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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
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
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
or to have been the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland. the social organisation existing previous to recorded history. In 1847. With the dissolution of these primeval communities society begins to be differentiated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large. Haxthausen discovered common ownership of land in Russia. oppressor and oppressed. in a word. and by and by village communities were found to be. The inner organisation of this primitive Communistic society was laid bare. or in the common ruin of That is. lord and serf. by Morgan's crowning discovery of the true nature of the gens and its relation to the tribe.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. now open fight. was all but unknown. guild-master and journeyman. carried on an uninterrupted. Freeman and slave. in its typical form. all written history. a fight that each time ended. (All footnotes are by Engels to the German edition of 1890) Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . the pre-history of society. Since then. now hidden. Maurer proved it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic races started in history. stood in constant opposition to one another.
The discovery of America. a manifold gradation of social rank. an impulse never before known. and thereby. the epoch of the bourgeoisie. we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders. guildmasters. opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. vassals. subordinate gradations. under which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps. The manufacturing system took its place. to navigation. the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally. however. in almost all of these classes. into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. The East-Indian and Chinese markets. In the earlier epochs of history. a rapid development.The Communist Manifesto 9 the contending classes. new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. to industry. It has but established new classes. to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society. The feudal system of industry. now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. gave to commerce. feudal lords. new conditions of oppression. in the Middle Ages. the rounding of the Cape. serfs. trade with the colonies. knights. apprentices. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed. Our epoch. slaves. possesses. journeymen. the colonisation of America. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. plebeians. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . again. In ancient Rome we have patricians.
commerce. and in proportion as industry. Meantime the markets kept ever growing. Modern Industry. Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . to communication by land. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility. the leaders of whole industrial armies. of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange. for which the discovery of America paved the way. in its turn. the modern bourgeois. how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development. division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop. railways extended. by industrial millionaires. Thereupon. This market has given an immense development to commerce. and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. the demand ever rising. increased its capital. in the period of manufacture proper. navigation. there taxable “third estate” of the monarchy (as in France) afterwards. an armed and self-governing association in the medieval commune2. We see. This development has. the place of the industrial middle class. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant. Modern industry has established the world market.The Communist Manifesto 10 class. here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany). Even manufacture no longer sufficed. in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed. therefore. reacted on the extension of industry. serving 2 This was the name given their urban communities by the townsmen of Italy and France. after they had purchased or wrested their initial rights of selfgovernment from their feudal lords. to navigation.
and. cornerstone of the great monarchies in Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . in fact.The Communist Manifesto 11 either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility.
The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value. the man of science. found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. of philistine sentimentalism. shameless. conquered for itself. It has converted the physician. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids. Roman Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. it has substituted naked. The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. of chivalrous enthusiasm. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. which Reactionists so much admire. than callous “cash payment”. wherever it has got the upper hand. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour. unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. into its paid wage-labourers. The bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”.The Communist Manifesto 12 general. in the modern representative State. direct. brutal exploitation. the lawyer. for exploitation. exclusive political sway. idyllic relations. since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world market. has set up that single. has played a most revolutionary part. In one word. has put an end to all feudal. and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest. the priest. patriarchal. in the icy water of egotistical calculation. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages. the poet. veiled by religious and political illusions. the bourgeoisie has at last. and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms. historically. and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.
are swept away. Constant revolutionising of production. fast-frozen relations. not only at home. but raw material drawn from the remotest zones. everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form. but in every quarter of the globe. All that is solid melts into air. it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions.The Communist Manifesto 13 aqueducts. and with them the whole relations of society. his real conditions of life. industries whose products are consumed. all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. was. They are dislodged by new industries. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . all that is holy is profaned. satisfied by the productions of the country. whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations. establish connexions everywhere. All oldestablished national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. on the contrary. by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material. and thereby the relations of production. To the great chagrin of Reactionists. with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions. we find new wants. it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. In place of the old wants. and his relations with his kind. requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses. settle everywhere. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production. and Gothic cathedrals. It must nestle everywhere. All fixed.
