Banned: Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto was among the most feared and banned books in the 20th century. Written in 1848 by Karl Marx and the lesser known Frederick Engels, "The Communist Manifesto" founded the modern political movement of communism most notably in the former Soviet Union and The People's Republic of China. The Communist Manifesto has been one of the most banned books in the 20th century for many reasons. One of the major reasons The Communist Manifesto has been banned in multiple countries is because the in the book Marx announces the communist intention to "everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things" (120). Marx's ideas of overthrowing the Bourgeois economics, i.e., capitalism, obviously scarred many people and capitalist governments with the power to ban books. Marx states that the interests of communists do not differ from the interests of the proletariat as a class; they seek only to develop a class consciousness in the proletariat, a necessary condition of eventual proletariat emancipation.
The primary objective of communists and the revolutionary proletariat is the abolition of private property, for it is this that keeps them enslaved. Bourgeois economics, i.e., capitalism, requires that the owners of the means of production compensate workers only enough to ensure their mere physical subsistence and reproduction. In other words, the existence of bourgeois property, or capital as Marx calls it, relies on its radically unequal distribution. The only way the proletariat can free itself from bourgeois exploitation is to abolish capitalism. In achieving this goal, the proletariat will destroy all remnants of bourgeois culture. Most of Marx's ideas can be viewed as attacks on capitalism, and when the bourgeois are in control of what books are banned, books making attacks on them will be banned.