Author Topic: The Communist Manifesto  (Read 687 times)

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Offline SGT. Zera R. Yarano

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The Communist Manifesto
« on: September 15, 2009, 06:57:50 pm »
Alright; in a vague attempt to offer something to a new community, I've thought to allow a small,  semi-regular book review. Personally, this one is special and may just anger several why haven't I done it sooner?

The Communist Manifesto. Infamous and synonymous with so many radical appeals. Honestly, the things that people fear...haha. To be honest, I didn't think it was that good.

Anyway, let's begin, shall we?

The Communist Manifesto, yes, is the book of Communism; that is, it is the original basis and explanation of the economic style. Originally published February 21 of 1848, by known Socialist/Communist theorists Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx.

The copy of the book I'd obtained had an introduction by a Francis B. Randall of the Sarah Lawrence College; he goes into describing Marx's history (Birth in 1818, in the German city of Treves; lifestyle; family; et cetera.), his mentality and personality, and his reasoning for helping to write the stigmatic book.
Between witty bits of information (Did you know Marx called people he particularly didn't like "Dirty Jews of Negro Blood"? Or that Hitler hated Communism, in part, because Marx came from a Jewish family? Ironically, he didn't think himself Jewish. Hitler was wrong again!), Mr. Randall gives some nice insight in the mind of the fiery old man, Marx.

The Preamble

Fifty-five pages later, and the book actually began; The preamble of the book begins with a seemingly little-known quote that, despite my doubts in Communism, strikes me. "A spectre is haunting Europe...the spectre of Communism." Marx and Engels go into explaining that Communism was misunderstood, and as such often the case with the misunderstood, disliked in Europe at the time; it was a power, at the time, and it had the middle-class gripping at their cush armchairs in fear..when they actually believed it true.
They'd also urged any Communist believers at the time to "..openly..publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the specter of communism with a manifesto of the party itself." This, in my own opinion, is the beginning of a whole lot of...well, shameless promotion, if I may.

Bourgeois and Proletarians

"The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." The first line says it all; the book, the mode of thinking, and Communist struggle in general; bourgeois is the term applied to modern
capitalist, and originally came to mean the people with the means of production. Proletarians are what most Communists...claim to be; the menial, lower-class laborers. The obviously larger class, and one constantly under the strain of being forced to produce for the industrial bourgeois. (Communism is solely an industrial-related ideal.) Marx and Engels offer an explanation unto the evolution of both "hostile camps", as they wrote, and why they are as such.

Proletarians and Communists

This chapter is in for one sole reason; to explain the connection..and dependency..of Communism on its child-group, the Proletarians. It details how Communism is to work, ("The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties" et cetera.) and how Communists are to interact and cooperate; If you've not heard the ideals of Communism, it is based around both conflict and cooperation, oddly.
I) Reactionary Socialism
II) Conservative (Bourgeois) Socialism
III) Critical-Utopian Socialism/Communism
The two men go on to describe...and this is where you'd want to take notes...the differences between Communism and Socialism; classless society (anarchy?), based around cooperation to maintain itself. Large scale is likely not to happen. Socialism is a inclined to have a government, as that's it main difference; industry is government-owned and -maintained, whilst others are held in the freer fashion (Remember now that this is a horribly-generalized description of the two, for the purposes of making it a review, and not a book unto itself).

*Sighs, and takes a deep breath*

Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties

Oh wow; long title. Anyway..if you took the time to read it, this chapter details how Communism exists, theoretically or otherwise, beside and competitively with other government styles.
It states that Communism and Communists in general will offer aid and support all rebellions and revolutions for the sake of unifying all under Communism itself. It also contains that ever-famous line, "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."

Review time?
Basically, it was bizarre to me. From time-to-time, it seemed as though Engels and Marx wandered from their goal, what with their portraying Communism as a battlefield, and a government-style of all things.
Sometimes, the book seems to stop dead in its tracks, just to throw a free curse in the direction of the bourgeois. Other times, it just seemed like propaganda, instead of a call-to-arms.
Otherwise, I enjoyed taking a look into it; it's nice to see the words, unskewed and perfectly applied, just how there were meant to be said.

Sources : Teh wikipedia
"The Communist Manifesto" - Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels (Samuel Moore translation)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 10:08:15 pm by SGT. Zera R. Yarano »

Offline Meadow Whisper (Natasha)

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Re: First attempt, standardized perhaps?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 08:38:17 pm »
Subject changed to match the name of the work you're reviewing.  Aside from that, very well-written :-)
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Offline Chopin

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Re: The Communist Manifesto
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 11:28:32 pm »
Well, at least to me, just think about it, anybody who reads the first sentence before responding, in theory, Communism is a good idea. I mean, everybody's equal, everybody shares everything, there's no police force, so it just kinda turns into the people controlling themselves. It's not until you actually implement it does it fail, because of two things: human greed & corruption. People are always wanting to better themselves, at least from what I noticed, but in Communism, there's no upper class, or upper-middle class, or whatever, so there's no way to measure that. And people will take advantage of the lack of a police force, and as long as they're the majority, they can't be stopped. So the thing that brings Communism crashing into the ground is human nature, not any flaws in the system.
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