Is Karl Marx still able to show us the way forward - some 168 years after his book was initially published?

Truls Lie
Editor-in-chief, Modern Times Review
Published date: December 15, 2016
The Communist Manifesto
Author: Karl Marx

You may ask yourself; what is the point of yet another edition of The Communist Manifesto by young Marx and Engels from 1848 (Sentralkomiteen Publishers, translated by Leif Høghaug, 2016). The text was last republished in Norwegian as recent as 2000, and, prior to this, appeared in several different versions. Sans preface or afterword, and in Norway, which is so far removed from the oppressed workers of the Third World – what is the motive behind it?

Firstly, allow me to summarise the action plan of this 168-year old Communist Manifesto from London: landed property was to be expropriated through a revolution and economic rent to be passed to the State. Strong, progressive taxation would be introduced and inheritance rights abolished. Property was to be taken from all emigrants and «rebels». Monetary credit was to be centralised through a national bank, enjoying unlimited monopoly. Furthermore, the manifesto would see all production and transportation placed under one centralised common plan, with the introduction of equal compulsory work duties for everyone – envisaging industrial «armies».

This would lead to the arrival of the classless society – free lives featuring some fishing, a bit of philosophical discussion, and a State in charge of all administration – answerable to the proletariat as the new hegemony. At first, the great class struggle would be carried out with blood and violence – «all existing orders of society were ruled through power». The Bourgeoisie and large industries would not resign their privileges just like that.

Was this possible? No. The heavenly Utopia from the manifesto was simply too lofty. It would have introduced a reign of fear, brought on by the notion of «freedom», but ruled using discipline and control.

PROPERTY. Nevertheless, Marx and Engels foresaw the way «big industry» took control of almost everything, as with today’s multinationals – a sort of raw capitalism. At the same time, their manifesto alludes to the way parts of the Bourgeoisie, or the middle classes, are being forced into the oppressed proletariat by the exploitation of major capitalists. Even today, people worldwide find …

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