In their Communist Manifesto of 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels applied the term communism to a final stage of socialism in which all class differences would disappear and humankind would live in harmony. Within this document, ten planks of the Communist Manifesto are given. The Manifesto was a philosophical assertion of the historical beliefs that Marx and Engels witnessed in France in the early part of the 19th Century, and then evolving slowing in Germany at the time of its publication.
In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels claimed to have discovered a scientific approach to socialism based on the laws of history. In contrast, Adam Smith's work was centered more in social philosophy than in historical context.Marx declared that the course of history was determined by the clash of opposing forces rooted in the economic system and the ownership of property. Just as the feudal system had given way to capitalism, so in time capitalism would give way to socialism. The class struggle of the future would be between the following:
- Bourgeoisie - the capitalist employers
- Proletariat - the workers
The struggle would end, according to Marx, in the socialist revolution and the attainment of full communism.
At the time in which Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto, he saw communists not as a political party but rather as intellectual revolutionaries that were able to spark government from the outside. This is witnessed in the passage in which he notes them as "a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole".Marx believed that these advanced bourgeois would begin a revolution in Germany, which would contribute to the brewing socialist revolution in France. By looking towards France, Marx believed that Germany would follow in their footsteps, led by the communists.