2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 17 (76% non-fiction)
In an attempt to add some classic reading to my annual goal, I decided to read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Yes, I know, we all learned about it (and communism) in grade school, but I never actually read it. I know all about the Bourgeois and Proletarians – I understood the system (at least as it was taught to me.) The interesting thing was just how much I didn’t know about.
The manifesto does a great job of spelling out what is wrong with industrialization and capitalism. It points out how a capitalist society has an agenda and need to eliminate gender differences and actually weaken the family unit. As predictor of the toll of our system on the family is startlingly spot on. I could see why the idea caught on.
However, the whole thing reads like a high school sophomoric view of the world. The precepts and ideas are altogether naive just because they are unrealistic. Sure, in theory, communism is amazing, but just a capitalism is great in theory – both are run by men. With that comes compromise, greed, jealousy, selfishness and just plain old evil. For those reasons, neither is a perfect system. As long as governments are run by men (or women), there will be problem.
Overall, it is a good read from a historical point of view. It speaks to the fears and passions of youth in the 1840’s.