“The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Max and Friedrich Engels
In 1848 Karl Max and Friedrich Engels published “The Communist Manifesto” in “which they introduced the concept of socialism as a natural result of conflicts inherent in the capitalist system.” The Communist Manifesto argues that behind the historical development there is a motivating force of class struggles or exploitation of one class by the other. The class relationships are distinct by the production means of an era. A revolution arises, and a results in the emergence of a new class of the ruling class which is derived from large economic forces. It further writes that this development of class is inevitable and capitalism is inherently unstable. For eliminating the social class differences, a revolution will need it cannot be done through changes and reforms in the government. In the 19th and 20th century the world has changed incredibly thus changing the Communist Manifesto according to their requirement. They forget the real idea behind the manifesto and transformed it and implemented according to their favor and wish.
The mid-18th century was a time of great change in Europe. The industrial revolution changed the skilled craftsman into exploited labor. In that time Max and Engels write their Manifesto to bring social reforms. In the manifesto, they stated, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”
People predicted that capitalism would fail and the united labor forces would overthrow the oppressive business and landowners and the government would collapse. Following the defeat of capitalism by the working class a new classless society would emerged based on the concept of “from each according to its abilities to each according to his needs.” Against capitalism Marx and Engels introduce the theory of socialism “a political and economic theory of social organization in which the means of distribution, production and exchanged should be own or regulate by the community as a whole” the profit should be for all people who owned it and as well for the people who are working there. They gave this idea, and they also fight for the right of people and against capitalism.
These two men Marx and Engels were the first one to introduce to the working class that their demands are an important outcome of the present economic system. They show that it was not the well-meaning efforts of noble-minded person but the class struggle of the organized working class or the public that will bring humanity from the evils which now subjugate it. They were the first to explain to the people that socialism was not the discovery of the idealists, but it was the aim of the development of productive forces in modern communities. They further stated that every class struggle is a political struggle from the past to until now the problem of succession of the rule and winner of particular social classes over others was a major issue.”
The manifesto inspired the communist revolution and also the anarchists, socialists and other anti-capitalists ideas. They bring a new reform in the society before then that 10% people own the property and the rest 90% sell their labor to them. The two prominent men want to change the society and bring reforms. They want to create a community where the industry, land, wealth and labor would share between all the people in the society. All the people will have their basic rights to education, choice, and practice and the class structure would eliminate from the society.
But now when Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would see what people have done to their Communist Manifesto they would deeply shock by the transformation. Because it has not remained the same, it was in the starting. People have transformed it according to their interest. “Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the right, a Fascist century. If the 19th century was the century of the individual, we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century and therefore the century of the State.” Mussolini in his book clearly described the issues and problems faced in the 20th century by the people. He writes it is the century of stated despite being socialist and liberalist the higher authorities are misusing their power they have forgotten the main idea behind the concept of Marx and Engels.
Russian and China are the two biggest power of practicing the Communism, and they both have totally changed the real idea behind the communist manifesto of Marx. Stalin repaired and made some the fundamental changes in the political theory of Marxism with some adjustments by proclaiming that it will overcome the economic obstacles and will develop the socialist society. He simply made it according to his comfort and interest and declared it as the correct interpretation of Marx theory. “Stalin’s transformation of the aims and practices of Communism was directly responsible for the fundamental changes in the realm of Communist thinking, not only with respect to what thought but with respect to the basic function of doctrine in the Communists system.”
Now the people have changed the whole idea behind the Communist Manifesto it was about freedom, it was about equality, it was about the equal distribution of wealth, and it was about the economic system governed by the community. But as time changed the theories change with it, Stalin put his own idea and thought it the manifesto. He changed the mind of his people, and they believe in him blindly. “Pressed by the necessity to transform their country into a modern state the Communist leaders used every opportunity to force the population to adopt the attitudes and motivation necessary to effect such transformation. Education from nursery school to university provided special opportunities to mold attitudes.” Everybody was forced in the Stalin era to promote the idea of Stalin’s Revolution.
The theories change with the time according to the need and interests and sometimes circumstances of the leaders and countries. Today Marx and Engels would be very shocked by observing the extensive transformation in their Communist Manifesto. The drafted it to provide people freedom, their right and guide them but today the leaders are using it how to oppress the public. The wealth is not equally distributed, and it is concentrated to few people and the stated. As observed in China and Russia the people don’t have their basic right to freedom of speech and choice. They follow the strict rule of their country and leaders.
- Marx, Karl & Engels, Friedrich.,. The Communist Manifesto. International Publishing Co. (1886).p 66 ↑
- Kollontaĭ, Aleksandra. Communism and the Family. Contemporary Publishing Association, 1920. ↑
- Mussolini, Benito. ““The Doctrine of Fascism”(1932).” Trans. E. Cope. Firenze, Italy: Vallecchi P (1938). P 338 ↑
- Daniels, Robert Vincent, ed. A documentary history of communism in Russia: from Lenin to Gorbachev. Vol. 1. UPNE, 1993. p 402 ↑
- Perry, Marvin, Matthew Berg, and James Krukones. Sources of European History: Since 1900. Nelson Education, 2010. p 222 ↑