SOCB42H3 Study Guide - The Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels, Petite Bourgeoisie

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20 Apr 2012
Class Outline
CourseSOCB42H3Y Lecture 21/07/2010
Topic: The Communist Manifesto
Key educational goals/outcomes for today:
Understand economic basis for Marx’s belief that capitalism was doomed to fall apart and
give way to communism.
Understand the central importance of private property in his vision of history, and how it
made him believe that proletariat was the bearer of a social project radically different from
any other class project in history.
Apply Marx’s dialectic understanding of social structure and agency on his project of
communist revolution.
Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels (2004, 1848) The Communist Manifesto, London:
Questions to guide the reading/to think about ahead of time for students
What was the purpose of writing The Manifesto?
What is presented as the main force of historical development up to the time of writing?
Has the social role of the bourgeoisie always been reactionary? Explain.
How is the petite bourgeoisie presented in The Manifesto?
How is the proletariat different from all classes that struggled to change societies through
What type of property will communism be based on?
What is your opinion of Marx and Engels’ concept of communism, notwithstanding the
likelihood of its realization?
Book review due at the beginning of class
We continue our discussion of political economy of capitalism and connect it with Marx’s
vision of the future: of proletarian revolution and communist society. You will see that, at
the time The Manifesto was written, its authors believed the revolution to be inevitable and
imminent. Only later did Marx realize the effectiveness of bourgeois strategies of social
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