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How does Mein Kampf differ from the Communist Manifesto? Is it important that I read both? And if yes, why is it important. Thank you.

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Ron Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto? That's like asking how Twain's huckleberry finn and Smith's wealth of nations differ and if you should read both... Mein kampf and the Communist Manifesto are not related to each other in that way. Hitler was Fascist and it would help to understand Communism to understand his animosity toward it. Whether or not it is important to read both... that depends on you. The Communist Manifesto has impacted, and continues to influence, billions of peoples lives and provides a counterpoint to mindlessly backing a capitalist economic system. Mein Kempf, while interesting, very truly is the obvious work of a insane man.

TLDR: Mein Kampf = interesting; Communist Menifesto = thought provoking, enlightening and understanding of different cultures
Kendall Moore Three Answers:

1. One is the closest delineation of fascism as your likely to get and the other is a philosophical blueprint for underclass rebellion. Both are essentially ideological propaganda, but the Communist Manifesto has aged better.

2. If you choose to read both, start with the Communist Manifesto first and then research the differences between the two ideologies. In this way you will establish a historical background for the two books and therefore be able to come to more informed conclusion.

3. As to why you should read these books, only you can say.

P.S. For a through political dissection of these two philosophies I recommend supplementing Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto with Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism."
Corey Chrisman They aren't very comparable. As bad as mein kampf is, reading the manifesto will make it look like a college textbook. The manifesto is poorly thought out fanciful theorizing for emotional children (and yes there's lots of them, agreeing at how brilliant it is, from then to now. But a emotional child's opinion doesn't become an adult's opinion by virtue of popularity.) Read them both, and get a well rounded view of things, but don't credit undue influence to actual worth. They're both sh*t, but it's probably a safe bet that many here praising the manifesto and trashing mein kampf only read the former and are a little too sure of themselves and what they know. You reading it will mean you're one of the few that actually know what you're talking about. Anyway, remember, the only person who can judge a sane man is a reasonable man, and those types of men (and women) are rare these days..
Jacob Adams You should understand one thing: National Socialism is NOT Marxian Socialism. National Socialism puts emphasis on the collective Nation, but does not entirely dissolve the individual. However, with Marxian Socialism, the individual is entirely dissolved and replaced entirely by the collective. You definitely should read both, only so you can understand the utter flaws that lie within. Many of these folk here seem only to have read one, mainly the Communist Manifesto, and not the other, content with over generalizing it and labeling it evil and bad just because of the author.
Lobstergirl Mein Kampf is very long and written by a crazy person. The Communist Manifesto is quite short and written by two people who were political theorists and ideologues. It would be more important and beneficial to read the Communist Manifesto because it had a much wider influence on history and ideology. It's easy enough to get Hitler's opinions in abridged form in other places, or just read some histories of the Third Reich.
Noah Isaac

Hitler was both a fascist and socialist. He wasn't one or the other. The ideas from both socialism and fascism overlap. You might want to learn about the etymology of the word nazi and what letters stand for. It's the german abbreviation for national socialist. Also, Hitler read the communist manifesto. His version of socialism has a lot in common with Marxism, considering he was influenced by Karl Marx.

Boocat If you want to be able to develop more insight into two inhumane political philosophies that have been responsible for the killings of countless millions of people, study the dark allure of these books. (Communism, of course, still exists today and destroys countless lives in China, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba, to name a few communist h*ll-holes.) Know your enemy and be warned. This can happen anywhere.
Stephen Fox It is my sense that many who responded to your question misunderstood its import. If your question provided a context as to why your question was asked, perhaps better and fairer responses would have followed.

It is my understanding that you are attempting to read books that address the beginning of political movements that result in authoritarian nation states. It is also my sense that you concede one or both of these works may not relevant in some way or another; meaning that both, one, or neither could be useful in understanding political history if not contemporary events.

Each book deserves a read, but vary as to what you will gain from a reading.

The Manifesto is surprising short, around 61 pages in my paperback edition. And clear in presentation.

The Marx/Engels’s work is largely a review of class history, an interesting twist on Hegel’s dialectical explanation that it is ideas that moves history.Marx disagreed, and essentially uses a Darwin like explanation of the history of economic systems and class struggle wherein the era of capitalism is the most recent and best but nonetheless seriously flawed And doomed to fail. Marx urged workers to grasp this revelation, to unite and revolt, and thus speed up the inevitable outcome towards a utopian state where society was classless. The details or specific outline of a Communist state was left for posterity. Marx viewed “the state” as ultimately withering away. Marx’s audience was not specific to a nation, but rather to industrial workers of the world.

