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<THREAD> I'm now hearing this meme that governments around the world have defeated communism.

Guys. It's time for some Marxist theory
A spectre is haunting Europe--the spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to 1/590
exorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies. Where is the party 2/590
in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the Opposition that has not 3/590
hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary 4/590
adversaries? Two things result from this fact. I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself 5/590
a Power. II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their 6/590
aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself. To 7/590
this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published 8/590
in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages. I. BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS The history of 9/590
all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and 10/590
serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried 11/590
on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution 12/590
of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost 13/590
everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome 14/590
we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, 15/590
serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from 16/590
the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions 17/590
of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, 18/590
this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into 19/590
two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. From the serfs 20/590
of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the 21/590
bourgeoisie were developed. The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. 22/590
The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of 23/590
exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and 24/590
thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development. The feudal system of industry, 25/590
under which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the 26/590
new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle 27/590
class; division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single 28/590
workshop. Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacture no longer sufficed. Thereupon, 29/590
steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, 30/590
the place of the industrial middle class, by industrial millionaires, the leaders of whole industrial armies, the modern 31/590
bourgeois. Modern industry has established the world-market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market 32/590
has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its time, 33/590
reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same 34/590
proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from 35/590
the Middle Ages. We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of 36/590
a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange. Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was 37/590
accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, 38/590
an armed and self-governing association in the mediaeval commune; here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany), 39/590
there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving either 40/590
the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, corner-stone of the great 41/590
monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world-market, 42/590
conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern State is 43/590
but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most 44/590
revolutionary part. The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic 45/590
relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors," and has left 46/590
remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment." It has drowned the 47/590
most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of 48/590
egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless and indefeasible 49/590
chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom--Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by 50/590
religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo 51/590
every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the 52/590
priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental 53/590
veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that 54/590
the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much admire, found its fitting complement in the 55/590
most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders 56/590
far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade 57/590
all former Exoduses of nations and crusades. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments 58/590
of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the 59/590
old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial 60/590
classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty 61/590
and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train 62/590
of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can 63/590
ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober 64/590
senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. The need of a constantly expanding market for its 65/590
products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish 66/590
connexions everywhere. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character 67/590
to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet 68/590
of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily 69/590
being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised 70/590
nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries 71/590
whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied 72/590
by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and 73/590
climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, 74/590
universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations 75/590
of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, 76/590
and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature. The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement 77/590
of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, 78/590
nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese 79/590
walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, 80/590
on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation 81/590
into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image. The bourgeoisie 82/590
has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population 83/590
as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just 84/590
as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the 85/590
civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more 86/590
doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated 87/590
production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. 88/590
Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments and systems of taxation, became 89/590
lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier and one 90/590
customs-tariff. The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal 91/590
productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature's forces to man, machinery, application 92/590
of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents 93/590
for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground--what earlier century had even a presentiment 94/590
that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour? We see then: the means of production and of exchange, 95/590
on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development 96/590
of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal 97/590
organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible 98/590
with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst 99/590
asunder. Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted to it, and 100/590
by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern 101/590
bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic 102/590
means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world 103/590
whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of 104/590
the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are 105/590
the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that 106/590
by their periodical return put on its trial, each time more threateningly, the existence of the entire bourgeois society. 107/590
In these crises a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are 108/590
periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an 109/590
absurdity--the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; 110/590
it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry 111/590
and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too 112/590
much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development 113/590
of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they 114/590
are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger 115/590
the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created 116/590
by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand inforced destruction of a mass of productive 117/590
forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to 118/590
say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented. 119/590
The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself. But 120/590
not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who 121/590
are to wield those weapons--the modern working class--the proletarians. In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, 122/590
is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed--a class of labourers, who 123/590
live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, 124/590
who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed 125/590
to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market. Owing to the extensive use of machinery 126/590
and to division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and consequently, all charm for 127/590
the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired 128/590
knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means 129/590
of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, 130/590
and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion therefore, as the repulsiveness of the 131/590
work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in 132/590
the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by increase of the 133/590
work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery, etc. Modern industry has converted the little workshop 134/590
of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, 135/590
are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy 136/590
of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily 137/590
and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the over-looker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. 138/590
The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering 139/590
it is. The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry becomes 140/590
developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive 141/590
social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their 142/590
age and sex. No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that he receives his 143/590
wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, 144/590
etc. The lower strata of the middle class--the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen 145/590
and peasants--all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for 146/590
the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because 147/590
their specialized skill is rendered worthless by the new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from 148/590
all classes of the population. The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle 149/590
with the bourgeoisie. At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers, then by the workpeople of a factory, 150/590
then by the operatives of one trade, in one locality, against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They 151/590
direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; 152/590
they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they 153/590
seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages. At this stage the labourers still form 154/590
an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite 155/590
to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the bourgeoisie, 156/590
which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover 157/590
yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies 158/590
of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeoisie. 159/590
Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory 160/590
for the bourgeoisie. But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated 161/590
in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within 162/590
the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, 163/590
and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting 164/590
commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceasing improvement of machinery, ever more 165/590
rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual 166/590
bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations 167/590
(Trades Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations 168/590
in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there the contest breaks out into riots. 169/590
Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate 170/590
result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication 171/590
that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It 172/590
was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national 173/590
struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers 174/590
of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarians, thanks to railways, achieve 175/590
in a few years. This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party, is continually 176/590
being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. 177/590
It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the 178/590
bourgeoisie itself. Thus the ten-hours' bill in England was carried. Altogether collisions between the classes of the 179/590
old society further, in many ways, the course of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in 180/590
a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests 181/590
have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all times, with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these 182/590
battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for its help, and thus, to drag it into the political 183/590
arena. The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own instruments of political and general education, 184/590
in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie. Further, as we have already seen, 185/590
entire sections of the ruling classes are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least 186/590
threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and 187/590
progress. Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within 188/590
the ruling class, in fact within the whole range of society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section 189/590
of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. 190/590
Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the 191/590
bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves 192/590
to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole. Of all the classes that stand face to face 193/590
with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear 194/590
in the face of Modern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product. The lower middle class, the small 195/590
manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction 196/590
their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they 197/590
are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance they are revolutionary, they are so only 198/590