It has created enormous cities. In one word. so also in intellectual production. or but loosely connected. so it has made barbarian and semibarbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones. and has concentrated property in a few hands. even the most barbarian. of the means of production. to adopt the bourgeois mode of production. we have intercourse in every direction. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . universal inter-dependence of nations. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls. centralised means of production. and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. and of property. It compels all nations.The Communist Manifesto 14 In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency. there arises a world literature. it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst. and from the numerous national and local literatures. by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production. with which it forces the barbarians intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. i. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population. on pain of extinction. Independent. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible. by the immensely facilitated means of communication. to become bourgeois themselves. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns.. The bourgeoisie. nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois. It has agglomerated population. draws all. it creates a world after its own image. And as in material. has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural. The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns.e. the East on the West.
governments and systems of taxation. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. steamnavigation. of exchange and of property. the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged. during its rule of scarce one hundred years. one national class interest. machinery. electric telegraphs. became lumped together into one nation. The bourgeoisie. 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 . in one word. they became so many fetters. accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted to it. clearing of whole continents for cultivation. Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production. and by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class. with one government. the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces. has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. they were burst asunder. 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. the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry. Subjection of Nature's forces to man. one frontier and one customs-tariff. were generated in feudal society. railways. Into their place stepped free competition. one code of laws. application of chemistry to industry and agriculture. a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange. canalisation of rivers. is like the sorcerer. laws.The Communist Manifesto 15 provinces with separate interests. They had to be burst asunder. on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up.
on the other. That is to say. by the conquest of new markets. they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society. and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented. against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. too much commerce. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. too much industry. 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. the existence of the entire bourgeois society. but also of the previously created productive forces. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces. by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises. each time more threateningly. they have become too powerful for these conditions. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property. and so soon as they overcome these fetters. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism. and why? Because there is too much civilisation. by which they are fettered. on the contrary. would have seemed an absurdity—the epidemic of over-production. and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence. are periodically destroyed. in all earlier epochs. it appears as if a famine. industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 16 spells. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products. too much means of subsistence. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on its trial. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that. endanger the existence of bourgeois property.
In proportion. all charm for the workman. Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour. and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. and for the propagation of his race. These labourers. the cost of production of a workman is restricted. who must sell themselves piecemeal. etc. are organised like soldiers. is equal to its cost of production. Hence. and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . But the price of a commodity. in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases. consequently. In proportion as the bourgeoisie.e. to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance. most monotonous. crowded into the factory.. and. by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery. that is required of him. the modern working class. i. capital. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself. almost entirely. developed—a class of labourers. Masses of labourers. in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases.The Communist Manifesto 17 ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. therefore. to all the fluctuations of the market. in the same proportion is the proletariat. are a commodity. and it is only the most simple. like every other article of commerce. is developed. Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. whether by prolongation of the working hours. it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons—the modern working class—the proletarians. the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character. Nay more. and most easily acquired knack. who live only so long as they find work. as the repulsiveness of the work increases. the wage decreases. and therefore also of labour. He becomes an appendage of the machine.
by the overlooker. they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class. above all.The Communist Manifesto 18 hierarchy of officers and sergeants. and. and of the bourgeois State. by the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .
Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour. the more modern industry becomes developed. partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on. but against the instruments of production themselves. then by the operatives of one trade. At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers. the more hateful and the more embittering it is. The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople.The Communist Manifesto 19 individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. so far. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. shopkeepers. the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the proletariat. at an end. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim. than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie. the shopkeeper. then by the work-people of a factory. they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production. in one locality. and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists. they set Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . etc. The proletariat goes through various stages of development. The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour. the landlord. No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer. in other words. they smash to pieces machinery. the pawnbroker. more or less expensive to use. the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. according to their age and sex. and retired tradesmen generally. the more petty. that he receives his wages in cash.
the remnants of absolute monarchy. but of the union of the bourgeoisie. the non-industrial bourgeois. The growing competition among the bourgeois. ever more rapidly developing. they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages. and is moreover yet. its strength grows. makes their livelihood more and more precarious. in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour. the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. and the resulting commercial crises. and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. and it feels that strength more. in order to attain its own political ends. they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages. is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion.The Communist Manifesto 20 factories ablaze. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies. the petty bourgeoisie. they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations (Trades' Unions) against the bourgeois. Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie. for a time. which class. The unceasing improvement of machinery. and broken up by their mutual competition. the proletarians do not fight their enemies. every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie. this is not yet the consequence of their own active union. the landowners. therefore. able to do so. At this stage. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised. At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country. but the enemies of their enemies. But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number. it becomes concentrated in greater masses. make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating.
