Manifesto of the Communist Party


A 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. 1. 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.

In 1836 German radical workers living in Paris formed asecret association called "League of the Just." At congresses in London in 1847 it changed its name to "Communist League" and commissioned Marx and Engels, who had recently become members; to draw up a manifesto on its behalf. Both men prepared first drafts. Engels' draft, preserved under the title "The Principles of Communism," was in the form of a catechism with twenty-five questions and answers. Marx is believed to have had the greater hand in giving the Communist Manifesto its final form as both a programmatic statement and a compressed summary of the Marxian theory of history. It was originally published in London in February, 1848, and brought out in a French translation in Paris shortly before the insurrection of June, 1848, there. It has become the most widely read and influential single document of modem socialism. The text given here is that of the English edition of 1888, edited by Engels.


I. Bourgeois and Proletarians"
The history of all hitherto existing society" is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf,
5. By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern Capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage-labour. By proletariat,' the class of modern wage-labourers' who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour-power in order to live. [Engels, Eng?ish edition of 1888] 6. That is, all written history. In 1847, the pre-history of society, the social orgjlnisation existing previous to recorded history,' was all but unknown. Since then, Haxthausen discovered common ownership of land in Russia, Maurer proved it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic 'races started in history, and by and by village cornmunitles were found to be, or to have been the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland. The inner organisation of this primitive Communistic society was laid bare, in its typical form, by Morgan's crowning discovery of the true nature of the gens and its relation to the tribe. With the Ijissolution of these pri~lleval communities society begins to be differen.riated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. I have attempted to retrace this process of dissolution in: "DerUrspn~ng der Familie, des Privateigenthums und des Staats" [The Origin of the Family, Private Property a"d the State], 2nd edition, Stuttgart 1886. [Engels, English edition of 1888]

Even manufacture no longer sufficed. division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop. in fact. a rapid development. unconscionable freedom-Free Trade. here taken as the typical country. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value. for exploitation. has played a most revolutionary part. [Engels. for which the discovery of America paved the way. however. vassals." here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany). 8. possesses. in the period of manufacture proper. or III the common ruin of the contending classes. trade with the colonies. guild-masters. to navigation. Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. brutal exploitation. since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world-market. Modern Industry. We see. of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange. in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed." Generally speaking. for its political edition development. navigation.away with clash antagonisms. German edition. railways extended. The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. the bourgeoisie has at last. under which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds. The East-Indian and Chinese markets. [Engels. patriarchal. oppressor and oppressed. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed. to . of 1888] English This was the name given their urban communities by the townsmen of Italy and France. wherever it has got the upper. In ancient Rome we have patricians. The discovery of America. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle class. a fi~ht that each time ended. England is. the modern bourgeois. new conditions of oppression. in almost all of these classes. into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. France.navigation. we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders. in the modern representative State. This development has.474 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 475 1 guild-master7 and journeyman. of 1890] . it has substituted naked. historically. shameless. the place of the industrial middle class. conquered for itself. the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally. has put an end to all feudal. the colonisation of America. by the nascent towns even before they had conquered from their feudal lords and masters local selfgovernment and political rights as the "Third Estate. opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. therefore. of philistine sentimentalism. now hidden. The manufacturing system took its proportion as industry. increased its capital. a master within. an impulse never before known. Our epoch. the leaders of whole industrial armies. steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. subordinate gradations. a manifold gr:idation of social rank. and. 1888] English edition of Modern industry has established the world-market. commerce. gave to commerce. ." It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasieS of religious fervour. than callous "cash payment. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant. for the economical development of the bourgeoisie. a lull member of a guild. after they had purchased or wrested their initial rights of selfgovernment from their feudal lords. of chivalrous enthusiasm. plebeians. feudal lords. the epoch of the bourgeoisie. This market has given an immense development to commerce. and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. direct. The bourgeoisie. reacted On the extension of industry. how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development. The bourgeoisie. "Commune" was the name taken. stood in constant opposition to one another. this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms: Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps. the. to communication by land. to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society. hand. and . In one word. The feudal system of industry. to industry. there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France). From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. in a word. either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large. In the earlier epochs of history. not a head of a guild. corner-stone of the great monarchies in general. Thereupon. now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. exclusive political sway. 7. that is. journeymen. rounding of the Cape. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors. in its turn. serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility. has set up that single. and thereby. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done . afterwards. apprentices. in France. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility. serfs. again. and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms. slaves. carried on an uninterrupted. by industrial millionaires. new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. veiled by religious and political illusions. Guild-master. [Engels. an armed and self-governing association in the mediaeval commune. knights. It has but established new classes. in the Middle Ages. in the icy water of egotistical calculation. now open fight." and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest. idyllic relations. the demand ever rising. Meantime the markets kept ever growing.

