Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “The Communist Manifesto”, with a new afterword by Stephen Kotkin, Signet Classics, 2011, 128 de pagini


(English version below)

downloadScris în 1848, Manifestul communist este, probabil, cel mai influent text al sfârșitului de secol XIX și întregului secol XX. Viziunea utopică a lui Marx și Engels se bazează pe idei filosofice germane și analize economice supra societății germane, franceze și engleze. Comunismul, în viziunea celor doi, e consecința unei succesiuni logice capitalism-socialism. Volumul de față cuprinde și introducerile scrise de Marx și Engels la edițiile în limbile germană, rusă și engleză. Deși un vizionar atunci când vine vorba de diagnostic și predicție, Marx eșuează lamentabil atunci când propune soluții. Revoluțiile devastatoare, consecințe firești ale conștiinței de clasă și luptei de clasă se dovedesc a fi nimic altceva decât speculații facile. Socialismul a reușit să influențeze capitalismul într-o suficientă măsură, încât să dinamiteze ambele concepte, „conștiința de clasă” și „lupta de clasă”. Marx n-a prevăzut o astfel de evoluție. Odată cu prăbușirea lor, întreb eșafodajul ideologic al lui Marx se face țăndări.

Nota mea: 7

 

Written in 1848, “The Communist Manifesto” is probably the most influential text for the end of the 19th Century and the entire 20th Century. The utopian view of Marx and Engels grows on a foundation that has at its core the German philosophy, and it is designed to work in countries such as Germany, France and England. Communism, in Marx`s and Engels`s opinions, is a natural logical outcome of capitalism and socialism. The present volume contains five interesting prefaces written by the two authors for the editions published in German, Russian and English. Though a visionary when it comes to diagnosis and prediction, Marx fails miserably when he tries to discuss and elaborate solutions. All the destructive and crucial revolutions expected as a result of the „class consciousness” and „class struggle” proved to be nothing else than wishful thinking. Socialism succeeded in influencing capitalism in such a way that both concepts („class consciousness” and „class struggle”) remained purely theoretical. Marx has not foreseen such a development. Once the concepts collapsed, the entire ideological structure envisioned by Marx irrecuperable vanishes.     

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“Thus, in 1847, socialism was a middle-class movement, communism a working class movement. Socialism was, on the Continent at least, “respectable”; communism was the very opposite. And as our notion, from the very beginning, was that “the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself”, there could be no doubt as to which of the two names we must take. Moreover, we have, ever since, been far from repudiating it.” 

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” 

“The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” 

“Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” 

“The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: (1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. (2) In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.” 

“The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.” 

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