Study Guide

The Communist Manifesto Genre

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Philosophical Literature

This is no fairy tale or science fiction story. Marx means business—well, okay, maybe not business. What we're saying is that he's dead serious in this political manifesto, telling workers to revolt and install a new economic system. He doesn't want you to just sit on the beach and just through the pages; he wants you to agree with his philosophical theories and overthrow the rich.

Elsewhere, Marx wrote, "Hitherto, philosophers have sought to understand the world; the point, however, is to change it." So he forcefully lays out his ideas in hopes of persuading a mass readership to adopt them. Many did and still do, sometimes altering his ideas along the way. In fact, the Manifesto remains one of the most influential philosophical documents of all history.

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