Devon Olivia Terry
23 November 2015
Precis: Analysis of The Manifesto of the Communist Party
The Manifesto of the Communist Party was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and published in 1848. The writers met in London and wrote the original copy in German to be published in six different languages. The literature was the first formal writing on the goals and beliefs of the Communist Party and aimed to discredit misconceptions about the party. The Manifesto aims to abolish the exploitative class system and private property when it is historically relevant to do so through a revolutionary uprising of the proletariat working class.
The Manifesto is broken up into a preamble and four chapters. The first chapter establishes the history that the party acknowledges but ultimately sees as flawed and finite. The class system is all pervasive throughout time, and it is inherently oppressive. There is a struggle between different classes namely, the bourgeois and the proletarians. The bourgeois are the upper levels of society; they are private property owners, landlords, business owners and managers. All work benefits this class because they are the overseers of all commerce. The proletarians are the working class or laborers; though they have property, it is regulated or rented from the bourgeois. They work for funds to pay for goods that directly benefit the bourgeois. The proletariat is a larger class that actually is reason for societal function; however, everything they do is for the benefit of the bourgeoisie. The system in place is direct exploitation of the working class. The Manifesto calls for question of the current practice because the system is unjust. The system equates personal worth to monetary value and dismisses individual thought and creativity. Workers are pinned against each other because of mutual competition; the proletarian only lives if it can find work, thus the class is chained to the system. As long as the proletariat cooperate, there is no downfall for the upper class.
The Manifesto is laying out a movement that is currently in the process of taking place. A proletarian revolution is unavoidable because a reformation is not enough to right the wrongs of the class system. The writing calls for an uprising of the working class to overthrow the bourgeois. The revolution is outlined as making the proletariat the ruling class then seizing all capital from the bourgeoisie. The means of production will then be centralized under the State as opposed to individuals. Socialism is not radical enough to change the system because socialism does not account for historical importance of bourgeoisie rise which in turn supports the bourgeois.
The Manifesto of the Communist Party is a cry for revolution: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”