Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx was born on May 5th 1818 and was a German philosopher and political economist amongst other things. One of his observations, which begins his writings on the Communist Manifesto is that the world has always struggled with class systems. Though only recently has it been clearly split into just two opposing groups; Bourgeoise and Proletariat.

Bourgeois was created with the expansion of industry.
Industry started off with just the Guild Masters, which then became the Manufacturing Middle Class. Where class distinctions used to be between different guilds, opposition could now be found in just one workhouse. Division was becoming more concentrated. As industry and trade became more demanding, the Manufacturing Middle Class soon became Modern Industry. Manufacturing was taken over by Industrial Millionaires or, as they are more commonly called here, the Modern Bourgeoise. This new industry established the world market. It increased capitalism, travel and communications. Anyone not involved in this modern Bourgeoise movement, was pushed to the background. Creating the two distinct classes Marx talks about.

Since Bourgeois was a social class powered by its ownership of capitalism, it was a strong force. Karl Marx believed it could convert lawyers, priests and physicians in to it's paid wage laborers. Like Communism, Bourgeois was it's own being. It can spread across the globe "nestle everywhere, settle everywhere". Like the description for Communism as a spirit/spectre, Bourgeois seems to be a being that could get everywhere at once and make itself at home. Bourgeois takes over countries with the ultimatum that if they don't come under it's reign they will face, what Karl Marx calls "extinction". It creates a world after it's own image and calls it "civilization". As a class it takes the "sentimental veil" from families and reduced relations to just money relations. It sees facts and figures as opposed to people.
According to Bourgeois, Capitalism was independent and had individuality whereas the living person was dependent, with no individuality.

Loosely translated, Bourgeoise in French means "City-Dweller". With this in mind, Bourgeois took small villages and a scattered population and conglomerated it. Different areas were lumped together to form one nation with one government; centralizing the means of production. It increased the urban population as opposed to the rural. An oppression which would later be a factor Communism highly wished to abolish.

However, the industry and commerce that Bourgeoise created soon became to powerful for even it to control. The industry it so proudly created was to be its downfall.

Laborers whose life consists of solely working. They are described as mere appendages of the industrial machine as opposed to individual people. They are slaves of the Bourgeois class.

With the Bourgeois idea of uniting small and scattered populations into one large concentrated group, they unwittingly unite other bitter laborers. Strengthened by numbers the laborers hold trade unions against the Bourgeois. These were only sometimes successful. The irony lies in the fact that without the expansion of Bourgeoise and modern industry, laborers would not have the communications they needed for their riots.

Proletariats are free, they are without property and are not tied down. This is what makes them so potentially powerful. They have nothing to lose but their chains.
As a group they cannot unite and take a stand without causing a major disruption, as Marx says "the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air.". Although classed as the "lowest stratum" of society, they make up the majority and are the only ones really taking a stand against the Bourgeois.

The victory of Proletariats over the Bourgeois came in the form of them being underestimated. The success of the Bourgeois rested in part upon the co operation and hard work of the laboring proletariats. With modern industry uniting these laborers together into one angry and uncooperative mass, the fall of the Bourgeois was inevitable.

Communism was similar to that of the proletariats in that they wanted to overthrow the Bourgeois, although their main aim was the abolition of private property. Or at least private property in the Bourgeois form. Before modern industry, private property was duly worked hard for and was genuinely the fruits of ones labour. Yet the private property of the bourgeois is won by the exploitation of others, whilst destroying that of the peasants and farmers. Those involved in the Bourgeois society do not work. Communism aims to abolish the exploitation of laborers for other peoples gain. There is a wish to abolish laborers existing solely to serve the Bourgeoise. Wage labour is a factor which keeps them existing for this purpose. Without capital, there will be no wage labor.

Communists wish to abolish nations and nationality. Although this was a Bourgeois ideology, it benefited the proletariats as well as decreasing national divides and opposition. The coming together of nations unites a stronger defense against the Bourgeois and gets rid of the chance for nations to exploit each other.

Communists mainly aim to gain 10 things;
-Abolition of private property
-A graduated income tax
-Abolition of rights of inheritance
-Confiscation of property belonging to immigrants and rebels
-A national bank with an exclusive monopoly
-Centralization of communication in the hands of the state
-Extension of factories and cultivation of soil in accordance with a common plan
-Equal obligation for all to work
-Combining industry with agriculture/gradual distinction between urban and rural
-Free education

When class distinction is gone, political power will no longer be necessary; there will be no more oppressing of classes.

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