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Happy Red Books Day!

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto on 21 February 1848. Red Books Day celebrates radical books that inspire people’s movements! Join us on Red Books Day on February 21, 2022 to mark the 174th anniversary of the publishing of the Communist Manifesto! For more information, check out https://redbooksday.org/

Last year, on 21 February 2021, I joined ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) at Western Carolina University to read a favorite quote from the Manifesto. Here’s the video.

Today is February 21st, the 173rd anniversary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto. So I am here to join ANSWER WCU to celebrate this Red Books Day by reading from the Manifesto. Now, the original call from Leftword Books said that we can read the manifesto in our own languages. Now, when it comes to my languages, I cannot choose. So, I am going to read out from three different languages. Thamizh, the language that I love, my mother language. Malayalam, the language that introduced me to the communist Manifesto because of my friends and comrades in Kerala, and English.

First in Thamizh.

இதனால் வரையில் நிலவி வந்துள்ள சமுதாயதின் வரலாறு அனைத்தும் வர்க்கப் போராட்டதின் வரலாறே ஆகும் 

In Malayalam

നാളിതുവരെ  നിലനിന്നിട്ടുള്ള  എല്ലാ സമൂഹങ്ങളുടെയും ചരിത്രം വർഗസമര ചരിത്രമാണ്.

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

One of the most famous sentences from the Manifesto. Now I also want to read a short paragraph from the English version. I like this paragraph because it explains class struggle in a very beautiful way. But I chose it today mostly because Karl Marx and Frederich Engels are really funny here.

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property.
Precisely so; that is just what we intend.

Happy Red Books Day! If you are looking for a recommendation for a book to read, may I suggest “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” by Walter Rodney? While you are at it, listen to Robin DG Kelley, Gary Nash Professor of History at UCLA, author of Hammer and Hoe, Freedom Dreams comment on how significant this book is: https://youtu.be/8zI3ao25bDU?t=7366

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