Komunistični manifest

Založba Sanje, 10. avgust 2009


Pošast hodi po Evropi – pošast komunizma. Vse moči stare Evrope so se zvezale za sveto gonjo proti tej pošasti, papež in car, Metternich in Guizot, francoski radikali in nemški policaji.

Komunistični manifest, znan tudi kot Manifest komunistične stranke, je bil objavljen 21. februarja 1848. Velja za najbolj znano, najbolj ponatiskovano in najvplivnejše politično besedilo vseh časov. Po naročilu Zveze komunistov sta ga napisala ustanovitelja in teoretika komunizma, Karl Marx in Friedrich Engels. V Manifestu je izpisan namen in program Zveze komunistov, s smernicami za proletarsko revolucijo, ki bi zrušila kapitalizem. Neposredni cilj je bil zgraditi socializem, ki bi kasneje prešel v brezrazredno družbo, komunizem.

Komunistični manifest je prvič izšel v Londonu leta 1848 (v nemščini), izdala pa ga je skupina nemških političnih beguncev. V istem času je izšel v nemškem časopisu Deutsche Londoner Zeitung, ki je izhajal v Londonu. V angleščino ga je leta 1850 prevedla Helen Macfarlane. Med letoma 1872 in 1890 je bil manifest izdan večkrat, Marx in Engels pa sta za nekatere izdaje napisala pomembna dodatna uvodna besedila. Angleška izdaja iz leta 1888 velja za najpogosteje uporabljeno. Prvi slovenski prevod Manifesta je iz leta 1902 (Karl Linhart v Rdečem praporju), leta 1908 pa je založba Naprej manifest prvič izdala v knjižni obliki (avtor prevoda je podpisan z inicialkami M. J. Č.).

Uvodne misli k najnovejši slovenski izdaji Komunističnega manifesta Založbe Sanje so prispevali profesorji dr. Mladen Dolar, dr. Slavoj Žižek, dr. Jože Mencinger, dr. Rajko Muršič ter pesnik Janez Ramoveš.

Glej tudi: Tiskovna konferenca založbe Sanje ob predstavitvi ponatisa knjige Komunistični manifest (video)

Phenomenology of Spirit

Published November 30th 1976 by Oxford University Press.


Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential works of philosophy ever presented, Phenomenology of Spirit is Hegel’s 1807 study of the stages in the mind’s necessary progress from immediate sense-consciousness to the position of a scientific philosophy that is in numerous ways extraordinary.

“Hegel’s deadline for submitting the manuscript was October 18, 1806. Shipping the text from Jena to Bamberg would take five days, so October 13 was his last day to take the package to the post office. On October 8 and 10, Hegel sent the bulk of the manuscript to Bamberg. On October 9, war broke out between France and Prussia. Hegel still had to send the concluding part of the book, but the postal service was no longer functioning. On the morning of October 13, French troops occupied Jena. “The hour of fear”—that’s what Hegel called this moment. Soldiers burst into Hegel’s house. He tried to be friendly, inviting them for a glass of wine, but he soon had to flee—with the remaining parts of the manuscript stuffed in his pockets. In another house where he took refuge, he spent a few hours organizing these papers and putting the finishing touches on the manuscript. Only on October 20 was he able to send it to the publisher, who, in spite of this delay, paid him what was due, as Hegel was broke and his house plundered.

This is the story of how Phenomenology of Spirit, one of the most difficult philosophical books ever written, came into the world. ”

— Oxana Timofeeva, Now Is Night

‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx Friedrich Engels


The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors’, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment’. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom – Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage-labourers.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.

The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.

The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature…

‘The Relevance of the Communist Manifesto’ by Slavoj Žižek

Published February 25th 2019 by Polity


No other Marxist text has come close to achieving the fame and influence of The Communist Manifesto. Translated into over 100 languages, this clarion call to the workers of the world radically shaped the events of the twentieth century. But what relevance does it have for us today?

In this slim book Slavoj Žižek argues that, while exploitation no longer occurs the way Marx described it, it has by no means disappeared; on the contrary, the profit once generated through the exploitation of workers has been transformed into rent appropriated through the privatization of the ‘general intellect’.

Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have become extremely wealthy not because they are exploiting their workers but because they are appropriating the rent for allowing millions of people to participate in the new form of the ‘general intellect’ that they own and control. But, even if Marx’s analysis can no longer be applied to our contemporary world of global capitalism without significant revision, the fundamental problem with which he was concerned, the problem of the commons in all its dimensions – the commons of nature, the cultural commons, and the commons as the universal space of humanity from which no one should be excluded – remains as relevant as ever.

‘Nature and its Discontents’ by Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek. “Nature and its Discontents.” SubStance 37, no. 3 (2008): 37-72.


Beyond Fukuyama

Where do we stand today? Gerald A. Cohen enumerated the four features of the classic Marxist notion of the working class: (1) it constitutes the majority of society; (2) it produces the wealth of society; (3) it consists of the exploited members of society; (4) its members are the needy people in society. When these four features are combined, they generate two further features: (5) the working class has nothing to lose from revolution; (6) it can and will engage in a revolutionary transformation of society (Cohen, 2001). None of the first four features applies to today’s working class, which is why features (5) and (6) cannot be generated. (Even if some of the features continue to apply to parts of today’s society, they are no longer united in a single agent: the needy people in society are no longer the workers). Correct as it is, this enumeration should be supplemented by a systematic theoretical deduction: for Marx, they all follow from the basic position of a worker who has nothing but his labor power to sell. As such, workers are by definition exploited; with the progressive expansion of capitalism, they constitute the majority that also produces the wealth, and so on. How, then, are we to redefine a revolutionary perspective in today’s conditions? Is the way out of this predicament the combinatoire of multiple antagonisms, their potential overlappings?…

In publication continuously since 1971, SubStance is a major interdisciplinary journal with a reputation for excellence. It is an international nexus for discourses converging upon literature from a variety of fields, including philosophy, the social science, science, and the arts. Readers have come to expect the unexpected from SubStance, and to experience a sense of participating in the formulation of emerging theories.

‘Welcome to the Desert of the Real: Five Essays on September 11 and Related Dates’ by Slavoj Žižek

Published October 17th 2002 by Verso (first published November 17th 2001)


Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides. Žižek argues this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyzes the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events.

‘Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty’ by Jacqueline Rose

Published April 19th 2018 by Faber & Faber


MothersAn Essay on Love and Cruelty is guided by a simple argument: that motherhood is the place in our culture where we lodge – or rather bury – the reality of our own conflicts, of psychic life, and what it means to be fully human. Mothers are the ultimate scapegoat for our personal and political failings, for everything that is wrong with the world, which becomes their task (unrealizable, of course) to repair.

To the familiar claim that too much is asked of mothers – a long-standing feminist plaint – Rose adds a further dimension. She questions what we are doing when we ask mothers to carry the burden of everything that is hardest to contemplate about our society and ourselves. By making mothers the objects of licensed cruelty, we blind ourselves to the world’s iniquities and shut down the portals of the heart.

To demonstrate this vicious paradox at work, Rose explores a range of material: investigative writing and policies on motherhood, including newspaper reports, policy documents, and law; drama, novels, poetry, and life stories past and present; social history, psychoanalysis, and feminism. An incisive, rousing call to action, Mothers unveils the crucial idea that unless we recognise what role we are asking mothers to perform in the world, and for the world, we will continue to tear both the world and mothers to pieces.