My view is that reading the first chapter -22 pages-of the Manifesto is extremely insightful and worth a read even if the remaining portion of this very short book is set aside thereafter.

But Chapter 2, at its end, lists the common political economic policies of advanced nations undergoing this evolutionary process. Very insightful when considering current American debates regarding taxes, wealth, inheritance, etc.

Hitler’s work is all together different in length ( around 900 pages) and subject to the mischiefs of his rambled writing ( transcribed from his prison cell) as well as translation Issues inherent in foreign language literature.

It is useful in understanding a strand of German culture. It is useful in understanding the thinking of Hitler regarding Jews, the free press, the relationship of Germany with Europe, and his plan to address and resolve these issues and more. The book’s title literally means “My Struggle “.

A summary of his work by a reliable academic would be very useful with select quotations from the original work. That would greatly assist and shorten the read time.

Hitler addressed a very limited audience: German “aryans”, and lived to carry out the near ends of his aspirations . In that sense, his book is instructive into the designed ravings of a lunatic who somehow collected an audience large enough to support, tolerate, and engage in cruelty beyond what the world 20th century population could hardly imagine or understand. It is why so much academic attention continues to process this dark piece of world history.

In that sense, Hitler’s book is original source material; it’s major shortcoming is that it does not answer or shed much light as to why the German people fell in line and marched with him to carry out massive atrocities. Thus the the need for and fact of continuing studies.

Both books are worthy of reads in understanding world history; each offering a unique insight. But for different reasons. Marx the economic philosopher/political historian, Hitler the sociopath.
Daisy Fascism and communism really are similar. Fascism is more nationalist though. You should read them both as important works because both of their authors changed the world in different ways and impacted many lives.

It is important because history in itself is important. To understand the future and present times, you must understand the past. The world goes in similar cycles through history.
Tim Lemoine 80 million deaths attributed to Fascism (ideology)/WWII and 149 million deaths attributed to communism. So there's one metric for you to base your decision on. Important to read both to understand the ideas that resulted in such atrocities. Ideas have consequences.
Hale They are EXTREMELY different. Hitler even said that National Socialism differs from Marxist socialism. Mein Kampf was more of propaganda than anything. Hitler was a madman and hated anyone who opposed him or his parties views. The Communist Manifesto, on the other hand, was a work of theory and was bent on the idea of a classless and moneyless society, free of capitalism. So, to brutally put it, the Communist Manifesto is simply better than Mein Kampf in terms of the writers and the contents.
Dean It is a dumbed down outgrowth of the Communist Manifesto. If you read one and then the other you will be able to spot many similarities. He repackaged Marxism to reflect the popular German sentiments of the time, and to politically defeat his more traditionally Marxist opponents.
Wolfe Tone People responding here saying that both are similar or connected in any way have no understanding whatsoever of political ideology. Mein Kampf references a lot of ideology and philosophy, from (a misunderstood version of) Nietzsche, through Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Oswald Spengler to Mussolini and Ortega y Gasset. It is firmly rooted in conservative, nationalist and social-darwinist thought. It is not however connected to the ideas of Marx and Engels at all. National-Socialism has very little to do with socialism apart from the name.

The ideology of communism as outlined in the Manifesto by Marx and Engels is internationalist, egalitarian, democratic, progressive and dialectic. Some of this Hegelian dialectic can be vaguely found in Mein Kamf, but otherwise it is the complete opposite of the Manifesto. It is nationalist, anti-egalitarian, anti-democratic, conservative and utterly racist.

On another note: the writing is also very different. The Manifesto is a political work, an ieological explanation and a program, put together by two political philosophers. Mein Kampf is ultimately an ego-document, a diary, full of ravings, emotion, anger, frustration by a man who was of course utterly insane.

So to sum it up: the two are polar opposites and not connected.
Ana Rodrigues They're both the same thing
William McBride It's not particularly 'important' that you read either, unless you're seeking a better understanding of each book's respective body counts.

The half of Mein Kampf my masochistic curiosity carried me through were not terribly enlightening. They're the sermons of a paranoid ideologue. Still better than David Icke's "The Biggest Secret," but that's not a point in its favor. Most interesting takeaway I still remember is the contrast between anti-semitic rhetoric from then to today.

The Communist Manifesto is comparatively well written, and aged spectacularly well. Just look towards the countless shining historical examples of its well implemented ideology that self-identified Communists proudly cite.
Timothy Morrison communist manifesto is anti-imperialist. Hitler says that he fulfills it. Hitler believed that communism was a Zionist conspiracy against the world.
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