The Communist Manifesto – Marx and Engels

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Barnes & Nobel Classics, 2005. Print.

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels argue that while the whole of history is the story of class struggle, that the current struggle of our time is that between the working class (proletariat) and the owners and means of production (bourgeois).

They further claim that the basis of the struggle between the two classes is over private property, or “the accumulation of wealth in private hands.” The system is one that keeps the proletariat simply surviving – never making more than they need to sustain their meager existence. Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie exploit their cheap labor (for they need to labor to continue their base survival) to increase their own holdings. Marx and Engels argue that the proletariat will rise to overthrow the bourgeoisie and abolish private property. A list of demands is given that will bring about reconciliation between the two classes. Included in the demands are the abolition of property land, abolition of inheritance, centralization of credit, state-owned factories, equal liability of all labor, and free education.

I think one could feasibly do a Marxist reading of the player’s position in games whereby the player is conceived of as the proletariat. They are the industrialized product of the game. While I see this as possible, I’m less sure I see it as a productive (no pun intended) means of analysis in my own approach to game studies.

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