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THE COMMUNIST

MANIFESTO
A Study Guide of the Young Communist League, USA

For more information on other educational materials, contact the


Education and Literature Committee at 646-437-5350 or visit
www.yclusa.org!
FOR PEACE, JOBS, EDUCATION, AND
SOCIALISM
Dear Club Member,

The Communist Manifesto is the most often read piece of communist literature. For many of us,
it’s the first book or text that we read that brings the ideals of socialism and communism to our
lives. The enclosed study guide for the Communist Manifesto will help you exam and discuss this
important document. You will find questions, a set of definitions and charts for different sections
to help you organize your thoughts and ideas. The questions within the study guide are meant to
guide you, as the reader, to the important political, theoretical and philosophical aims of the
Communist Manifesto.

As you begin to read the Manifesto, we must remember the historical background and
importance of the Manifesto. The Communist Manifesto lays out the theory and practice of
placing the working class in the center of the class struggle. Marx and Engels were
commissioned by the Communist League at its convention in 1847 to draft a programme for the
League together. This programme, titled The Communist Manifesto, was first published on
February 21st, 1848.

The Manifesto is not meant to be in-depth. It is meant to have a broad view and cover a lot of
ideas and concepts to start your thinking. It is not the end all, be all of communist thought (i.e.
statements on women and religion). The Manifesto is, instead, a living document. Some of the
ideas you may question and others you will find very relevant to your struggles today.

During your study of the Manifesto, you will have to pick a facilitator or a few facilitators to help
lead the discussions during the meetings. For the facilitator, we have enclosed a guide to help
you lead the discussion. Ideally, you would leave time in your regular club meetings for the
discussions but you can also schedule times outside of club meetings to discuss the book.

We suggest that you use the edition of the Manifesto that is published by International
Publishers. To order copies, you can go to IP’s website at www.intpubnyc.com or call 212-366-
9816. The IP price of the book is $2.50.

At the bottom of the study guide you will find a feedback form for your club to fill out after you
have gone through the study guide. Your feedback and suggestions are important to us and will
help us ensure that our study guides are useful for your club. Please mail your suggestions to the
national office at: YCL, 235 West 23rd street, New York, NY 10011 or email Adam at
atenney@yclusa.org.

Have fun reading,

Education and Literature Committee, Young Communist League USA

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READER’S GUIDE
Young Communist League, USA  235 West 23rd Street, 7th Floor  New York, NY 10011  646-437-5345 212-229-1713 fax www.yclusa.org

Before you start reading, here are some questions to consider:


1. What is the Communist Manifesto?

2. Why do you think the Communist Manifesto is such a popular piece of literature?

3. Is the Communist Manifesto relevant to the issues we face today?

3
Section I: Bourgeois and Proletarians

1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

2. How is the class struggle the mover of history?

3. What are some of the stages of the class struggle that Marx and Engels talk about?

4. Who are the working class? Who are the bourgeoisie? Is class determined solely by how
much you make?

5. What importance would Marx put on the labor movement and the struggle for worker’s
rights today? Do unions and the labor movement create change in our society? If so,
how?

6. Marx talks about the inherent problems of capitalism like over/under production and the
boom-bust cycle. Do we see these problems today? Can capitalism fix them?

7. How is this section relevant to our understanding of capitalism today?

8. Why does Marx call the bourgeoisie revolutionary?

9. What are some of the specific features in the development of capitalism/bourgeois


revolution?

4
Section II: Proletarians and Communists
1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

2. What is the unique role of the Communist Party in relation to the working class and the
class struggle?

3. How does Marx define freedom under capitalism and under socialism?

4. Marx wrote about some of the myths about communism during his time. Do we see some
of these today? How do we respond to these issues today? (see chart while reading this
section)

5. How many of the points in the 10-point program have been achieved by the working
class in your country? If some of the points have been achieved under capitalism, what
does this fact tell you about the Communist Manifesto? Why is that some have been at
least partially achieved, and yet some seem as far away as ever?

