and well I could go on and on).
And as for "Mickey Mouse" (suitable user name), no, not everyone is greedy. I think what he's trying to get at is that some are born to be alpha (as in alpha-male and alpha-female), such people are greedy (for power/control as well as for things), but they are not, in my understanding, in the majority. And it is the question "what to do about such people (if anything)" that much of political thought is about.
Blurtex's "review" seems to have been taken verbatim from the Wikipedia description, so I hardly count it as valid here. As for my review, I can only say that others who have claimed the book to be boring beyond belief is true, that the philosophy itself if flawed beyond measure and the overall effect on the world has been horrific. I wish there were a rating system for fewer than one stars.
This monumentally boring book is the best cure for insomnia ever invented. As for the philosophy itself -- I cannot imagine how much better off the world would be today if someone had smothered Marx and Engels in their cradles. Horrible book, horrible "manifesto."
One of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League and written by communist theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it laid out the League's purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.
hate him or like him, but the fact is you must come across him-s y b kura. danfodio. this book is unavoidable as long as we are to make an important contribution to the development of our individual societies
The most boring book ever written. Perhaps nothing in the world will roll your eyes back in your head faster than "The Communist Manifesto." Communism really didn't need to murder 10s of millions of people -- communists could have just killed them by making everybody read this book.
Influential, yes -- but only because governments and societies insist on continuing to implement Communism's disastrous tenets despite failure after failure after failure. The most spiritually bankrupt and literally murderous political philosophy of all time -- interesting only in the way that "Mein Kampf" is interesting, as a manifesto of how to reduce humankind to servility and misery.
Communism as Marx and Engels tell us, is the perfect social system. But to this day(Sep 19 2011), no nation on Earth has been able to apply it. Not the Soviet Union, not China, not Vietnam, not Cuba, not North Korea. NO ONE. Why? Because we are human, and many of us are GREEDY. You cannot remove greed from a human. Greed is a natural instict for survival. Itīs in the human DNA. Itīs in LIFEīs DNA. I am working in a social system that can work, but it requires technology. Such as robots that run on clean energy. Some tech required isnīt here yet. But weīre getting close.
Great book which tells us what not to do. A must read.
love him,hate him you cant ignore him. we may or may not be agree with someone, but we must be aware f him. And hey! he is not someone, he is Carl Marx. One must read him before making any opinion.
Throughout history few theories have been as influential and as all encompassing as that of Marx however, serious horrors and abuses in the name of communism came when power-hungry megalomaniacs got their hands on it. A good way to look at the communist Manifesto is like medication for society. In the hands of those who understand the true nature and value of the medicine [ie Lenin, Stalin, Hoxha] a gorgeous new society in which true freedom from oppression is achievable, However in the hands of those who do not understand the medicine [ie Mao, Pol Pot, Cenescu] great attrocities can also be committed, nevertheless there is no more godless and murderous ideology than capitalism; a creed of which millions die simply because they were born into poverty.
As a polemic, it is excellent. As an actual blue print for a society inhabited by human beings, it is deadly farcial nonsense. Stalin, using this theory, attempted to collectivize agriculture and in the process murdered over a million children. Communism world wide killed one hundred million people. A man made disaster this large is beyond comprehension and those who would wish it upon their fellow human beings are at best willfully ignorant and at worst comfortable with sacrificing lives for the sake of an ideology.
I just love how you all say communism has never worked in practice, your ideas of communism are in fact totalitarian socialism communism is a goal that has never been reached, even by Mother Russia. Countries like China and North Korea are in fact socialist, they still have social classes, while were they truely Communist, there would be only working class citizens. And also Lenin didn't fail, Stalin wanted the control and marked Lenin as a traitor and sent KGB after him chasing him into Germany, Lenin only led the country for 11 years.
the theory of communism seems fair and just however putting it into practice is impossible.
Wow that was a terrific review of the book QED!
would anyone like to share reason of failure of communism? Was it a conceptual failure or failure due to lack of leadership or mismanagement?
Great review of the book, QED.
