Manifesto of the Communist Party*


 spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponents in power? Where the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact:

I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself a Power.

II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.

To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

  I Bourgeois and Proletarians
  II Proletarians and Communists
  III Socialist and Communist Literature
  IV Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties
  Editor's Introduction of 1976

* Editor's note for this 1995 on-line edition of the Manifesto of the Communist Party.

This edition reproduces the English translation of 1888, which was published in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works (New York, International Publishers, 1976), Volume 6, pp. 476-519.

Engels wrote in his article, "Karl Marx" (1877) (Marx/Engels Selected Works [New York: International Publishers, 1968, p. 370]),

The transformation of the [Communist] League took place at two congresses held in 1847, the second of which resolved on the elaboration and publication of the fundamental principles of the Party in a manifesto to be drawn up by Marx and Engels. Thus arose the Manifesto of the Communist Party, which first appeared in 1848, shortly before the February Revolution [in France], and has since been translated into almost all European languages.

The Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels between December 1847 and January 1848. In 1888, after Marx's death, Engels published an English translation that was carried out by Marx's daughter, and he also added some important notes to the earlier editions. These notes have been included here and linked to the text. The subsequent MECW printing of the 1888 edition provided yet some further notes that are here given numbered links.

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