Seeing Red

Scheurich West German Flask-Form Vase with Dripping Red and Chocolate Glazing (LEO Design)

On this day in 1848, political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels—Germans both—published their political proclamation, The Communist Manifesto.  Lionized and demonized, the book has been used both as a rallying call and as a denouncement.

Within its pages, the authors contend that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.”  The authors also question the morality of relying on capitalism as a just system of distribution.  Opponents of the work—capitalists and socialists—question the morality of those countries who have enforced Marxist principles.

While both men are credited as the authors of the Manifesto, Engels gave the lion’s share of credit to Marx, saying (after Marx’s death), “…the greater part…belongs to Marx,” and “…Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented.”

Love it or hate it, The Communist Manifesto is one of the most influential and important of political manuscripts.

And, while on the topic of red Germans, the ceramic vase, pictured above, happens to be both.