Re-reading The Communist Manifesto

The Meat Eating Leftist re-reads (obsolete link) The Communist Manifesto on the 158th anniversary of the publication of the little book and notes the sense of immediacy and urgency with which the young Marx and Engels wrote the manifesto- an urgency and hope that remain belied.A nostalgic post with some memorable quotes from the book- indeed Marx never ceases to surprise us even after one and a half century. See this quote for example:

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation… It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

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bhupinder singh

reader, mainly and an occasional blogger

7 thoughts on “Re-reading The Communist Manifesto”

  1. Both quite accurate and inspiring to this very day. You have to wonder whether the power elite has the Manifesto and Das Kapital as required reading in prep-school.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I first read Marx when I was 15 and still I cannot get over him. At every historical juncture, he seems to have “been there, seen it all”. The range of his vision is mesmerizing and you are absolutely correct- his ideas have been (selectively) appropriated in the dominant discourse, especially aspects of his economic determinism (“globalization is inevitable”), even as his name is sought to be equated with everything that went wrong in the 20th century.

  3. It was not just Marx and his ideas that were revolutionary and correct! He was only the vehicle that voiced the words that became and will become recognized as an objective truth and a part of objective reality!
    Marx had said “I am not a marxist!…I am a student of Marxism!”
    My understanding of that quote is that we should keep learning from the objective reality of our environment and scientifically determine what was our past, what is our present, and what will be our future!
    All dialectical materialists should be on the same page at all times if dialectical materialism is truly a science and not a religion, philosophy or an idea that Karl Marx thought up!

  4. Marx’s diagnosis of the economic issues was brilliant but his
    prescription for the problems is unviable and against basic human nature. Man is a ego-centric and selfish creature (nothing wrong in it as long as other people’s rights are not
    trampled upon) ; all the people cannot be converted into
    sincere and genuine communists ; that is to do one’s best for the commune ; without incentives or ‘profit’, men will not
    put in their best efforts ; inefficiency and other forms of corruption will distort ; (all former communist nations were good examples and so do our PSUs and govt depts..)

    and power is over centralised in a “dictatorship of a proletariat” ; like all dictatorships, human rights will be abused and dissent supperessed ruthlessly. See what is happening in
    N.Korea.

    the magnicificent book “Raod to serfdom” (1944) by Hayek is a must read for all those intersted in Marxist theories..

  5. I wouldn’t say Marx has suggested a prescription anywhere, even the Critique of the Gotha Programme is very sketchy on what socialism would be. Marx’s writings are primarily a critique of 19th century capitalism.

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