You are here:  HomeWriting Out Loud › Manifesto of the Communist Party

Manifesto of the Communist Party

Perhaps no piece of social theory is as well known (and, in some circles, notorious) as Marx and Engels’s Manifesto of the Communist Party. As you read the excerpt, ponder what the time must have been like in places like London and Paris when Marx and Engels were writing their call to action, and then respond to the following questions.


1. The Manifesto of the Communist Party is well known for its revolutionary zeal, but we often think of the proletariat as the revolutionary force. However, Marx and Engels suggest that the bourgeoisie also came about through revolution. In your own words, explain how the “bourgeoisie played a most revolutionary part.”

2. In one of the most eloquent passages of the Manifesto, Marx and Engels write: “But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons—the modern working class—the proletarians.” What “weapons” are Marx and Engels talking about, and how did the bourgeoisie “call into existence” the proletariat?

3. Marx and Engels suggest that as capitalism has developed, the bourgeoisie has sown the seeds of its own destruction. Yet, many critics point to the undeniable fact that capitalism still exists and communism has struggled to survive. Where do you fall? Do you find Marx and Engels’s argument convincing?

Please login to complete these activities