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Socialism UnboundPrinciples, Practices, and Prospects$
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Stephen Eric Bronner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153836

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153836.001.0001

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The Democratic Legacy of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

The Democratic Legacy of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

(p.1) 1 The Democratic Legacy of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
Socialism Unbound

Stephen Eric Bronner

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes the socialist thought of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels as expressed in their seminal work The Communist Manifesto. The text provided an immanent analysis of the capitalist system along with the most rudimentary outlines for a socialist alternative. It forwarded a positive set of “transitional” programmatic demands for the present along with a utopian vision of the future. It propounded a theory that gave meaning to the suffering workers experienced and supplanted the need for other-worldly religion with a secular faith in themselves and their cause. This work placed the working class on the side of political democracy, justice, and the future.

Keywords:   socialism, Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, socialist movement, The Communist Manifesto, democracy, political theory

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