As a document the Manifesto is the most concise and influential statement of Marxism. It is written with epigrammatic force and literary skill. Published on the eve of the epidemic of social revolutions in Europe in 1848, it was designed as a program for the Communist League, a workers'' organization, which, although German at first, soon achieved international scope. The Manifesto embodied the materialistic conception of history evolved by its authors. It states its thesis with the directness of a challenge: "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles." It then attempts to array all historical proof for such a theory, finally bringing it down to nineteenth century capitalistic Europe, arguing that even as the bourgeois revolution destroyed feudalism, so in its turn captialism would be displaced by a workers'' society. This, the authors stated, was a historical inevitability: "The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.
" According to the Manifesto , the Communists were the most advanced and determined section of all working class parties, "that section which pushes forward all others." Their aim was the "abolition of private property." Just as the first step of the bourgeois revolution was the overthrow of the feudal power, so the later proletarian revolution would strive "to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy." Most dramatic is the Manifesto''s introductory sentence: "A spectre is haunting Europe," and equally apolcalyptic are its concluding words: "The workers have nothing to lose but their chains; they have a whole world to gain. Workers of all countries, unite." The Communist Manifesto has gone through countless editions, and has been translated into almost all languages.