It must nestle everywhere. draws all. the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. And as in material. in one word. became lumped together into one nation. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange. it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst. and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses. Roman aqueducts. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids. Independent. and his relations with his kind. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls. during its rule of scarce one hundred years. railways. nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois. has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. indus. canalisation of rivers. steam-navigation. the East on the West. settle everywhere. the feudal relations t G . All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. All that is solid melts into air. or but loosely connected provinces. by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production. products are consumed. establish connexions everywhere. with one government. The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. so also in intellectual production. it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. application of chemistry to industry and agriculture. on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up. electric telegraphs. requiring for their satisfaction the products of distantlands and climes. it has conducted expeditions that put in' the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. satisfied by the productions of the country. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. into its paid wage-labourers. not only at home. we have intercourse in every direction. It compels all nations. To the great chagrin of Reactionists. are swept away.e. It has created enormous cities. uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions. and thereby the relations of production. In place of the old wants. 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 . The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population. the poet.' on pain of extinction. all that is holy is . The bourgeoisie. were generated in feudal society. and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations. there arises a world faned. tries whose.476 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 477 The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged. by the immensely facilitated means of communication. with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. The bourgeoisie. but in every quarter of the globe. to become bourgeois themselves. It has converted the physician. i. and of property. and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. governments and systems of taxation. nations into civilisation. but raw material drawn from the remotest zones.of exchange. which Reactionists so much admire. his real conditions of life. so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones.machinery. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. the priest. has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural. all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. and from the numerous national and local literatures. fast-frozen relations. found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. centralised means of production. one national class-interest. with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions. the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry. of the means of production. one frontier and one customs-tariff. with separate interests. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns. clearing of whole continents for cultivation. on the contrary. universal inter-dependence of nations. even the most barbarian. by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. and with them the whole relations of society. the lawyer. Constant revolutionising of production. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form. we find new wants. and Gothic cathedrals. It has agglomerated population. ' The bourgeoisie has tom away from the family its sentimental veil. was. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolution ising the instruments of production. to adopt the bourgeois mode of production. everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. They are dislodged by new industries. In one word. the man of science. it creates a world after its own image.. laws. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. Subjection of Nature's forces to man. and has concentrated property in a few hands. All fixed. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. one code of laws.

who IS no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. and for the propagation of his race. at an end. to all the fluctuations of the market. more or less expensive to use. according to their age and sex. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. the more modem industry becomes developed. and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself. m all earher epo~hs. industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. The productive forces at the dispos~l . The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim. the more hateful and the more embittering it is. they have become too powerful for these conditions. like every other article of commerce. developed-a class of labourers. that is required of him. as the repulsiveness of the work increases. they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine.f~l1ed feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie Itself. That . These labourers. whether by prolongation of the working hours. above all. and therefore also of labour. the wage decreases. is developed. so far. a society that has conjured up such gtgant. Modem bourgeois society with its relations of production. ea~h time more threateningly. they became so many fetters. but also of the previously created productive forces. against the prop~ erty relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bo~rgeoisie and of its rule. to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance. too much com~erce. shopkeepers. too much industry. they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society. The less the skill and exertion of strength -implied in manual labour. in the I same proportion is the proletariat. and \\.ithe more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. and by diminishing the means whereby. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to compnse the wealth created by them. Nay more. crowded into the factory. and it is only the most simple.e. most monotonous.. they were burst asunder. Masses of labourers. by the conquest of new mar~ets." is equal to its cost of production. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of pro\ ductive forces. Into their place stepped free competition. in other words. and. the shopkeeper. All are instruments of labour. Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour. by paving the way for more extensive and ~ore destructive cnses. capital. Hence. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class. who . the modem working class. and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. by which they are fettered. the landlord. ?f ex~hange and of property.of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property. it has also called into existence the men who a~e to wield those weapons-the modem working class-the proletarians. accompanied by ~ social and political constitution adapted to it. But the price of a commodity. The lower strata of the middle class-the small tradespeople. For many a decade past the history of industry a~d commerce is but the history of the revolt of modem productive forces against modem conditions of production. by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases. epidemic of over-productIon. Subsequently Marx pointed out that the worker sells not his labour but his labour power. In proportion as the bourgeoisie. it appears as if a famine. on the other. Modem industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. almost entirely. with the already developed productive forces. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class.1S to .say. the existence of the entire bourgeois SOCIety. that he receives his wages in cash. The weapons with which the bourgeOls~e. n these I crises a great part not only of the existing pr?d~cts. No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer. by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the means of production and of exchange. He becomes an appendage of the machine. . \ would have seemed an absurdity-the Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of moment. i. the pawnbroker. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. i c- f . the cost of production of a workman is restricted. In proportion. and most easily acquired knack. They had to be burst asunder. who must sell themselves piece-meal.478 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 479 of property became no longer compatible. ~nses are prev~nted. is like the sorcerer. are organised like soldiers. on the contrary. a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence. and of the bourgeois State. than he is . by the over-looker. ar. all charm for the workman. therefore.set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie. the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character and only so long as they find work. endanger the existence of bourgeois prop~rty. the handicraftsmen 9. and retired tradesmen generally. and so soon as they overcome these fetters. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that. etc.troyed.e peno~lcal1y des. in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases. are a commodity. It is enough to ~enti~n the co~merclal crises that by their periodical return p~t on ItS tn~l. the more petty. and why? Because there is too much civilisation too much means of subsistence.ary barbarism. etc. and by the econormcal and political sway of the bourgeois class. by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones.

