The Communist Manifesto (TCM, from here on) has become the most well-known work by Karl Marx - even more so than Kapital. However, I'm wondering if it is it correct to call the points laid out by the manifesto by the name of "Marxism"?

To my understanding, TCM was a commissioned work by the Communist League - not a document made of his own accord. While most call it the "Bible of Marxism", I was wondering if TCM was actually a representation of Marx's own beliefs? Or was it simply the platform of a 19th Century political party?

2 Answers 2


It's a piece of polemic designed to attract people to the cause of Communism; and as Marx was a good writer it certainly attracted a lot of attention; even after a century - one cannot say the same for most if not all political manifestos published now by mainstream or even obscure parties.

I'd say the Bible of Marxism is Das Kapital; rather than the manifesto, which merely serves as an appetiser.

But given that it's been a century that Marxism was outed as a political programme; one needs to also consider all the theoretical approaches, particularly in light of its history since then - so more of an 'Old Testament' rather than the 'new'.

It's also worth seeing Marxs ideas on the light of the Classical tradition of economics; a tradition to which he owes certain ideas; and with the ending of the Cold War, and the hollowing out of Communism in China they might be begun to seen in their true light, or at least in a more scholarly objective appraisal rather than overlaid with damaging distortion of ideological and political commitments.

So, I'd say no; it's not enough.


Most Marxists assume it was sincere but provisional, and it needs to be indeed Marx wanted it to be adapted as part of historical changes to capitalism, and lessons learnt therein.

Actually, most Marxists assume Marxism was a product of political struggle, and not just about it.

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