The Communist Manifesto

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The Communist Manifesto is an early communist pamphlet written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1847 under the title "Manifesto of the Communist Party" and released in 1848. The book consists of a systematical exposition of the ideas and aims of the Communists at that time. As such, the work contains brief explanations of the materialist conception of history, class struggle, and so on. It is divided into four chapters and largely based on Engels' "Principles of Communism".

The Manifesto is considered by many Marxists to be outdated as far as an understanding of Marxism goes, espousing many positions that Marx and Engels later abandoned (such as imminent annihilation of the middle class, which would actually grow in the following years, something Marx addressed in his 1863 Manuscript, Theories of Surplus Value[1]).

10 "Laws"[edit]

The Ten Planks of Communism proposed in the Manifesto should be read in the context of their time. Most modern communists, taking changed historical conditions into account, do not propose to actually implement the policies it describes.

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc., etc.}}

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