The real fruit of their battles lies. Now and then the workers are victorious. not in the immediate result. but in the ever-expanding union of the workers.The Communist Manifesto 21 occasional revolts. This union is helped on by the improved Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . Here and there the contest breaks out into riots. but only for a time.
at all times. whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry.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. as we have already seen. In all these battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat. with their miserable highways. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles. thanks to railways. it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie. into one national struggle between classes. and consequently into a political party. by the advance of industry. the course of development of the proletariat. achieve in a few years. is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further. supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education. to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages. This organisation of the proletarians into a class. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself. Further. required centuries. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. But it ever rises up again. in other words. therefore. or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. firmer. to drag it into the political arena. the modern proletarians. all of the same character. At first with the aristocracy. mightier. and thus. precipitated into the proletariat. with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself. entire sections of the ruling classes are. And that union. to ask for its help. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers. But every class struggle is a political struggle. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress. The bourgeoisie itself. later on. in many ways. stronger. with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. Thus the ten-hours' bill in England was carried.
the peasant. assumes such a violent. a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie. for they try to roll back the wheel of history. They are therefore not revolutionary. they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat. to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. however.The Communist Manifesto 23 Finally. Nay more. may. in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour. that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift. but conservative. by the lowest layers of old society. so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat. a portion of the bourgeois ideologists. and in particular. the class that holds the future in its hands. that passively rotting mass thrown oil. the artisan. The lower middle class. glaring character. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of modern industry. its conditions of life. the proletariat is its special and essential product. in fact within the whole range of old society. and joins the revolutionary class. prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. In the conditions of the proletariat. all these fight against the bourgeoisie. the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class. but their future interests. the social scum. they thus defend not their present. they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat. the small manufacturer. be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution. therefore. the shopkeeper. those of old society at large are Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . The “dangerous class”. they are reactionary. who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole. Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today. If by chance they are revolutionary. at an earlier period. the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. Just as. here and there.
raging within existing society. their mission is to destroy all previous securities for and. yet in form. religion. in the interest of the immense majority. Law. except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation.The Communist Manifesto 24 already virtually swamped. cannot raise itself up. behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. are to him so many bourgeois prejudices. In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat. first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society. in America as in Germany. The proletarian is without property. independent movement of the immense majority. insurances of. or in the interest of minorities. morality. up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify. the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must. has stripped him of every trace of national character. we traced the more or less veiled civil war. The proletarian movement is the selfconscious. All previous historical movements were movements of minorities. All the preceding classes that got the upper hand. the lowest stratum of our present society. Though not in substance. The proletariat. individual property. his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations. and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. the same in England as in France. without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air. of course. modern subjection to capital. and where the violent over-throw of the bourgeoisie lays the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . cannot stir. modern industrial labour.
in other words. is its own grave-diggers.The Communist Manifesto 25 foundation for the sway of the proletariat. instead of being fed by him. whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie. And here it becomes evident. The serf. on the contrary. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . is the formation and augmentation of capital. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie. and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. therefore. The essential condition for the existence. sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. Wage labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. every form of society has been based. due to association. due to competition. The development of Modern Industry. the condition for capital is wage labour. certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can. on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. just as the petty bourgeois. But in order to oppress a class. because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state. in the period of serfdom. its existence is no longer compatible with society. raised himself to membership in the commune. He becomes a pauper. cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. continue its slavish existence. managed to develop into a bourgeois. Hitherto. therefore. instead of rising with the progress of industry. at least. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery. replaces the isolation of the labourers. The advance of industry. What the bourgeoisie. above all. produces. that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society. as we have already seen. The modern labourer. by their revolutionary combination. that it has to feed him. and for the sway of the bourgeois class. and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. under the yoke of feudal absolutism.
The Communist Manifesto 26 Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .
In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries.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. they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat. are on the one hand. independently of all nationality. on the other hand. therefore. that section which pushes forward all others. theoretically. practically. The Communists. by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own. 2. they have over the great mass of the proletariat the ElecBook Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels . The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through. the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.
or discovered. The French Revolution. The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally. the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. over-throw of the bourgeois supremacy. which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom. that is based on class antagonisms. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products. The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class. in general terms. for example. but the abolition of bourgeois property. The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented.The Communist Manifesto 28 advantage of clearly understanding the line of march. In this sense. conquest of political power by the proletariat. All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of Communism. activity and in-dependence. by this or that would-be universal reformer. 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. the conditions. self-earned property! Do you mean the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . on the exploitation of the many by the few. actual relations springing from an existing class struggle. They merely express. and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. Hard-won. from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property.
