Summarize some of the basic ideas of Marx & Engels as outlined in The Communist Manifesto.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Some of the basic elements in Marx/ Engels' work is that the moment in which capitalism would fall asunder is upon the consciousness of Europe.  The "spectre" of capitalism is looming over Europe and is one that is clamoring for a change.  Marx/ Engels make the point hat historical consciousness has been defined by a process called dialectical materialism in which individual reality is defined by material wealth.  There has been an ongoing dialectic between those who possess power and those who lack it.  For Marx and Engels, capitalism is reaching a massive breaking point where the amount of those who benefit from it are being overwhelmed by those who are being crushed by it.  In such a conception that capitalism is seen as a "runaway train," Marx and Engels argues that the next stage in this historical dialectic is for the workers to own the means of production, a configuration when there will be inversion of society in that those who lack power will now have it once they recognize their condition as one where solidarity can be forged.  This is the fundamental call that is the concluding point to the work.

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