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MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY
[From the English edition of 1888, edited by Friedrich Engels]
A 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
I. BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS
The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history
of class struggles.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf,
guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed,
stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an
uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time
ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at
large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a
complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a
manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have
patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages,
feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices,
serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate
The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins
of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It
has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression,
new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the
epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive
feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms: Society as a
whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps,
into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie
From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers
of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements
of the bourgeoisie were developed.
The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up
fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and
Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the
colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in
commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to
industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the
revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid
The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production
was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the
growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took
its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the
manufacturing middle class; division of labour between the
different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of
labour in each single workshop.
Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising.
Even manufacture no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and
machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of
manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, the place of
the industrial middle class, by industrial millionaires, the
leaders of whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois.
Modern industry has established the world-market, for which the
discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an
immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication
by land. This development has, in its time, reacted on the
extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce,
navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the
bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the
background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.
We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the
product of a long course of development, of a series of
revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.