6. How is this section relevant to understanding the role and work of the Party and YCL
today?

5
Section III: Socialist And Communist Literature
1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

2. Is Marxism utopian? Why or why not?

3. Do we see forms of bourgeois socialism today? Why aren’t countries that have bourgeois
socialism Marxist?

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Section IV: Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various
Existing Opposition Parties
1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

2. How does our view of the Democratic Party today relate to what Marx wrote about the
work of Communists during his time?

3. Marx and Engels talk about revolution through “forcible means”. Does this “force” have
to be violent or include armed struggle? Are there non-violent paths to socialism?

4. How does this section summarize the entire Manifesto?

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Post Reading Questions:
How will you answer these now that you have finished reading? Have your ideas changed?

1. What is the Communist Manifesto?

2. Why do you think the Communist Manifesto is such a popular piece of literature?

3. Is the Communist Manifesto relevant to the issues we face today?

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MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT COMMUNISM
MYTH FACT
Communism does away with personal property.

Communists want to dictate how people spend


their hard earned money. 

When Communism eliminates wage-labor, it will


also get rid of work and production – creating a 
lazy, non-working society.

Communism will eliminate culture.


Communism will eliminate the family.


Communism will eliminate nations, nationalities


and countries. 

Communism will impede and negatively control


education. 

Communism is anti-religion.

Communism is undemocratic

Communism failed in the U.S.S.R. This proves that


it is unpractical. 

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KEY VOCABULARY
Section I

• Bourgeoisie- the ruling class under capitalism; those that benefit from the fruits of labor
of the working class. The class in capitalist society that owns the means of production
(factories, tools, machinery, land, etc.) and exploits the labor power of the workers.

• Proletariat- the working class; the laborers compensated enough for bare existence and
performance. The class in capitalist society that possesses only its labor power to sell to
the bourgeoisie.

• Burghers- People who during the time of feudalism were freed from serfdom and lived in
a borough (town) and had full political rights. These people were the beginnings of the
bourgeoisie.

• Patriarchal- A system of society that perpetuates male supremacy where men are
privileged over women.

• Unionism- organizing of a trade union movement and culture.

• Pauper- 1: a person destitute of means except such as are derived from charity;
specifically: one who receives aid from funds designated for the poor
2: a very poor person

• Capital- the wealth that is produced by workers during the production process that is
expropriated by the bourgeoisie and then re-invested in creating more wealth for the
owners.

• Feudalism - the system of political organization prevailing in Europe from the 9th to
about the 15th centuries having as its basis the relation of lord to serf with all land held in
fee and as chief characteristics homage, the service of tenants under arms and in court,
wardship, and forfeiture

• Capitalism - an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of


capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices,
production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a
free market

• Labour/Labor – purposeful and conscious human activity aimed at creating material


values.

• Class - a group sharing the same economic or social status (the working class)

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• Exploitation - to make use of meanly or unjustly for one's own advantage (exploiting
migrant farm workers). Pay someone less than the value of his or her labor.

Section II

• Tautology- sole conclusion, self-evident truth

• Sectarian- describes a group that does not have broad appeal, acts divisively on very
insignificant matters, and sets itself completely apart from everyone or everything else.

• Progressive or graduated income tax- a tax system where those who make more pay more
in taxes as a percentage of their income than those who make less (ex: someone making
90,000 pays 10% of their income in taxes while someone making 10,000 only pays 1% of
their income in taxes)

• Private property- the means of production (factories, farms, machinery, etc.) and private
capital controlled by a few individuals at the expense of the majority. (This is different
from personal property or possessions, which do not enable the owner to turn a profit off
of the exploitation of another’s labor).

• Personal Property – economic relations concerning the appropriation by the society’s


members of material values meant to meet personal requirements (shoes, shirt, house).

• Antagonism - Opposition of a conflicting force, tendency, or principle

• Emigrant- Someone who leaves his or her own country to settle somewhere else. In the
Communist Manifesto, this is referring to people who would leave a country because they
were opposed to the communist/socialist revolution.

Section III

• French Legitimists and Young Feudalists- organizations of feudal socialists (see


footnotes for more detailed explanation)

• Socialism - system of social organization in which property and the distribution of


income are subject to social control rather than individual determination or market forces.
2. The first phases of the communist mode of production, whose economic basis is social
property in the means of production. It develops in a balanced way in the interests of the
fullest possible satisfaction of the requirements of all members of the society and the all-
round development of the individual; material values under socialism are distributed on
the principal of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his work”.