i. i.e. 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. It creates capital. The average price of wage labour is the minimum wage. which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . that kind of property which exploits wage labour.The Communist Manifesto 29 property of the petty artisan and of the small peasant. Let us now take wage labour. a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour.e. To be a capitalist. It loses its class character. in the last resort. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labour. capital is converted into common property. therefore. merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. is to have not only a purely personal. nay. the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it. When. therefore... not a personal. only by the united action of all members of society. but a social status in production. the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour. Capital is. Capital is a collective product. it is a social power. Property. therefore. can it be set in motion. that quantum of the means of subsistence. and is still destroying it daily. and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage labour for fresh exploitation. an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life. personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. and only by the united action of many members. into the property of all members of society. in its present form. What.
with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages. living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so.The Communist Manifesto 30 labour of others. and all the other “brave words” of our bourgeoisie about freedom in general. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation. free selling and buying disappears also. under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital. but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling. accumulated labour is but a means to widen. to enrich. In Communist society. therefore. In bourgeois society. therefore. the past dominates the present. and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at. But in your existing society. and of the bourgeoisie itself. In bourgeois society. only in contrast with restricted selling and buying. By freedom is meant. of the bourgeois conditions of production. free selling and buying. You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. This talk about free selling and buying. the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . while the living person is dependent and has no individuality. and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it. And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois. free trade. under the present bourgeois conditions of production. its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. in Communist society. private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population. The abolition of bourgeois individuality. But if selling and buying disappears. the present dominates the past. You reproach us. have a meaning. bourgeois independence. to promote the existence of the labourer. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality. with intending to do away with a form of property. if any.
and made impossible. to the bourgeois. All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products. and universal laziness will overtake us. into a social power capable of being monopolised. do not work. you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . be swept out of the way. From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital. you say. the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself. Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society. This person must. i.e. than the middle-class owner of property. money. In one word. therefore. and those who acquire anything. 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. Precisely so. for those of its members who work. Just as. confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois.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. According to this. into capital. from that moment. all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation. from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property. that is just what we intend. individuality vanishes. bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness. acquire nothing. You must. in the same way.. or rent. It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease. indeed. have.
The Communist Manifesto 32 of all culture. the loss of which he laments. &c. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. for the enormous majority. a will. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . That culture. the social forms. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property. On what foundation is the present family. what you admit in the case of feudal property. just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes. based? On capital. But don't wrangle with us so long as you apply. the bourgeois family. the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom. on private gain. is. Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. 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. The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class. law. to our intended abolition of bourgeois property. and in public prostitution. a mere training to act as a machine. culture. you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property.
? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education.The Communist Manifesto 33 But. The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. it has existed almost from time immemorial. Our bourgeois. the more. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . by means of schools. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common. naturally. nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which. when we replace home education by social. we destroy the most hallowed of relations. becomes all the more disgusting. you will say. The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women. take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives. and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour. direct or in-direct. not to speak of common prostitutes. can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women. about the hallowed co-relation of parent and child. all family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder. they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention. and. is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. 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. And your education! Is not that also social. they pretend. by the action of Modern Industry. &e. and determined by the social conditions under which you educate. by the intervention. not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal. of society. screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus. For the rest. and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. But you Communists would introduce community of women.
In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to. United action. of prostitution both public and private. to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . i.The Communist Manifesto 34 Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus. of the leading civilised countries at least. The working men have no country. to freedom of commerce. so far. For the rest. in substitution for a hypocritically concealed. though not in the bourgeois sense of the word. and. from an ideological standpoint. to the world market.e. are not deserving of serious examination. what the Communists might possibly be reproached with. is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to.. a philosophical. at the most. the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes. owing to the development of the bourgeoisie. must rise to be the leading class of the nation. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. is that they desire to introduce. itself national. 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. We cannot take from them what they have not got. The charges against Communism made from a religious. generally. The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality. must constitute itself the nation. it is. an openly legalised community of women. National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy.
in one word. they do but express the fact. and law. changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence. and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.” “There are. the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity.” What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms. “religious. the elements of a new one have been created. it will be said. and all morality. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge. moral. philosophical and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. such as Freedom. constantly survived this change. it abolishes all religion. 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. When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society. etc. political science. it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience. man's consciousness. in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove. “Undoubtedly”. When the ancient world was in its last throes.The Communist Manifesto 35 Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man's ideas. But Communism abolishes eternal truths. besides. instead of constituting them on a new basis. that within the old society.. But religion. feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. morality. Justice. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. views and conceptions. philosophy. that are common to all states of society. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas. eternal truths.
