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You can read my review below. You can read the comments below that. Also unchanged. I never seriously expected anyone to read this review, much less love or hate it so strongly. I am not apologizing for my view of the book or Marx. He put his entire life into this slender and influential book, and I respect that. I understand a bit more about where he was coming Long overdue update : I read this book five years ago and in almost every respect, I have mellowed considerably.
But I still largely stand by my original take on it. What Marx predicts is an oppressive totalitarian regime which would be able to commit all kinds of human rights abuses far too easily. I think free market capitalism does the exact same thing, though the end results are different. Or are they? Disclaimer: I read this book with a heavy bias against Marxist thought.
They just are! That being said The spectre of Communism is still haunting the world So much so that I fail to believe that anyone over the age of twenty-one could take him seriously even on a theoretical basis. Perhaps a century and a half of perspective is to blame. It could simply be that the manifesto is a by-product of the industrial revolution that looks quite silly in "post-industrial" America. Summing up Marx in two sentences: Class struggle is the defining injustice and condition of human society.
We, the proletariat, must rise up through a violent and sudden revolution and overthrow our capitalist oppressors. Let me get this straight. If a major goal of communism is to eradicate social classes, why does it temporarily aim to establish the proletariat as the ruling class? Oh right. Becauase once the proletariat gains power it will someday voluntarily abdicate said power for the greater good of society. No ownership of land, a heavy income tax, no rights of inheritance, seizure of all property from "rebels" whatever that means Such a strategy will ALWAYS lead to a totalitarian government that needlessly and wantonly causes suffering and economic hardship for the vast majority of its citizens.
I have yet to hear anybody move beyond theoretical praise of Marxism. Even the most ardent supporters will be forced to conclude that in real life the Marxist state is not preferred over the capitalist state because there is still an inequitible division of power between the ruling class and the common man.
The argument against capitalism is too much capital in the hands of too few. But Marxism advocates all capital be concentrated in the hands of a totalitarian regime that gives too little to the vast majority.
Kommunistisen puolueen manifesti