February 21, 1848 – Marx publishes manifesto

February 21, 1848 – Marx publishes manifesto

The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London on February 21, 1848. Karl Marx was born in Prussia in 1818–the son of a Jewish lawyer who converted to Lutheranism. After moving to Paris in 1843 he began a lifelong career as the intellectual leader of communist movement. Expelled from France he settled in Brussels, where he wrote The Communist Manifesto. The political pamphlet opens with the dramatic words A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism, and ends by declaring, The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite! Marx was later expelled from Brussels and moved to London, where he and his family lived in poverty while he continued to publish. There he composed his major work Das Kapital, which prophesied the inevitable self-destruction of the capitalist system and became the foundation of international communism. He died penniless and was buried at Highgate Cemetery, but his ideas reverberated all across the 20th century.