Three things I despise the most are economic jargon, people telling me what to think, and men who talk too much. I pride myself in knowing what I know about what I want to know, and frankly, I’ve been okay with not knowing what I don’t know. I never feel the need or intense desire to learn about outdated economic ideals or what some old white dude has to say about his shiny new ideology. It has nothing to do with me, and maybe I’m better off not knowing.
So, of course, The Communist Manifesto (or at least the preamble) was the perfect choice for this assignment.
I went in with a thin veil of disgust as, having read excerpts for history classes in the past, I knew that this would be an experience full of confusion, backtracking, and pronouncing “bourgeoisie” at least five different ways in my head. I couldn’t stand the high-and-mighty voice of Karl Marx or the winding, twisting way he crafted his sentences to get one single point across. But most importantly, I couldn’t stand his definite belief that he was right.
Why did I feel this way? I normally value a strong, able writer. I respect their assertive nature and their confidence. But this time, I was nothing but irked. I think it’s because I’ve been conditioned to view this piece of writing with fear, with the common belief that any high school or college student who tries to read it won’t understand a word. Maybe I was mad at Karl Marx for allowing teachers and students to immediately write themselves off as incompetent or lacking in some way.
Of course, this belief isn’t without reason. At the end of the day, The Communist Manifesto was not written for me, my peers, or my teachers. It was not written for anyone in this time. It was written as a plea for the world to accept a new ideology, one which we now look down upon. So of course I have zero feelings of trust and security when thinking about this piece.
However, eventually the exact things that annoyed me, particularly the writer’s assertiveness and demanding tone, drew me in. This was probably his intention; to brainwash the reader into trusting his every word and bringing them over to his side. Although I understood little of the economic talk, the discussions of society and America were intriguing under this new perspective. This just made me even angrier. Why? Because I have no patience for men who talk too much, especially when it’s about the economy.