Karl Marx (1818-1883) explained historical change by using and adapting a theory that was first developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831). According to Hegel s theory, in any period of history there is a conflict between contrary and opposing forces. For Marx, although not for Hegel, these opposing forces were exclusively economic classes. For Marx, in any period of history up to and including the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism, there has always been a dominant economic class, which has exploited a lower economic class, this situation is stressed in capitalism. Marx states that the economic classes need to be abolished. Each successive period of history is brought into being by the breakdown of the previous one. According to Marx, each period of history is unstable, being destined by the class conflict within it to break down into a new period of history, which will again be unstable because of opposing economic classes. This period will then break down and the cycle will continue. This accounts for historical change, each period of history being rendered unstable by opposing economic class interests, therefore each period of history has within itself the means of its own destruction. Under capitalism the power of the exploiting class (the bourgeoisie) comes from its ownership of the means of production (factories, mines, farms, railways). The lowered exploited class (the proletariat) own nothing and only provide labor for the bourgeoisie. People s entire life and values in society will be shaped and determined by their class background. The government can not provide public interest or common good because under this system there is no common interest between classes. The government predictably promotes the interests of the ruling class, and the ruling class predictably controls the government. The time in history when capitalism is greatest will also cause a revolution that ends capitalism. According to Marx, it is inherent in the nature of capitalism that it creates the best conditions for a revolution. When this happens the workers will seize the means of production by force and support a government that will promote their interests. Eventually class distinctions will be abolished and Communism will be brought into effect. The Government’s role will be greatly diminished and everyone will produce only to their ability and receive only to their needs. The government will no longer only represent one class because there are no classes and no government.
There are many critics of Karl Marx and of the Communist Manifesto some of them agree while others disagree. An example of a very pro-Communist review of the Manifesto can be seen in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels defined for the first time in the social sciences the place of the capitalist formation in human history, showing its progressive character by comparison with preceding formations and the inevitability of its downfall. The Communist Manifesto opened the way to a new era in the history of mankind and initiated the great revolutionary movement for the socialist transformation of the world. This opinion as seen in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was written by G.D. Obichkin. We can see that this would be the most common view about the Manifesto from someone who is living in a Communist state. On the other hand if we look to a more neutral opinion we look to the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences. Since World War I Marx s theories have not only stimulated sociological work in general but have also given impetus to a new field of sociological inquiry. As we can see from the opinions expressed The Communist Manifesto is one of the most famous pieces of literature available on class distinctions and the theory Communism and it shows a great theory. By looking at these two opinions the first coming from a person who lives in a society that was greatly influenced by The Communist Manifesto we can see that there is much support. In the second opinion however even though the Manifesto is praised it is still not as acclaimed to that great of extent. I think that the Communist Manifesto is an amazing theory and after reading it I could see many of the points that Marx made to be true. I am not going as far to say that I am a Communist, but I can understand many of his points. Especially the ones that deal with the links and the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie. I think this was especially true in the 1800 s in England as seen by the workhouses and the many hours’ people worked for little pay. The Communist System s that exist today are a long way away from the system that Marx envisioned and the fact that the Communist system has failed many times does not show sign of promise. I think that the idea behind the book The Communist Manifesto is an excellent one but I am not sure if it would be able to withstand today s society. Word Count:
The Communist Manifesto was written by two world renowned philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. This book was produced in an era of great suffering and anguish of all workers in a socially distressed system. In a time when revolutions were spreading through Europe like wildfire, Marx organized his thoughts and views to produce the critical pamphlet “The Communist Manifesto”. Marx’s scrutiny illustrates his belief that unless change is to occur the constant outcome will repeatedly remain uniform. This is a novel that displays the differentiation between the Bourgeois and the Proletariat. Class relationships are defined by an era’s means of production. Marx’s
Marx’s ideas on labor value are very much alive for many organizations working for social change. In addition, it is apparent that the gap between the rich and poor is widening on a consistent basis. According to Marx, the course of human history takes a very specific form which is class struggle. The engine of change in history is class opposition. Historical epochs are defined by the relationship between different classes at different points in time. It is this model that Marx fleshes out in his account of feudalism’s passing in favor of bourgeois capitalism and his prognostication of bourgeois capitalism’s passing in favor of proletarian rule. These changes are not the reliant results of random social, economic, and political events; each follows the other in predictable succession. Marx responds to a lot of criticism from an imagined bourgeois interlocutor. He considers the charge that by wishing to abolish private property, the communist is destroying the “ground work of all personal freedom, activity, and independence”. Marx responds by saying that wage labor does not properly create any property for the laborer. It only creates capital, a property which works only to augment the exploitation of the worker. This property, this capital, is based on class antagonism. Having linked private property to class hostility, Marx
Karl Marx (1818-1883) was one of the most influential thinkers and writers of modern times. Although it was only until after his death when his doctrine became world know and was titled Marxism. Marx is best known for his publication, The Communist Manifesto that he wrote with Engels; it became a very influential for future ideologies. A German political philosopher and revolutionary, Karl Marx was widely known for his radical concepts of society. This paper give an analysis of “The Manifesto” which is a series of writings to advocate Marx ‘s theory of struggles between classes. I will be writing on The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, which lays down his theories on socialism and Communism. The Manifesto has four sections. In Likewise wealth dictated every aspect of the poor working class would live, survive really, they were to become nothing more than human capital.
The bourgeoisie used politics, new technological developments, and religion to manipulate the economics and to insure their control sustaining their status. In doing this they kept the proletariats salves to the rich helpless against their control. Capital is a social product and only exists in the social systems. It is not personal but a social power and the lower class becomes dependant on the elite for his survival. Marx’s primarily aims to explain how communism will free men, end the class struggle. The work argues that class struggles, and the exploitation of one class by another is the source of all inequality. Marx’s theories become one the motivating force behind all historical developments. The work strongly advocates the freedom of the proletariats which Marx’s claims can only be achieved when property and other goods cease to be privately owned. He see’s that private property has been a problem through out history, capital that aids the ruling class to maintain control. Marx argues that the lower class come together in a revolution and gain power and eventually take the power away from the upper class.
CH 1 Bourgeois and Proletarians
In the first section, ” Bourgeois and Proletarians. “Marx highlights his vision of history, focusing on the development, struggle and eventual
Marx and Engels raised the major question of this analysis in the second chapter
of the book ”
Proletarians and Communists
In our society today, political practitioners, economists, socialists and so on refer to Karl Marx as a man of high caliber, and a
philosopher of great intellect. It all started when he wrote his book ”
“, in the book he conveyed ideas that concerns concepts of communism
accompanied with various workable solutions to capitalism. The author further advocates communism to be the finest method of conducting a government politically and economically, in that case no citizen is at risk to experiencing subjugation, and the people will be major determinants in the means of productions. In the later part of the chapter, Marx mentions pivotal points concerning capital; such as, a revolution is required in other
for capitalism to exist. Hence, a major theme in Marx’s book is ”
Globally, capital is referred to as the major means to production, in the sense that capital is required for a production of good and services to take place successfully.
Allowing Marx to define capital, ”
it is the kind of property which exploits wage labor
. During the period when this book was written, i.e. precisely in the early 1800s, capital was attributed to raw materials, properties and public lands. Having all these being noted,
the author drew into an assumption that ”
capital is therefore not a personal, but a social power
. Making property public then, as the communist wants to do, is not changing the private to the social; it is only modifying its already inherent social character; In other words, it is virtually predestined to exercise communal disparity in a society where capital and ownership of properties is the order of the day. When the ownership of
Karl, Marx, and Engels Frederick.
Germany, 1848, 52
Marx manifesto, 53.
properties is allowed, it comes with both moral and immoral elements such as, the formation of a new social system, the abolishment of feudalism and the a formation of a social division that defines the upper and lower classes (the bourgeoisie and proletariat). As aforementioned, the bourgeoisies are the citizens on top of the division, furthermore, they tend to own much capital and they dictate the ways of production whereas the proletariat are the population that are constantly oppressed by the superiors through the means of exploitation. Logically, the upper class being at the top had its own
significant impact on the community. Likewise, Marx attests that ”
it stirred up economic activity and made people hardworking and helped them achieve certain potential in themselves
” and also ”
they helped in the facilitation of the metamorphosis of nations into civilization
. With the apparent and obvious superiority that exist between the two classes, I will say that it is only normal that the bourgeoisies appears as the societal characters, who the lower class will eventually depend on. The upper class accumulated so much power that authorized them to dictate each and every happening in the societal level, they also started making rules and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by the population of the lower class; such as price determination, in other words the bourgeoisies dictated the price at which produced goods will be sold in the market place. On the other hand, the proletariats had no physical possessions that can enable
them noteworthy just like the bourgeoisies. In this case, the author identified that ”
capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united actions of all members of society
the focal point of the above quote of Marx’s book is that capital shouldn’t be owned by a single individual but a society, apparently, the contrary is the order of the day. Hence, the owners of capital who tend to accumulate much power with it, and then appears to be too powerful amidst the other population. One fascinating example in the early and modern society is that the people working have no form of wealth and they are subject to the owners of the means of production. The social division was then appropriately defined through the means of the establishment of wage labor system; it basically turned the lower class to a working tool for the upper class, in a more philosophical term, the proletariats were transformed into a form of capital, used as a way of production. As a result of this adjustment, the bourgeoisies then owned the proletariats. The transformation between both classes happened successfully for the reason that the lower class depended so badly on the upper class for employment, income and making a living; consequently, the subjects had to go out of their ways to meet up with the demands of their superiors and not disobey their rules too. Through this means, the bourgeoisies only resulted to accumulate more power
from the proletariats. From a philosophical point of view, the author accepted that ”
into their placed stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted to it, and by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class
. Currently, in the world of today the issue of exploitation is not a new gist. In other to attain social power and figure, capital is a pivotal element to possess and after which capital has being fully attained, private properties are then acquired, thus, the owners becomes determinants in making rules and regulations that governs the community; Nigeria is a state that best describes the aforementioned situation. During the time of the classical era, the bourgeoisies could be directly equated to the present day affluent