Nevertheless in the most advanced countries. i.e. this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property. and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.. the exploitation of one part of society by the other. one fact is common to all past ages. to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State. in the beginning. to win the battle of democracy. and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible. We have seen above. no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism. which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms. therefore. But whatever form they may have taken. the following will be pretty generally applicable: Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . that the first step in the revolution by the working class. despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays. and on the conditions of bourgeois production. outstrip themselves. that the social consciousness of past ages. by degrees. or general ideas. all capital from the bourgeoisie. by means of measures. viz. which appear economically insufficient and untenable. but which. in the course of the movement. necessitate further inroads upon the old social order. moves within certain common forms.. of the proletariat organised as the ruling class. The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations. No wonder. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest. These measures will of course be different in different countries.The Communist Manifesto 36 antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs. is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class. Of course. then.
Combination of education with industrial production. in the course of development. by a more equable distribution of the population over the country. by the force of Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . &c. and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation.. 4. properly so called. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. especially for agriculture. Political power. by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. class distinctions have disappeared. 5. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. &c. When. 3. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. 8. Abolition of all right of inheritance. the public power will lose its political character. 7. Establishment of industrial armies. 6. 9. Equal liability of all to labour. Free education for all children in public schools. 2. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State. the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands. gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled. and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 10. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form.The Communist Manifesto 37 1.
with its classes and class antagonisms.The Communist Manifesto 38 circumstances. and. along with these conditions. have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally. sweeps away by force the old conditions of production. in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. if. as such. we shall have an association. by means of a revolution. then it will. to organise itself as a class. it makes itself the ruling class. and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . In place of the old bourgeois society.
The Communist Manifesto 39 Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .
it became the vocation of the aristocracies of France and England to write pamphlets against modern bourgeois society. and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming catastrophe. In the French revolution of July 1830. apparently. But even in the domain of literature the old cries of the restoration period had become impossible. In order to arouse sympathy. In this way arose feudal Socialism: half lamentation.The Communist Manifesto 40 III SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST LITERATURE REACTIONARY SOCIALISM FEUDAL SOCIALISM O wing to their historical position. Thenceforth. and to formulate their indictment against the bourgeoisie in the interest of the exploited working class alone. ElecBook Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels . these aristocracies again succumbed to the hateful upstart. A literary battle alone remained possible. half lampoon. of their own interests. a serious political contest was altogether out of question. Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master. and in the English reform agitation. the aristocracy were obliged to lose sight.
at times. In political practice. hall menace of the future. so often as it joined them. and that are now antiquated. therefore.The Communist Manifesto 41 half echo of the past. by its bitter. and potato spirits. they join in all coercive measures against the working class. in order to rally the people to them. love. the modern proletariat never existed. As the parson has ever gone hand in hand with the landlord. which is destined to cut up root and branch the old order of society. saw on their hindquarters the old feudal coats of arms. they forget that the modern bourgeoisie is the necessary offspring of their own form of society. that under the bourgeois régime a class is being developed. but always ludicrous in its effect. despite their high-falutin phrases. so has Clerical Socialism with Feudal Socialism. But the people. they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry. under their rule. and in ordinary life. so little do they conceal the reactionary character of their criticism that their chief accusation against the bourgeoisie amounts to this. For the rest. and deserted with loud and irreverent laughter. as that it creates a revolutionary proletariat. waved the proletarian alms-bag in front for a banner. witty and incisive criticism. and honour for traffic in wool. One section of the French Legitimists and “Young England” exhibited this spectacle. beetroot-sugar. and to barter truth. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart's core. through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history. In showing that. In pointing out that their mode of exploitation was different to that of the bourgeoisie. the feudalists forget that they exploited under circumstances and conditions that were quite different. What they upbraid the bourgeoisie with is not so much that it creates a proletariat. The aristocracy.
