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Celebrate the 170 years of the Manifesto of the Communist Party

Centre for Studies of the marxism-leninism-maoism

In the current month of February, 2018, exact 170 years of the first Manifesto of the Communist Party written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is reached. In this same year the International Communist Movement (ICM) and the masses of the whole world celebrate the 200 years of the birth of the great Karl Marx. This great date is an important occasion to reaffirm the fill validity of the principles established in this monumental work for the proletariat of the whole world.

The Manifesto established for the first time the fundamental principles and the program of the international proletariat – through which its Party arose, built upon its image and similarity, as an independent party and opposed to all the other existing parties in history, the communist Party. Because of this, it is also the birth certificate of the International communist Movement and its most fundamental unity base.

The principles established by the 1948 Manifesto are immortal and essential for the communists, “are the principles and the program unfolded by the international proletariat, which will lead humanity to a New World, to a classless society, Communism“(1). The birth of the International changed the face of the world and humanity history forever.

Based on these fundamental principles, the international proletariat developed three great stages, marxism-leninism-maoism. Three high peaks that opened a New Era with the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, raising the proletariat to the strategic equilibrium with the victory of the Great Chinese revolution of 1949, and which around 1980 with the people’s war in Peru it advanced to the stage of its strategic offensive, an offensive which needs to be propelled with more and more people’s wars in the whole world, to oppose the world Imperialist War to the world People’s War and sweep imperialism away from the face of earth.

All the revisionists in history, from Kautsky to Avakian had to throw themselves against the Manifesto. In the XXII Congress of the CPSU in 1961 Khrushchev affirmed that this was the new “Program of the communists” and Avakian affirmed that his “New Synthesis” was the “new Manifesto of the 21th century”.

Because of this, celebrating the 170 years of the publishing of the Manifesto we start from the necessity to study in its totality brought about by Chairman Gonzalo including all the prefaces and notes established since its first publishing in 1848 until the last preface written by Engels in 1893, which in addition to be an important guide to study its fundamental body (the text launched in 1848) it also serves to complement the principal part and to crush revisionist and academicist stands and other deviations. Then, with this important definition, Chairman Gonzalo raises the comprehension that all the prefaces and notes of Marx and Engels are also part of the very Manifesto.

As pointed out by Marx and Engels in the preface for the German version of June 1872 (2), the application and validity of the fundamental principles demonstrated in the Manifesto establish the necessity of its creative application on each epoch (today Marxism-leninism-maoism) and on each country (the need of the guiding thought): “the practical application of these principles will, always and in every place, depend on the existing historical circumstances, and that therefore, exclusive significance to the revolutionary measures enumerated in the chapter II is not conceded”.

One important question still that has to be pointed out, and is about a content of great significance for the ICM, it was Engels who defined as part of the Manifesto in the preface of 1883 the role of great leadership of Marx when affirming that “this fundamental idea belongs only and exclusively to Marx. I frequently declared it, but it is precisely now that this declaration is needed to be in the head of the own Manifesto”.

Engels affirmed correctly in the preface of the english edition of 1888 that: “the History of the 'Manifesto' reflects in a great amount the history of the modern movement of the working class”.

The Manifesto of the Communist Party was written by Marx and Engels between December 1847 and January 1848, commissioned by the Communist League, a clandestine international worker organization, which entrusted them to write a theoretical and practical program to be published. It was published for the first time in 1848 in London, England, and it was quickly translated into hundreds of idioms, reproduced millions of times, becoming the most important political document of all history.

The Manifesto is the first big event in the history of the proletarian movement, because with it, for the first time, the most revolutionary class of history was provided with a definitive program of thought and action to transform the whole world, to emancipate itself as a class and with this emancipating the whole humanity.

Engels points out in the preface of the English edition of 1888, that the defeat of the proletariat in the Journeys of June 1848 (first major battle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie), few months after the publishing of the Manifesto, relegated to the back burner, for some time, the social and political aspirations of the European working class. And afterwards when the Central Committee of the League of the Communists was arrested and condemned by the Prussian reaction in the famous Cologne Process of 1852, being the League disrupted, a period of dispersion of the proletariat was opened.

Decades of struggle were necessary for the proletariat to recover its strength for a new attack against the bourgeoisie. Hard years of struggle in order for – by the means of its direct revolutionary experience and in fierce struggle against all the strange concepts to its Class – the proletariat to raise the Manifesto making it return to emerge and demonstrating its validity, as the base of unity and single program of the proletariat, around which the communists could reorganize and reunite in the following decades.

“The working class of 1874, at the dissolution of the International, was altogether different from that of 1864, at its foundation. Proudhonism in the Latin countries and the specific Lassalleanism in Germany were dying out (…) Thus the history of the "Manifesto" reflects, to a great extent, the history of the modern working-class movement; at present it is undoubtedly the most widespread, the most international production of all Socialist literature, the common platform acknowledged by millions of working men”

Still in the Preface of the German edition of 1890, Engels points out how the proletariat of Europe and North America had united around the principles established by the Manifesto and, organized in the International Association of the Workers had been constituted “as one army, under one flag, for one immediate aim: the standard eight-hour working day, to be established by legal enactment, as proclaimed by the Geneva Congress of the International in 1866 (…) If only Marx were still by my side to see this with his own eyes!”.

Afterwards in the preface to the German edition of 1883, the first since the death of Marx, Engels made a brilliant synthesis of the “The basic thought running through the Manifesto -- that economic production and the structure of society of every historical epoch necessarily arising therefrom constitute the foundation for the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently (ever since the dissolution of the primeval communal ownership of land) all history has been a history of class struggles, of struggles between exploited and exploiting, between dominated and dominating classes at various stages of social development; that this struggle, however, has now reached a stage where the exploited and oppressed class (the proletariat) can no longer emancipate itself from the class which exploits and oppresses it (the bourgeoisie), without at the same time forever freeing the whole of society from exploitation, oppression and class struggles”.

