The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto (1948) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is possibly the single most influential political book ever written. It’s a propaganda pamphlet for communism and is pleasantly short. The book is well worth reading because of its influence.

The book divides the world into the Mittel or trading class, the working class and the ruling class. Whether the division has any real validity is questionable.

The book also tells the reader that bourgeois socialism is doomed to fail. The Manifesto also surprisingly takes aim at the family. The book naively assumes that planning will work as people can work out what the optimal solution is. The information that a market provides is not given any thought.

It’s curious to look at Marxism today and wonder what the appeal was and is.  The analysis is fundamentally flawed. The existence of ‘classes’ is dubious, the predictions made have failed and the attempts at implementation of Marxist ideas have resulted in the mass deaths of the Holodomor, The Great Chinese Famine, the Gulag, the Killing Fields of Cambodia and have never established a state nearly as wealthy or free as those established based on a mishmash of ‘bourgeois socialism’, the market and democracy.

Still, the book is worth reading because it was so influential and also because it is nice and short.





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