As a former beliver, I can say with conviction that I have studied the problem and found:
1. Lenin tried and failed
2. Stalin tried and failed
3. Countless others have tried and failed
4. Communism has never worked in practical application
Quod Erat Demonstrandum
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.
20 million Russians murdered under Stalin as a direct result of the philosophy this book introduced. People reduced to cannibalism as a direct result of the agricultural policies set out here. Half the world imprisoned in daily fear of their lives with no escape. I could go on.
I doubt many people would be giving a 5 star rating to Mein Kampf. People rating this a five should be ashamed. It was never about utopia, it was a book of greed and cruelty. Probably the most vile and degenerate book ever written. It\'s scary to think that it\'s still brainwashing people to this day.
Chances are a lot of reviewers giving this a positive score imagine that if communists took power you would be rewarded with a nice office, a bust of Lenin and some adoring young party members hanging off your every word. In reality you\'d be more likely to get a bullet in the head like many party members who accidentally strayed one word from the official line. This book, and this book alone, should be banned.
Wow! I was looking at the comments below mine, and realized that half of the reviewers haven't even read the book. "Communism has been tried and failed..." What planet are you living on? What has been "tried and failed" is *forced* socialism; an unsustainable shortcut. If you'd have read the book, you would know and understand the reasons behind those failures. At present day, be assured that you are witness to the gradual change as originally described by Engles. Should be required reading for just about everyone.
*sigh* How does one add a review to a collection of heated, acrimonious exchanges which reveal the authors' biases but little about this book? Of course this is inevitable. A book which has left such a strong and controversial footprint upon the sands of time, and which is only the tip of the iceberg of an intriguing, difficult, and even more controversial system of thought, is bound to produce such a reaction. Personally, as an ardent classical liberal and believer in free-market capitalism, I disagree strongly with the conclusions of this volume; but I am not here to defend my position, and the fact is I believe everyone should read Marx, first for historical insight, but also to be challenged mentally. There is a dangerous tendency in our society only to read books with which one agrees. So-called 'conservatives' read books by 'conservatives' presenting a 'conservative' view on the world; 'liberals' read books by 'liberals' which fit everything within a tidy 'liberal' worldview. Yet this kind of thinking gets one nowhere productive. If I followed this trend, I wouldn't be where I am today. Therefore, rather than either run on a tirade against Marx's views or wax eloquent on his virtues or nitpick his faults, I will simply urge the reader to carefully read and consider what Marx has to say. That is all. One would hope this would be obvious, but judging by other reader responses, that is unfortunately not the case.
people need to remember that this is not a book about an idea that will lead to a select few having absolute control. it is merely a book about a groups utopia. personally, a class less society would be perfect. that way we will no longer be in things such as recession or even depressions. capitalists are just greedy. great book. must read. also, lenin, stalin, etc. are not marxists. they taught their own form of marxism or communism.
Larry, in answer to your question, you are absolutely right. There is no way anyone can make an argument that the soviet union or North Korea has or had a good government. But neither of those governments had a true communistic society. it was just fascism called communism. the leaders were only dictators calling themselves comrades. Try looking at kibbutz's. that is the true best form of communism because it is voluntary, and there is no absolute power for anyone.
I have read the Manifesto, and can't help but ask myself that if Communisum is so great why hasn't it proven successful.
All of these people who critize America and Capitalism never seem to take the time to do a critical review of Russia or China.
Their Governments are miserable failures and their cruelty to human beings are legendary.
Simply, the book is a one-of-a-kind book that, due to the presence of the monsterous capitalism it will not take humanity into highest levels of life...
To those who say the ideas expressed in this book are impossible due to 'human nature', you have clearly read this work in isolation. The myth of competition as an inherent part of humanity has been perpetuated by capitalist society despite there being more than adequate evidence for the existence of mutual aid in both human and animal society. This book is a piece of well-written propaganda and very little more. No intelligent scholar or communist has taken this book as a serious intellectual work and it shows a great deal of naivity for any adult to study this piece as a genuine theoretical contribution to communism, sociology or anthropology.
