Communist Manifesto Critical Analysis

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The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, presents ten “commandments” that define a communist society – for example, the abolition of child labor and centralization of communication by the state (Marx, 176). Because of its bold claims for revolution to achieve an ideal society, communism - since its inception in the 19th century - has garnered radical support from every corner of the world, as well as extensive opposition. This paper will focus on three areas of the Communist Manifesto that has led me to support and question communism. These three areas consist of (1) Marx’s accurate critique of capitalism, (2) the lacking evolution of a united proletarian, and (3) the possibility of global communism as imperialistic. Capitalism…show more content…
This unification will, in the end, rid us of our nationalities and abolish countries (Marx, 174). Like in the case of within a nation, Marx predicts that proletariats of different nations will grow to weaken their differences and hostility towards one another and lead into world communism. “In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end” (174, Marx). One of the more repellent features of capitalism is it’s imperialistic association. What Marx and Engels lay out in the Communist Manifesto of what communism is, as a political and economic movement, leads me to conclude there is a potential for communism to be associated with imperialism as well. In fact, history shows us that communist countries, like the Soviet Union, made a great effort to support and expand communism, primarily in developing countries, in similar ways that capitalist countries seek to support and expand democracy. An example of how communism has been imperialistic can be seen in the Ethio-Somali war in the late 1970’s, where Ethiopia under the Marxist rule of the Derg led by Mengistu Hailemariam, fought against Somalia to maintain a…show more content…
The ideal communist society is one that eliminates all of these negative features, as well as the entire system. These negative features are related to another set of features that Marx and Engels neglect in their evolution towards revolution. In a capitalist society like the United States, identity plays a role that goes beyond the perspective of class struggle. We live in a society where we are defined more by our race, gender and sexuality than we are by class, and at the same time, they are all inseparable. In this society, the bourgeoisie and proletariat can be defined in many different ways. Additionally, because of the variation in groups within the two class groups presented by Marx and Engels, the proletarian are not likely to unite and overthrow the oppressors. The oppressor is not simply the bourgeoisie, but groups within the proletarian oppress each other. Lastly, historically and theoretically, communists are just as capable as capitalists in perpetuating the oppressive qualities of imperialism. This includes invasion and conquering of territories and people, while spreading a specific ideology and doing it through a means of
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