Home > Politics > You May Not Like Communism, But Its Manifesto Has Some Great Writing In It

You May Not Like Communism, But Its Manifesto Has Some Great Writing In It

From the opening line of The Communist Manifesto—“A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism”—oh baby, that’s good—to the last four sentences–“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”—Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had me hooked.

How about this tasty lick: “In this way arose feudal socialism: half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future; at times, by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart’s core, but always ludicrous in its effect, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.”

Who could forget this pungent whiff: “In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercive measures against the working class; and in ordinary life, despite their high falutin’ phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to barter truth, love, and honour for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits.”

And what about the rich imagery of this: “The robe of speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment, this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry “eternal truths,” all skin and bone, served to wonderfully increase the sale of their goods amongst the public.”

I was so enveloped in the writing style, I didn’t absorb any of the ideals or theories put forth, except that Marx and Engels did call for income tax, as well as free public schools for children, so Amurica’s got a lil’ communist in her after all.

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