Communist Manifesto Review - Radical Reviewer



hey I know you do that jaywalking punk anarchist do that G walking poking our keys she walk east hello this is the radical reviewer ticking you look at the communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels the edition I have is by flick where Ian's press 2005 originally published in 1848 the key idea of this text is to critique capitalism and to establish communism as the one true solution to capitalism's ills and with that to explain the goals of communism namely to seize the means of production for the working class to replace the political and economic power of the capitalist class with a classless egalitarian society and to support worker revolutions seeking these ends at every stage of development all over the world now this text does not get into the specific functions of society and the economy the way a book like Paracon does there's no detailed explanations of affinity groups direct or electoral democracy central planning or anything like that so don't look to the communist manifesto as a guide to a communist society instead the text functions as a brief overview of the rationale and values of communism let's take a look at the text in-depth now I've just come off of watching a few ASMR Communist Manifesto videos so I'm definitely gonna try that's Raphael so let's dive into it chapter one bourgeois and proletarians in this chapter marx and engels critique capitalism's need for growth and accumulation and they define the terms bourgeoisie and proletariat and for the sake of this video i'll be using the terms bourgeoisie bourgeois rich perverts and capitalists interchangeably and I will be using the terms proletariat and working-class interchangeably so don't get lost now these terms mean the same thing to establish the historical framework of the text Marx and Engels state the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles freedmen and slaves the Tricia dimple in Lord and serf Guildmaster and journeyman in a word oppressor and oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another okay so all human history in every society there has been a struggle between the haves and the have-nots those who own the power the land the resources the factories the means of production and those who don't Marx and Engels explain that this divide is getting worse under capitalism and two classes have formed the bourgeoisie and the proletariat okay so society is divided into two classes the bourgeoisie and the proletariat the capitalist and the worker well what defines these two groups well under capitalism there are many ways to make money but when it comes down to it there are really only two ways to make a living you either live primarily off your own labor or you live primarily off the labor of others some people have stocks and bonds and hedge funds and investments and land and factories and trademarks and copyrights and natural resources but most people have primarily their own labour power now of course someone who lives principally off the labour of others might also have a job do work and receive a salary and some working-class people might have a pension or some stocks or even a small business but the stink ssin is very clear the capitalist lives primarily off the labour of others and the proletariat lives primarily off their own labour these are the two main classes in capitalist society and Marx and Engels argue that these two classes are antagonistic for example capitalists and workers want exactly the opposite in the workplace as a worker you might want higher wages a pension paid time off guaranteed job security etc and the capitalist wants none of those things instead the capitalist wants longer hours higher productivity no paid leave no job security etc and of course the worker wants none of those things in short the worker wants to work at the least intensity for the most pay and the capitalist wants the worker to work as hard as they can for as little pay as possible okay now that we fully explored the bourgeoisie proletariat distinction let's get back to the text Marx and Engels explore capitalism and the bourgeoisie the impact on the world stating the need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe it must Nestle everywhere settle everywhere establish connections everywhere this means that capitalism always needs to grow and expand or as David Harvey is stated capitalism never solves its crisis problems it moves them around geographically the argument is that capitalism requires constant compound growth and expansion to survive and that means expanding all over the world into every aspect of life in order to exploit it for profit profiting from your desire to have a cheeseburger and profiting from your desire to survive a car accident capitalism even seeks profit from wars calamities and disasters as the book the Shock Doctrine which I did a review for by the way has shown looking at capitalism's need for growth marx and engels claim that the bourgeoisie are like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the netherworld whom he has called up by his spells this is because capitalism has drives to expand and accumulate and exploit that are outside the control of the capitalists themselves the documentary the corporation lends itself to this argument well the documentary essentially argues that if corporations are people than they are psychopaths because of their uncontrollable drives despite what's best for society or the world less production less waste less pollution less environmental destruction capital is a must in ever-expanding quantities accumulate and exploit and this drive for accumulation and exploitation leads to more problems marx and engels examine the epidemic of overproduction society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism it appears as if a famine a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence industry and commerce seems to be destroyed and why because there is too much civilization too much means of subsistence too much industry too much Commerce essentially in a fight to produce more and more cheaper and cheaper at the same time a fight for greater need and scarcity we end up with a society where there is all this work to be done and yet no jobs are available food fills landfills while millions go hungry millions of empty homes and yet millions are homeless we have a society where we produce so much that everyone could easily have more than enough and yet people go without that is because capitalism is not interested in fulfilling needs it is interested in maintaining needs it would absolutely destroy capitalism to provide for free the excesses of food and shelter which the people of the world desperately need Marx and Engels continue and how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises on one hand enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces on the other by the conquest of new markets and by the more thorough exploitation of old ones that is to say by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented so what does this look like in practice this is destroying unions cutting government programs inflation deindustrialization capital flight mass layoffs catalyzation the works this leads to depressions and contrary to popular belief capitalism likes depressions competitors are destroyed unions are weakened and destroyed inflation eats up people's meager wages people become desperate and start taking jobs they never thought they'd have at pay they didn't think they would accept this concept of capitalism exploiting desperation and crisis for profit again perfectly parallels with the book the Shock Doctrine as I mentioned earlier now if capitalism has so many problems it makes sense the workers would want to revolt how does capitalism deal with this Marx and Engels explained as privates in the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants not only are they slaves to the bourgeois class and of the bourgeois state they are daily and hourly enslaved by the Machine by the overlooker and above all by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself now when I worked fast food my actions were always weighted on at every