Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto is the commonly-known name of "The Manifesto of the Communist Party" written by Karl Marx and Friederich Engles. It was published on February 21, 1848 and was commission by the Commmunist League. The Manifesto calls for a program of a proletarian evolution that abolishes private property to lead eventually to a classeless and stateless society.

The work itself is divided into five sections: 1) a preamble to make explicit communist ideas to the public; 2) "bourgeois and proletarians" which describes history as class strugle and the contradictions within capitalism; 3) "proletarians and communists" that makes no fundamental distinctions between the two classes and outlines ten main ideas of the communist program; 4) "socialist and communist literature" that criticizes non-Marxist socialist theories; and 5) "position of the communists in relation to the various existing opposition parties" calls for a world-wide social revolution.

The ten main ideas of the communist program are as follows:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production et al.

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Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx
Publication Info:
The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert C. Tucker (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, New York, 1978), 469-500

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