The individual members of this class. The medieval burgesses and the small peasant proprietors were the precursors of the modern bourgeoisie. In countries like France. it was natural that writers who sided with the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed. fluctuating between proletariat and bourgeoisie and ever renewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. in manufactures. where the peasants constitute far more than half of the population. not the only class whose conditions of existence pined and perished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society. against marriage. industrially and commercially. the standard of the peasant and petty bourgeois. and Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat. as modern industry develops. are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action of competition.The Communist Manifesto 42 Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. they even see the moment approaching when they will completely disappear as an independent section of modern society. by overlookers. should use. PETTY-BOURGEOIS SOCIALISM The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that was ruined by the bourgeoisie. in their criticism of the bourgeois régime. In countries where modern civilisation has be-come fully developed. these two classes still vegetate side by side with the rising bourgeoisie. In those countries which are but little developed. charity and poverty. agriculture and commerce. to be replaced. celibacy and mortification of the flesh. bailiffs and shop-men. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property. against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these. however. and.
The Communist Manifesto 43 from the standpoint of these intermediate classes should take up the cudgels for the working class. over-production and crises. the industrial war of extermination between nations. it is both reactionary and Utopian. the concentration of capital and land in a few hands. not only in France but also in England. the misery of the proletariat. patriarchal relations in agriculture. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. of the old nationalities. of the old family relations. Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture. within the framework of the old property relations that have been. the dissolution of old moral bonds. and were bound to be. or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange. the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour. when stubborn historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception. Ultimately. incontrovertibly. It proved. however. it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant. Thus arose petty-bourgeois Socialism. the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth. This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. this form of Socialism ended in a miserable fit of the blues. In either case. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . In its positive aims. the anarchy in production. Sismondi was the head of this school. this form of Socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange. and the old society. and with them the old property relations. exploded by those means.
namely. beneath the French Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 44 GERMAN. and assumed a purely literary aspect. German philosophers. The work of the German literati consisted solely in bringing the new French ideas into harmony with their ancient philosophical conscience. had just begun its contest with feudal absolutism. by translation. a literature that originated under the pressure of a bourgeoisie in power. or rather. and the utterance of the will of the revolutionary French bourgeoisie signified in their eyes the laws of pure Will. They wrote their philosophical nonsense beneath the French original. This annexation took place in the same way in which a foreign language is appropriated. of Will as it was bound to be. The German literati reversed this process with the profane French literature. only forgetting. in that country. Thus. of true human Will generally. In contact with German social conditions. OR “TRUE”. and beaux esprits. For instance. this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance. 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. to the German philosophers of the Eighteenth Century. SOCIALISM The Socialist and Communist literature of France. the demands of the first French Revolution were nothing more than the demands of “Practical Reason” in general. French social conditions had not immigrated along with them. that when these writings immigrated from France into Germany. eagerly seized on this literature. and that was the expression of the struggle against this power. would-be philosophers. was introduced into Germany at a time when the bourgeoisie. in annexing the French ideas without deserting their own philosophic point of view.
of Man in general. bourgeois legislation. And. whose silly Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . bourgeois liberty and equality. against feudal aristocracy and absolute monarchy. “Dethronement of the Category of the General”. of hurling the traditional anathemas against liberalism. in the nick of time. and. which took its schoolboy task so seriously and solemnly. The introduction of these philosophical phrases at the back of the French historical criticisms they dubbed “Philosophy of Action”. The fight of the German. “True Socialism”. bourgeois freedom of the press. 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. German Socialism forgot. but the requirements of Truth. and so forth. and of preaching to the masses that they had nothing to gain. especially. and everything to lose. that the French criticism. This German Socialism.The Communist Manifesto 45 criticism of the economic functions of money. of the Prussian bourgeoisie. against representative government. who exists only in the misty realm of philosophical fantasy. meanwhile gradually lost its pedantic innocence. against bourgeois competition. but the interests of Human Nature. by this bourgeois movement. not the interests of the proletariat. “Philosophical Foundation of Socialism”. the liberal movement. in other words. the long wished-for opportunity was offered to “True” Socialism of confronting the political movement with the Socialist demands. The French Socialist and Communist literature was thus completely emasculated. and extolled its poor stock-in-trade in such mountebank fashion. became more earnest. they wrote “Alienation of Humanity”. By this. “German Science of Socialism”. not true requirements. and so on. has no reality. and beneath the French criticism of the bourgeois State they wrote. who belongs to no class.
