Apocalypse of St. Karl

Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto is a specimen of apocalyptic literature, in the tradition of the books of Daniel and Revelation.

As befitted the 19th century, Marx's apocalypse was global, rational, and atheistic rather than tribal and cosmological. Still, the Manifesto's tone is apocalyptic. Marx wrote that history was coming to a crucial point. Mighty socio-economic forces were bringing class conflict to a head. Soon, the exploited workers would rise up and use their superior numbers to recreate society to serve them instead of to serve the bourgeoisie. The first would be last, and the last first. The corrupt world would be overturned, and the justice would reign in place of despotism.

At the same time that Marx was writing the Manifesto, apocalyptic literature was popular in the US, but it was religious in nature.






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