Hmmm. I feel that I should point out that if you want communists to take responsibility for the acts of someone like Stalin, ask yourself if you, as a "god-fearing" capitalist, are willing to take responsibility for slavery, the drug trade, the mafia, the killing of Native Americans, indentured servitude, sexism, racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, the Nazis, colonialzation, child workers, and global climate decline? I didn't think so.
How can you label this book "evil" when you live in a society where many are needy and a few are rich? Would communism have had such a tough time so far if it hadn't been attacked (covertly and overtly) by the capitalists? The basis of human society started as communist (see prehistoric social structure) and will end as communists. Why should the wants of a select few overrule the needs of the many? Welcome to the future.
The folks above, of whom this book has somehow frightened need to chill out.
everything that Ben said. This book should be read, and evaluated fairly. It is not all perfect, and it is not terribly wrong either. As Ben said, for practical reasons, namely human nature, what is contained in this book is impossible to practice successfully, but that doesn't mean that there are no valid points. Blaming this book for all the terrible disasters to have befallen mankind is also absurd, because in order to make that accusation, the accusers conveniently ignore the very obvious shortcomings of other ideologies that they recommend in its place. Everything has advantages and disadvantages, and it is only fair to point both out. With that in mind, i suggest that everyone reads this book.
It doesn't matter how one feels about communism, capitalism, class in society, etc. This book IS important because it has helped define modern society and how we define ourselves. In this respect, it is as important as the Bible. It should not be dismissed simply because we are appalled at the crimes of the practitioners (Stalin, Mao). It must be taken on its own merits as a revolutionary work of an extraordinary thinker.
this book is informational and allows new insight to be born. but you must remember that the idea of communism has failed and due to the human nature of competition a classless society is doomed to fail. also after deep analysis it is shown that creating a classless society will lead to thee distruction of peoples will to advance
I read all the previous comments, and it scares the bejeezes out of me. I can't believe people (Americans!) have bought into communism. Can't they see it is a method of gaining POWER, by power hungry THUGS? How dare you speak of the "compassion" of the author and his followers! This isn't compassion, it is despotism, it is totalitarianism, it is the manipulation of evil men and women who would OWN you!!! Have you forgotten Hitler already?? This country is doomed if the prevailing opinion is that this tripe is what we need!
I read this recently after putting it off for years. I expected it to be full of wisdom, I expected to learn something new, but instead I found it as dull as dishwater. It was once an important book, but I don't think the Communist Manifesto is relevant anymore, and is really only worth something as a historical document. There is nothing new here, surprisingly, perhaps because everything about the downtrodden working class has already done the rounds. George Orwell does a better job of speaking for the proletariat. We all know we're slaves to money, but does anybody have a Utopia up their sleeve? You won't find Utopia here either.
as a comrade and historian,Marx done a great job.He is not only a ecnomist but also a humanist...I think every body,includes "HYPO-Capatalists" reads this one for knowing their future.
this isn't a book of testament telling you how to live your life and offering insight to life beyond death. it isnt a be good or else message from god almighty. it is a book written by man to help people overcome their miserable existance in life up till that point. if it wasnt for this book all us working folk would have no unions to protect us (although i will admit they make things rather difficult at times!) this book will change your life not by making you a communist but by realizing that some of our practices in a dog eat dog capitalist society can be rectified by following some of the guidlines laid out in the communist manifesto. communist societies would have worked had they only stuck to the plan laid out in the communist manifesto, alas human nature must rear its ugly head at the most unpredictable times.
It's a book. I'm not going to say whether its contents are correct or incorrect; just or unjust; terrible or benevolent--it's not my job to tell anyone what to think about this book or whether or not to read it. It is a book that has influenced many people after its publication and still grips the political thinking of many people today. It is an influential book--and thus, an important book. But I cannot say--because saying would be telling and I don't intend to tell anyone what to think or believe--if this book represents the truth and I must remind everyone that this book, like many books, may be inaccurate, biased, and narrow-sighted. This book, like many books, may well also be enlightened, truthful, and prophetic. But it's not my job to tell you which one you should believe in.
