Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I came accross this heavily discounted paperback about 20 years ago in a bookstore clearance bin. I was at the time a Philosophy student with a particular libertarian bent. The Berlin Wall had just been eroded by decades of Cold War, and Glasnost had melted away the USSR. It was clear to everyone in those days that Communism was dead for good, so buying The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels for $1.99 that day was perhaps a purchase made with an ironic flair and a nod to the quixotic.
I don't remember if I had actually read it previously to my recent perusal. With the fresh perspective of two decades of hindsight I went through it and was surprised at how relevant it still is and also how bold and fearless it was.
It was published in 1848 during an era of revolutions in Europe but it has much to say about our current year of revolutions within the Arab world and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The Communist Manifesto is an unapologetic twisting of a knife into the ruling classes of the world. It is written with the confidence of someone who feels the force and motion of History behind him.