Communist Manifesto

The author of this book was Karl Marx. Karl Heinrich Marx was born into a comfortable middle-class home in Trier on the river Moselle in Germany on May 5, 1818. He came a long line of rabbis on both sides of his family and his father, a man who knew Voltaire and Lessing by heart, had agreed to baptism as a Protestant so that he would not lose his fob as one of the most respected lawyers in Trier. At the age of seventeen, Marx enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bonn. At Bonn he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of Baron von Westphalen, a prominent member of Trier society, and man responsible for interesting Marx in Romantic literature and Saint-Simonian politics. The following year Marx s father sent him to the more serious University of Berlin where he remained four years, at which time he abandoned his romanticism for the Hegelianism which ruled in Berlin at the time.

Marx became a member of the Young Hegelian movement. This group, which included the theologians Bruno Bauer and David Friedrich Strauss, produced a radical critique of Christianity and, by implication, the liberal opposition to the Prussian autocracy. Finding a university career closed by the Prussian government, Marx moved into journalism and, in October 1842, became editor, in Cologne, of the influential Rheinische Zeitung, a liberal newspaper backed by industrialists. Marx s article, particularly those on economic questions, forced the Prussian government to close the

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paper. Marx then emigrated to France. Here Marx met Frederick Engels and the two formed a lifetime partnership.

Marx and Engels were expelled from Paris at the end of 1844. Marx and Engels spent three years in Brussels. Marx joined the Communist League. This was an organization of German workers with its center in London of which Marx and Engels became the major theoreticians. At a conference of the League in London at the end of 1847 Marx and Engels were commissioned to write a succinct declaration of their position. Scarcely was the Communist Manifesto published when the 1848 wave of revolutions broke out in Europe. The book was published originally in 1847, but I couldn t locate the name of the publisher. Many copies and revisions have been published since the original.

The content of this book was pretty cut and dry. This book s main purpose was to outline the beliefs of the communists. A complete overview of the book can be summed up in the opening statements. A spectre is haunting Europe the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

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Two things result from this fact: 1. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers to be itself a power. 2. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself. To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assemble in London and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

The main shortcomings of this book were that it was boring. I expected as much considering that it s a book just stating what a group of people believe and I don t even agree with what they believe in the first place. Humans are by nature stupid and will follow anything that they think will make them better off, not to mention the fact that the author is very biased. The guy who s writing this book is basically the man who founded the belief, and definitely the man who gave the belief widespread acceptance into many areas of the world. The book was moderately tough to read as well. The average student wouldn t even understand most of the words used. This book didn t satisfy my curiosity, it magnified it. I want to learn more about communism now. The reason for this being that you need to know your enemy and the more you know, the better equipped you ll be to combat it. I want to know more about communism because it goes against everything I believe in, not to mention everything this country was founded upon.

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