in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat, they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, 199/590
they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat. The "dangerous class," the social scum, 200/590
that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement 201/590
by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary 202/590
intrigue. In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian 203/590
is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family-relations; 204/590
modern industrial labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has 205/590
stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind 206/590
which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. All the preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought to fortify 207/590
their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot 208/590
become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby 209/590
also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission 210/590
is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property. All previous historical movements were 211/590
movements of minorities, or in the interests of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent 212/590
movement of the immense majority, in the interests of the immense majority. The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our 213/590
present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being 214/590
sprung into the air. Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first 215/590
a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. 216/590
In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, 217/590
raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow 218/590
of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat. Hitherto, every form of society has been based, 219/590
as we have already seen, on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain 220/590
conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period 221/590
of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, 222/590
managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the progress of industry, 223/590
sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops 224/590
more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the 225/590
ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule 226/590
because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink 227/590
into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, 228/590
in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society. The essential condition for the existence, and for 229/590
the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. 230/590
Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter 231/590
is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due 232/590
to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the 233/590
bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. 234/590
Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. II. PROLETARIANS AND COMMUNISTS In what relation 235/590
do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole? The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class 236/590
parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian 237/590
principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. The Communists are distinguished from the 238/590
other working-class parties by this only: (1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, 239/590
they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 240/590
(2) In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, 241/590
they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole. The Communists, therefore, are on the one 242/590
hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which 243/590
pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage 244/590
of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. 245/590
The immediate aim of the Communist is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat 246/590
into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat. The theoretical conclusions 247/590
of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be 248/590
universal reformer. They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, 249/590
from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive 250/590
feature of Communism. All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent 251/590
upon the change in historical conditions. The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois 252/590
property. The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois 253/590
property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and 254/590
appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few. In this sense, 255/590
the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. We Communists have 256/590
been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man's own labour, 257/590
which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence. Hard-won, self-acquired, 258/590
self-earned property! Do you mean the property of the petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded 259/590
the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed 260/590
it, and is still destroying it daily. Or do you mean modern bourgeois private property? But does wage-labour create any 261/590
property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage-labour, and 262/590
which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, 263/590
in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage-labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. 264/590
To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective 265/590
product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members 266/590
of society, can it be set in motion. Capital is, therefore, not a personal, it is a social power. When, therefore, capital 267/590
is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed 268/590
into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class-character. Let 269/590
us now take wage-labour. The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence, 270/590
which is absolutely requisite in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means 271/590
of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal 272/590
appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, 273/590
and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with, is the miserable 274/590
character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only 275/590
in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it. In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase 276/590
accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence 277/590
of the labourer. In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates 278/590
the past. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has 279/590
no individuality. And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and 280/590
freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly 281/590
aimed at. By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free selling and buying. 282/590
But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talk about free selling and buying, 283/590
and all the other "brave words" of our bourgeoisie about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with 284/590
restricted selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic 285/590
abolition of buying and selling, of the bourgeois conditions of production, and of the bourgeoisie itself. You are horrified 286/590
at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away 287/590
with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those 288/590
nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for 289/590
whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. In one word, you reproach us 290/590
with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend. From the moment when labour can 291/590
no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment 292/590
when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say individuality 293/590