the petty bourgeoisie. And that union. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion. Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie. with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself. entire sections of the ruling classes are. they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages. therefore.. in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour. But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number. then by the operatives of one trade. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised. Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations (Trades Unions) against the bourgeois. and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. and broken up by their mutual competition. which class. but of the union of the bourgeoisie. and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists. Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. The real fruit of their battles lies. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress. to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages. Finally. and it feels that strength more. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift. able to do so. by the advance of industry. make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. Here and there the contest breaks out into riots. therefore. The proletariat goes through various stages of development. I . in order to attain its own political ends. partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. ever more rapidly developing. the non-industrial bourgeois. But it ever rises·' up again. but against the instruments of production themselves. at an earlier period. every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie. against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry. and joins the revolutionary class. the class that holds the future in its hands. " the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class. Further. in one locality. in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour. but only for a time. with their miserable highways. but the enemies of their enemies. required centuries. as we have already seen. At first the. not in the immediate result. a portion of the bourgeois ideologists. precipitated into the prolet. thanks to railways. partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on. and in particular. stronger. In all these battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat. a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie. Now and then the workers are victorious.time. and is moreover yet. by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself.480 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 481 · t and peasants-all these sink gradually into the proletariat. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production. achieve in a few years. then by the workpeople of a factory. it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies. contest is carried on by individual labourers. At this stage. At first with the aristocracy. it becomes concentrated in greater masses. the modern proletarians. At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country. ariat. The growing competition among the bourgeois. Thus the ten-hours' bill in England was carried. supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education. mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. but in the ever-expanding union. 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 bourgeoisie1 c . or. in fact within the whole range of society. is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. and thus. later on. of the workers. and the resulting commercial crises. But every class struggle is a political struggle. the proletarians do not fight their enemies. they set factories ablaze. the remnants of absolute monarchy. they smash to pieces machinery. for a . its strength grows. are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. at all times. assumes such a violent. therefore. so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat. in other words. and consequently into a political party. It was just this Contact that was needed to centralise the nutnerous local struggles. they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages. the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. The bourgeoisie itself. they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour. in many ways. firmer. with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. makes their livelihood more and more precarious. The unceasing improvement of machinery. all of the same character. to drag it into the political arena. into one national struggle between classes. glaring character. they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. this is not yet the consequence of their own active union. to ask for its help. the landowners. Just as. This organisation of the proletarians into a class. the course of development of the proletariat.