• Communism – 1. System of political and economic organization in which property is


owned by the state or community and all citizens share in the common wealth, more or
less according to their need. 2. A socio-economic formation based on social property in

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the means of production, the highest stage of mankind’s social progress, which ensures
the full development of the individual.

• Robert Owen (1771-1858)- a leading English utopian Socialist. He envisioned a


collective economic and social life organized in small communist communes, where
property would be owned in common.

• Francois Charles Fourier (1772-1837)- a leading French utopian Socialist, who urged a
system of colonies on a socialist plan. His criticism of bourgeois society was recognized
as basic by both Marx and Engels.

• Claude Henri de Rouvroy Saint-Simon (1760-1825)- a leading French utopian Socialist


who saw the labor question as the prime social question of the future and proposed as a
solution the organization of production by “association”

* The endnotes in the back of the IP version contains some definitions and explanations of people, events and
groups that are referenced in the Communist Manifesto that you might find helpful.

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FACILITATOR’S GUIDE
Enclosed in this guide are the same questions that all the readers of this study guide have. It
additionally has some suggested answers to the questions, directly below each question. These
answers are only possible discussions that may come up; they are not the only answer. These
possible answers are also here to help you if people are not sure how to answer the question.
You as the facilitator can ask guiding questions based on the suggested answers or ask other
appropriate questions. This guide is meant to be a tool to help you lead the discussion, it is not
meant for you to read the answers to people but to enhance the discussion.

For Section II there is a blank chart to help organize your reading. Please make sure your readers
have copies before starting the section. You may want to use chart paper for that section to
collect/share participant answers.

When you are finished reading please evaluate this guide. You can do it individually or as a
group. Please send your comments to the National Office.

We hope this guide helps you have a great discussion as you read the Communist Manifesto
together.

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Questions to ask before you start reading:
1. What is the Communist Manifesto?

Personal Opinions

2. Why do you think the Communist Manifesto is such a popular piece of literature?

Personal opinions

3. Is the Communist Manifesto relevant to the issues we face today?

Personal opinions

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Section I: Bourgeois and Proletarians

1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

1. An understanding of what the class struggle is and its importance of moving history
2. An understanding of the development of the bourgeoisie and the working class
3. An understanding of some of the inherent features of capitalism (free trade,
globalization, boom-bust cycle)
4. An understanding that capitalism created the working class and needs the working
class to exist

2. How is the class struggle the mover of history?

History is about the struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor. In every society,
there is a contest of power and struggle between these groups of people. One group tries
to impose its will and creates a society that benefits itself while the other group struggles
against the other class and its laws and rules. It is through this struggle that change
(political, economic, cultural, etc) comes about within a society because eventually this
struggle creates a situation where the old system is no longer able to function and
something new is needed. For example, today, we see the struggle between the workers
and capitalists over questions of free trade, wages, healthcare, housing, immigration and
other issues. Individually, these different struggles will produce changes within our
society. Also, these struggles will lead to a larger change where capitalism is no longer
compatible with what the vast majority of people want and need.

3. What are some of the stages of the class struggle that Marx and Engels talk about?

1. Slave owning/slave holding- This pertains to ancient societies such as Greece, Rome,
Mesopotamian societies, Egypt and other ancient societies. In these societies, slave labor
was the foundation for commerce and production. Everything from the food that was
eaten, to the roads that were built to the clothes that people wore were made by slave
labor. There was some commerce and individual production but the vast majority of
things were created by slaves. All of the institutions of the society were based on this
foundation. This is different than the slavery that existed in the South pre-Civil War era
where the slave-owning states were part of a larger political system that was not
dependent on non-wage earning (slave) labor.

2. Feudalism- Instead of people being owned as property to make goods, it was the land
that was privately owned to produce a profit. Feudal lords and ladies owned the land that
was worked by people (the serfs). The serfs had to give a percentage of their crops or
goods created back to the lord for use of the land and the instruments of labor. The serfs
were never able to own their own land or instruments of labor. There were some small
cities and towns that had merchants and were based on trade but the main source of

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production of goods and wealth was through the relationship between serfs and feudal
lords.

