In 1847 Engels wrote two draft programmes for the Communist League in the form of a catechism, one in June and the other in October. The latter, which is known as Principles of Communism, was first published in 1914. The earlier document "Draft of the Communist Confession of Faith", was only found in 1968. It was first published in 1969 in Hamburg, together with four other documents pertaining to the first congress of the Communist League, in a booklet entitled Gründungs Dokumente des Bundes der Kommunisten (Juni bis September 1847) [Founding Documents of the Communist League]. At the June 1847 Congress of the League of the Just, which was also the founding conference of the Communist League, it was decided to issue a draft "confession of faith" to be submitted for discussion to the sections of the League. The document which has now come to light is almost certainly this draft. Comparison of the two documents shows that Principles of Communism is a revised edition of this earlier draft. In Principles of Communism, Engels left three questions unanswered, in two cases with the notation "unchanged" (bleibt); this clearly refers to the answers provided in the earlier draft. The new draft for the programme was worked out by Engels on the instructions of the leading body of the Paris circle of the Communist League. The instructions were decided on after Engels' sharp criticism at the committee meeting, on October 22, 1847, of the draft programme drawn up by the "true socialist" Moses Hess, which was then rejected. Still considering Principles of Communism as a preliminary draft, Engels expressed the view, in a letter to Marx dated November 23-24 1847, that it would be best to drop the old catechistic form and draw up a programme in the form of a manifesto. At the second congress of the Communist League (November 29-December 8, 1847) Marx and Engels defended the fundamental scientific principles of communism and were trusted with drafting a programme in the form of a manifesto of the Communist Party. In writing the manifesto the founders of Marxism made use of the propositions enunciated in Principles of Communism. Engels uses the term Manufaktur, and its derivatives, which have been translated "manufacture", "manufacturing", etc., Engels used this word literally, to indicate production by hand, not factory production for which Engels uses "big industry". Manufaktur differs from handicraft (guild production in mediaeval towns), in that the latter was carried out by independent artisans. Manufacktur is carried out by homeworkers working for merchant capitalists, or by groups of craftspeople working together in large workshops owned by capitalists. It is therefore a transitional mode of production, between guild (handicraft) and modern (capitalist) forms of production.
Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820 - August 5, 1895) was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, working in close collaboration alongside Karl Marx. In 1845, he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research. In 1848, he produced with Marx The Communist Manifesto and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organized Marx's notes on the "Theories of Surplus Value" and this was later published as the "fourth volume" of Capital. Engels is commonly known as a "ruthless party tactician", "brutal ideologue", and "master tactician" when it came to purging rivals in political organizations. However, another strand of Engels's personality was one of a "gregarious", "big-hearted", and "jovial man of outsize appetites", who was referred to by his son-in-law as "the great beheader of champagne bottles."
The "Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution" emerged as a reaction to the negative development of the Russian Revolution. With this writing, the authors for the first time put up for debate the economic foundations for the construction and organization of a society in the sense of the "association of free and equal people". At the same time, they took into account all the experience gained from the previous attempts of the labor movement, and by criticizing it were able to point out necessary new paths. A critique that has lost nothing of its original topicality to this day. The first edition of the Fundamental Principles, published in German in 1930, was confiscated and largely destroyed. A completely revised and improved edition in Dutch was first published in excerpts in 1931 and 1935 in book form in a second edition. The text of the German first edition was reprinted in 1970 and also translated into English and French. The completely revised and improved 2nd edition, on the other hand, remained largely unnoticed in Dutch for the following 85 years. With this translation of the 2nd edition into English, the Sleeping Beauty has awakened.
This definitive edition of the Communist Manifesto, prepared for its 150th anniversary, includes a foreword by Marxist scholar Paul M. Sweezy, co-editor of Monthly Review, the full text of the Communist Manifesto, in a distinctive and pleasing hand-set typeface, the important catechism Principles of Communism, drafted by Engels in 1847 as a basis for the Manifesto, and "The Communist Manifesto After 150 Years," a far-reaching interpretive essay by Ellen Meiksins Wood, co-editor of Monthly Review.