Work of Marx, Engels one of the greatest works of history, British experts say

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/2/26 11:03:48

The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels 170 years ago, has influenced millions of people and will continue to give food for thought for centuries to come, according to experts interviewed by Xinhua.

Published in 1848, "the Communist Manifesto was a fantastic piece of writing," said former seafarer turned academic Tony Lane.

Lane, emeritus professor of Cardiff University and one-time lecturer in the university's School of Social Sciences, first read the manifesto at the age of 27, long before he embarked on the road to academia.

"It really was a very powerful piece of writing. It was written as a way of mobilizing people," he said, describing the manifesto as a sketch of Marx's ideas.

Lane said far more people, millions over the years, have been influenced by reading that book which has hardly ever been out of print.

"For the future, I am sure there will be people reading and studying the Communist Manifesto for many years to come. I cannot imagine anybody reading the manifesto who will not be affected in some ways by what it says when they read the manifesto today... It is a document that makes some very serious points," the expert added.

Lane said that when it was written there was no such thing in Britain as the labor movement.

"We had to wait another 50 years for that to come along. In that respect the manifesto was ahead of its time, produced in the middle of the 19th century," he said.

"Is it relevant today? I doubt that as a great work it will ever be forgotten, and will be studied by thoughtful readers. I am sure they will find things in it that are still relevant," added Lane.

Alex McFadden, who was former president of the regional Trades Union Congress representing thousands of workers in northern England, is now a political officer with the local government trade union, Unison.

"When the Communist Manifesto was written, the vast majority of workers were illiterate and had little experience of collective struggle, and trade unions were almost a secret," McFadden told Xinhua in an interview.

He said the conditions of working class, written by Engels, was a massive influence at the time. "The Industrial Revolution threw up examples of Capitalist exploitation of the workers, examples which were used by Marx and Engels."

"The people most alienated from the means of Capitalist Production were the workers, the very people that created the industrial wealth," McFadden added.

These were the first ever examples to be used by philosophers, said McFadden. "So yes. Marx and Engels were ahead of their time."

"Marx and Engels opened the eyes and minds of workers and socialist writers everywhere," he said. "It is also interesting to see how the way the Communist Party in China adopts the manifesto, (since) in my view the Chinese are the masters."

McFadden said so many trade unionists studied the Communist Manifesto and still do today, which makes it just as relevant in 2018.

"Yes, the Communist Manifesto is as relevant today as it was in 1848," he said.

Posted in: POLITICS

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