3. Capitalism- Instead of land being used to generate wealth, it is the private ownership of
capital (factories, banks, etc) that is used to generate wealth. The workers are no longer
tied to the land or indebted to a lord, but are forced to sell their labor power to the
capitalists in order to survive. The capitalists use the labor power of the workers to
generate their wealth and profits. This form of production is the dominant and near
universal way that wealth is created under capitalism.

4. Who are the working class? Who are the bourgeoisie? Is class determined solely by how
much you make?

1. The bourgeoisie (aka the capitalists) are the few people who own all of the means of
production. They create their wealth through the profits generated through the factories
that they own. They buy the labor of workers to create this wealth.

2. The proletariat (aka the working class) are the masses of people who are forced to sell
their labor to make a living. We are paid a wage by the capitalist for our labor.

Class is not solely determined by how much you make. It is determined by your
relationship to the means of production: Do you own the factory or do you work in the
factory? If you don’t own the means of production, then you are a member of the
working class no matter what your wage is. Union members, Wal-Mart workers, doctors,
day laborers, farm workers and construction workers are all members of the working
class. If you are paid a wage for working, then you are a member of the working class.
CEO’s may earn a wage for what little work they do, but their main source of wealth and
income is off the profits generated through their stocks and profits from the workers that
work in their factories.

5. What importance would Marx put on the labor movement and the struggle for workers’
rights today? Do unions and the labor movement create change in our society? If so, how?

Marx would say that the trade union movement in the United States is important because
it gives the workers organizations which to fight against the capitalists for their rights. It
also helps unionists get involved with political struggle through union participation since
“every class struggle is a political struggle” (p.18) [IP version]. Marx also talks about
how unions make change through “legislative recognition of particular interests of
workers.” Today our union movement is highly involved in the legislative process to not
only protect what workers have won but to advance the struggle against the capitalists to
win new gains for workers.

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6. Marx talks about the inherent problems of capitalism like over/under production and the
boom-bust cycle. Do we see these problems today? Can capitalism fix them?

We still see these problems today and they are getting worse year after year. We are still
recovering from the last “boom-bust” cycle that exploded in the early 2000’s with the
“dot.com” bust. These features are caused by the inherent drive to maximize profits.
Capitalists see a profit being made in the production of a certain product and push to
make as much of that thing as possible. Eventually, demand dries up and there is a lot of
this particular thing out there that isn’t sold and lots of people making the product that are
eventually laid off or have their wages cut. This creates the same effect throughout the
rest of the economy and we go into what is called a “recession.” Capitalism can’t fix
these features because it is a part of the system itself. It can create temporary solutions
that act as a band-aid but don’t actually fix the problem.

7. How is this section relevant to our understanding of capitalism today?

This section discusses many of the things that we see today from over/under production,
the boom-bust cycle to free trade and globalization. Marx and Engels give a very accurate
and relevant description of free trade and globalization on pages 12 and 13 (IP version) to
what we are facing today. It gives us an understanding of how capitalism developed out
of feudalism and gives us an idea of how capitalism developed to where it is today.

8. Why does Marx call the bourgeoisie revolutionary?

Marx calls the bourgeoisie revolutionary because they revolutionized and changed
society. Mass changes have already been made under capitalism, living standards are
better than in the feudal system, the system that preceded capitalism. The bourgeoisie
also fought for and won huge changes in government, public policy and political and
social ideology that have radically changed society from what it was under the feudal
system.

9. What are some of the specific features in the development of capitalism/bourgeois


revolution?

1. The development of two distinct classes.


2. Free trade, there are always new and better things being developed.
3. Over/under production and the boom-bust cycle.
4. Rapid industrial growth.
5. Private property.

