Where Have I Read This Before?

Guess when “a 23-page pamphlet was published in London. Modern industry, it proclaimed, had revolutionized the world. It surpassed, in its accomplishments, all the great civilizations of the past – the Egyptian pyramids, the Roman aqueducts, the Gothic cathedrals. Its innovations – the railroad, the steamship, the telegraph – had unleashed fantastic productive forces. In the name of free trade, it had knocked down national boundaries, lowered prices, made the planet interdependent and cosmopolitan. Goods and ideas now circulated everywhere.

“Just as important, it swept away all the old hierarchies and mystifications. People no longer believed that ancestry or religion determined their status in life. Everyone was the same as everyone else. For the first time in history, men and women could see, without illusions, where they stood in their relations with others.”

Ah – you guessed it! It was on or about February 24, 1848.

Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, cited by Louis Menard in The New Yorker, October 10, 2016: “Karl Marx Then and Now.”

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One response to “Where Have I Read This Before?

  1. And with the currently contested CETA as a variation on the theme of ‘free trade’ one might add, citing Marx, “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and men at last are forced to face with sober senses the real conditions of their lives and their relations with their fellow men.”

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