Leandra, Communist Manifesto (full text)

In the Manifesto, Marx and Engels lay out a critique of capitalism and class struggle, carefully dissecting the failures of capitalist government to serve anything other than the self-interest of the bourgeoisie, rather than that of the people as a whole; as well as proposing the basis of a solution in the form of communism, while not sparing reform-socialist groups from critique as well. Though the writing has become somewhat dated or archaic in certain respects, it certainly remains a relevant text insomuch as capitalism continues to be the predominant system under which the globe operates.

The stigma revolving around revolutionary socialism / communism has been massively enforced through disparate modes of propaganda; these social critiques and consequent solutions are often dismissed, without being actually thought about, by such gems as "It's a nice idea, but it only works on paper, we've seen what happens and it's dictatorship" and "There is a failure to take human nature into account." With regards to the former, those nations commonly identified as communist are such in name only; Russia in particular was led to revolution through the Bolsheviks, a vanguard party in an industrially unique country (which went through a completely different industrial development than their western neighbors, jumping from tsarism to revolution to, ultimately, state capitalism - inevitable due to the isolated nature of the revolution in only one country rather than internationally, and coming to that state under the leadership of a vanguard party rather than a grassroots movement.) Without an international revolution, communism does not exist and is in fact impossible - we have yet to experience an actual revolution. The closest we have seen yet has been the indigenous uprising of the Ejercito Zapatista Liberacion Nacional in Chiapas, Mexico, which remains an autonomous region - but only by virtue of the fact that the Mexican government sees no profit in taking back the land, which is sufficient to support the Zapatistas but useless for capitalist fortune-seeking endeavors.

With regards to the argument of human nature, there is one particularly sticky problem: what informs, creates, and molds that nature. The "human nature" touted by Marx's critics is based on what they have observed from a long-standing history of oppression through class-based societies, and a capitalist system which has been in place during the entire lifetime of anyone who has been alive to read Marx's works and critique them. "Human nature" is not formed in a vacuum; it is not an absolute; it is informed to an incredible degree by social context and convention. Thus, the human nature spoken of is only that mode by which humans attempt to survive in a competitive capitalist society, which practically necessitates selfishness and greed for the attainment of what is viewed as "success" in a capitalist society.

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