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Section II: Proletarians and Communists

1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

1. An understanding of the role of the Communist Party


i. Part of the working class; not separate
ii. Works for the immediate needs of the working class and long term
vision of socialism
iii. The most advanced section of the working class
iv. Has no interests outside the interests of the working class

2. A review of some of the myths and misconceptions of communism during Marx’s time

2. What is the unique role of the Communist Party in relation to the working class and the
class struggle?

The Communist Party is the most advanced section of the working class. The CP is part
of the working class; not separate from the working class. The political aims of the
Communist Party are the same as the working class. This means we must work on the
immediate needs and issues that face working people today. We, as Communists, must
also be active and participating in all of the struggles that working people are in.

We can’t have interests and ideas that are separate and apart from the interests and needs
of working people. Also, while working on the immediate needs, we are building the
working class movement and moving forward to socialism.

As Communists, our conclusions and ideas come from real, existing conditions. We don’t
just create our own theory out of thin air, but it comes from analyzing existing conditions
as they are.

3. How does Marx define freedom under capitalism and under socialism?

Marx defines freedom under capitalism as the freedom to buy, sell and exploit. Freedom
is essentially only available to the bourgeoisie. Working people are not free. We don’t
have the right to a job, to an education, to quality housing or healthcare. We aren’t able to
fully participate in our political process where only the wealthy can afford to run for
office and where there are so many restrictions on our ability to vote. We are free to be
exploited by the capitalists.

Under socialism, we would have true democracy. We would have the right to a job, to
join a union, to universal quality education and healthcare and the ability to own a home.
In the US, we advocate for a “Bills of Rights Socialism” that expands and deepens the
Bill of Rights and extends it to all people. We would be able to fully participate in the
political process. We would have working people who would be in office and we would
all be able to vote.

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4. Marx wrote about some of the myths about communism during his time. Do we see some
of these today? How do we respond to these issues today? (see chart while reading this
section)

Have people fill in chart and discuss the different answers and opinions.

5. When Marx says the aim of Communists is to abolish private property, what does he
mean by this?

* Private property: the means of production (factories, farms, machinery, etc.) and private
capital controlled by a few individuals at the expense of the majority.

* Personal Property: property that you own to meet your own individual needs and
desires (a car, an ipod, a Xbox360). These are personal items that you own and buy.
These are different from private property because you are not able to use them to exploit
someone else and make a profit.

* He is not trying to give away your personal property - house, your shoes, etc. but to
make public things like hospitals, factories, banks, etc.

6. How many of the points in the 10-point program have been achieved by the working
class in your country? If some of the points have been achieved under capitalism, what
does this fact tell you about the Communist Manifesto? Why is that some have been at least
partially achieved, and yet some seem as far away as ever?

Personal Opinion

7. How is this section relevant to understanding the role and work of the Party and YCL
today?

This section gives a brief beginning on the role and work of the Party and the YCL. It is
relevant to how we see ourselves in the broader movement and what our role is. We
should always be striving to bring working class people, organizations and needs into the
areas of struggle that we are involved in. We should be championing the working class
and bring a working class analysis and perspective to the issues we face.

This section lays out the idea of the need to work on the immediate needs of working
people while keeping the long term vision of socialism in our mind. If we want to build
working class power, then we need to get working people involved in the issues facing us
and be there at the front lines of the struggles. We must be involved in every struggle that
working people are in. We need to be working side by side with other working people to
build our movement. We are not separate, apart from nor above working people. This is
why we are involved in the trade union movement, women’s movement, the peace
movement and other struggles. This is also why we work with unions and other working
class organizations.

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This section lays out the foundation of our analysis. We must look at what is actually
happening on the ground and form our conclusions and course of action from this. We
can’t just take positions and hold actions that sound good or are the most radical. We
have to actually look at what is possible to move the whole working class forward.

Section III: Socialist and Communist Literature


1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

Most of this section is outdated. This section was dedicated to discussing the differing
trends among socialist thinkers during Marx’s time and worked to set Marx and Engel’s
ideology apart from the rest. We don’t see forms of feudal socialism, petty bourgeois
socialism or German “True” socialism today.

This section also recognizes the contributions of utopian socialists on the development of
modern socialism.

