Communist Manifesto

The Bourgeoisie Built the Cave: An Application of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to Marxism College

More than a thousand years ago, Plato wrote of a cave in which three prisoners were chained in such a position where they could only see the wall in front of them. This being their only perceived reality, they came to believe that the shadows they saw moving across the wall were real and not just the shadows of real objectsthey had never seen anything to prove otherwise. In the allegory one of the prisoners breaks free from their bonds and manages to escape the cave. Once outside, they realize that their previous existence was a mere shadow of what really exists and quickly rush back inside to free their fellow prisoners and explain what they’ve seen. Unfortunately, the remaining prisoners are so conditioned to know the shadows as reality that they antagonize the freed prisoner and ultimately kill him for having the audacity to suggest that there was something more than chains and shadows.

Since it was written The Allegory of the Cave has been interpreted, meditated on, and added to by a myriad of authors and philosophers throughout history; from Baudrillard and the hyperreality, to Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451.[1]A slightly less obvious, but equally relevant, application of the Allegory comes in the works of Karl Marx. Marx...

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