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The Communist Manifesto

In 2002, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Europe (OECD) detailed the growing gap between the incomes of the rich and poor in 20 OECD member states. In particular, the study concluded that the poorest 30 percent of the population in the countries examined received only 5 to 13 percent of the national income while the richest 30 percent of the population received 55 to 65 percent. The United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands demonstrated the biggest growths in social inequality (Henning 1). These numbers suggest some validity to Marx's claims of an uneven class structure inherent to industrial capitalism. However, the fact that a workers' revolution has not yet erupted in any significantly advanced capitalist country suggests a significant flaw in Marx and Engels' arguments in the Communist Manifesto.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote ôThe Communist Manifestoö in 1848 to serve as the announcement of the platform for their newly-formed Communist League. They published the text just after a revolutionary movement swept across Europe during 1848 and into 1849 (Encyclopedia Britannica 1). This movement evoked uprisings in numerous European countries for a variety of reasons. But in most cases, the revolutions sought better political representation and living conditions for the disenfranchised and lower classes (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004, p. 1). The movement played an important role in shaping the modern history of Europe and, undoubtedly, the shaping of Marx and Engels' philosophical arguments in the Manifesto.

Sonny Elizondo, in his discussion of the Manifesto, describes Marx and Engels' tone in the Manifesto as ôstraightforward, even propheticö and ôthat of a man confidently explaining to a confused world the reasons for a tumult which had not yet begunö (1). Elizondo attributes this confidence to Marx's deterministic view of history and his belief in the idea of historical progress. ...

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The Communist Manifesto. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:07, November 29, 2021, from