2. Is Marxism utopian? Why or why not?

Marxism is not utopian because it does not start from an ideal or “utopian” world that
does not have a basis in reality. Utopians want to create a world where there is no conflict
and everyone gets along, but do not have a way to achieve it. They simply say “well, if
people lived like this, then everything would be great.” The utopians also do not have a
class analysis for why things are wrong in society; they see the problems and create a
fantasy world that would cure the ailments of society. Marxism is fully based in reality
and has a class analysis for what is going on. While we have a vision of what a
socialist/communist world might look like, we do not base it on a fantasy or say “if
socialism looks like this, then everything will be great.” We don’t say that simply by
having socialism, all of the problems will go away or that a socialist society would be
free of problems.

3. Do we see forms of bourgeois socialism today? If so, why aren’t these countries socialist
in the Marxist sense?

Example countries – Sweden, Denmark, etc. they have social programs but are not really
socialist countries. They have social reforms that have helped to deal with some of the
problems that capitalism creates, but they have not solved the problems. These countries
still have private property, which does not benefit society as a whole. In these countries
the ruling class is the bourgeoisie, not the working class.

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Section IV: Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various
Existing Opposition Parties

1. What are the main arguments and points of this section?

This section acts as a summarization of the entire book. It brings together the different
strains of thought and arguments together and outlines in a very general and broad way
how to put them into practice. Marx discusses how the different Communist Parties
should act and what their relationship is to other existing democratic parties at the time.

2. How does our view of the Democratic Party today relate to what Marx wrote about the
work of Communists during his time?

Marx, in his discussion of the different Communist Parties of his time and the situation
they faced, is similar to the situation we face here at home. We work with the working
class to achieve the immediate needs of working people (the fight for higher wages,
unionization, healthcare, quality public education, etc) while at the same time keeping
our eyes and attention on building a movement towards socialism. In our political work,
we have the assessment that the main opponent to building towards socialism now is the
ultra-right. In calling for the fight against reaction, Marx discusses some of the parties
that Communists should ally with to win immediate gains and to build towards socialism
in different countries. Here today, we see this played out with our fight against the ultra-
right and taking the analysis that we need to build a Democratic majority in Congress as a
step towards defeating the power of the ultra-right. The Democrats are the only political
party that can effectively challenge the policies and program of the ultra-right. They are
also the Party with ties to the different movements that are needed for social change: the
labor movement, the racially/nationally oppressed, youth and women. We work with
Democrats while at the same time being critical of bad policies and positions that they
take and having no illusions about whom they ultimately represent (the capitalists and
corporate interests).

In the case of Germany, Marx talks about communists working with the bourgeoisie but
at the same time “instill[ing] into the working class the clearest possible recognition of
the hostile antagonisms between bourgeoisie and proletariat”. This is what the
Communist Party does today. We work with the Democrats against the ultra-right and
Republicans, while at the same time agitating for socialism. We know that the Democrats
won’t bring about socialism. While working with the Democrats, we are also working to
build towards an independent, labor-led party that has the interests of working people at
hand that can work to challenge the power of the Republicans and Democrats.

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3. Marx and Engels talk about revolution through “forcible means”. Does this “force” have
to be violent or include armed struggle? Are there non-violent paths to socialism?

The issue of “force” and what it means is a complicated issue. During Marx’s time and at
the writing of the Communist Manifesto, he probably did mean armed struggle because
of the conditions and political situation that working people faced at that time. However,
over time and as new conditions and spaces for political struggle opened up, even Marx
said there could be a non-violent path to socialism (particularly in the case of the United
States). The use of armed struggle for violence is a tactic, not a strategy to getting to
socialism. People have to look at and gauge whether this or that tactic is the most
appropriate to achieve an objective. Today, armed struggle and a violent path to socialism
is not a tactic that would be successful in the United States. Here in the U.S., we have a
history of non-violent democratic struggle that has led to massive changes. We also have
the most advanced military in the world that is capable of doing immense damage and
destruction.

When discussing “force,” there can be non-violent forms of force that achieve the same
goal. We will have to use our political force in asserting our demands and pushing
forward towards socialism. Our political force can be manifested in many different ways
that are non-violent and don’t include armed struggle, but achieve the same goals.