mo I was a slave to the screen that tells me what to cook a slave to the timer of each cooking item a slave to the timer of when the order was taken and to my fellow team members who are pushing me to go faster because they are trying to meet the deadlines of their own timers and to the team leader who is punished if these times are not met in the assistant manager above the team leader and the manager above them and the district manager above them and the regional manager above them and the Chairman over them and the vice president over them and the CEOs over them board of directors over them shareholders over them and at every incremental step in this process failure to obey could mean losing my job and therefore losing my ability to access food and shelter now of course fast food is a simple example of this but controls like these exist at all jobs hey what aspects of your employment form complex hierarchies of slavery to keep you in line try it at home back to the text even with all this control workers do fight back and Marx and Engels look at workers fighting against these crises in capitalism and they state now and then the workers are victorious but only for a time the real fruit of their battle lies not in the immediate result but in the ever expanding union of the workers this union is helped by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another ok two big ideas to unpack here first the real fruit of their battle lies not in the immediate result but in the ever expanding union of workers this is very important the implication of this is that with every victory of working people the capitalists will try and roll it back so the ultimate goal is revolution not simply reform but full-fledged revolution this is because capitalism is extremely resilient little reforms here and there raising the wages paid maternity leave etc are always subject to roll backs if the capitalist system is maintained the second idea is the idea that this union is helped by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry obviously Marx and Engels aren't clairvoyant and could not anticipate the evolution of commune over the next 170 years but let's take a minute to talk about this improved communication and this little thing called the Internet now there's a lot of truth in marx and engels claim for example black lives matter spreading stories of police oppression that the media ignores same for the murder of trans persons or when oppressed groups use the internet to ask questions that the media is not asking etc etc I mean if you're here on YouTube you are probably subscribed to various channels that are providing you with information you would not have access to in the mainstream media but there are drawbacks to this information overload can cause apathy people spend a lot of time arguing the finer points of an issue that is of little or no importance in the larger context ie lifestyle activism identity politics etc another issue is that with so much information available people with incorrect opinions have a wealth of information to draw from and back up their false ideas also creating something online like a YouTube video for example can lead a person to feel like they've created real political change when they actually didn't do anything that's depressing back from the text so we've looked at capitalism's need to grow causing crises and we've looked at the working-class both enslaved by and rebelling against the bourgeoisie now there's one last leaf to overturn the middle class Marx and Engels state they are reactionary for they tried to roll back the wheel of history if by chance they are revolutionary they are so only in the view of their impending transfer into the proletariat what this means is that the lower middle class strike out against the poor in order to avoid becoming poor themselves we've seen this in action historically we can look at the reactionary Nazi Party or the angry white men issue of the Reagan years and of our own time for that matter Barbara Aaron writes book the fear of falling does a great job of addressing this issue of a reactionary middle class in America okay so capitalism's need to accumulate and expand makes it uncontrollably seek profit from all the world and every aspect of society leading to extreme exploitation and economic crisis marx and engels conclude here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law the essential condition for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and augmentation of capital the condition for capital is wage labour what the bourgeoisie therefore produces above all is its own gravediggers its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable very exciting one chapter down only one big chapter and two little chapters to go you're doing great we're doing great let's break up the pace here's a video of me drinking from a hose as a baby okay you're good let's move on Chapter two proletarians and communist having critiqued capitalism this chapter is about explaining communism for example that communism will destroy private property and destroy inequality and turn everyone into mindless drones and turn everything gray and destroy liberty and freedom and destroy mom god an apple-pie yes it's all true the globalists the cultural Marxist is the Illuminati form an evil trinity in line believing and red lines but recover the interest so let's dive into it well we saw in Chapter 1 that the Communists are calling for revolution rather than simple reform and how is this revolution going to be achieved Marx and Engels explain in this sense the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence abolition of private property this is because the ownership of money-making property is the crux of inequality in capitalist society we forget that all land was once owned in common all land and resources are publicly owned until they are stolen and turned into private property it seems like the way things always have been but it was actually quite revolutionary to have the communal lands be stolen and placed into private hands and it still happens today new technologies such as cell phones and the Internet are created with public funding and public institutions and then given away to private corporations but wait isn't owning private property how we secure freedom and liberty is communism about destroying freedom and liberty well marx and engels explained that for the capitalist society freedom and liberty primarily means freedom to privately own the means of production which is a freedom very few people can actually enjoy marx and engels state you are horrified at are intending to do away with private property but in your existing society private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths this isn't rocket science there is only so much land and only which resources if Monsanto is expressing its freedom by owning X percent of the grain market they're in fact destroying everyone else's freedom to use those resources in a more democratic and egalitarian way same goes for mining companies doing mountaintop removal a Lumber Company clear-cutting a forest a company dumping pollution etc etc under capitalism these companies are simply expressing their freedom but in reality they are using their claim to private ownership to destroy the freedom of everyone else from creating a more democratic and equitable alternative the people of Flint Michigan didn't vote to have their water poisoned the people of Louisiana didn't vote for cancer Ally the people of the Rust Belt and everywhere else for that matter didn't vote for deindustrialization we didn't vote for a vast array of technological advances made at public expense in public institutions to be given away to corporations to exploit for private profit it turns out the important decisions don't happen when I choose to take a product off the shelf they happen when companies and governments decide what products should go on the shelves having explained communism schools Marx and Engels outlined a plan of how to achieve those goals firstly the proletariat must win political power and then pass the following ten policies often called the ten planks to ensure a communist revolution these ten