HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist…
Loading...

A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto (edition 2022)

by China Mieville (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1911,007,654 (3.5)2
China Miéville's brilliant reading of the modern world's most controversial and enduring political document: the Communist Manifesto. In 1848 a strange political tract was published by two emigres from Germany. Marx and Engels's apocalyptic vision of an insatiable system that penetrates every corner of the world, reduces every relationship to that of profit, and bursts asunder the old forms of production and of politics, is still a picture of a recognisable world, our world, and the vampiric energy of the system is once again highly contentious. The Manifesto is a text that shows no sign of fading into antiquarian obscurity. Its ideas animate in different ways the work of writers like Yanis Varoufakis, Adam Tooze, Naomi Klein and the journalist Owen Jones. China Miéville is not a writer who has been hemmed in by conventional notions of expertise or genre, and this is a strikingly imaginative take on Marx and what his most haunting book has to say to us today. This is a book haunted by ghosts, sorcery and creative destruction.… (more)
Member:moerk
Title:A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto
Authors:China Mieville (Author)
Info:Head of Zeus (2022), 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto by China Miéville

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Having achieved a fair measure of success with his examination of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in October, China Miéville has continued this theme with a detailed look at The Communist Manifesto. He sets it in its historical period; works through the Manifesto paragraph by paragraph, explaining each part's relevance and interpretation; gives his own evaluation of it; addresses criticisms of it; and finally gives his own personal reaction to how he sees The Communist Manifesto reading today. The Manifesto is published in full, as an appendix, together with various prefaces to different editions.

This is not an easy book. Miéville is thoroughly steeped in Marxist analysis and lore, and spares the reader none of the depth of his knowledge in this field. However, as we progress through the book, the language does get easier, and by the last chapter, the tone is almost conversational (at least, in contrast to what has gone before). Having said that, it is worth wading through the full text, as from time to time he relaxes the strict Marxian analysis and imparts some key points clearly and directly.

Throughout, there is a sense of Miéville challenging us to consider whether Marxism is a religion or not. It certainly has many of the features - key figures who had an important Message that set out how people should live, and a series of texts that initiates are supposed to know and follow. But Marx's analysis of the nature of human economic activity is firmly based in the real world; even those who reject Marx's ideal of how the world needs to change accept the description of that world. The world is divided into two classes: those who own the means of production, and those who have to produce something to sell, using either their hands or their brains. Everything else is just argument and counter-argument. Many of those arguments are made from a position of ignorance or misdirection. That the establishment still feels it necessary to denigrate and undermine those who take Marx's analysis and solution seriously shows what power there is in its message. Miéville's personal commitment is clear from this book; there are many others like him.

This is not to say that Miéville is uncritical of both the Manifesto and those who have claimed to follow it. Since the Manifesto was first published in 1848, the world has changed; the interpretation of the Manifesto has to take this into account. Marx and his co-author Friedrich Engels never lived to see any attempt made to bring about the sort of revolution described in the Manifesto; history shows us that any attempt to translate a set of principles laid down in a book into practical governance and political power never results in the objectives the work's authors aspired to being achieved. Does that mean that the messages in that book are invalid? Devout Christians, Moslems or Jews would say not, and their assertions are not frequently challenged. This is another area that Marxism has in common with a religion (except for the bit about the challenges).

In the first quarter of the 21st Century, there are many who are challenging the status quo of untrammelled capitalism, the primacy of maximising shareholder value, and treating workers as so many units of production, to be exploited or discarded according to the demands of the market. Many still hold to that world-view; many more do not. Of those who do not, a vast number have never read The Communist Manifesto, but are searching for something better than their present conditions. The Manifesto may not have all the answers; but it at least examines the problem. China Miéville has attempted to add to that examination and show where The Communist Manifesto can help point to some solutions. It should not be rejected just because some of the messages make some powerful people feel uneasy. ( )
1 vote RobertDay | Aug 6, 2022 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

China Miéville's brilliant reading of the modern world's most controversial and enduring political document: the Communist Manifesto. In 1848 a strange political tract was published by two emigres from Germany. Marx and Engels's apocalyptic vision of an insatiable system that penetrates every corner of the world, reduces every relationship to that of profit, and bursts asunder the old forms of production and of politics, is still a picture of a recognisable world, our world, and the vampiric energy of the system is once again highly contentious. The Manifesto is a text that shows no sign of fading into antiquarian obscurity. Its ideas animate in different ways the work of writers like Yanis Varoufakis, Adam Tooze, Naomi Klein and the journalist Owen Jones. China Miéville is not a writer who has been hemmed in by conventional notions of expertise or genre, and this is a strikingly imaginative take on Marx and what his most haunting book has to say to us today. This is a book haunted by ghosts, sorcery and creative destruction.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.5)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5 1
4
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,034,785 books! | Top bar: Always visible