is the real social basis of the existing state of things. German Socialism recognised. on the other. the interest of the German Philistines. country squires and officials. To preserve this class is to preserve the existing state of things in Germany. It spread like an epidemic. the very things whose attainment was the object of the pending struggle in Germany. It was a sweet finish after the bitter pills of floggings and bullets with which these same governments. it served as a welcome scarecrow against the threatening bourgeoisie. a relic of the sixteenth century. and the political constitution adapted thereto. all skin and bone. professors. from the concentration of capital. its own calling as the bombastic representative of the petty-bourgeois Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . “True” Socialism appeared to kill these two birds with one stone. In Germany the petty-bourgeois class. served to wonderfully increase the sale of their goods amongst such a public. on the one hand. at the same time. presupposed the existence of modern bourgeois society. more and more. The industrial and political supremacy of the bourgeoisie threatens it with certain destruction. with its corresponding economic conditions of existence. from the rise of a revolutionary proletariat. To the absolute governments.The Communist Manifesto 46 echo it was. And on its part. dosed the German working-class risings. embroidered with flowers of rhetoric. The robe of speculative cobwebs. and since then constantly cropping up again under various forms. it. steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment. directly represented a reactionary interest. this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry “eternal truths”. with their following of parsons. While this “True” Socialism thus served the governments as a weapon for fighting the German bourgeoisie. just at that time.
the exact contrary of its real character. The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. philanthropists. This form of Socialism has. To every villainous meanness of this model man it gave a hidden. With very few exceptions. been worked out into complete systems.3 CONSERVATIVE. temperance fanatics. SOCIALISM A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances. It proclaimed the German nation to be the model nation. Socialistic interpretation. and the German petty Philistine to be the typical man. higher. and of proclaiming its supreme and impartial contempt of all class struggles. 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. all the so-called Socialist and Communist publications that now (1847) circulate in Germany belong to the domain of this foul and enervating literature. The chief representative and classical type of this tendency is Herr Karl Grün.The Communist Manifesto 47 Philistine. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . improvers of the condition of the working class. hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. organisers of charity. humanitarians. To this section belong economists. in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society. OR BOURGEOIS. moreover. members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals. We may cite Proudhon's Philosophie de la Misère as an example of this form. It went to the extreme length of directly opposing the “brutally destructive” tendency of Communism.
and bourgeois Socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. it becomes a mere figure of speech. It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois—for the benefit of the working class. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . A second and more practical. but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie. that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labour. and simplify the administrative work. but administrative reforms. by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production. of bourgeois government. Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. this form of Socialism. that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society. By changes in the material conditions of existence. but. Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression. could be of any advantage to them. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. however. at the best. when. based on the continued existence of these relations. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois Socialism. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem. reforms. lessen the cost. form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class. it but requires in reality. but only a change in the material conditions of existence.The Communist Manifesto 48 revolutionary and disintegrating elements. in economical relations. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system. but less systematic. an abolition that can be effected only by a revolution. and only when. by showing that no mere political reform. therefore.
of the struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie (see Section 1. The founders of these systems see. The first direct attempts of the proletariat to attain its own ends. has always given voice to the demands of the proletariat. as well as to the absence of the economic conditions for its emancipation. such as the writings of Babeuf and others. The revolutionary literature that accompanied these first movements of the proletariat had necessarily a reactionary character. when feudal society was being overthrown. The Socialist and Communist systems properly so called. Historical action is to yield to their personal inventive action. They therefore search after a new social science. Bourgeois and Proletarians). after new social laws. these attempts necessarily failed. indeed. those of St. does not as yet offer to them the material conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. the economic situation. conditions that had yet to be produced. as yet in its infancy. Simon. owing to the then undeveloped state of the proletariat. Since the development of class antagonism keeps even pace with the development of industry. in every great modern revolution. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . that are to create these conditions. spring into existence in the early undeveloped period. as well as the action of the decomposing elements in the prevailing form of society. Owen and others. and could be produced by the impending bourgeois epoch alone. Fourier. described above. offers to them the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or any independent political movement. made in times of universal excitement. But the proletariat. as they find it. the class antagonisms. It inculcated universal asceticism and social levelling in its crudest form.The Communist Manifesto 49 CRITICAL-UTOPIAN SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM We do not here refer to that literature which.
