Book critque on Karl Marx's Communist manifesto - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: A Critical Analysis of “The Communist Manifesto” Being commissioned by the Communist League Karl Marx and Frederick Engels jointly wrote the book, “The Communist Manifesto”, in 1848, that is often considered as one of the most influential political manuscripts of the world…
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Book critque on Karl Marxs Communist manifesto
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A Critical Analysis of “The Communist Manifesto” Being commissioned by the Communist League Karl Marx and Frederick Engels jointly wrote the book, “The Communist Manifesto”, in 1848, that is often considered as one of the most influential political manuscripts of the world. Indeed if communism or socialism is considered as a social theory, explaining the course of the evolution of human society as well as human history from a more or less contented viewpoint, the mode of production and the labor put into it, the Communist Manifesto can be accepted as the political guidance for those who are involved in the production system of the modern capitalist society. For these authors, modern society is essentially the latest one of those changes in the mode of production throughout the evolution of human society. At the same time, since Marx and Engels envisaged that the stage of human society, next to Capitalism, is a world of the working class people, in Marx and Engel’s word the proletariats, that is based on the socialist modes of labor as well as production, the proletariat or the working class people of the world should unite themselves to take the society to this stage. Unfortunately, though Marx and Engel’s theory of class struggle is convincing enough to a theory of social science to explain the changes in the economic system of human society, they have failed to perceive that a theory of social science is not complete enough to bring about the changes according to a formulated pattern. At best, a theory, like Marxism, can predict the oncoming changes in a society; but there must be exception. In one of the edition of the Manifesto in 1883, Engels acknowledged that the book is "essentially Marx's work" and that “the basic thought... belongs solely and exclusively to Marx” (Marx and Engels 23). Indeed Marx’s theory of class struggle has largely set the premise of the book. Based on the Class-struggle theory, the book explores deep into heart of Capitalism, pointing out its problems and providing the proletariat’s “to do”. In the very beginning of the book, Marx and Engels purport that human history is essentially “the history of class struggles” (Marx and Engels 34). In this class struggle, there are generally two opposing and conflicting parties on either side of the mode of labor, as these authors assert, “Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another” and the conflict between the two “each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes” (Marx and Engels 43). According to Marx and Engels, Capitalism has resulted from the disintegration of the preceding feudalist society though the conflicts between the feudal lords and their subjects. Through this disintegration two more conflicting classes emerged: the bourgeoisie as the ruling class with the control over the mean of production and the working class who labors for wage. This bourgeois class is solely profit-oriented, lacking any morals; they manipulate all the religious, political and other social institutions in order to achieve their own end of accumulating wealth, as in the Manifesto, the authors say, “The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations...for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation” (). In the first chapter of the Manifesto, Marx and Engels explain that since the dominant class’s exploitation of the dominated class gives birth to the conflict and struggle between them, and since in a capitalist society, the bourgeoisie exploits the wage-labor of the proletariats, Capitalism also is going to face the opposition of the working class and the eventual disintegration into a society without class distinctions. Indeed the first chapter of the book provides the readers with a theoretical basis of what a ‘would-be’ Communist is, described in the following chapters. Obviously Marx and Engels have deeply explored into the heart of the economic system of the society as a determinant of its political and power structure, as John Raines says, “The tool of money has produced the miracle of the new global market and the ubiquitous shopping mall. Read The Communist Manifesto, written more than one hundred and fifty years ago, and you will discover that Marx foresaw it all." (5) Another positive criticism from Chris Harman is: “There is still a compulsive quality to its prose as it provides insight after insight into the society in which we live, where it comes from and where it’s going to.” (3) The Manifesto’s problem lies in the fact that it takes it for granted that the working classes are the most exploited section of the society and the Capitalists are the exploiters who own the production systems. Such extremely two ended explanation of a society’s production system is, though theoretically right, practically flawed within itself. The structure of a capitalist society is such that the conflict between the working class and the bourgeoisies, before reaching the deadlock, will come to a balance without the disintegration of capitalism into a classless society of working class. So Marx’s prediction of a classless society is indeed a fallacy in need. Moreover, Marx and Engel have not considered the role of the consumer in between the duo of owners-workers relationship. Indeed there is no strict dichotomy that can separate a day-laborer from being a consumer of a capitalist and of course, a consumer is an asset for a capitalist. Works Cited Harman, Chris. "The Manifesto and the World of 1848". The Communist Manifesto (Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich). Bloomsbury, London: Bookmarks. 2010. Marx, Karl and Engels, Fredrick. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Penguin group, 1998. Raines, John. "Introduction". Marx on Religion (Marx, Karl). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 2002. Read More
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