planks are won abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes that is abolition of private property which we already looked at planks two through four are pretty standard wealth redistribution measures this shouldn't need too much explanation to a heavy progressive and gradual income tax three abolition of all right of inheritance four confiscation of the property of all immigrants and rebels oh wait number four is a tricky one confiscation of the property of all immigrants and rebels let's look at this well if you're in the first world the concept of compensating property from immigrants sounds problematic but let's look at somewhere like Cuba here confiscating property from and rebels means taking resources out of the hands of foreign capitalists and multinationals and the property of rebelling capitalists at home and converting that property into public ownership for the benefit of local populations leading off of number for the last measures five through ten are all about ensuring democratic ownership they're about converting those various institutions from private for-profit control and converting them into public ownership for the public good five centralization of credit in the hands of the state by means of a National Bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly this means having loans and other bank functions publicly owned for the use of public good rather than privately owned for the purpose of making profit six centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state again public rather than private ownership seven extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state the bringing into cultivation of wastelands and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan not much to explain there eight equal liability of all to labor establishment of industrial armies especially for agriculture this is strengthening unions in the working class nine combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equal distribution of the population over the country this is about breaking down the hierarchy between urban and rural and finally number ten free education for all children in public schools abolition of children's factory labor in its present form combination of education with industrial protection etc etc if the proletariat take over state power and Institute these ten planks Marx and Engels conclude the proletariat State will have gotten rid of the bourgeoisie gotten rid of classes and so therefore also gotten rid of the need for its own existence and the state will dissolve so the theory goes there's a lot of debate about this for example claiming that the poor of the first world would try to stop then try to join a communist revolution in the third world also there's a debate about if the communist state would dissolve because a communist country might need a state to defend itself from invasion as bloom and Parenti and many other authors have demonstrated capitalist imperialism is quick to crush any alternative economy from emerging etc exedra in any case Marx and Engels proposed that after these ten planks are instituted the state will dissolve society will become classless and Marx and Engels conclude in place of the old bourgeois society with its classes and class antagonisms we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all chapter 3 socialists and communist literature in this chapter Marx and Engels are defining various forms of socialism and communism this is probably the most dated chapter of the text because it's specific to the historical development of events at the time but let's quickly run through them first reactionary socialism this was essentially groups who used socialism as a reactionary movement to try and go back to feudalism or some other old social relation second conservative or bourgeois socialism this form of socialism is essentially the modern-day liberal just look at how Marx and Engels described it the socialistic bourgeois wants all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom they desire the existing state of society – its revolutionary and disintegrating elements they wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat this is the coexist bumper sticker lifestyle activism all talk and no action liberal they work for capitalism with a friendly face raising the minimum wage ignoring sweatshops a few humanitarian drone strikes here and there and a black lives matter lawn sign in a wealthy all white suburban neighborhood and don't ever call for the overthrow of capitalism and lastly the third variation discussed is critical utopian socialism this was essentially a call for socialism that happened too soon before philosophical and material conditions would allow for a true revolution and so there you have it Marx and Engels lay out three failed alternatives to communism moving right along finally Chapter four position of the Communists in relation to the various existing opposition parties continuing this look at what was going on politically at the time this chapter starts with historical references to socialist and communist movements in Switzerland Poland and Germany again references that were relevant at the time and are interesting for historical understanding of the period but are again not entirely relevant for understanding the philosophy of communism and for the final grand pronouncements of the text Marx and Engels state the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things and Marx and Engels conclude they labor everywhere for the Union and agreement of the Democratic parties of all countries the Communists disdained to conceal their views and aims they openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions let the ruling class tremble at the communistic revolution the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains they have a world to win working men of all countries unite conclusion well you have your mission fellow workers let's use our advanced communication to embolden our ranks seize the political power and institute the ten planks destroy all private property and seize the means of production let's spread our revolution to every corner of the globe at every stage of development and create an equitable a Galit Aryan utopian communist society which spans the globe ok so it's a little more complicated than that and a lot has changed in the 170 years since the book was published 170 years ago sweatshop workers such as the IWW stood a chance demanding change nowadays with advanced technology security cameras Metal Detectors various accouterments of repression and repressive military might backed by the deep pockets of the first world folks suffering sweatshop conditions in the third world have a much more challenging road ahead than the workers in the 1900s and at the same time in the first world the various cheap luxury comforts such as uber eats social media video games streaming video encourage passivity and apathy the poorest people of the first world are perhaps much more likely to cling to these cheap comforts and have a reactionary response to a worker revolution than a supportive one now this doesn't mean that the theories here are wrong in fact the critiques of capitalism and the critiques of the reformist solutions in the text are eerily relevant what this does mean however is that the conclusions and solutions for capitalism in the communist manifesto must be updated against the last 170 years of technological innovation in capitalist evolution and expansion this is why I personally prefer Paracon which I did a review for by the way it's a modern solution to capitalism so what is my conclusion well the colombians manifestos critique of capitalism and the critique of the alternatives established as the cure for capitalism zil's in this regard the communist manifesto has remained incredibly relevant if you're interested in a quick read briefly outlining communism critique of capitalism and a brief overview of what communism offers as a solution then I highly recommend this seminal work if you're interested in radical theory looking for a book recommendation or whatever you can get your radical book reviews here with a radical reviewer thanks for watching you