vanishes. You must, therefore, confess that by "individual" you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class 294/590
owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible. Communism deprives no man of 295/590
the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour 296/590
of others by means of such appropriation. It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will 297/590
cease, and universal laziness will overtake us. According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the 298/590
dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything, do not 299/590
work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour 300/590
when there is no longer any capital. All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material 301/590
products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. 302/590
Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance 303/590
of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture. That culture, the loss of which he laments, 304/590
is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine. But don't wrangle with us so long as you apply, to 305/590
our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your 306/590
very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence 307/590
is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will, whose essential character and direction are determined by 308/590
the economical conditions of existence of your class. The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal 309/590
laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property--historical 310/590
relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production--this misconception you share with every ruling class that 311/590
has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, 312/590
you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property. Abolition of the family! Even 313/590
the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois 314/590
family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. 315/590
But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public 316/590
prostitution. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish 317/590
with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To 318/590
this crime we plead guilty. But, you will say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education 319/590
by social. And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, 320/590
by the intervention, direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, etc.? The Communists have not invented the intervention 321/590
of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the 322/590
influence of the ruling class. The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of 323/590
parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all family ties among the 324/590
proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour. 325/590
But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus. The bourgeois sees in 326/590
his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, 327/590
naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women. He 328/590
has not even a suspicion that the real point is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production. 329/590
For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, 330/590
they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community 331/590
of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial. Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of 332/590
their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's 333/590
wives. Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly 334/590
be reproached with, is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised 335/590
community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with 336/590
it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private. The 337/590
Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality. The working men have no country. 338/590
We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, 339/590
must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though 340/590
not in the bourgeois sense of the word. National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, 341/590
owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world-market, to uniformity in the mode of production 342/590
and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. 343/590
United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. 344/590
In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another 345/590
will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of 346/590
one nation to another will come to an end. The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical, and, generally, 347/590
from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination. Does it require deep intuition to comprehend 348/590
that man's ideas, views and conceptions, in one word, man's consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of 349/590
his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove, than 350/590
that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of 351/590
each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society, they do but 352/590
express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of 353/590
the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence. When the ancient world was in its 354/590
last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to 355/590
rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious 356/590
liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge. 357/590
"Undoubtedly," it will be said, "religious, moral, philosophical and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of 358/590
historical development. But religion, morality philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change." 359/590
"There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism 360/590
abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore 361/590
acts in contradiction to all past historical experience." What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all 362/590
past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different 363/590
epochs. But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part 364/590
of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety 365/590
it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance 366/590
of class antagonisms. The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder 367/590
that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. But let us have done with the bourgeois 368/590
objections to Communism. We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the 369/590
proletariat to the position of ruling as to win the battle of democracy. The proletariat will use its political supremacy 370/590
to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the 371/590
State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly 372/590
as possible. Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of 373/590
property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient 374/590
and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social 375/590
order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production. These measures will of course 376/590
be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally 377/590
applicable. 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. A heavy 378/590
progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of all right of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of the property of all 379/590
emigrants and rebels. 5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State 380/590
capital and an exclusive monopoly. 6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands 381/590
of the State. 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation 382/590
of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 8. Equal liability 383/590
of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combination of agriculture with 384/590
manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution 385/590
