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The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Section 4, Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties

Section 3, Socialist and Communist Literature

Study Questions

Summary

The Manifesto concludes with a discussion about the role of the Communists as they work with other parties. The Communists fight for the immediate aims of workers, but always in the context of the entire Communist movement. Thus, they work with those political parties that will forward the ends of Communism, even if it involves working with the bourgeoisie. However, they never stop trying to instill in the working class a recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, and to help them gain the weapons to eventually overthrow the bourgeoisie.

Thus, "the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things." They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by forcibly overthrowing all existing social conditions. The Manifesto ends with this rallying cry: "Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!"

Commentary

This final section reveals the political agenda of the Communists. Their final goal is always a proletariat revolution and the abolition of private property and class antagonism. Because they believe that history must go through a set of stages, however, this may mean sometimes supporting the bourgeoisie, in order to eventually make a workers' revolution possible. While the Communists have a strong theoretical foundation, integrating observations and predictions, they are also advocating those predictions, and attempting to accelerate their realization. Thus, they do not simply declare that workers shall one day unite. Rather, they call on workers to unite, promising them freedom and a better world. How separable are the political and theoretical messages of the Communists? Is the Communists' theory of history an essential part of its revolutionary message? Consider from a rhetorical perspective how the Communist cause might be helped or harmed by the claim that revolution is inevitable.

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Class Notes

by werewoofsANDvampies, August 22, 2012

-Feuerbach and etc *(copy notes from class)*

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