The Communist Manifesto
Posted by Constantino on August 01, 2006
In Reply to: The Communist Manifesto posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 18, 2006
this is probably a bit late but anyway. Whilst the Tempest fits quite well (and is probably where the inspiration came from) this always reminds me of the ol "Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew, or that the everlasting had not fixed his canon upon self slaughter etc." in Hamlet. Its not the most obvious connection im afraid (beyond the word melt!) and a rather long winded one at that, but being bored as I am with my job here goes. The connection I am seeing is between the illusions Hamlet builds for himself (although correct) and the myths and illusions of life (whether you consider those to be religion or identity or money etc). Hamlet is being compelled to face the realities of life and death and the realisation that he is an adult with responsibilites, most significcantly his relationship with those around him, in particular mother and uncle, and obviously understanding his own place in the world. In Hamlet's case he does not accept this reality, preferring instead to seek answers in the spirit world which eventually leads to his (and pretty much everyone else's) downfall, a reflection maybe on the conflict found when religion is discredited or cast aside - as in some former and current communist states and the percieved threat of consumerism on religious states. (Incidentally this is not an attack on religion!) In this sense the Communist Manifesto paints a fairly bleak picture of our future in the face of an enlightened understanding of the world. The idea I suppose is that Marxism is the guide to avoid this collapse, perhaps, or conversely even a self-reflection that with the human condition the way it is, the spectre of Communism is indeed the ghost of our own ideological origins freshly risen from fiery damnation, and whilst we watch the illusions of our world evaporate (again religion, faith etc) our pursuit to find some 'truth' to cling to will lead us individually into our own self-inflicted destruction! So as Hamlet (in his sorrow yearning to melt away with the illusions of his childhood) faces the reality of his world the manifesto tells us we must face the reality of our own social existence and not (hopefully) replace one illusion with another. Phew! Hope that makes some sense.