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Marxism, Communication, and the Great Walls of China

Karl Marx
I recently revisited my copy of the Manifesto of the Communist Party. I was struck by the passage below, which is both clear and perplexing at the same time. How is it relevant in 2005? The answer is up to you.


“The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”


Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx & Frederich Engels, 1848, p.6.
Image from Wikipedia.

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