Manifesto of the Communist Party
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
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, guild-master
and journeyman, in a
word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an
uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary
reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of
society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have
patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters,
journeymen, 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