The Communist Manifesto - Research Paper

1771 words - 8 pages

The Communist Manifesto
A critical approach

Essay Question: In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels critique the dominating economic system at the time - capitalism. Summarize their description of this system and discuss their assessment of it. Include a discussion of what was happening at the time that made them write this document.

Throughout history capitalism has been an incredibly controversial topic. Some advocates commend it as the most efficient way of allocating limited resources to an unlimited amount of human needs. On the other hand, the critics of this system believe that its flaws could result in much individual human suffering and social disorder. One of the most famous critiques of capitalism was documented in The Communist Manifesto (1848). The document was written by the philosophers Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, who presented an analytical approach to the class struggle and the problems of capitalism and the capitalist means of production. The work of Marx and Engels was written during the industrial revolution's transition period. They noticed a big gap between the property owners and those who worked on a property. They argued that the capitalist bourgeoisie mercilessly exploited the proletariat. However, The Communist Manifesto is focused on capitalism as the source of inequality, poor working conditions and low quality of life. Their shifted focus neglected other social changes that also played an important role at the time. This paper argues that Marx and Engels lack factually sound arguments to condemn capitalism altogether.

Prior to the analysis of the Communist Manifesto this paper will look at the lives of the writers and the context in which the document was written. Karl Marx was the son of a prosperous German lawyer. He was born in Prussia in the nineteenth century and is known for being a scientist, philosopher, economist, sociologist, and a socialist. Marx's theories about society, economics and politics are known as Marxism. The idea of Marxism holds that human societies develop through a class struggle. Specifically in capitalism, this struggle manifests itself in the conflict between the upper classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable the means of production by 'selling' their labour for wages. Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, social scientist, journalist, and a businessman. Engle's father was a businessman and owned a cotton spinning business with branches in Germany and England . Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met in 1842, 1 and together, they developed the theory of Marxism that was described above. In 1848, Marx and Engels co-authored one of the worlds most influential manuscripts: The Communist Manifesto.

At the time Engels and Marx wroteThe Communist Manifesto, they were both in their late 20's. Marx and Engels had joined a radical group of workers called "The Communist League".

In 1...

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