Western Civ The Communist Manifesto Pa

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Preston Mitchell
Western Civilization 1020
March 6, 2013
The Communist Manifesto: Distinguishing Classes
The introduction of The Communist Manifesto, by Marx, starts off with the popular quote "A spectre is haunting Europe-the spectre of Communism."(p.xxvi) Marx tries to make a clear understanding of what Communism is and how people would go about creating Communism. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be a power and it is time that all Communists should openly publish their views, aims, and tendencies. The organization Marx was in, the Second Congress of the Communist League, wanted him to write this manifesto so that it could be spread around promoting Communism.

Marx then goes into the first part of the body of his manifesto entitled "Bourgeois and Proletarians." In this part, he goes into how society started communal but then became more unequal as time went on. Systems such as Feudalism, Mercantilism, and Capitalism benefited from the use of exploitation. He first introduces the idea that economic concerns of a nation drive history, and that the struggle between the rich bourgeoisie and the hard working proletariat would eventually lead to Communism. He goes on and on about how the bourgeois have always got what they wanted. Marx reflected more on the negatives committed by the bourgeois than the positives. He states the bourgeoisie "has agglomerated population, centralized means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands." (Marx, p.8) He then describes the proletarians, or the labor class, and how they were formed, how they have suffered, and how they must overcome their struggles. Marx declares that this “dangerous class,” the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution." (Marx, p.15) This began an inevitable revolution where the proletariats take over and dethrone the bourgeoisie.

The second section entitled "Proletarians and Communists" distinguishes what relation the Communists stand to the Proletarians. Marx first goes into detail about what Communists believe in, showing similarities between the two, and recommending that Communism be the best choice compared to the other forms of socialism. This is implied when Marx states "The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat." (Marx, p.20) He tries to give concrete details of what Communism is, however there is still a lot of condemning on the bourgeoisie. Although he goes on and on about capital, bourgeois and communism, he never really states any concrete ideas on how communists would run the economy.

"Socialist and Communist Literature" is the third section divided into many smaller sections. Reactionary Socialism has a) feudal socialism, b) petty bourgeois socialism, and c) German, or "True" Socialism as subsections. Marx goes into great detail trying to explain very briefly what each of these earlier, popular theories of socialism are all about, as well as his opinion on each of them. He states "Since the development of class antagonism keeps even pace with the development of industry, the economic situation, as they find it, does not as yet offer to them the material conditions, for the emancipation of the proletariat..." (Marx, p.40) Once again, Marx does not offer any differing economic theories from these other Socialist ideologies.

Finally, Marx's last section of The Communist Manifesto is entitled "Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties" where he goes on giving the view of the Second Congress of the Communist League for which he was asked to write the manifesto for. He restates that "the Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the...
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