The Communist Manifesto
by Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx, 1848
A preview of chapter 1 of The Communist Manifesto by Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx:
The THEORY OF OBJECITVE DEVELOPMENT
The Marxist system has many branches. The central doctrine, however, is the conception which came to be known as J fistorical Materialism, or the materialist conception of history. The classic formulation of this doctrine is found in the preface to the Critique of Political Economy which i\larx published in 1859. There he describes how he was led to “the conclusion that legal relations as well as fonns of the state could neither be understood by themselves, nor explained by the so-called general progress of the human mind, but that they are rooted in the material conditions of life.” Expanding on this statement, he continued: Tn tl1e social production of their material life, men enter into definite relations that arc indispensable and independent of their wills; these relations of prOduction corre~pond to a d(·6nite state of tile development of tlleir material forces of production.