Study Guide

The Communist Manifesto Tradition and Customs

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Tradition and Customs

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx says that human beings make things in order to meet their needs. Because making things is so fundamental to who we are, Marx thinks the economic time into which we are born determines the tradition and customs of our lives. The technology for how we make things—the means of production—has changed throughout history, altering our traditions and customs. Marx says that what has remained the same is that the ruling class exploits the making capabilities of the ruled, alienating them from the fruits of their labor in order to hoard it all for themselves.

Questions About Tradition and Customs

  1. Explain how Marx's view that people are primarily makers of things connects with his view that struggle between economic classes is the root of tradition and customs.
  2. Marx believes the ruling ideas, such as those in religious or philosophical traditions, are the ones held by the most powerful economic class. Is he correct, and why? Give examples or counter-examples.
  3. If traditions and customs are determined by class, how do they change, according to Marx?

Chew on This

Traditions and customs ultimately come from the struggles between economic classes.

Struggles between economic classes aren't the ultimate source of traditions and customs.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...