The Communist Manifesto | Study Guide

Karl Marx

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Karl Marx, Section 1 he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones, Marx and Engels Internet Archive, PBS, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, World Economic Forum Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Age of Revolutions Europe was involved in a series of popular revolutions in the middle of the 19th century. Inequality Capitalism and worker exploitation produced wealth, inequality, and poverty. Context The Communist Manifestoby the Numbers Volumes of Das Kapital, published starting in 1867, in which Marx explains the dangers of capitalism 3 The Communist Manifesto’s place on the World Economic Forum list of the 20 most influential books in history 2 Year Marx moved to London after being banished from Belgium, Paris, and Germany because of his revolutionary ideas 1849 Year Europe was convulsed by revolutions in France, Italy, Austria, and Germany 1848 Marx and Engels were German philosophers who collaborated to record their revolutionary theories of communism and working-class struggle for the Communist Congress in London. In words and actions they worked to build the revolutionary workers’ society, and their Communist Manifesto greatly influenced 20th-century politics and sociology. KARL MARX (1818–83) & FRIEDRICH ENGELS (1820–95) Authors Crisis of Overproduction An economic depression results from producing too much and saturating a given market, leading to economic paralysis. Critical-Utopian Socialism This brand of socialism seeks an end to capitalism through the reconciliation of workers and capitalists—without a violent revolutionary period. Historical Materialism Financial factors in society—such as class and economics—are the driving forces of history. Bourgeoisie The owners of wealth, especially the means of production, include industrialists and capitalists. Proletariat The working class is made up of many urban industrial wage workers. Key Terms With workers liberated from exploitation, class divisions wither away as does the need for government, creating a free and egalitarian society. Communism As the class struggle advances through stages, it produces the proletarian revolution. Revolution The class struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat is a permanent and irreconcilable conflict under capitalism. Class Struggle Factories use wages to exploit workers and give the wealth they generate to the bourgeoisie. Workers The Communist Manifesto offers a rousing call to arms for the proletarian revolution. Marx and Engels claim the bourgeois and proletariat classes have no common interests or goals and are destined to fight for control of capital and all aspects of society. The clash will cause the collapse of capitalism and dominance of communism. Class Struggle Breeds Revolution MARX’S MAIN ARGUMENT German Original Language 1848 Year Published Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Authors The Communist Manifesto Philosophy Primary Source

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