The Communist Manifesto

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The Communist Manifesto
Translated by Samuel Moore
Author Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Year Published 1848
Language German

The Communist Manifesto is a Marxist screed published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848. Originally written in Marx's native language German, it lays the foundation for Marxist thinking, teaching that class struggles are the origin of all progress in society. This concept of conflict between the classes dictates Marxism's adherence to the evolutionary theory of punctuated equilibrium, which accords with Marxist social beliefs.

Violence is the single, main means by which Communists gain power. This character trait has been passed on to all subsequent forms of the Party that have arisen since its birth. The Communist Manifesto declares,

“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”[1]


The manifesto outlines the theory of communism, in which the poor working class proletariat violently overthrow the middle class and the wealthy property owning bourgeois. Once in power, the primary goal of the proletariat is to "wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State".[2]

The following ten points are considered the "planks" of communism:

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 rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation 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 work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace 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, &c, &c.


The Manifesto influenced the Communist Revolution in Russia and elsewhere, leading to the Cold War and numerous atrocities committed throughout Eastern Europe, such as the Holodomor in Ukraine. Currently, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos are widely considered to be communist countries.

The Communist Manifesto was registered in 2013 to UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme.

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