The manifesto demonstrates that, in this epoch, capitalism simplified all and each one of the class contradictions into “two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat ”, establishing the great principle of class struggle as the fundamental principle which all of us should be guided, being up to all men and women to take a stand for one of these opposing classes. With this, Marx threw a mortal blow in all the variants of the petty bourgeois – Christian – socialism which presented themselves as independent and appeasing currents of class antagonism.

In establishing this scientific comprehension of socialism, in the Manifesto an important principle of the inevitability of of socialism and communism is established: “What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.” (chapter 1, our underline) “The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons - the modern working class - the proletarians”.

Engels, explaining the history of the Manifesto, and that the title of Communist and non-socialist was coined forever, shows us clearly how communists should take a class position on the left and not on the right, practice the Marxism and not revisionism.

Engels tells us that in 1847 those who called themselves socialists were then "respectable" theoreticians of the most different currents more or less charlatans, who were outside the labor movement and who sought support from the "educated" classes preaching the conciliation of classes and that "Part of the working class that had come to the conviction of the insufficiency of simple political revolutions and proclaimed the need for a fundamental transformation of the whole of society, was then called a communist: it was a crude and rudimentary communism, purely instinctive, (. ..) So in 1847, socialism was a movement of the bourgeois class and communism of the working class. Socialism was, at least on the continent, something "respectable", and communism, quite the opposite. We maintained from the beginning that 'the emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself', for us there could be no doubt about which of the denominations we proceeded to choose. Moreover, it never occurred to us to renounce it "(Engels, preface to the English edition of 1888, our underline).

In the Manifesto, Marx establishes the foundation of the concept of class of marxism according to which the Political Power (State) is “the organised power of one class for oppressing another”.

Marx demonstrated that the development of the class struggle leads to revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat through the revolutionary violence in which “it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production”.

Soon he fully established the revolutionary violence to change all the social order, as a fundamental principle of marxism:

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution”. (Chapter IV, our bold)

in the preface of the German edition of 1872, Marx and Engels, incorporate the experience developed by the proletariat between the year of the publishing of the Manifesto (1848) and 1872, especially that in which the proletariat was raised to Political Power for two months, the Paris Commune, in 1871, historical and transcendental fact in the history of the proletarian movement. Based on the assessment established by Marx in the document Civil war in France (1871), the principle of dictatorship of the proletariat is incorporated to the Manifesto:

One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that 'the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes”, referring to the passage of Civil war in France in which Marx affirms that this machinery should be definitely broken.

In the Manifesto Marx demonstrated that the proletariat is condemned to unify as “the bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle”. So he established the law according to which “the real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers”, in its process of struggle for its independent political party – today struggles for the constitution or reconstitution of maoist militarized communist parties – is an “incessant struggle” that even though undermined: “it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier” (Chapter 1).


Marx established in the Manifesto the principle of proletarian internationalism affirming that “q”, also establishing the great slogan that guides the proletariat for 170 years: “proletarians of all countries, unite!”, great task that has bequeathed us and which will only be complete when we all enter communism, when the proletariat would have fulfilled its historical role, abolishing all private property, all social classes and the different classes, extinguishing the State and itself as a class.

If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class”. (Chapter II)

So, this great motto has an important significance because it is synthesis and guide at the same time. Synthesis because it expresses our world conception, pointing our final goal, communism, and guide because summarizes the current tasks to combat dispersion of forces in the ICM that advances in fast pace towards overcome.

The Communists, as part of one same class in a world level which has its destiny indissolubly welded, conceive that communism cannot be in one country, but in all, either all of us enter or no one enters, so as affirmed by Chairman Gonzalo “it is no communist if does not think of communism” (3) what demands us to “put proletarian internationalism at the command and guide”, materializing the established by Chairman Mao: “Internationalism is the spirit of communism” (4).

This year, marxist-leninist-maoist Parties and Organizations, united under the banner of maoism and the People’s War launched the World Campaign for the 200 years of birth of the great Karl Marx, under the slogan: Proletarians of all countries, unite!

This important World Campaign adds to and is part of the struggle for the reunification of the communists of the world and against revisionism, which immediate announced objective is the realization of a Unified Maoist International Conference, which establishes a new maoist international organization. This step will mean a leap in the struggle for the reconstitution of the Communist International.

The reconstitution of the Communist International, which has as basis the ongoing People’s Wars, prominently the People’s Wars of Peru and India, in which the New Power is being built, with which are added the People’s Wars in Philippines and Turkey and other national liberation movements, and in the process of reconstitution of marxist-leninist-maoist militarized communist parties in the whole world, to initiate the People’s Wars in each country as a part and in service to the World Proletarian Revolution.

So, this important World Campaign for the 200 years of the birth of Karl Marx developed based on People’s Wars, shows how the full validity of the principles of communism and the program defined by the Manifesto 170 years ago from its first edition is being achieved and proved. “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win” (Chapter IV).


1. Communist Party of Peru (CPP). On the Construction of the Party. Bandera Roja, n 46, August 1976.

2. all the quotes and references to the text of the Manifesto of the Communist Party were taken from the following Spanish edition: Manifesto del Partido Comunista Ediciones en Lenguas Extranjeras, Peking, 1964, and translated by the writers of this article. The referred edition is avaiable in http://www.marx2mao.com.

3. Communist Party of Peru (CPP). Put the MRDP in motion serving the brilliant culmination.

4 Chairman Mao Tsetung, In Memory of Norman Bethune. Edicoes do Povo, Peking, August, 1952.