Shaping of the Modern World
Document Analysis #2
Manifesto of the Communist Party
The Manifesto of the Communist Party was first published in 1848 in London uponsolicitation by the Communist League, an association of German workers and immigrants exiled in Great Britain, in Belgium or in France.
The Manifesto presents the aspirations of Communism, itsposition towards Socialism, and other XIXth century parties. The main idea of the Manifesto is that the whole story of humanity is the one of a perpetual class struggle. In the XIXth century, the evolutionof the opposition between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat leads to the eventual awareness among the proletariat of its status as a class and of its undeniable revolutionary potential.
In theCommunists’ opinion, the enslaved proletariat can not achieve its emancipation from the power of the dominant class without emancipating the society as a whole, from all exploitations, oppressions,class distinctions, and class struggles. According to Marx and Engels a total revolution is a historical necessity, in order to free the world from the capitalist bourgeois regime and develop a communistsociety.
For Marx, history begins from the first mediation between man and nature, and between men themselves: labour. This historical materialism is opposed to the Hegelian dialectic, even if itis a dialectical movement. In Marx’s mind, the world is put into motion by men’s action to transform this world. History is shaped by class struggles whose frequency makes them almost routine keepsociety in motion. The existence of classes depends on the given phase of historical development which is determined by the dominant mode of economic production and the social organization which resultsfrom it. These constitute the base on which is built, and from which can only be explained the political and intellectual history of this time. For Marx and Engels, there have always been oppressors...
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