The Communist Manifesto


Karl Marx

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The Communist Manifesto Terms


To Marx and Engels, capital is the defining element of capitalism. Essentially, it’s money and assets under the control of the bourgeoisie. More than that, though, capital is the power that comes with… read analysis of Capital


Capitalism is a dominant economic and political system based on the ownership of private property and the ability to accumulate wealth. In a capitalist system, trade and industry exist for the pursuit of profit by… read analysis of Capitalism


A commodity is anything that can be traded, bought and sold. While most commodities are physical goods, Marx and Engels argue that under a capitalist system, work itself becomes a kind of commodity. At… read analysis of Commodity


Communism is the opposite of capitalism—an economic and political system in which the resources of society are collectively owned and distributed fairly amongst society. In Marx and Engels’ definition, communism outlaws any accumulation of… read analysis of Communism

Division of labor

The division of labor is a consequence of capitalism and industrialization that breaks work up into smaller and more repetitive tasks. Marx and Engels argue that this division of labor drives down the skill level… read analysis of Division of labor
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Feudalism is an economic and political system from the medieval period that had a different class set-up than capitalism. In a feudalist society, the king owns all of the land. He then gives some… read analysis of Feudalism

Free trade

Technically, free trade is international trade without restrictions or duties, such as import taxes or quantity limits. For Marx and Engels, it represents the method by which the bourgeoisie accumulates wealth. By trading, they are… read analysis of Free trade


A guild is an association comprised of people on the basis of a particular skill or trade. They were especially prevalent in the Middle Ages, which is why Marx and Engels mention them. Some of… read analysis of Guilds

Instruments of production

Instruments of production refers to things like the tools, machinery, and infrastructure that are required for work. People use the instruments of labor in order to create products. Together with the subjects of labor—the natural… read analysis of Instruments of production

Means of production

The means of production represents everything involved in work apart from the people themselves. This includes the instruments of production (such as tools, machinery, and infrastructure) and the raw materials and natural resource that workers… read analysis of Means of production

Productive forces

Productive forces is part of Marx and Engels’ terminology to describe the way in which society changes when technological and work-related advances are made. It also relates to the effectiveness of work in terms of… read analysis of Productive forces