of the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's 386/590
factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c. When, in the course 387/590
of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association 388/590
of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely 389/590
the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is 390/590
compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the 391/590
ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, 392/590
have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished 393/590
its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have 394/590
an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. III. SOCIALIST 395/590
AND COMMUNIST LITERATURE 1. REACTIONARY SOCIALISM A. Feudal Socialism Owing to their historical position, it became 396/590
the vocation of the aristocracies of France and England to write pamphlets against modern bourgeois society. In the French 397/590
revolution of July 1830, and in the English reform agitation, these aristocracies again succumbed to the hateful upstart. 398/590
Thenceforth, a serious political contest was altogether out of the question. A literary battle alone remained possible. 399/590
But even in the domain of literature the old cries of the restoration period had become impossible. In order to arouse 400/590
sympathy, the aristocracy were obliged to lose sight, apparently, of their own interests, and to formulate their indictment 401/590
against the bourgeoisie in the interest of the exploited working class alone. Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by 402/590
singing lampoons on their new master, and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming catastrophe. In this way 403/590
arose Feudal Socialism: half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future; at times, by its 404/590
bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart's core; but always ludicrous in its effect, 405/590
through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history. The aristocracy, in order to rally the people to them, 406/590
waved the proletarian alms-bag in front for a banner. But the people, so often as it joined them, saw on their hindquarters 407/590
the old feudal coats of arms, and deserted with loud and irreverent laughter. One section of the French Legitimists and 408/590
"Young England" exhibited this spectacle. In pointing out that their mode of exploitation was different to that of the 409/590
bourgeoisie, the feudalists forget that they exploited under circumstances and conditions that were quite different, and 410/590
that are now antiquated. In showing that, under their rule, the modern proletariat never existed, they forget that the 411/590
modern bourgeoisie is the necessary offspring of their own form of society. For the rest, so little do they conceal the 412/590
reactionary character of their criticism that their chief accusation against the bourgeoisie amounts to this, that under 413/590
the bourgeois regime a class is being developed, which is destined to cut up root and branch the old order of society. 414/590
What they upbraid the bourgeoisie with is not so much that it creates a proletariat, as that it creates a revolutionary 415/590
proletariat. In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercive measures against the working class; and in ordinary 416/590
life, despite their high falutin phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and 417/590
to barter truth, love, and honour for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits. As the parson has ever gone 418/590
hand in hand with the landlord, so has Clerical Socialism with Feudal Socialism. Nothing is easier than to give Christian 419/590
asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? 420/590
Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and 421/590
Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy, water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat. 422/590
B. Petty-Bourgeois Socialism The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that was ruined by the bourgeoisie, not the 423/590
only class whose conditions of existence pined and perished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society. The mediaeval 424/590
burgesses and the small peasant proprietors were the precursors of the modern bourgeoisie. In those countries which are 425/590
but little developed, industrially and commercially, these two classes still vegetate side by side with the rising bourgeoisie. 426/590
In countries where modern civilisation has become fully developed, a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed, fluctuating 427/590
between proletariat and bourgeoisie and ever renewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. The individual 428/590
members of this class, however, are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action of competition, and, 429/590
as modern industry develops, they even see the moment approaching when they will completely disappear as an independent 430/590
section of modern society, to be replaced, in manufactures, agriculture and commerce, by overlookers, bailiffs and shopmen. 431/590
In countries like France, where the peasants constitute far more than half of the population, it was natural that writers 432/590
who sided with the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, should use, in their criticism of the bourgeois regime, the standard 433/590
of the peasant and petty bourgeois, and from the standpoint of these intermediate classes should take up the cudgels for 434/590
the working class. Thus arose petty-bourgeois Socialism. Sismondi was the head of this school, not only in France but 435/590
also in England. This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern 436/590
production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects 437/590
of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it 438/590
pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, 439/590
the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution 440/590
of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities. In its positive aims, however, this form of 441/590
Socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange, and with them the old property relations, 442/590
and the old society, or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange, within the framework of the old property 443/590
relations that have been, and were bound to be, exploded by those means. In either case, it is both reactionary and Utopian. 444/590
Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture, patriarchal relations in agriculture. Ultimately, when stubborn 445/590
historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception, this form of Socialism ended in a miserable fit 446/590
of the blues. C. German, or "True," Socialism The Socialist and Communist literature of France, a literature that originated 447/590
under the pressure of a bourgeoisie in power, and that was the expression of the struggle against this power, was introduced 448/590
into Germany at a time when the bourgeoisie, in that country, had just begun its contest with feudal absolutism. German 449/590
philosophers, would-be philosophers, and beaux esprits, eagerly seized on this literature, only forgetting, that when these 450/590
writings immigrated from France into Germany, French social conditions had not immigrated along with them. In contact with 451/590
German social conditions, this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance, and assumed a purely literary 452/590
aspect. Thus, to the German philosophers of the eighteenth century, the demands of the first French Revolution were nothing 453/590
more than the demands of "Practical Reason" in general, and the utterance of the will of the revolutionary French bourgeoisie 454/590
signified in their eyes the law of pure Will, of Will as it was bound to be, of true human Will generally. The world of 455/590
the German literate consisted solely in bringing the new French ideas into harmony with their ancient philosophical conscience, 456/590
