If any book can be said to have influenced the world more than the Bible, it is the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. In the little over 100 years since Communism became a viable opinion more people have been influenced by it that any other governmental form in history.
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China's 1.2 billion people, Russia's 2-300 million people, N. Korea's 20 million, much of South East Asia, Cuba, the list of people influenced goes on and on. What has been the influence of this ideology on all these people? Well first of all and most obvious to the outside observer is the 100 million deaths resulting from various purges and wars brought on by Communism. Stalin and Mao combined to kill in excess of 50 million people. Hitler, in comparison, looks downright nice.
However, before Communism is totally condemned, one must be made aware that true Communism has never existed, and never will. The Communist Manifesto outlines ideal Communism, but all forms that have ever existed have been imperfect and will always be imperfect due to human nature.
True Communism depends on what Marx say as a basic human trait to look out for others first, to share with everyone else what you have. However, this does not work at all. China tried the "Iron Rice Bowl" police where no matter how much work you did, you would always get your bowl of rice for dinner. Guess what happened. No one worked, no one farmed, no one built tractors, but everyone wanted to eat. So famine resulted, one of the worst famines in history, killing millions while the rice paddies stood barren.
Does this all mean that you shouldn't read the Manifesto? By no means, read it, just be aware of the inherent flaws in the philosophy.
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