Comments
  1. Thanks for the video. I haven't read the book yet, but I bought it thru Kindle (I know, don't kill me from still buying my ebooks from Amazon) & will get to it eventually.

    I just don't believe in the state, so I am an anarcist/agorist.

    The other books you mentioned, one is ONLY available in paperback & it's fucking expensive at almost $40. (

    And Barbara's book is not out on Kindle until next January.

    I still feel there are some issues, especially with people becoming too much a part of the collective whole instead of being individualistic & therefor following the crowd (group think) instead of thinking on their own, but it's like that now anyway.

  2. *Emigrants are people who leave the country and immigrate somewhere else. The fourth of the ten planks is about taking the wealth of capitalists who flee and of those who actively fought the revolution.

  3. The middle class is the bourgeoisie. Middle class means, at that time, the class of business owners between the aristocracy and the working class. Not like today when middle class means between rich and poor.

  4. I know others have commented on this, but I don't know if you have corrected it. There is a distinction between "Emigrant" and "immigrant." Those terms aren't necessarily the same. It's kind of an important detail.

  5. I don't get to be a worker. I don't get to the point of being "alienated from the product of my work". It doesn't matter what I apply for, I shan't be hired for any job. Is this what humanity has worked for for so many years? That some of us, willing to do what ever to help others, are simply not allowed?

  6. PRAXIS NOTE
    Can we please use “capitalist/working class” in English speaking countries, especially in the context of spreading our ideas to the greater public? This is not for xenophobia, but because English-speakers know intuitively what “Working Class” and “Capotalists” entail, without having to know the specific jargon.

  7. Have you seen the recent graphic novel adaption? I haven’t managed to review it yet but hope to have a vid on it by the end of the year.

  8. BTW an emigrant is someone who has left the country, i.e. exiles in this case. It's the exact opposite of an immigrant.

  9. Thanks for the video, i think this is a great way to break though the McCarthyism conditioning and get people actually talking about communism

  10. Wow thanks for making this. I'm currently reading the manifesto and this helped clear up alot of the points which I had troubble understanding. (side note, the final lines "you have nothing to lose but your chains" made me tear up, goddamn I hope socialism wins)

  11. Wow!!!! That was really well done and funny at times. I appreciate your message. I want to give that pup a pet!!!!

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