or rather, in annexing the French ideas without deserting their own philosophic point of view. This annexation took place 457/590
in the same way in which a foreign language is appropriated, namely, by translation. It is well known how the monks wrote 458/590
silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written. 459/590
The German literate reversed this process with the profane French literature. They wrote their philosophical nonsense 460/590
beneath the French original. For instance, beneath the French criticism of the economic functions of money, they wrote "Alienation 461/590
of Humanity," and beneath the French criticism of the bourgeois State they wrote "dethronement of the Category of the General," 462/590
and so forth. The introduction of these philosophical phrases at the back of the French historical criticisms they dubbed 463/590
"Philosophy of Action," "True Socialism," "German Science of Socialism," "Philosophical Foundation of Socialism," and so 464/590
on. The French Socialist and Communist literature was thus completely emasculated. And, since it ceased in the hands of 465/590
the German to express the struggle of one class with the other, he felt conscious of having overcome "French one-sidedness" 466/590
and of representing, not true requirements, but the requirements of truth; not the interests of the proletariat, but the 467/590
interests of Human Nature, of Man in general, who belongs to no class, has no reality, who exists only in the misty realm 468/590
of philosophical fantasy. This German Socialism, which took its schoolboy task so seriously and solemnly, and extolled 469/590
its poor stock-in-trade in such mountebank fashion, meanwhile gradually lost its pedantic innocence. The fight of the German, 470/590
and especially, of the Prussian bourgeoisie, against feudal aristocracy and absolute monarchy, in other words, the liberal 471/590
movement, became more earnest. By this, the long wished-for opportunity was offered to "True" Socialism of confronting 472/590
the political movement with the Socialist demands, of hurling the traditional anathemas against liberalism, against representative 473/590
government, against bourgeois competition, bourgeois freedom of the press, bourgeois legislation, bourgeois liberty and 474/590
equality, and of preaching to the masses that they had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by this bourgeois movement. 475/590
German Socialism forgot, in the nick of time, that the French criticism, whose silly echo it was, presupposed the existence 476/590
of modern bourgeois society, with its corresponding economic conditions of existence, and the political constitution adapted 477/590
thereto, the very things whose attainment was the object of the pending struggle in Germany. To the absolute governments, 478/590
with their following of parsons, professors, country squires and officials, it served as a welcome scarecrow against the 479/590
threatening bourgeoisie. It was a sweet finish after the bitter pills of floggings and bullets with which these same governments, 480/590
just at that time, dosed the German working-class risings. While this "True" Socialism thus served the governments as a 481/590
weapon for fighting the German bourgeoisie, it, at the same time, directly represented a reactionary interest, the interest 482/590
of the German Philistines. In Germany the petty-bourgeois class, a relic of the sixteenth century, and since then constantly 483/590
cropping up again under various forms, is the real social basis of the existing state of things. To preserve this class 484/590
is to preserve the existing state of things in Germany. The industrial and political supremacy of the bourgeoisie threatens 485/590
it with certain destruction; on the one hand, from the concentration of capital; on the other, from the rise of a revolutionary 486/590
proletariat. "True" Socialism appeared to kill these two birds with one stone. It spread like an epidemic. The robe of 487/590
speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment, this transcendental robe 488/590
in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry "eternal truths," all skin and bone, served to wonderfully increase the 489/590
sale of their goods amongst such a public. And on its part, German Socialism recognised, more and more, its own calling 490/590
as the bombastic representative of the petty-bourgeois Philistine. It proclaimed the German nation to be the model nation, 491/590
and the German petty Philistine to be the typical man. To every villainous meanness of this model man it gave a hidden, 492/590
higher, Socialistic interpretation, the exact contrary of its real character. It went to the extreme length of directly 493/590
opposing the "brutally destructive" tendency of Communism, and of proclaiming its supreme and impartial contempt of all 494/590
class struggles. With very few exceptions, all the so-called Socialist and Communist publications that now (1847) circulate 495/590
in Germany belong to the domain of this foul and enervating literature. 2. CONSERVATIVE, OR BOURGEOIS, SOCIALISM A part 496/590
of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances, in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois 497/590
society. To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, 498/590
organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner 499/590
reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of Socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems. We may 500/590
cite Proudhon's Philosophie de la Misere as an example of this form. The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages 501/590
of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. They desire the existing 502/590
state of society minus its revolutionary and disintegrating elements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. 503/590
The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois Socialism develops this 504/590
comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system, 505/590
and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem, it but requires in reality, that the proletariat should 506/590
remain within the bounds of existing society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie. A 507/590
second and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement 508/590
in the eyes of the working class, by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions 509/590
of existence, in economic relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence, 510/590
this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition 511/590
that can be effected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; 512/590
reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labour, but, at the best, lessen the cost, 513/590
and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government. Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression, when, and 514/590
only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech. Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for 515/590
the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only 516/590
seriously meant word of bourgeois Socialism. It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois--for the benefit 517/590
of the working class. 3. CRITICAL-UTOPIAN SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM We do not here refer to that literature which, in 518/590
every great modern revolution, has always given voice to the demands of the proletariat, such as the writings of Babeuf 519/590
and others. The first direct attempts of the proletariat to attain its own ends, made in times of universal excitement, 520/590
when feudal society was being overthrown, these attempts necessarily failed, owing to the then undeveloped state of the 521/590
proletariat, as well as to the absence of the economic conditions for its emancipation, conditions that had yet to be produced, 522/590
and could be produced by the impending bourgeois epoch alone. The revolutionary literature that accompanied these first 523/590
movements of the proletariat had necessarily a reactionary character. It inculcated universal asceticism and social levelling 524/590
