Economic and philosophic manuscripts of 1844 : and the communist manifesto

by Karl Marx

Paper Book, 1988


Communism as a political movement attained global importance after the Bolsheviks toppled the Russian Czar in 1917. After that time the works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, especially the influential Communist Manifesto (1848), enjoyed an international audience. The world was to learn a new political vocabulary peppered with "socialism," "capitalism," "the working class," "the bourgeoisie," "labor theory of value," "alienation," "economic determinism," "dialectical materialism," and "historical materialism." Marx's economic analysis of history has been a powerful legacy, the effects of which continue to be felt world-wide. Serving as the foundation for Marx's indictment of capitalism is his extraordinary work titled Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, written in 1844 but published nearly a century later. Here Marx offers his theory of human nature and an analysis of emerging capitalism's degenerative impact on man's sense of self and his creative potential. What is man's true nature? How did capitalism gain such a foothold on Western society? What is alienation and how does it threaten to undermine the proletariat? These and other vital questions are addressed as the youthful Marx sets forth his first detailed assessment of the human condition.… (more)



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New York : Prometheus Books , 1988

User reviews

LibraryThing member Fledgist
One of the most important works in Western thought.
LibraryThing member jpsnow
Much quoting of Smith, Ricardo and Say, but then seems to re-arrange them into his own outlook that ignores the fundamental unit of decision making: the human individual. Later, we see he believes this is oK, because each individual within the species does not, by themselves, matter. It is clear to
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see how the shift of the times toward mechanization made the human labor seem almost worthless. (But, in retrospect, we know it is possible for individuals to create their own value-add to their own human capital.) The last third discusses Hegel's abstraction of logic involving spirit and state. This relates to Marx's doctrine of communism and atheism, both being the ultimate of human realization. This work explains the basis of communism, ties it to other economic ideas, and shows how the times produced an ideology as much as the converse. A final part that I must refute -- Marx blames the capitalist marketers for keeping the labor class poor by continually expanding the range of products and thus their range of "need." He assumes that (a) they are unable to save instead and that (b) everything produced becomes a legitimate necessity.
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LibraryThing member uh8myzen
The Communist Manifesto is not really a grand work, but functions more like promotional material for the revolutionary proletariat, but it is also a fundamental part of twentieth century thought. It is also prophetic in some ways as you can see many of the things Marx predicted coming to pass
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today. It is to bad that so many nations have hijacked real communism to serve their own misguided agendas, because there are many very important issues raised by Marx and Engles and should serve as a warning as we enter a period of unparalleled economic imperialism.
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