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Lecture 8

SOCB42H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Bourgeoisie, Capital Accumulation, Class Consciousness

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Dan Silver

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SOCB42 Lecture 8
Communist manifesto
As literature
History as class struggle
- bourgeoisie
- proletariat
Commodities are supernatural things:
-Management classes changes your views. Don’t enjoy music, but how to sell it and
make money
Communist Manifesto:
-It’s a piece of propaganda way of getting people to get around universal goals
-Only Marx and Engls believed in communism; can be seen as a prophetic text (sounds
like the Old Testament).
According to prof, it’s made up of three parts:
1) An ode to the bourgeoisie
-First capitalists to push human processes: massive cities, railways
-The book opens up stating that the person to be defeated is actually a hero
2) The tragedy of the bourgeoisie
-By doing good, you end up destroying yourself; digging your own grave
-In the C Manifesto, the Bourgeoisie (good capitalists), they created capitalism and private
property. They produced the most wealth ever before. In doing this, they created the
Proletariat Class. The same people who brought them down.
3) The proletarian (wage labourers) comedy: Communism
-Comedies always end with resolution and harmony; not funny.
-Go through an inferno of capitalism but we will go to the other side: people will work to
their abilities, we will be compensated to our fullest needs.
Communist ‘dream’: hunt, fish, read poetry and philosophy
History as Class Struggle
Page 473 – history of all previously …
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Society defined by property: who has property, how it is distributed, what it means to possess
property. This gives us different classes, competing groups.
Proletarian vs Bourgeoisie is the purest form of conflict. This si the first part of the book
Communist Manifesto
To get inside the modern class form: who are the proletariat? The bourgeoisie?
They are the modern day commercial class
1) Feudal origins
-Existing feudal system could not keep up with demands (DOL, new technology, etc)
-Could not keep up with the expanding market
-Page 474 - the discovery of America … : early commercial societies gave impulse
-Breakaway from feudal society
2) Political power that was slowly achieved
-Page 475 – process where the state becomes remade. Each step in the creation of the
bourgeoisie …. The executive of the
-State is an econ development machine not a supporter of just a few aristocrat families
3) Revolutionary quality/character
-Destroyed old aristocrat hierarchy (birth rights, patriarchal society)
-Restored religion and self
-Exposed the church as a human institution, exposed that personal value = exchange
value. We are only as much as we can produce/exchange
-Families became business transactions: marriages, children, senior homes for elderly
-Innovation drives this class. Nothing is stable in capitalist societies. Not only invent
things, but to reinvent oneself.
-Marx thought this was good but potentially unstable. (page 475/476)
4) Cosmopolitan character/link to globalization
-Linked to revolutionary character
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