in its crudest form. The Socialist and Communist systems properly so called, those of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Owen and others, 525/590
spring into existence in the early undeveloped period, described above, of the struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie 526/590
(see Section 1. Bourgeois and Proletarians). The founders of these systems see, indeed, the class antagonisms, as well 527/590
as the action of the decomposing elements, in the prevailing form of society. But the proletariat, as yet in its infancy, 528/590
offers to them the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or any independent political movement. Since 529/590
the development of class antagonism keeps even pace with the development of industry, the economic situation, as they find 530/590
it, does not as yet offer to them the material conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. They therefore search 531/590
after a new social science, after new social laws, that are to create these conditions. Historical action is to yield to 532/590
their personal inventive action, historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones, and the gradual, spontaneous 533/590
class-organisation of the proletariat to the organisation of society specially contrived by these inventors. Future history 534/590
resolves itself, in their eyes, into the propaganda and the practical carrying out of their social plans. In the formation 535/590
of their plans they are conscious of caring chiefly for the interests of the working class, as being the most suffering 536/590
class. Only from the point of view of being the most suffering class does the proletariat exist for them. The undeveloped 537/590
state of the class struggle, as well as their own surroundings, causes Socialists of this kind to consider themselves far 538/590
superior to all class antagonisms. They want to improve the condition of every member of society, even that of the most 539/590
favoured. Hence, they habitually appeal to society at large, without distinction of class; nay, by preference, to the 540/590
ruling class. For how can people, when once they understand their system, fail to see in it the best possible plan of the 541/590
best possible state of society? Hence, they reject all political, and especially all revolutionary, action; they wish to 542/590
attain their ends by peaceful means, and endeavour, by small experiments, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the force 543/590
of example, to pave the way for the new social Gospel. Such fantastic pictures of future society, painted at a time when 544/590
the proletariat is still in a very undeveloped state and has but a fantastic conception of its own position correspond with 545/590
the first instinctive yearnings of that class for a general reconstruction of society. But these Socialist and Communist 546/590
publications contain also a critical element. They attack every principle of existing society. Hence they are full of the 547/590
most valuable materials for the enlightenment of the working class. The practical measures proposed in them--such as the 548/590
abolition of the distinction between town and country, of the family, of the carrying on of industries for the account of 549/590
private individuals, and of the wage system, the proclamation of social harmony, the conversion of the functions of the 550/590
State into a mere superintendence of production, all these proposals, point solely to the disappearance of class antagonisms 551/590
which were, at that time, only just cropping up, and which, in these publications, are recognised in their earliest, indistinct 552/590
and undefined forms only. These proposals, therefore, are of a purely Utopian character. The significance of Critical-Utopian 553/590
Socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation to historical development. In proportion as the modern class struggle 554/590
develops and takes definite shape, this fantastic standing apart from the contest, these fantastic attacks on it, lose all 555/590
practical value and all theoretical justification. Therefore, although the originators of these systems were, in many respects, 556/590
revolutionary, their disciples have, in every case, formed mere reactionary sects. They hold fast by the original views 557/590
of their masters, in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. They, therefore, endeavour, 558/590
and that consistently, to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile the class antagonisms. They still dream of experimental 559/590
realisation of their social Utopias, of founding isolated "phalansteres," of establishing "Home Colonies," of setting up 560/590
a "Little Icaria"--duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem--and to realise all these castles in the air, they are compelled 561/590
to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois. By degrees they sink into the category of the reactionary conservative 562/590
Socialists depicted above, differing from these only by more systematic pedantry, and by their fanatical and superstitious 563/590
belief in the miraculous effects of their social science. They, therefore, violently oppose all political action on the 564/590
part of the working class; such action, according to them, can only result from blind unbelief in the new Gospel. The Owenites 565/590
in England, and the Fourierists in France, respectively, oppose the Chartists and the Reformistes. IV. POSITION OF THE 566/590
COMMUNISTS IN RELATION TO THE VARIOUS EXISTING OPPOSITION PARTIES Section II has made clear the relations of the Communists 567/590
to the existing working-class parties, such as the Chartists in England and the Agrarian Reformers in America. The Communists 568/590
fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but 569/590
in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement. In France the Communists 570/590
ally themselves with the Social-Democrats, against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie, reserving, however, the right 571/590
to take up a critical position in regard to phrases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution. 572/590
In Switzerland they support the Radicals, without losing sight of the fact that this party consists of antagonistic elements, 573/590
partly of Democratic Socialists, in the French sense, partly of radical bourgeois. In Poland they support the party that 574/590
insists on an agrarian revolution as the prime condition for national emancipation, that party which fomented the insurrection 575/590
of Cracow in 1846. In Germany they fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way, against the absolute 576/590
monarchy, the feudal squirearchy, and the petty bourgeoisie. But they never cease, for a single instant, to instil into 577/590
the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, in order 578/590
that the German workers may straightaway use, as so many weapons against the bourgeoisie, the social and political conditions 579/590
that the bourgeoisie must necessarily introduce along with its supremacy, and in order that, after the fall of the reactionary 580/590
classes in Germany, the fight against the bourgeoisie itself may immediately begin. The Communists turn their attention 581/590
chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more 582/590
advanced conditions of European civilisation, and with a much more developed proletariat, than that of England was in the 583/590
seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude 584/590
to an immediately following proletarian revolution. In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement 585/590
against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front, as the leading 586/590
question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labour everywhere 587/590
for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and 588/590
aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. 589/590
Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win
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