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Communist Manifesto

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Opiates for the masses
From each
To each
The Manifesto, translated from the original German: "Have you ever thought how crazy it is that, like, there's so much stuff? But some people have a lot of stuff, like, way more than they need? And then other people don't have enough to live with dignity, right? Shit, man. That's not fair! It's no wonder that the guys who don't have anything are totally pissed at the rich guys who are basically, like, hoarding the stuff they need. That's the whole history of the world, you know? Those guys being mad at those other guys. And sometimes they get really mad, and just fucking take what's theirs, you know? That happens over and over again, forever."
Jon Stewart[1]

The Communist Manifesto is a thirty-something page political manifesto (who'd have thunk it?) written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848, describing the basic worldview and dogmas of communism, including class struggle, how capitalism had destroyed all the illusions of feudalism (the family with only one breadwinner, for example), an exact description of communism, and a rant on how bad all other forms of socialism are. The style of the manifesto varies between propaganda, scientific paper and an angry rant by two grumpy old men (although Marx was 30 when he wrote it but he outlived many real workers).

Whatever problems there may be in the manifesto (and there are plenty) it has been unfairly compared to Mein Kampf on multiple occasions. This ignores, among other things, the fact that Marx and Engels were observing and trying to deal with real world problems, not wannabe dictators foaming at the mouth about Jews.

Readers should also be aware that the Communist Manifesto wasn't Marx's serious political work. His political theories were explained thoroughly in Das Kapital—the Manifesto was thrown together in a hurry for the masses, because there were major revolutions going on in that year (though they were all eventually squashed) and they didn't want to be late to the party. A serious treatment of Marx's ideas, then, should focus more on Kapital, provided the reader can stay awake (it's a long, boring read!).

External links[edit]


  1. Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, pg. 96 (Including a photo of Marx and friends on weed.)