The Communist Manifesto
By Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
The manifesto, written in the months prior to the revolutionary wave of 1848 and distributed throughout Europe, is the first definitive statement of the methods and aims of the Communist movement. It introduces the materialist conception of history and of the class struggle, explaining how bourgeois society, having sprung up amid the formation of a world market, simplifies and intensifies class antagonisms by creating the proletariat, a class which has no property aside from its own ability to labor. It explains and refutes objections to the basic demands of the Communist movement, and offers remarkably concise yet profound statements of many of the fundamental tenets of Marxism—for instance, the state as a “committee for managing the affairs of the entire bourgeoisie,” internationalism (“workingmen have no fatherland”), and the role of the political party: “Every class struggle is a political struggle.” It closes with an analysis and criticism of other parties, socialist ideologies, and oppositional tendencies.