I will also tell you though, that books of this kind are rarely written for leisure. They are rarely written with indifference and they are rarely indifferent about what their readers think about them; books like these have purposes and goals and agendas. A book like this exists to convince and argue. It is not here to tell a story for the sake of leisurely story.
This is not to say that you shouldn't read it, but to say that readers must understand that this book is not without its biases; that this book is written from a perspective that is by no means objective--even if it is a valid perspective; that this book, like all books, must be carefully approached and analyzed, its premises investigated, and its truth status determined. We must not let this--or any--book take us by surprise in a moment of docility. The writers of this book wish for us to think, to be active, to question...and I am sure the authors expect its readers to do the same toward this book.
Brent must be an idiot. The Bourgeoisie has fooled people like him and thus condemned the rest of us to suffer as wage slaves whilst THEY reap the seeds WE have sown.
This book is very evil indeed! However, it should be read to understand the nature of what we are fighting against. There is no compassion within the pages of this book. Find on page 22 this books main goal. "Abolition of the family!" Is the books main purpose.
This book deceptively uses such old arguments as how bad factory working conditions are as a way to gain support for its real intent of destroying the sanctity of the family. Again on page 22, "The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parent & child, becomes all the more disgusting...."
Marx continues to attempt at pulling people into this evil work by dividing men and women and attacking marriage, child labour, etc. Of course any thinking person is against child labour.
In addition to the "abolition of the family," look at Marx's other real purpose of writing this book and you will soon understand. His talk about the working man is nothing more than trickery to get you to buy into his evil scheme to do away with man's agency. Man's sovereignty & agency to choose for himself lies at the foundation of this most abominable work.
Read the 10 planks which are completely opposed to the US Constitutions original 10 amendments. The original Constitution of the United States is completely opposite and opposed to this book. Look at the results of each system today? The reason America is headed in the same direction now is, the original US Constitution is no longer the rule of law, rather, the US has embraced all 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. Which is at the root of all its problems. The US needs desperately to return to being the light unto the world for liberty (i.e., man's agency), protection of the individual & family (marriage), private property (in all its forms), which are all God given rights. Take a good look at the fruits of the United States vs. Russia or China to understand the difference.
i don't see how any one could not agree with this!
read the book
this books is for one with true will to change and set things strait
this book has a storng foundation based on dialectical materialism, and where almost all contemporary knowledge started. this book is not for those willing to appreciate deconstructions of myths inside their head, this is for real people who wants to change this godamn world because of people who are greedy enough to kill us all.
What Mr. L Chang wrote about this book is damn rite... Althougt there's alot of terrible things happen because of this ideology... n many critics abt the aplication in the real life.. but... we hv to read it... its a very beautifull thought... We'll hv a diffrent perspective abt this life.. a better one. And hear the song "Imagine" from John Lennon. I guess we will be much2 better person. A very kind, social, happy..n will hv alot of joy in this sad world.
This was our gospel when I grew up in China. After getting an economics Ph.D. from Yale and finally became a professor in this field, I would still recommend you to read this book. Not because everything it said is correct, for we know it is not, but because it offers you a chance to look at the world from a refreshingly different perspective. In this way you will not be too narrow-minded. Much of what it said about capitalism is still true in the developing countries, including rapidly growing ones like China. Seeing the cheap labors toiling in the factories, and seeing how bad the working environment is and how little help and care the workers get, you may understand the authors more, about their compassion, about their ideas. After all, the world market is linked, an so many goods you might be consuming are produced in these factories. Then, hopefully,you may understand more events in this World, and not just in a few most developed countries sitting on the top of the international consumption chain.
This book is horrible. It doesn't stand for God and his laws about freedom and justice at all.
I had to read this in college. It was interesting for sheer historical perspective value: it's amazing how many things have come from this book. Unfortunately, most of them horrible tragedies; nations and lives have been and continue to be destroyed because of this man's ideas. The manifesto has been proven time and again to be inviable in the real world. And, honestly, it's hard for me to even look at this work from a purely objective standpoint anymore, not being able to forget all the evil and destruction its followers have wrought.
The foundation stone of Utopia...
The book of the books.