PLSC 485b Group Paper 2 Write a Socialist Manifesto


This assignment requires both research and creative writing. You are to imagine yourself as a group of socialists in the 1800's. Your task is to write a manifesto for a socialist organization. This manifesto is intended to play multiple roles. It is a propaganda piece to be used to rally new supporters, it is a theoretical statement of the ideology of your organization, and it is a practical plan of action outlining the steps to be taken to reach your goals.

Your manifesto will refer to a specific place and time. You will have to select a European nation, and research the condition of the working class in that nation at some point in time between 1840 and 1914. The time period is up to you, note that conditions may differ dramatically over this era. The basic facts you will need to find out are:

1. The type of political regime in place. (Absolute Monarchy?, Constitutional Monarchy?, Liberal Republic?)

2. The political rights of the working class. (right to vote? right to organize politically?) 3. The economic rights of the working class. (Right to form Unions? Right to strike?)

4. The living conditions of the working class. What are working conditions like? What are wages like?

You are then to write a socialist manifesto which takes into consideration the conditions prevailing at the time and in the place you have chosen. Your manifesto should cover the four functions of ideology spelt out by Ball and Dagger.

1. Orientation- Who is, and who is not the working class.

2. Explanation- Why are living conditions for the working class the way they are?

3. Evaluation- What aspects of current society are unacceptable? What would a good

society look like?

4. Programmatic- What is to be done to change society.