How does the author try to persuade the reader in The Communist Manifesto?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is clear that Marx uses a number of different persuasive strategies and methods in order to try and convince the reader that his view and perspective on historical events is accurate. For example, in his rallying call, "Workers of the world, unite!", he uses emotive language and rhetoric to create a sense of unity amongst his readers in order to try and persuade them to revolt. However, elsewhere, he tries to anticipate the arguments against his point of view that he raises. Note the following example concerning private property and how he seeks to persuade the reader by dealing with objections against this tenet of communism:

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

Marx here seeks to point out the paradox, as he sees it, at the heart of objections to the abolition of private property. Marx argues that because it is only the scarce minority who can afford private property in the first place, and therefore it is unjust to argue for its preservation, as it only benefits the few rather than the many. In addition to emotional rhetoric therefore, Marx deliberately uses a range of persuasive strategies, including carefully anticipating the arguments of his readers and pointing out the flaws in these arguments. This strengthens his writing, as it moves it beyond just an emotionally charged creed and gives it more of a considered and objective feel.

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