Soc 1 Reading Guide - Marx and Engels

Soc 1 Reading Guide - Marx and Engels - Marx and Engels...

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Marx and Engels – Manifesto of the Communist Party Bourgeoisie : modern capitalist class; those who own the means of production and who employ workers. Proletariat : modern wage-laborers; they do not own the means of production, so they sell their labor power (ability to work) to the bourgeoisie. Marx is known for asserting 1) society is organized by economic classes (or position in the division of labor), and 2) a communist revolution is inevitable. In the Manifesto of the Communist Party , Marx and Engels summarize these views. First they outline the conflict perspective: throughout history, social order has been based on class divisions and class struggles. – “oppressor and oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another” (Tucker, 474). The oppressors are always the ones who own the means of production, and the oppressed are always the ones who do not. Then they explain that the bourgeoisie has grown through the expansion of markets to new countries. And, as markets expanded, demand increased, so manufacturing had to innovate in order to meet the demand. New technologies were developed in order to increase manufacturing (and the efficiency of manufacturing) (Tucker, 474). They link the bourgeoisie (capitalist class) to the state. As the bourgeoisie’s wealth increased, so did its political power. They say the state exists for the benefit of the bourgeoisie: “The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie” (Tucker, 475).
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