Seize the means of production refers to one of the most recognizable and widespread tenets of Communism.
It was proposed by German philosopher and economist Karl Marx, urging the working class and laborers to “Seize the means of production” of capital and goods for themselves.
While the phrase is widely attributed to Karl Marx in his 1867 book Das Kapital, it was first used in its widely referred form “Seize the means of production” in the posthumous autobiography of W. E. B. DuBois, published in 1968.
Although Communism became a dominant ideology of the 20th century, leading many-a regime to “Seize the means of production”, the catchphrase didn’t catch on with the Anglosphere in a wider circle until the 2016 elections.
It was here, the line started breaking out from its isolate corners, such as the r/FULLCOMMUNISM subreddit.
With the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, a well-known socialist, memes revolving around the trope of Communism became more widespread on various subreddits, as well as 4chan, Facebook and 9GAG.