they are reactionary. under the yoke of feudal absolutism. . that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society. independent movement of the immense majority. All the preceding classes that got the upper hand. on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. the condition for capital is wage-labour. . all these fight against the bourgeoisie.prepare it far more for the part of a . the shopkeeper. those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat. modern industrial labour. produces. up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution. at least.~ bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. may. 482 Revolutionary Program .of life. and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. Hitherto. All previous historical movements were movements of minorities. the lowest stratum of our present society. the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. yet in form. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious. and for the sway of the bourgeois class. has stripped him of every trace of national character. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent. The modern labourer.just as the petty bourgeois. modern subjection to capital. raised himself to membership in the commune. instead of being fed by him. that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society. The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class . continue its slavish existence. by their revolutionary combination. The proletarian is without property. by chance they are revolutionary.j . cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. but conservative. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. here and there. The advance of industry. and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. as we have already seen. in other words. instead of rising with the progress of industry. The development of Modern Industry. except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation." masters of the productive forces of society. on the contrary. I his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family-relations." the-social scum. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie. religion. raging within existing society. to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. The "dangerous class. individual property . II. and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat. that it has to feed him. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. is the formation and augmentation of capital. And here it becomes evident. and insurances of. . tariat of each country must. we traced the more or less veiled civil war. due to competition. whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie. Though not in substance. cannot stir. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own. the peasant. The proletarians cannot become .. The essential condition for the existence. because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state. they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat. Law. therefore. due to association. by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. In the conditions of the proletariat. every form of society has been based.. its existence is no longer compatible with societv.strata of official society being sprung into the air. for they try to roll back the wheel of history. the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. firstof all settle matters with. is its own grave-diggers. securities for. the small manufacturer.up. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. He becomes a pauper. the artisan. the proletariat is. however. behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 483 today. managed to develop into a bourgeois. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modem Industry. They are therefore not revolutionary. certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify. in the period of serfdom. they desert their own standpomt to place themselves at that of the proletariat. sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. above all. in the interests of the immense majority. its conditions . in America as in Germany. and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. replaces the isolation of the labourers. ~f . without the whole superincumbent. The serf. but their future interests.its special and essential product. . cannot raise itself . morality. The proletariat. Nay more.eir present. the same in England as in France. But in order to oppress a class. What the bourgeoisie. Proletarians and Communists In 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. The prole. are to him so many bourgeois prejudices. therefore. of Course. their mission is to destroy all previous . be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution. _ The lower middle assure an existence to its slave within his slavery. or in the interests of minorities. they thus defend not th.its own bourgeoisie.

The abolition of bourgeois individuality. All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions. not a personal. And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeoi~. In bourgeois society. in the last resort. Capital is. but the abolition of bourgeois property. in its present form. are on . nay. Let us now take wage-labour. they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march. which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom. self-earned property! Do you mean the property of the petty artisan and of the small peasant. The Communists. They merely express. therefore. but a social status in production. in Communist society. an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life. The French Revolution. to promote the existence of the labourer. is based on the antagonism of capital and wage-labour. therefore. conquest of political power by the proletariat. activity and independence. i. It loses its class-character. on the other hand. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour.484 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the' Communist Party 485 parties by this only: (1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries. that kind of property which exploits wage-labour. overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy. the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man's own favour of bourgeois property. actual relations springing from an existing class struggle. The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally. and only by the united action of many members. To be a capitalist. i. is to have not only a purely personal. Property. The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class. is the miserable character of this appropriation. which is absolutely requisite" to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. on the exploitation of the many hy the few. . In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality. the conditions. The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based' on ideas or principles that have been invented.e. self-acquired. into the property of all members of society. that quantum of the means of subsistence. All that we want to do away with. living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. the past dominates the present. the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour. to enrich. . the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country. a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that. (2) In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgoisie has to pass through. in general terms. and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. In this sense.. that is based on class antagonisms. In bourgeois society. while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.. When. accumulated labour is but a means to widen. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of Communism. it is a social power. therefore. from a historical movement going on nnder our very eyes. In Communist society. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. only by the united action of all members of society. and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others.. and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.the one hand. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. or discovered. hy this or that would-be universal reformer. But modem bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products. What. theoretically.e. the present dominates the past. personal property is not thereby transformed into social property.abolition of individuality and freedom I And rightly so. and is still destroying it daily. for example. under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital. . can it be set in motion. and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at. they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole. The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage. Capital is a collective product. they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat. independently of all nationality. capital is converted into common property. merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. therefore. and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it. bourgeois independence. practically. the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it. Hard-won. abolished feudal property . It creates capital. that section which pushes forward all others. therefore. Or do you mean modern bourgeois private property? But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit.

