Karl Marx - The Communist Manifesto

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Manifesto of communist Party by Karl Marx and Friedrick Engels

Text of Karl Marx - The Communist Manifesto


    Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

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    The Electric Book Co 1998

    The Electric Book Company Ltd20 Cambridge Drive, London SE12 8AJ, UK+44 (0)181 488 3872 www.elecbook.com

    ELECBOOK CLASSICSebc0028. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: The Communist Manifesto


    Karl Marx Frederick Engels

    The text of this edition is that of the English edition of 1888, checkedwith the German editions of 1848, 1872, 1883 and 1890, as printed

    in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, vol 6 (London 1976)

    Woodcuts reproduced by kind permission of the executors ofthe estate of Fran Masereel

    This edition 1998

    ElecBook London1998

  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


    CONTENTSI Bourgeois and Proletarians 8II Proletarians and Communists 27III Socialist and Communist Literature 40

    Reactionary Socialism 40 Feudal Socialism 40

    Petty-Bourgeois Socialism 42German, or True, Socialism 44Conservative, or Bourgeois, Socialism 47Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism 49

    IV Position of the Communists in Relation to theVarious Existing Opposition Parties 55

    ILLUSTRATIONSCover Page of the First Edition of Manifesto of theCommunist Party London 1848 (23-page edition) 4From the Cycle The Passion of a Man 7From the Cycle From Black to White 11From the Cycle Youth 18From the Cycle The Passion of a Man 21From the Cycle The Passion of a Man 26From the Cycle From Black to White 39From the Cycle My Hour-Book 51From the Cycle From Black to White 54He is Dying Content 56They all are Friends 58

  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook



    spectre is haunting Europethe spectre of Communism. All thePowers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcisethis spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Cuizot, 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 the Opposition that hasnot hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the moreadvanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionaryadversaries?

    Two things result from this fact:I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be

    itself a Power.II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the

    whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meetthis nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of theparty itself.

    To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled inLondon, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published in theEnglish, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.


    jiteshHighlightsomething unpleasant that might occur.

    jiteshSticky Note

  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook




    he history of all hitherto existing society1 is the history of classstruggles.

    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, carried on an uninterrupted,now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in arevolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of

    1 That is, all written history. In 1847, the pre-history of society, the social

    organisation existing previous to recorded history, was all but unknown. Since

    then, Haxthausen discovered common ownership of land in Russia, Maurer

    proved it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic races started in

    history, and by and by village communities were found to be, or to have been

    the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland. The inner

    organisation of this primitive Communistic society was laid bare, in its typical

    form, by Morgan's crowning discovery of the true nature of the gens and its

    relation to the tribe. With the dissolution of these primeval communities society

    begins to be differentiated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. (All

    footnotes are by Engels to the German edition of 1890)


  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


    the contending classes.In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a

    complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifoldgradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights,plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes,again, subordinate gradations.

    The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins offeudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has butestablished new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms ofstruggle in place of the old ones.

    Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, thisdistinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as awhole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, intotwo great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.

    From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers ofthe earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of thebourgeoisie were developed.

    The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up freshground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets,the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in themeans of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, tonavigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, tothe revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid de-velopment.

    The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production wasmonopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growingwants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. Theguild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle

  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


    class; division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanishedin the face of division of labour in each single workshop.

    Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising.Even manufacture no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machineryrevolutionised industrial production. The place of manufacture was takenby the giant, Modern Industry, the place of the industrial middle class,by industrial millionaires, the leaders of whole industrial armies, themodern bourgeois.

    Modern industry has established the world market, for which thediscovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immensedevelopment to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land.This development has, in its turn, reacted on the extension of industry;and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended,in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital,and pushed into the background every class handed down from theMiddle Ages.

    We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product ofa long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes ofproduction and of exchange.

    Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied bya corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed classunder the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governingassociation in the medieval commune2, here independent urban republic(as in Italy and Germany), there taxable third estate of the monarchy(as in France) afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving

    2 This was the name given their urban communities by the townsmen of

    Italy and France, after they had purchased or wrested their initial rights of self-

    government from their feudal lords.

  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


    either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoiseagainst the nobility, and, in fact, cornerstone of the great monarchies in

  • The Communist Manifesto

    Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook


    general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of ModernIndustry and of the world market, conquered for itself; in the modernrepresentative State, exclusive political sway. Th