The Communist Manifesto Book Summary - The Communist Manifesto Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

The Communist Manifesto summary

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Workers of the world unite!

4.2 (830 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is a foundational document of modern socialism and communism, outlining the principles and goals of the movement.
Table of Contents

    The Communist Manifesto
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    The class that controls the economy controls society.

    Why is it that we never see poor people in Congress or wealthy landowners sweating in factories? The wealthy always seem to inhabit positions of power while the rest of us are at their mercy. But how did this come to be? The answer lies in economics.

    Changes in the economy drive changes in society. Every change in social relationships is triggered by a change in the mode of production, i.e., the method by which the necessities of life (food, shelter, transportation, etc.) are created.

    The mode of food production in the age of hunter-gatherer societies, for example, was such that humans could only provide for their immediate communities. As a result, there were hardly any class distinctions within a community; people were more or less equal.

    However, with the advent of farming, a more efficient mode of food production emerged. Suddenly there was an abundance of food, enough for farmers to sell to other people.

    This change in the mode of production caused a hierarchy to develop between those who controlled the food supply and those who had to work for them. And so the first class system was created: the class that held economic power also held the political power.

    Historically, all societies have organized into complicated hierarchies of conflicting classes. The lines that separate these classes can be traced back to their degree of control over the modes of production. In essence, the class that controls a society’s wealth controls that society by using its position to subjugate the other classes.

    In the Roman world, for example, slaves were not allowed to hold property, which amplified their oppression.

    Things were similar in the feudal societies of medieval Europe: poor serfs were tied to their land and indebted to wealthy landowners. In other words, these landowners actually owned them and forced them to work the land.

    The relationship between these oppressive and oppressed classes, i.e., the class struggle, is what has driven history.

    Want more?
    Read or listen to the key ideas
    from 7,000+ titles

    Key ideas in The Communist Manifesto

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Communist Manifesto about?

    The Communist Manifesto is the result of a meeting of international communists in London. It vividly portrays the first common position of political communism regarding the class struggle between the working class and the capitalist bourgeoisie.

    The Communist Manifesto Review

    The Communist Manifesto (1848) is a crucial text in understanding political and economic ideologies. Here's why you should read it:

    • It presents the core ideas of socialism and communism, which have shaped global politics for over a century.
    • The book offers a historical perspective on class struggle and the development of capitalism.
    • It encourages readers to challenge their preconceptions about wealth, power, and society.

    Expand your understanding of political thought by reading The Communist Manifesto.

    Best quote from The Communist Manifesto

    The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    —Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    example alt text

    Who should read The Communist Manifesto?

    • Anyone who works for someone else
    • Anyone who’s wondered why wealth seems to concentrate at the top
    • Anyone remotely interested in politics

    About the Author

    Karl Marx was a German philosopher who lived from 1818 to 1881. He is one of the main thinkers in communist political thought and established his own socialist tradition, Marxism, in his seminal work Capital.

    Friedrich Engels was a writer and social scientist who lived from 1820 to 1895. He was one of Marx’s political companions and helped co-author several of his works.

    Categories with The Communist Manifesto

    Book summaries like The Communist Manifesto

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Communist Manifesto FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Communist Manifesto?

    The Communist Manifesto advocates for a classless society and the overthrow of capitalism.

    How long does it take to read The Communist Manifesto?

    Reading The Communist Manifesto takes approximately 2 hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 10 minutes.

    Is The Communist Manifesto a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Communist Manifesto is a vital read for understanding political and economic ideologies.

    Who is the author of The Communist Manifesto?

    The authors of The Communist Manifesto are Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

    How many chapters are in The Communist Manifesto?

    The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels has four chapters

    1. Bourgeois and Proletarians
    2. Proletarians and Communists
    3. Socialist and Communist Literature, and
    4. Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties.

    How many pages are in The Communist Manifesto?

    The Communist Manifesto has around 48 pages.

    When was The Communist Manifesto published?

    The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848.

    What to read after The Communist Manifesto?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Communist Manifesto, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
    • Capital by Karl Marx
    • The Republic by Plato
    • Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
    • The Analects by Confucius
    • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    • How to Think Like a Philosopher by Peter Cave
    • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
    • Lying by Sam Harris
    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber