Karl Marx Frederick Engels

The text of this edition is that of the English edition of 1888, checked with the German editions of 1848, 1872, 1883 and 1890, as printed in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, vol 6 (London 1976) Woodcuts reproduced by kind permission of the executors of the estate of Fran Masereel

This edition 1998

ElecBook London

The Communist Manifesto


Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels


The Communist Manifesto


CONTENTS I Bourgeois and Proletarians II Proletarians and Communists III Socialist and Communist Literature Reactionary Socialism Feudal Socialism Petty-Bourgeois Socialism German, or “True”, Socialism Conservative, or Bourgeois, Socialism Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism IV Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties ILLUSTRATIONS Cover Page of the First Edition of “Manifesto of the Communist Party” London 1848 (23-page edition) From the Cycle “The Passion of a Man” From the Cycle “From Black to White” From the Cycle “Youth” From the Cycle “The Passion of a Man” From the Cycle “The Passion of a Man” From the Cycle “From Black to White” From the Cycle “My Hour-Book” From the Cycle “From Black to White” “He is Dying Content” “They all are Friends” 8 27 40 40 40 42 44 47 49 55

4 7 11 18 21 26 39 51 54 56 58

Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels


The Communist Manifesto


spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Cuizot, French Radicals and German police spies. Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponents in power? Where the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries? Two things result from this fact: I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself a Power. II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself. To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.


Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels


The Communist Manifesto


Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels


the social organisation existing previous to recorded history. guild-master and journeyman. In 1847. Since then. or to have been the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland. Freeman and slave. the pre-history of society. oppressor and oppressed. The inner organisation of this primitive Communistic society was laid bare. now open fight. a fight that each time ended. in its typical form. With the dissolution of these primeval communities society begins to be differentiated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. in a word. carried on an uninterrupted. now hidden. stood in constant opposition to one another.The Communist Manifesto 8 I BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS T 1 he history of all hitherto existing society1 is the history of class struggles. patrician and plebeian. (All footnotes are by Engels to the German edition of 1890) Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . or in the common ruin of That is. Haxthausen discovered common ownership of land in Russia. either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large. and by and by village communities were found to be. lord and serf. by Morgan's crowning discovery of the true nature of the gens and its relation to the tribe. Maurer proved it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic races started in history. all written history. was all but unknown.

in almost all of these classes. guildmasters. feudal lords.The Communist Manifesto 9 the contending classes. the epoch of the bourgeoisie. slaves. to navigation. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. again. In the earlier epochs of history. plebeians. opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society. serfs. this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . Our epoch. the rounding of the Cape. apprentices. a rapid development. In ancient Rome we have patricians. now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. a manifold gradation of social rank. new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. The feudal system of industry. The manufacturing system took its place. The discovery of America. under which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds. From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. new conditions of oppression. possesses. in the Middle Ages. vassals. we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders. an impulse never before known. The East-Indian and Chinese markets. the colonisation of America. the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally. however. journeymen. trade with the colonies. It has but established new classes. knights. and thereby. gave to commerce. subordinate gradations. to industry. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps.

Meantime the markets kept ever growing. the leaders of whole industrial armies. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . navigation. to communication by land. Thereupon. by industrial millionaires.The Communist Manifesto 10 class. the modern bourgeois. serving 2 This was the name given their urban communities by the townsmen of Italy and France. here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany). An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility. This development has. the place of the industrial middle class. We see. railways extended. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant. there taxable “third estate” of the monarchy (as in France) afterwards. and in proportion as industry. how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development. commerce. the demand ever rising. to navigation. an armed and self-governing association in the medieval commune2. of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange. Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. in its turn. Even manufacture no longer sufficed. This market has given an immense development to commerce. reacted on the extension of industry. after they had purchased or wrested their initial rights of selfgovernment from their feudal lords. and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed. division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop. increased its capital. in the period of manufacture proper. for which the discovery of America paved the way. steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. Modern industry has established the world market. therefore. Modern Industry.

The Communist Manifesto 11 either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility. and. cornerstone of the great monarchies in Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . in fact.

patriarchal. and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest. The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil. the priest. Roman Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . It has resolved personal worth into exchange value. direct. wherever it has got the upper hand. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”. brutal exploitation. exclusive political sway. the poet. it has substituted naked. the lawyer. than callous “cash payment”. has put an end to all feudal. the bourgeoisie has at last. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. in the modern representative State. found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids.The Communist Manifesto 12 general. of philistine sentimentalism. unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. has set up that single. idyllic relations. the man of science. historically. The bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. has played a most revolutionary part. since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world market. It has converted the physician. of chivalrous enthusiasm. conquered for itself. shameless. into its paid wage-labourers. and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms. in the icy water of egotistical calculation. which Reactionists so much admire. for exploitation. In one word. veiled by religious and political illusions. The bourgeoisie.

The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material. All fixed. In place of the old wants. establish connexions everywhere. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production. the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. industries whose products are consumed. not only at home. requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. satisfied by the productions of the country. and his relations with his kind. and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form. but in every quarter of the globe. They are dislodged by new industries. All that is solid melts into air. and Gothic cathedrals.The Communist Manifesto 13 aqueducts. all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. but raw material drawn from the remotest zones. was. uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions. and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . we find new wants. everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. fast-frozen relations. settle everywhere. it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. his real conditions of life. are swept away. It must nestle everywhere. and thereby the relations of production. on the contrary. whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. All oldestablished national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. Constant revolutionising of production. with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions. it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. To the great chagrin of Reactionists. all that is holy is profaned.

it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst. with which it forces the barbarians intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. so it has made barbarian and semibarbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones. to adopt the bourgeois mode of production. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population. draws all. nations into civilisation. The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. and of property. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural. so also in intellectual production. it creates a world after its own image. or but loosely connected.e. Independent. i. And as in material. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. the East on the West. of the means of production. It has created enormous cities. In one word. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls. on pain of extinction. to become bourgeois themselves.. even the most barbarian. by the immensely facilitated means of communication. by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production. there arises a world literature. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible. It compels all nations. The bourgeoisie. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . It has agglomerated population. we have intercourse in every direction. and from the numerous national and local literatures. and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois. and has concentrated property in a few hands. universal inter-dependence of nations. centralised means of production.The Communist Manifesto 14 In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency.

machinery. Into their place stepped free competition. they were burst asunder. laws. one national class interest. canalisation of rivers. during its rule of scarce one hundred years. accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted to it. the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry. The bourgeoisie.The Communist Manifesto 15 provinces with separate interests. has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production. electric telegraphs. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange. became lumped together into one nation. a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange. in one word. clearing of whole continents for cultivation. railways. application of chemistry to industry and agriculture. they became so many fetters. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. one code of laws. whole populations conjured out of the ground-what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour? We see then: the means of production and of exchange. steamnavigation. the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces. of exchange and of property. who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . is like the sorcerer. and by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class. with one government. one frontier and one customs-tariff. Subjection of Nature's forces to man. governments and systems of taxation. were generated in feudal society. They had to be burst asunder. the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged. on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up.

In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that. The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . by which they are fettered. are periodically destroyed. industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. by the conquest of new markets. but also of the previously created productive forces. and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on its trial. on the other.The Communist Manifesto 16 spells. they have become too powerful for these conditions. a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence. endanger the existence of bourgeois property. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products. by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. too much means of subsistence. it appears as if a famine. they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society. too much commerce. and why? Because there is too much civilisation. and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented. on the contrary. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production. That is to say. the existence of the entire bourgeois society. each time more threateningly. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism. and so soon as they overcome these fetters. too much industry. would have seemed an absurdity—the epidemic of over-production. in all earlier epochs. against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule.

the wage decreases. In proportion as the bourgeoisie. i. Nay more. the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character. and it is only the most simple. and most easily acquired knack. whether by prolongation of the working hours. etc. developed—a class of labourers. and for the propagation of his race. Masses of labourers. the modern working class. the cost of production of a workman is restricted. In proportion. therefore. and. are organised like soldiers. and therefore also of labour.. it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons—the modern working class—the proletarians. in the same proportion is the proletariat. Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. crowded into the factory. Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour. by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery.The Communist Manifesto 17 ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. consequently. are a commodity. who must sell themselves piecemeal. in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases. and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition. and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. But the price of a commodity. as the repulsiveness of the work increases. These labourers. Hence. to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance. almost entirely. who live only so long as they find work. is developed. like every other article of commerce. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself. is equal to its cost of production. all charm for the workman. to all the fluctuations of the market. most monotonous. He becomes an appendage of the machine. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .e. that is required of him. in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases. capital.

above all.The Communist Manifesto 18 hierarchy of officers and sergeants. they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine. by the overlooker. by the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class. and. and of the bourgeois State.

the landlord. etc. but against the instruments of production themselves. the more modern industry becomes developed. in other words. that he receives his wages in cash. then by the work-people of a factory. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim. No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer. the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople. the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the proletariat. than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie. and retired tradesmen generally. they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour.The Communist Manifesto 19 individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. All are instruments of labour. at an end. partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on. partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. according to their age and sex. shopkeepers. the more petty. The proletariat goes through various stages of development. the pawnbroker. then by the operatives of one trade. the more hateful and the more embittering it is. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists. more or less expensive to use. The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour. they smash to pieces machinery. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. the shopkeeper. so far. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. in one locality. they set Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers.

and it feels that strength more. At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country. they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages. they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . this is not yet the consequence of their own active union. makes their livelihood more and more precarious. the proletarians do not fight their enemies. The growing competition among the bourgeois. they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages. the non-industrial bourgeois. and the resulting commercial crises. ever more rapidly developing. and broken up by their mutual competition. Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations (Trades' Unions) against the bourgeois. for a time. Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie. but the enemies of their enemies. But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number. its strength grows. the petty bourgeoisie. The unceasing improvement of machinery.The Communist Manifesto 20 factories ablaze. the landowners. At this stage. able to do so. every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie. which class. in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised. it becomes concentrated in greater masses. and is moreover yet. the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. therefore. the remnants of absolute monarchy. in order to attain its own political ends. but of the union of the bourgeoisie. is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion. make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating.

Here and there the contest breaks out into riots. This union is helped on by the improved Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 21 occasional revolts. not in the immediate result. but only for a time. Now and then the workers are victorious. The real fruit of their battles lies. but in the ever-expanding union of the workers.

or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself. mightier. entire sections of the ruling classes are. And that union. as we have already seen. it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie itself. to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages. in other words. This organisation of the proletarians into a class. firmer. Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further. later on. But it ever rises up again. and consequently into a political party. by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself. precipitated into the proletariat. into one national struggle between classes. by the advance of industry. In all these battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. Further. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles. Thus the ten-hours' bill in England was carried. the modern proletarians. therefore. with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. and thus. all of the same character. to drag it into the political arena. But every class struggle is a political struggle. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . achieve in a few years. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers. at all times. stronger.The Communist Manifesto 22 means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. to ask for its help. in many ways. is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. At first with the aristocracy. the course of development of the proletariat. whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry. required centuries. thanks to railways. supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education. with their miserable highways.

here and there. in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour. If by chance they are revolutionary. those of old society at large are Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . the class that holds the future in its hands. the shopkeeper. They are therefore not revolutionary. they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat. that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift. the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. therefore. but conservative. at an earlier period. who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole. The lower middle class. be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution. the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class. the social scum. a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie. and in particular. the small manufacturer. prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. all these fight against the bourgeoisie. they are reactionary. the artisan. Just as. may. Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today. glaring character. In the conditions of the proletariat.The Communist Manifesto 23 Finally. the peasant. The “dangerous class”. however. to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. by the lowest layers of old society. for they try to roll back the wheel of history. that passively rotting mass thrown oil. a portion of the bourgeois ideologists. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of modern industry. so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat. assumes such a violent. in fact within the whole range of old society. but their future interests. the proletariat is its special and essential product. they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat. Nay more. they thus defend not their present. and joins the revolutionary class. its conditions of life.

the lowest stratum of our present society. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society. and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. has stripped him of every trace of national character.The Communist Manifesto 24 already virtually swamped. The proletarian movement is the selfconscious. in the interest of the immense majority. cannot raise itself up. we traced the more or less veiled civil war. of course. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify. The proletariat of each country must. up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution. their mission is to destroy all previous securities for and. In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat. except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation. The proletariat. insurances of. modern industrial labour. raging within existing society. yet in form. religion. are to him so many bourgeois prejudices. in America as in Germany. Though not in substance. or in the interest of minorities. Law. cannot stir. his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations. independent movement of the immense majority. morality. The proletarian is without property. All the preceding classes that got the upper hand. individual property. modern subjection to capital. and where the violent over-throw of the bourgeoisie lays the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. All previous historical movements were movements of minorities. the same in England as in France. without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air.

The advance of industry. and for the sway of the bourgeois class. is its own grave-diggers. instead of rising with the progress of industry. And here it becomes evident. He becomes a pauper. by their revolutionary combination. in other words. and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. as we have already seen. The essential condition for the existence. in the period of serfdom. The development of Modern Industry. instead of being fed by him. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . therefore. at least. that it has to feed him. due to competition. on the contrary. just as the petty bourgeois. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. the condition for capital is wage labour. produces. its existence is no longer compatible with society. due to association. raised himself to membership in the commune. The serf. is the formation and augmentation of capital. replaces the isolation of the labourers. Hitherto. and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. Wage labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery. that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society. But in order to oppress a class. What the bourgeoisie. therefore. continue its slavish existence. managed to develop into a bourgeois. cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. above all. because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state. whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie. certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can. every form of society has been based. under the yoke of feudal absolutism.The Communist Manifesto 25 foundation for the sway of the proletariat. The modern labourer. sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class.

The Communist Manifesto 26 Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .

The Communist Manifesto 27 II PROLETARIANS AND COMMUNISTS I n what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole? The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through. The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. The Communists. are on the one hand. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own. on the other hand. practically. independently of all nationality. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. theoretically. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries. the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country. 2. they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole. they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat. that section which pushes forward all others. by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. they have over the great mass of the proletariat the ElecBook Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels . therefore.

for example. from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. In this sense. the conditions. conquest of political power by the proletariat. over-throw of the bourgeois supremacy. The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class. that is based on class antagonisms. the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.The Communist Manifesto 28 advantage of clearly understanding the line of march. abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products. All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions. We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man's own labour. self-acquired. or discovered. but the abolition of bourgeois property. by this or that would-be universal reformer. They merely express. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of Communism. activity and in-dependence. in general terms. The French Revolution. actual relations springing from an existing class struggle. on the exploitation of the many by the few. The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented. Hard-won. which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom. self-earned property! Do you mean the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally.

and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage labour for fresh exploitation. in the last resort. which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that. therefore. the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour. into the property of all members of society. It loses its class character. in its present form.. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it. capital is converted into common property. To be a capitalist. Property. Capital is. It creates capital. and is still destroying it daily. nay. is to have not only a purely personal. The average price of wage labour is the minimum wage. Capital is a collective product.e. Let us now take wage labour. What.The Communist Manifesto 29 property of the petty artisan and of the small peasant. it is a social power. and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . When. i. therefore..e. that kind of property which exploits wage labour. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. Or do you mean modern bourgeois private property? But does wage labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. therefore. that quantum of the means of subsistence. personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life. merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labour. not a personal. and only by the united action of many members. but a social status in production. i. can it be set in motion. only by the united action of all members of society.

In bourgeois society. its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. the past dominates the present. while the living person is dependent and has no individuality. and of the bourgeoisie itself. In Communist society. of the bourgeois conditions of production. private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population. if any. free selling and buying disappears also. under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital. living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. But if selling and buying disappears. and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it. You reproach us. This talk about free selling and buying. in Communist society. only in contrast with restricted selling and buying. under the present bourgeois conditions of production. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation. free selling and buying.The Communist Manifesto 30 labour of others. bourgeois independence. You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality. By freedom is meant. but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling. the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . free trade. to promote the existence of the labourer. to enrich. with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages. But in your existing society. with intending to do away with a form of property. And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois. therefore. therefore. In bourgeois society. The abolition of bourgeois individuality. the present dominates the past. accumulated labour is but a means to widen. and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at. have a meaning. and all the other “brave words” of our bourgeoisie about freedom in general. abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so.

into capital. From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital. In one word. into a social power capable of being monopolised. i. and made impossible. acquire nothing. and universal laziness will overtake us.. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage labour when there is no longer any capital. all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation. This person must. You must. from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property. bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness. Precisely so. individuality vanishes. All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products. indeed. so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself. do not work. have. money. you say. Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society. confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois. Just as. and those who acquire anything. be swept out of the way. therefore. to the bourgeois. According to this. you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease. or rent. for those of its members who work. than the middle-class owner of property.e. that is just what we intend.The Communist Manifesto 31 necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. from that moment. in the same way.

to our intended abolition of bourgeois property. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians. springing from your present mode of production and form of property—historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production—this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. a mere training to act as a machine. law. Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class. what you admit in the case of feudal property. the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom. On what foundation is the present family. and in public prostitution. you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property. a will. for the enormous majority. &c. That culture. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. is. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property. But don't wrangle with us so long as you apply. culture. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property. The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason. on private gain. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes. and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. the social forms. the bourgeois family. just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all. the loss of which he laments. based? On capital.The Communist Manifesto 32 of all culture.

and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . direct or in-direct. not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal. the more.The Communist Manifesto 33 But. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education. they pretend. For the rest. by the intervention. &e. Our bourgeois. not to speak of common prostitutes. you will say. about the hallowed co-relation of parent and child. all family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder. by means of schools. and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. when we replace home education by social. by the action of Modern Industry. of society. can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women. screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus. take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives. and. they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention. is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. And your education! Is not that also social. naturally. becomes all the more disgusting. and determined by the social conditions under which you educate. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women. we destroy the most hallowed of relations. The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. But you Communists would introduce community of women. He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production. it has existed almost from time immemorial. The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education. nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which.

are not deserving of serious examination. of the leading civilised countries at least. it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system. National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing. The charges against Communism made from a religious. so far. owing to the development of the bourgeoisie. For the rest. it is.The Communist Manifesto 34 Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus. itself national. to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .e. the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. must rise to be the leading class of the nation. must constitute itself the nation. and. We cannot take from them what they have not got. to the world market. i. of prostitution both public and private. The working men have no country.. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy. United action. to freedom of commerce. what the Communists might possibly be reproached with. at the most. The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality. In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to. a philosophical. an openly legalised community of women. is that they desire to introduce. the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end. is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. generally. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes. though not in the bourgeois sense of the word. from an ideological standpoint. in substitution for a hypocritically concealed.

etc. and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence. the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. political science. in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove. moral. than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. and law. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.The Communist Manifesto 35 Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man's ideas. When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society. When the ancient world was in its last throes. such as Freedom. that within the old society. it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience. philosophical and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. Justice. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . that are common to all states of society. it abolishes all religion. the elements of a new one have been created. man's consciousness.. “religious. merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge. instead of constituting them on a new basis. views and conceptions. morality. they do but express the fact. besides. But religion. changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence.” “There are. philosophy. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas. constantly survived this change. “Undoubtedly”. it will be said. in one word. But Communism abolishes eternal truths. eternal truths. and all morality.” What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms. feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie.

. therefore. and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production. i. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest. no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. We have seen above. one fact is common to all past ages. or general ideas. to win the battle of democracy.e.The Communist Manifesto 36 antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs. despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays. that the first step in the revolution by the working class. The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations. to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State. by degrees. moves within certain common forms. No wonder. that the social consciousness of past ages. which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms. of the proletariat organised as the ruling class. viz. outstrip themselves. and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible. and on the conditions of bourgeois production. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries. But whatever form they may have taken. but which. by means of measures. the following will be pretty generally applicable: Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class. all capital from the bourgeoisie. in the course of the movement. which appear economically insufficient and untenable. then. in the beginning. Of course. the exploitation of one part of society by the other. this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property.. But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism. These measures will of course be different in different countries. necessitate further inroads upon the old social order.

. Abolition of all right of inheritance. 5. Establishment of industrial armies. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation. by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. 6. properly so called. in the course of development. Equal liability of all to labour. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. the public power will lose its political character. especially for agriculture. &c. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 9. class distinctions have disappeared. 2. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State. &c.The Communist Manifesto 37 1. is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. 8. 7. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled. by the force of Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . 3. Political power. Free education for all children in public schools. When. by a more equable distribution of the population over the country. Combination of education with industrial production. 4. 10. the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands.

Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . sweeps away by force the old conditions of production. then it will. and. if. In place of the old bourgeois society. to organise itself as a class. it makes itself the ruling class. along with these conditions.The Communist Manifesto 38 circumstances. with its classes and class antagonisms. we shall have an association. by means of a revolution. have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally. as such. and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

The Communist Manifesto 39 Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .

these aristocracies again succumbed to the hateful upstart. half lampoon. Thenceforth. But even in the domain of literature the old cries of the restoration period had become impossible. A literary battle alone remained possible. and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming catastrophe. In the French revolution of July 1830. a serious political contest was altogether out of question. of their own interests. Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master. and to formulate their indictment against the bourgeoisie in the interest of the exploited working class alone. apparently. the aristocracy were obliged to lose sight. In order to arouse sympathy.The Communist Manifesto 40 III SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST LITERATURE REACTIONARY SOCIALISM FEUDAL SOCIALISM O wing to their historical position. it became the vocation of the aristocracies of France and England to write pamphlets against modern bourgeois society. In this way arose feudal Socialism: half lamentation. and in the English reform agitation. ElecBook Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels .

which is destined to cut up root and branch the old order of society. waved the proletarian alms-bag in front for a banner. love. they join in all coercive measures against the working class. so often as it joined them. by its bitter. saw on their hindquarters the old feudal coats of arms. that under the bourgeois régime a class is being developed. under their rule. In political practice. striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart's core. The aristocracy. and honour for traffic in wool. and potato spirits. In showing that. in order to rally the people to them. As the parson has ever gone hand in hand with the landlord. But the people. therefore. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . despite their high-falutin phrases. hall menace of the future. In pointing out that their mode of exploitation was different to that of the bourgeoisie. they forget that the modern bourgeoisie is the necessary offspring of their own form of society. and deserted with loud and irreverent laughter. the feudalists forget that they exploited under circumstances and conditions that were quite different. and to barter truth. as that it creates a revolutionary proletariat. One section of the French Legitimists and “Young England” exhibited this spectacle.The Communist Manifesto 41 half echo of the past. so has Clerical Socialism with Feudal Socialism. witty and incisive criticism. but always ludicrous in its effect. so little do they conceal the reactionary character of their criticism that their chief accusation against the bourgeoisie amounts to this. and in ordinary life. beetroot-sugar. at times. through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history. the modern proletariat never existed. For the rest. they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry. and that are now antiquated. What they upbraid the bourgeoisie with is not so much that it creates a proletariat.

celibacy and mortification of the flesh. monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat. in manufactures. not the only class whose conditions of existence pined and perished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society. In countries where modern civilisation has be-come fully developed. bailiffs and shop-men. as modern industry develops. and. it was natural that writers who sided with the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. The medieval burgesses and the small peasant proprietors were the precursors of the modern bourgeoisie. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property. by overlookers. against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these. and Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 42 Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. PETTY-BOURGEOIS SOCIALISM The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that was ruined by the bourgeoisie. agriculture and commerce. should use. In countries like France. a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed. are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action of competition. where the peasants constitute far more than half of the population. fluctuating between proletariat and bourgeoisie and ever renewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. in their criticism of the bourgeois régime. however. the standard of the peasant and petty bourgeois. these two classes still vegetate side by side with the rising bourgeoisie. In those countries which are but little developed. industrially and commercially. charity and poverty. The individual members of this class. to be replaced. they even see the moment approaching when they will completely disappear as an independent section of modern society. against marriage.

and with them the old property relations. of the old family relations. the concentration of capital and land in a few hands. Ultimately. over-production and crises. the anarchy in production. within the framework of the old property relations that have been. It proved. In its positive aims. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 43 from the standpoint of these intermediate classes should take up the cudgels for the working class. the industrial war of extermination between nations. exploded by those means. the dissolution of old moral bonds. In either case. Sismondi was the head of this school. this form of Socialism ended in a miserable fit of the blues. it is both reactionary and Utopian. or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange. the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth. Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture. however. of the old nationalities. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. not only in France but also in England. Thus arose petty-bourgeois Socialism. This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour. the misery of the proletariat. and the old society. incontrovertibly. it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant. and were bound to be. when stubborn historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception. this form of Socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange. patriarchal relations in agriculture.

to the German philosophers of the Eighteenth Century. and the utterance of the will of the revolutionary French bourgeoisie signified in their eyes the laws of pure Will. SOCIALISM The Socialist and Communist literature of France. French social conditions had not immigrated along with them. would-be philosophers. in annexing the French ideas without deserting their own philosophic point of view. The German literati reversed this process with the profane French literature. had just begun its contest with feudal absolutism. the demands of the first French Revolution were nothing more than the demands of “Practical Reason” in general. and beaux esprits. in that country.The Communist Manifesto 44 GERMAN. Thus. this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance. The work of the German literati consisted solely in bringing the new French ideas into harmony with their ancient philosophical conscience. beneath the French Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . They wrote their philosophical nonsense beneath the French original. In contact with German social conditions. eagerly seized on this literature. For instance. was introduced into Germany at a time when the bourgeoisie. German philosophers. of Will as it was bound to be. namely. This annexation took place in the same way in which a foreign language is appropriated. a literature that originated under the pressure of a bourgeoisie in power. or rather. OR “TRUE”. and assumed a purely literary aspect. by translation. that when these writings immigrated from France into Germany. It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written. only forgetting. of true human Will generally. and that was the expression of the struggle against this power.

they wrote “Alienation of Humanity”. and everything to lose. especially. since it ceased in the hands of the German to express the struggle of one class with the other he felt conscious of having overcome “French one-sidedness” and of representing. in other words. and of preaching to the masses that they had nothing to gain. “Dethronement of the Category of the General”. “German Science of Socialism”. but the requirements of Truth. became more earnest. the long wished-for opportunity was offered to “True” Socialism of confronting the political movement with the Socialist demands. the liberal movement. and so forth. has no reality. who exists only in the misty realm of philosophical fantasy. not true requirements. and so on. against bourgeois competition. not the interests of the proletariat. This German Socialism. German Socialism forgot. The introduction of these philosophical phrases at the back of the French historical criticisms they dubbed “Philosophy of Action”. bourgeois legislation. in the nick of time. bourgeois liberty and equality. The French Socialist and Communist literature was thus completely emasculated. whose silly Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . by this bourgeois movement. who belongs to no class. The fight of the German. meanwhile gradually lost its pedantic innocence. and. and extolled its poor stock-in-trade in such mountebank fashion. bourgeois freedom of the press. of the Prussian bourgeoisie. against feudal aristocracy and absolute monarchy. against representative government. but the interests of Human Nature. that the French criticism. By this.The Communist Manifesto 45 criticism of the economic functions of money. of hurling the traditional anathemas against liberalism. and beneath the French criticism of the bourgeois State they wrote. of Man in general. “True Socialism”. “Philosophical Foundation of Socialism”. And. which took its schoolboy task so seriously and solemnly.

embroidered with flowers of rhetoric. on the one hand. country squires and officials. “True” Socialism appeared to kill these two birds with one stone. The robe of speculative cobwebs. It was a sweet finish after the bitter pills of floggings and bullets with which these same governments. dosed the German working-class risings. presupposed the existence of modern bourgeois society. from the concentration of capital. more and more. the interest of the German Philistines. In Germany the petty-bourgeois class. and the political constitution adapted thereto. served to wonderfully increase the sale of their goods amongst such a public. professors. it. To preserve this class is to preserve the existing state of things in Germany. on the other. While this “True” Socialism thus served the governments as a weapon for fighting the German bourgeoisie. the very things whose attainment was the object of the pending struggle in Germany. The industrial and political supremacy of the bourgeoisie threatens it with certain destruction. all skin and bone. steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment. It spread like an epidemic. And on its part. its own calling as the bombastic representative of the petty-bourgeois Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . To the absolute governments. at the same time. from the rise of a revolutionary proletariat. it served as a welcome scarecrow against the threatening bourgeoisie. just at that time. is the real social basis of the existing state of things. a relic of the sixteenth century. with their following of parsons. directly represented a reactionary interest. German Socialism recognised. this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry “eternal truths”. with its corresponding economic conditions of existence. and since then constantly cropping up again under various forms.The Communist Manifesto 46 echo it was.

They desire the existing state of society minus its 3 The revolutionary storm of 1848 swept away this whole shabby tendency and cured its protagonists of the desire to dabble further in Socialism. The chief representative and classical type of this tendency is Herr Karl Grün. and of proclaiming its supreme and impartial contempt of all class struggles. all the so-called Socialist and Communist publications that now (1847) circulate in Germany belong to the domain of this foul and enervating literature. It went to the extreme length of directly opposing the “brutally destructive” tendency of Communism. and the German petty Philistine to be the typical man. hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. humanitarians. The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. been worked out into complete systems. in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.3 CONSERVATIVE. With very few exceptions. organisers of charity. temperance fanatics. We may cite Proudhon's Philosophie de la Misère as an example of this form. OR BOURGEOIS.The Communist Manifesto 47 Philistine. SOCIALISM A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances. This form of Socialism has. the exact contrary of its real character. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . moreover. philanthropists. members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals. To every villainous meanness of this model man it gave a hidden. It proclaimed the German nation to be the model nation. improvers of the condition of the working class. Socialistic interpretation. higher. To this section belong economists.

by showing that no mere political reform. and only when. but only a change in the material conditions of existence. Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression. lessen the cost. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. based on the continued existence of these relations. that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labour. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois Socialism. form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class. but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie. but administrative reforms. this form of Socialism.The Communist Manifesto 48 revolutionary and disintegrating elements. A second and more practical. at the best. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. reforms. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . but less systematic. of bourgeois government. could be of any advantage to them. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best. in economical relations. that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society. when. It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois—for the benefit of the working class. and simplify the administrative work. and bourgeois Socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. therefore. it becomes a mere figure of speech. By changes in the material conditions of existence. it but requires in reality. an abolition that can be effected only by a revolution. but. by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production. Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. however. and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system.

after new social laws. conditions that had yet to be produced. offers to them the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or any independent political movement. as well as to the absence of the economic conditions for its emancipation. The first direct attempts of the proletariat to attain its own ends. the economic situation. Historical action is to yield to their personal inventive action. and could be produced by the impending bourgeois epoch alone. as they find it. does not as yet offer to them the material conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. spring into existence in the early undeveloped period. indeed. in every great modern revolution. The revolutionary literature that accompanied these first movements of the proletariat had necessarily a reactionary character. The founders of these systems see. those of St. Since the development of class antagonism keeps even pace with the development of industry. Owen and others. as well as the action of the decomposing elements in the prevailing form of society. such as the writings of Babeuf and others. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . made in times of universal excitement. But the proletariat. Bourgeois and Proletarians). of the struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie (see Section 1. It inculcated universal asceticism and social levelling in its crudest form. owing to the then undeveloped state of the proletariat. described above. the class antagonisms. when feudal society was being overthrown.The Communist Manifesto 49 CRITICAL-UTOPIAN SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM We do not here refer to that literature which. has always given voice to the demands of the proletariat. these attempts necessarily failed. that are to create these conditions. Simon. The Socialist and Communist systems properly so called. Fourier. They therefore search after a new social science. as yet in its infancy.

painted at a time when the proletariat is still in a very undeveloped state and has but a fantastic conception of its own position. necessarily doomed to failure. spontaneous class organisation of the proletariat to an organisation of society specially contrived by these inventors. to the ruling class. For how can people. they habitually appeal to society at large. Future history resolves itself. action.The Communist Manifesto 50 historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones. they wish to attain their ends by peaceful means. in their eyes. But these Socialist and Communist publications contain also a critical element. by preference. and the gradual. correspond with the first instinctive yearnings of that class for a general reconstruction of society. as being the most suffering class. without distinction of class. causes Socialists of this kind to consider themselves far superior to all class antagonisms. and especially all revolutionary. In the formation of their plans they are conscious of caring chiefly for the interests of the working class. when once they understand their system. The undeveloped state of the class struggle. They want to improve the condition of every member of society. they reject all political. The practical measures proposed in them—such as the abolition Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . even that of the most favoured. into the propaganda and the practical carrying out of their social plans. to pave the way for the new social Gospel. They attack every principle of existing society. Such fantastic pictures of future society. Hence. and by the force of example. as well as their own surroundings. Hence they are full of the most valuable materials for the enlightenment of the working class. fail to see in it the best possible plan of the best possible state of society? Hence. nay. and endeavour by small experiments. Only from the point of view of being the most suffering class does the proletariat exist for them.

and of the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 51 of the distinction between town and country. of the carrying on of industries for the account of private individuals. of the family.

the conversion of the functions of the State into a mere superintendence of production. Phalanstères was the name of the public palaces planned by Fourier. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . their disciples have.The Communist Manifesto 52 wage system. they are compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois. lose all practical value and all theoretical justification. They hold fast by the original views of their masters. although the originators of these systems were. only just cropping up. whose Communist institutions Cabot portrayed. endeavour. The significance of Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation to historical development. and that consistently. Icaria was the name given to the Utopian land of fancy. differing from these only by more systematic pedantry. These proposals. of founding isolated “phalanstères” of establishing “Home Colonies”. to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile the class antagonisms. and by their fanatical and 4 “Home colonies” were what Owen called his Communist model societies. in many respects. the proclamation of social harmony. in these publications. all these proposals point solely to the disappearance of class antagonisms which were. They still dream of experimental realisation of their social Utopias. these fantastic attacks on it. therefore. in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. this fantastic standing apart from the contest. Therefore. are recognised in their earliest indistinct and undefined forms only. of setting up a “Little Icaria”4—duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem—and to realise all these castles in the air. revolutionary. By degrees they sink into the category of the reactionary conservative Socialists depicted above. They. formed mere reactionary sects. at that time. therefore. and which. are of a purely Utopian character. in every case. In proportion as the modern class struggle develops and takes definite shape.

such action. They. according to them. and the Fourierists in France. The Owenites in England. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 53 superstitious belief in the miraculous effects of their social science. therefore. respectively. violently oppose all political action on the part of the working class. can only result from blind unbelief in the new Gospel. oppose the Chartists and the Réformistes.

The Communist Manifesto 54 Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .

reserving. however. but in the movement of the present. The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims. such as the Chartists in England and the Agrarian Reformers in America. partly of S 5 The party in France which at that time called itself Socialist-Democratic was represented in political life by Ledru-Rollin and in literature by Louis Blanc. without losing sight of the fact that this party consists of antagonistic elements. In Switzerland they support the Radicals. against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie. thus it differed immeasurably from present-day German Social-Democracy. In France the Communists ally themselves with the Social-Democrats5. the right to take up a critical position in regard to phrases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution. they also represent and take care of the future of that movement.The Communist Manifesto 55 IV POSITION OF THE COMMUNISTS IN RELATION TO THE VARIOUS EXISTING OPPOSITION PARTIES ection II has made clear the relations of the Communists to the existing working-class parties. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class.

The Communist Manifesto 56 Democratic Socialists. partly of radical bourgeois. In Poland they support the party that insists on an agrarian revolution Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . in the French sense.

and with a much more developed proletariat. and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution. the feudal squirearchy. the property question. the fight against the bourgeoisie itself may immediately begin. the social and political conditions that the bourgeoisie must necessarily introduce along with its supremacy. as so many weapons against the bourgeoisie. that party which fomented the insurrection of Cracow in 1846. Finally. because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation. In short. as the leading question in each. to instil into the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat. no matter what its degree of development at the time. in order that the German workers may straightway use. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . and the petty bourgeoisie.The Communist Manifesto 57 as the prime condition for national emancipation. and in order that. In all these movements they bring to the front. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. after the fall of the reactionary classes in Germany. But they never cease. than that of England was in the seventeenth. The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany. for a single instant. the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. against the absolute monarchy. and of France in the eighteenth century. In Germany they fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way.

Working men of all countries. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. unite! Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . They have a world to win.The Communist Manifesto 58 overthrow of all existing social conditions.

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