Communist Manifesto

Communist Manifesto Summary

The Communist Manifesto opens with the famous words "The history of all hitherto societies has been the history of class struggles," and proceeds in the next 41 pages to single-mindedly elaborate this proposition (79). In section 1, "Bourgeois and Proletarians," Marx delineates his vision of history, focusing on the development and eventual destruction of the bourgeoisie, the dominant class of his day. Before the bourgeoisie rose to prominence, society was organized according to a feudal order run by aristocratic landowners and corporate guilds. With the discovery of America and the subsequent expansion of economic markets, a new class arose, a manufacturing ...

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modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie" (82).

This bourgeois ascendancy has, though, created a new social class which labor in the new bourgeois industries. This class, the proletariat, "wage-laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live," are the necessary consequence of bourgeois modes of production (79). As bourgeois industries expand and increase their own capital, the ranks of the proletariat swell as other classes of society, artisans and small business owners, cannot compete with the bourgeois capitalists. Additionally, the development of bourgeois industries causes a proportional deterioration in the condition of the proletariat. This deterioration, which can be slowed but not stopped, creates within the proletariat a revolutionary element which will eventually destroy their bourgeois oppressors. As Marx says, "What the bourgeoisie, therefore, ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/21/2011 10:39:44 AM
Submitted By: Junior
Category: Psychology
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 767
Pages: 3

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