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Communist%20Manifesto

Communist%20Manifesto - no Manifesto of the Communist Party...

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Unformatted text preview: no Manifesto of the Communist Party Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels BOURGEOIS AND PROLE'I'ARIANS1 The history of all hitherto existing society2 is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and self, guild—master3 andjourneyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in con— stant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolu— tionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. In the earlier epochs ofhistory, we find al- most everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation ofsocial rank, In ancient Rome we have patri— cians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, jour— neymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society, has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of op— 10 pression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature; it has simplified the class antagonisrns. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the hour— geoisie were developed. ' The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East Indian and Chinese mar— kets, the [colonization] of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of ex— change and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolu— tionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development. The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production was monopolized by close guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing \v “CUE-1U!» [1 MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNlST PARTY 1 1 wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side 'by the manufacturing mid- dle class; division of labor between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labor in each single workshop. Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand, ever rising. Even manufacture no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machin- ery revolutionized industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, the place of the industrial mid- dle class, by industrial millionaires, the leaders of whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois. Modern industry has established the world~ market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an im— mense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its turn, reacted on the extension ofin— dustry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same pro— portion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. We see, therefore, how the modern bour— geoisie is itself the product ofa long course of development, ofa series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange. Each step in the development of the bour— geoisie was accompanied by a corresponding po— litical advance of that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self—governing association in the mediaeval communef‘ here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany), there taxable “third es— tate” of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving ei— ther the semifeudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, cornerstone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world—market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern State is but a committee for manag— ing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part. The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriar— chal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asun~ der the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self~interest, than callous “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical cal— culation. It has resolved personal worth into ex— change value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man ofsci— ence, into its paid {wagedaborers}. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much ad— mire, found its fitting complement in the most Slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has ac— complished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathe— drals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without con—' stantly revolutionizing the instruments of pro— duction, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier indus— trial classes. Constant revolutionizing of produc— tion, uninterrupted disturbance of all social 12 KARL MARX AND FRItnRiCH ENGELS conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast—frozen relations, which their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away. all new formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is pro— faned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions oflife, and his relations with his kind. The need ofa constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle every— where, settle everywhere, establish [connections] everywhere. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world—market given a cosmopolitan char— acter to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old— established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations. by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but rare material drawn from the re— motest zones; industries whose products are cone surned, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place ofthe old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfacrion the products of distant lands and climes. in place ofthe old local and national seclusion and self—sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal interdependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations ofindividual nations become common property. National one—sidedness and narrow— mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local litera— tures there arises a world—literature. The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the irnw mensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices ofits commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the bar— barians’ intenseiy obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. lt compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode ofpro— duction; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In a word. it creates a world after its own image. The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. just as it has made the coun— try dependent on the towns, so it has made barv barian and semi—barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations ofpeasants on na— tions of bourgeois, the East on the West. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and ofproperty. It has agglomerated population, centralized means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralization. independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate inter" ests. laws, governments and systems oftaxation, became lumped together in one nation, with one government, one code of laws. one national class—interest, one frontier and one customs—tariff. The bourgeoisie, during its rule ofscarce one hundred years. has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all pre— ceding generations together. Subjection of Na— ture’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steann navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation. canaiization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a pre— sentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap ofsocial labor? MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY 13 We see then: The means ofproduction and of exchange on whose foundation the bout— geoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organization of agri— culture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed produc— tive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to burst asunder; they were burst asunder. Into their places stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitu- tion adapted to it, and by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society with its re- lations ofproduction, of exchange and of prop— erty, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means ofproduction and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the his— tory of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on its trial, each time more threateningly, the existence of the en— tire bourgeois society. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products. but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodi— cally destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity—the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it ap— pears as ifa famine, a universal war ofdevasta~ tion had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The pro— ductive forces at the disposal ofsociety no longer tend to further the development ofthe condiw tions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these condi— tions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence ofbourgeois property. The condi— tions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction ofa mass ofproductive forces; on the other, by the con— quest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more de‘ structive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented. The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weaponsfithe modern working class—the proletarians. In proportion as the bourgeoisie. i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the pro— letariat. the modern working class, developed, a class oflaborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commod— ity. like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market. Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division oflabor, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, conseh quently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous. and most easily acquired knack that is required of him. Hence, the cost ofproduction ofa workman is restricted, 14 KARL MARX AND FRIEDRICH ENGELS almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price ofa corn— modity, and also oflabor, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the re— pulsiveness ofthe work increases, the wage de— creases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labor increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by increase of the Work enacted in a given time, or by increased speed of the machinery, etc. Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master in the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses ofla— borers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers. As privates ofthe industrial army they are placed under the command ofa perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they the slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State, they are daily and hourly en— slaved by the machine, by the over—looker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufac— turer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embitter- ing it is. The less the skill and exertion or strength im- plied in manual labor, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labor ofmen superseded by that ofwomen. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labor, more or less expen— sive to use, according to their age and sex. No sooner is the exploitation ofthe iaborer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he re— ceives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the land~ lord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc. The lower Strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the prolee tariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the com— petition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is re— cruited from all classes ofthe population. The proletariat goes through various stages ofdevelopment. With its birth begins its strug— gle with the bourgeoisie. At first the contest is carried on by individual laborers, then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the operatives of one trade, in one locality, against the individ— ual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois con— ditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labor, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman ofthe Middle Ages. At this stage the laborers still form an inco— herent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the hour— geoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole pro— letariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of abSolute monarchy, the landowners, the non~ industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeoisie. Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie. But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number, it be- comes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The vari- ous interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equal- ized, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labor, and nearly everywhere re— duces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the MANiFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY 1 5 resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceas— ing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious, the collisions between in- dividual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions be— tween two classes. Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations (Trades’ Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make pro...
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