Thursday, February 21, 2013
“A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism.” So begins the preamble to The Communist Manifesto (Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) by political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published in London on February 21, 1848. It was also serialized in a German-language newspaper. The first chapter opens with the words, "The history of all hitherto existing societies has been the history of class struggles." The pamphlet then argues that the exploitation of one class by another is the motivating force behind all historical developments, in which class relationships are defined by society’s means of production. Class antagonism results, revolution occurs, and a new ruling class emerges. This process, driven by vast economic forces, is the "march of history." Capitalist society would be replaced by socialism, then communism. In today’s imbalanced society, concerns about capitalism are increasingly relevant.