Today the Communist Manifesto is still as vibrant and incisive as the day it was written. Even commentators in the capitalist press have occasionally been forced to recognise it's continued significance.
With their opening sentence «A spectre is haunting Europe — the Spectre of Communism», Marx and Engels proclaimed the onset of the revolutionary struggle for a different form of society — one in which human need replaces private greed.
Today, the capitalist class is dominated by big shareholders, who own most of industry, land, commerce, the banks and mass media. In Britain today, the richest 10% of the population own 50% of the wealth, living off dividends, interests and rent. The overwhelming majority of people can live only by hiring themselves out to a capitalist employer or to the state sector, which maintains capitalist society. That makes them objectively working class, whatever their own individual perspective. It doesn’t matter whether you are a cleaner, craftsman or professional, or even whether you are a tenant or a homeowner. If your income comes wholly or mainly from your employment, pension or state benefits then you are working class.
There is a continual struggle in society between workers trying to preserve or advance their pay and conditions, and capitalists attempting to cut costs and boost profits. The last 150 years have witnessed stupendous growth, yet capitalist countries cannot abolish economic crisis, war, hunger, poverty and unemployment. Governments may attempt to fine-tune the capitalist economy, but the basic problems will not go away – as we see in Austerity Britain and the international scene.
This classic book puts all these things in context, offers explanations and points to solutions. Speaker Jim Whyte, retired Trade Union Studies educator and lifelong activist, will open up this magnificant work and show just how powerful & empowering the insights it gives, are today.
A public event, all welcome.