by means of schools. . The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason. so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture. we destroy the most hallowed of relations. According to this.486 . and made impossible. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians.. with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages. That culture. about the hallowed co-relation of parent and child. whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of vour class. the loss of which he laments. you say. culture. You reproach us. You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. do not work. But. . the more. that is just what we intend. only in contrast with restricted selling and buying. confess that by "individual" you mean no other person than the bourgeois. Revolutionary Program and Strategy By freedom is meant. money. be swept out of the way. you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. have.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education. This person must. the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population. its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine. to our intended abolition of bourgeois property. direct or indirect. to the bourgeois. Precisely so. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes. from that moment. into a social power capable of being monopolised. than the middle-class owner of property. therefore. or rent. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property. individuality vanishes. of the bourgeois conditions of production. what you admit in the case of feudal property. and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. under the present bourgeois conditions of production. of society. indeed. But if selling and buying disappears. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property. is. by the intervention. from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property. 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. Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. acquire nothing.and in public prostitution. but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling. all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation. just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all. a will.bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness. All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products. But don't wrangle with us so long as you apply. the social forms 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. they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention. if any. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. law. and all the other "brave words" of our bourgeoisie about freedom in general. a mere training to act as a machine. and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. Just as. It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease. And your education! Is not that also social. and universal laziness will overtake us. been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. and of the bourgeoisie itself. you will say. for those of its members who work. free selling and buying. based? On capital. In one word. the bourgeois family. You must. free trade. with intending to do away with a form of property. you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property. when we replace home education by social.tenths. becomes all the more disgusting. in the same way. for the enormous majority. Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society. by the action -of Modem Industry. On what foundation is the present family. therefore. &c. the disappear- Manifesto of the Communist Party 487 ance of class property is the disappearance of production itself. and those who acquire anything. have a meaning. i. all family . on private gain.e. But in your existing society. &c. free selling and buying disappears also. the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom. into capital. From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital. and determined by the social conditions under which you educate. The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education. This talk about free selling and buying.

and. which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms. it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience. "Undoubtedly. Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man's ideas. Justice. constantly survived this change. For the rest. can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women. the elements of a new one have been created. viz. Our bourgeois. nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which. and law. etc. of prostitution both public ·and private. But whatever form they may have taken. . take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives. morality. eternal truths. No wonder. an openly legalised community of women. in substitution for a hypocritically concealed. The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture With traditional property relations. that the social consciousness of past ages. to the world-market. 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. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy. itself national. the ancient reli. In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to.~ gions were overcome by Christianity. moral." . and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour. no wonder that its development involves . and. the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to.. screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus. one fact is common to all past ages. The working men have no country. it is.488 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 489 ties among the proletarians are tom asunder. i. they do but express the fact. When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society.. But you Communists would introduce community of women. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge. they pretend. it. views and conceptions.e. such as Freedom. We cannot take from them what they have not got. then. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. that within the old society. "religious. generally. "There are. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes. is that they desire to introduce. from an ideological standpoint. must constitute itself the nation. philosophical and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence. a philosophical. to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. owing to the development of the bourgeoisie. of the leading civilised countries at least. moves within certain common forms. philosophy.. not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal. is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. that are common to all states of society. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common. 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. feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. despite all-the multiplicity and variety it displays. For the rest. But religion. to freedom of commerce. When the ancient world was in its last throes. what the Communists might possibly be reproached with. National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing. and all morality. The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.has existed almost from time immemorial. antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs. titutes. besides. in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove. or general ideas. naturally. so far." What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms. not to speak of common pros. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women. at the most. political science. is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. man's consciousness. must rise to be the leading class of the nation. are not deserving of serious examination. instead of constituting them on a new basis. though not in the bourgeois sense of the word. the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end. in one word." it will be said. Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus. 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.. When Christian ideas succumbed in the i 8th century to rationalist ideas. the exploitation of one part of society by the other. United action. The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence. The charges against Communism made from a religious. But Communism abolishes eternal truths.

the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands. have-swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally. i. necessitate further inroads upon the old social order. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries. the following will be pretty generally applicable. in the course of development. that the first step in the revolution by the working class. sweeps away by force the old conditions of production. is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. 8. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State. 9. to organise itself as a class. We have seen above. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. and. &c. In place of the old bourgeois society. These measures will of course be different in different countries.. Equal liability of all to labour. but which. Establishment of industrial armies. and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation. by a more equable distribution of the population over the country. 4. Abolition of all right of inheritance. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. 6. 3. outstrip themselves. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. which appear economically insufficient and untenable. by. of the proletariat organised as the ruling class. class distinctions have disappeared. by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. by means of a revolution. Combination of education with industrial production. and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as·possible. therefore. with its classes and class antagonisms. Of course. in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. If the proletar- iat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled. gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country. we shall have an association. 7. . 2. 5. 1.490 Revolutionary Program and Strategy Manifesto of the Communist Party 491 the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. by degrees. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest.iand are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production. When. 10. then it will. if. in the course of the movement. the public power will lose its political character. &c. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. along with these conditions. this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property. and on the conditions of bourgeois production.. as such. especially for agriculture. properly so called. to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State.e. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State. it makes itself the ruling class. is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class. all capital from the bourgeoisie. means of measures. by the force of circumstances. Free education for all children in public schools. in the beginning. But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism. Political power. to win the battle of democracy. and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.