Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Communist Manifesto

(1848)

The Manifesto of the Communist Party, commonly referred to simply as the Communist Manifesto, was published on February 21, 1848, to summarize the political standpoint of the Communist League, a small group of mostly German radicals. The German philosopher Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in collaboration with Friedrich Engels, another young German critic of the social and political systems that prevailed in Europe at that time. Communist and Socialist were interchangeable terms in 1848, referring to an arrangement in which workers would own and control the places where they worked instead of selling their labor to factory owners (“capitalists”). Eventually, the term Communist became identified with the brand of Socialism that came to be called “Marxism.”

Marxism differs from other varieties of Socialism by attempting to put into historical context the rapid and confusing changes that took place during what is now called the Industrial Revolution. By the early...

Image for: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Communist Manifesto

Portrait of Karl Marx (Library of Congress)

View Full Size