While we can’t predict the future or how events will turn out, the CP and YCL are
committed to creating a non-violent path to socialism that mobilizes the millions of
working people to use our political force to create change in our country.

4. How does this section summarize the entire Manifesto?

This section brings together the different parts of thought that Marx and Engels lay out in
the Communist Manifesto into a call to action. They put the theories presented (an
understanding of capitalism and capitalist development, the need for an objective analysis
of current conditions, the fight for the immediate needs while looking towards socialism)
into a plan of action of how to engage in the political struggle in different countries. It
reinforces and puts the ideas into some kind of practical use in everyday political
struggle.

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MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT COMMUNISM
MYTH FACT
Communism does away with personal property. Communism does not do away with personal property. Communism does
away with private property- property owned by individuals and used to make
 a profit such as factories and banks. People will be able to have and cultivate
personal property items like cars, TVs and ipods.

Communists want to dictate how people spend Communists do not try to dictate how people spend the money they earn.
Instead, communists want their money to pay for living expenses and to
their hard earned money.  enhance and enrich their lives. In a nutshell, instead of sending all your hard
earned cash back to the bourgeoisie via your landlord, banker etc, you can
spend on things that enrich your life like vacations, gardening, art etc.

When Communism eliminates wage-labor, it will Work and Production will still exist under Communism, though they will not
also get rid of work and production – creating a be based on wage-labor. Wage-labor is not what motivates people to be
 productive. This is proven even now under capitalism when those who work
lazy, non-working society. the most get the least and those that work the least get the most. People will
still work, and probably enjoy it more if their work and livelihood are not so
tied to a wage. Work will be a way to expand your creativity rather than
something you do to pay your bills.

Communism will eliminate culture. Communism will not eliminate culture. Our current culture is a condition of
Capitalism and has long been established to enhance this economic system.
 The culture that springs from the rise of Communism will similarly enhance
those conditions. Communism will do away with a culture based on class
differences and exploitation, it will not completely eliminate culture.

Communism will eliminate the family. Communism does not aim to eliminate the family. It does aim to abolish
family relations based on private capital gain such as viewing women and
 children as the property of the husband. Communism seeks to create
families based upon mutual respect, equality and support between all
members of the family.

Communism will eliminate nations, nationalities Communism does not aim to abolish nations/countries. Under Communism,
there will be international solidarity and friendship between all peoples of the
and countries.  world. This does not mean that your self-identity will be taken away.

Communism will impede and negatively control If teaching critical thought is negative, so be it. “The Communists have not
education. invented the intervention of society into education; they do but seek to alter
 the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence
of the {bourgeois} ruling class”.

Communism is anti-religion. In Marx’s time, he saw religion as a way to make people conform and as a
tool of oppression. Religion today, many times, is used as a tool of
 oppression. The religious right in our country is one example. However,
Communists do not seek to get rid of religion. Instead, Communists view
religion as a private affair.

Communism is undemocratic Communism is an economic system whereas democracy is a political


system. Both compliment each other well and are desirable. There have
 been examples of undemocratic capitalist and socialist countries. However,
unlike capitalism, Communism enhances democracy throughout all of
society, including economic relations. Communism calls for a “vast
association of the whole nation”.

Communism failed in the U.S.S.R. This proves that Each country must find its own path to socialism and communism. This path
and process will look different for each country. The history of the USSR is
it is unpractical.  complex and was just one of the many different countries that tried and
continue to build socialism in their own way.

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Feedback Form
** When completed, please mail to: Education Department-YCLUSA 235 West 23rd Street NY, NY 10011 **

Club Name: _________________________________

How many sessions did you use to cover the Manifesto?

Did your club use the IP edition of the Manifesto? If not, why?

Do you feel that the questions used in the study guide were effective in helping your club
understand the main points of the Manifesto?

Do you feel the charts and diagrams provided in the study guide help the readers focus their
ideas while reading?

Did the answers provided within the Facilitator’s Guide help guide/give direction to the
discussions in your club?

Did you find the answers understandable and accessible?

Which part of the study guide did your club/you find most effective? Which did you find the
least effective?

(use other side for any other comments or suggestions)

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