and by the force of example. Such fantastic pictures of future society. as being the most suffering class. painted at a time when the proletariat is still in a very undeveloped state and has but a fantastic conception of its own position. For how can people. Only from the point of view of being the most suffering class does the proletariat exist for them. nay. when once they understand their system. Hence they are full of the most valuable materials for the enlightenment of the working class. Future history resolves itself. The undeveloped state of the class struggle. even that of the most favoured. fail to see in it the best possible plan of the best possible state of society? Hence. correspond with the first instinctive yearnings of that class for a general reconstruction of society. They attack every principle of existing society. But these Socialist and Communist publications contain also a critical element. action. They want to improve the condition of every member of society. they wish to attain their ends by peaceful means. Hence. spontaneous class organisation of the proletariat to an organisation of society specially contrived by these inventors. and the gradual. by preference. to the ruling class. to pave the way for the new social Gospel. causes Socialists of this kind to consider themselves far superior to all class antagonisms. as well as their own surroundings. and especially all revolutionary. into the propaganda and the practical carrying out of their social plans. In the formation of their plans they are conscious of caring chiefly for the interests of the working class. The practical measures proposed in them—such as the abolition Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . in their eyes. necessarily doomed to failure. without distinction of class.The Communist Manifesto 50 historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones. they reject all political. they habitually appeal to society at large. and endeavour by small experiments.
and of the Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . of the family.The Communist Manifesto 51 of the distinction between town and country. of the carrying on of industries for the account of private individuals.
and by their fanatical and 4 “Home colonies” were what Owen called his Communist model societies.The Communist Manifesto 52 wage system. of founding isolated “phalanstères” of establishing “Home Colonies”. in every case. These proposals. They. at that time. and that consistently. to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile the class antagonisms. whose Communist institutions Cabot portrayed. Icaria was the name given to the Utopian land of fancy. the conversion of the functions of the State into a mere superintendence of production. lose all practical value and all theoretical justification. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . In proportion as the modern class struggle develops and takes definite shape. the proclamation of social harmony. although the originators of these systems were. differing from these only by more systematic pedantry. in these publications. are recognised in their earliest indistinct and undefined forms only. endeavour. therefore. this fantastic standing apart from the contest. of setting up a “Little Icaria”4—duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem—and to realise all these castles in the air. only just cropping up. By degrees they sink into the category of the reactionary conservative Socialists depicted above. They hold fast by the original views of their masters. in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. these fantastic attacks on it. They still dream of experimental realisation of their social Utopias. Therefore. formed mere reactionary sects. therefore. their disciples have. revolutionary. The significance of Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation to historical development. they are compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois. and which. are of a purely Utopian character. all these proposals point solely to the disappearance of class antagonisms which were. in many respects. Phalanstères was the name of the public palaces planned by Fourier.
They. can only result from blind unbelief in the new Gospel. oppose the Chartists and the Réformistes. and the Fourierists in France.The Communist Manifesto 53 superstitious belief in the miraculous effects of their social science. therefore. according to them. such action. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . The Owenites in England. violently oppose all political action on the part of the working class. respectively.
The Communist Manifesto 54 Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .
without losing sight of the fact that this party consists of antagonistic elements. The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims. for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class. such as the Chartists in England and the Agrarian Reformers in America. but in the movement of the present. against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie. In Switzerland they support the Radicals. however. thus it differed immeasurably from present-day German Social-Democracy. Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . reserving.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. the right to take up a critical position in regard to phrases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution. 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. they also represent and take care of the future of that movement. In France the Communists ally themselves with the Social-Democrats5.
In Poland they support the party that insists on an agrarian revolution Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook .The Communist Manifesto 56 Democratic Socialists. partly of radical bourgeois. in the French sense.
In all these movements they bring to the front. the feudal squirearchy. and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution. the property question. the fight against the bourgeoisie itself may immediately begin. as the leading question in each. and the petty bourgeoisie. in order that the German workers may straightway use. the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.The Communist Manifesto 57 as the prime condition for national emancipation. to instil into the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat. against the absolute monarchy. and in order that. In Germany they fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. than that of England was in the seventeenth. no matter what its degree of development at the time. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . 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. Finally. for a single instant. after the fall of the reactionary classes in Germany. as so many weapons against the bourgeoisie. In short. But they never cease. The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany. and of France in the eighteenth century. and with a much more developed proletariat. they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. the social and political conditions that the bourgeoisie must necessarily introduce along with its supremacy. that party which fomented the insurrection of Cracow in 1846.
unite! Classics in Politics: Marx and Engels ElecBook . They have a world to win. Working men of all countries.The Communist Manifesto 58 overthrow of all existing social conditions. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution.
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