On this day in the year 1848, the Communist Manifesto was published. The book shook the society of the bourgeoisie to its very foundations and raised the consciousness of proletarians across the world. Karl Marx and Frederich Engels exposed the flaws of the capitalism as a system and also exposed that the class system is the origin of poverty, war, oppression, sexism, racism and many of the other problems in both the society of their time and the society of the present.
In the age of Marx and Engels, the trade unions were attacked or were outright illegal, and children worked hard in factories for long hours (sometimes 16 hours a day). Like today, the health of workers and children were not a concern for the capitalists. There was also no public education for the working class and the infrastructure for working people in many cities and rural towns was terrible and low quality compared to the capitalists’ priviledges. Marx and Engels set out to envision a society of a new type. But theirs would not be founded not on Utopian ideals and wishes like those dream societies of the previous philosophers – theirs would be based on science.
Proceeding from a materialist, and not idealist outlook, Marx and Engels realized that the proletariat are the most revolutionary class of society and are able to lead the transition to a new society. However, the bourgeoisie of the time, much like those of today, thought that the workers would not be able to make revolution because they were “lower” classes made of stupid, dirty and uncivilized people. History has proven this wrong.
The Paris Commune and the Russian Revolution proved that the working class are able to take care their problem efficiently, even shocked the academy that working class able to take care of their problems better than the king or the bourgeois does.
The Communist Manifesto helped to abolish child labor, open public education and services to workers, establish the trade and industrial unions as legal entities and to regulate corporate laws. To this very day the capitalists are forced to enact appeasing laws after the working class gained consciousness and carried out many general strikes, since this threatens their power. Scientific socialists emerged due to Marx and Engels’ analysis and helped improve and save many millions of lives. It was not until the rise of Marxism that the bourgeoisie realized that greater amounts of working people will one day abandon reformism. Consciousness for the working class will inevitably bring revolution. Today, the capitalists and the working class are still fighting for political domination. While Marx and Engels are dead, the legacy they left on this world will not be forgotten.