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The Communist Manifesto

Marx: Money Must Go

In the section of the Communist Manifesto devoted to "German or 'True' Socialism" Marx and Engels said of "German philosophers, would-be philosophers and beaux esprits" influenced by socialist ideas that "beneath the French criticism of the economic function of money, they wrote Alienation of Humanity', and beneath the French criticism of the bourgeois State they wrote 'Dethronement of the Category of the General', and so forth".

The Communist Manifesto and the Last 100 Years

Preface (1948)

This year being the centenary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto we are reprinting the latter, together with Engels’s preface to the authorised English translation. Prefixed to these is an introduction we have prepared covering the working-class movement over the past hundred years. Limitations of space have compelled us to be brief; we have had to omit reference to working-class development in Canada, India, China, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere, as well as to make only fleeting references to many important phases of the movement; but we have endeavoured to give a clear and lucid picture of those developments that have had a deciding influence upon the main course of the working-class movement since 1848.


The New Yorker discovers Marx

One hundred and fifty years after the publication of the Communist Manifesto, the New Yorker has discovered that "Marx's version of free enterprise also chimes with the views of many contemporary businessmen, who would rather be flogged than labelled Marxist".

John Cassidy's 5,000-word essay "The Return of Karl Marx" in the October 27 issue of this magazine from the bastion of American capitalism does not include Marx's view of a future world based on common ownership. Nor does it support his labour theory of value. It is however amazingly laudatory when dealing with Marx's analysis of how capitalist accumulation operates. Cassidy quotes one Wall Street organiser of stock issues as saying: "The longer I spend on Wall Street, the more convinced I am that Marx was right . . . I am absolutely convinced that Marx's approach is the best way to look at capitalism."

150 Years of The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto remains a good introduction in their own words to the ideas of Marx and Engels. Here we summarise its contents and put it in its historical context.

It was not until the 1870s, when Marx gained some notoriety, that interest began to be expressed in his earlier works, including the Manifesto. It was first republished in German in 1872, then several other languages before the 1888 English edition. Marx refused to re-write it for the changed circumstances because, reasonably enough, he claimed that it had become a historical document which nobody had a right to alter. However, for the reader lacking an understanding of the context in which it was issued, it is all too easy to suppose that it was entirely a communist Manifesto. Yet if we are careful to distinguish the historically specific from the universal we can then see the communism (socialism) in the Manifesto.

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