Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto argument: a limpid summary

The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 to clarify the objectives of the Communist Party to ultimately mobilize proletariats in a social revolution. In the opening line of the Manifesto, Marx asserts that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” (473). Marx’s analyses of history in terms of class struggle as well as his condemnation of Capitalism provide the foundation of the manuscript’s argument. While Marx is successful in describing the unceasing injustices posed on society at the hands of the bourgeoisie, much of his reasoning is weakened because the argument is extremely teleological. His attempt to lure supporters into mobilization rests primarily upon the assumption that class struggle and exploitation exclusively exist for the purpose of unifying the oppressed and starting a revolution.
In an effort to legitimize his unwavering belief that the history of mankind is synonymous with class struggle, Marx introduces the methodological principle of “materialist concept of history”. This concept contends that the foundation of any society relies on its production capacity. Furthermore, as this capacity grows over time, relations between classes in a society transform as well, resulting in class struggles. In other words, Marxist theory affirms that conditions within political and social institutions are a direct reflection of their economy.
During the late 1840s the “shameless” and “brutal” conditions within these institutions were a direct result of the bourgeoisie’s implementation of a Capitalist economy (475). His critique of such an economy concludes with the contention that as long as the bourgeoisie own all means of production (i.e. capital), they will continue to oppress the proletariats until society ceases to progress. Although Marx warns that society will cease to progress, he also maintains that upheaval will...