Reading The Communist Manifesto directly after reading Singer’s Melodrama and Capitalism leaves one with the feeling that it is almost as if Marx and Engel’s had a copy of Singer’s work and drew from it the elements of power that melodrama holds, which is logical, as melodrama was speaking to the same audience as The Communist Manifesto.
The Communist Manifesto illustrates a classic black hat verse white hat class conflict. The virtuous hard working proletariat must overthrow and defeat the evil and ‘hostile antagonists’, the proletariat. The issue does not allow many shades of gray and becomes a matter of black and white, good verses evil. Marx and Engels constantly use melodramatic verbiage to paint their cause as that of the repressed, chained, and misunderstood hero who will be proven right in the end.
The Communist Manifesto plays wonderfully to a society faced with the new problems of modernity that Singer outlines. The audience is unsettled, raked with anxiety and a new, unknown world laden with only that which is unsure. Much the way Singer describes the lower class as taking shelter and comfort in melodrama productions, Marx and Engels use melodrama in their manifesto to make the audience see Communism as a way to restore comfort and security, to lend the ‘will to believe’.
Marx and Engel’s realize that this could be a worthwhile venture because, as Singer notes, persons finding themselves facing a class conflict and the uncertain feelings that accompanied the new age of modernity, need only a “minor catalyst” to create the rupture of hostilities, and possibly revolution.