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20 Apr 2012
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Marx states that history " the history of class struggles" (9).
Marx views history as being determined by economics, which for him is the
source of class differences. History is described in The Communist Manifesto
as a series of conflicts between oppressing classes and oppressed classes.
According to this view of history, massive changes occur in a society when new
technological capabilities allow a portion of the oppressed class to destroy
the power of the oppressing class. Marx briefly traces the development of this
through different periods, mentioning some of the various oppressed and
oppressing classes, but points out that in earlier societies there were many
gradations of social classes. He also states that this class conflict
sometimes leads to "...the common ruin of the contending classes" (Marx 9).
Marx sees the modern age as being distinguished from earlier periods by
the simplification and intensification of the class conflict. He states that
"Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile
camps... bourgeoisie and proletariat" (Marx 9). The bourgeoisie, as the
dominant class of capitalists, subjugates the proletariat by using it as an
object for the expansion of capital. As capitalism progresses, this
subjugation reduces a larger portion of the population to the proletariat and
society becomes more polarized.
According to Marx, the polarization of society and the intense
oppression of the proletariat will eventually lead to a revolution by the
proletariat, in which...
Marx describes the problem in great detail in the first chapter. He feels there
is a problem between the bourgeoisie and the proletarians. The bourgeoisie were
the oppressed class before the French Revolution and he argues that they are now
the oppressors. The proletarians are the new working class, which works in the
large factory and industries. He says that through mass industry they have sacri
ficed everything from the old way of religion, employment, to a man's self worth
and replaced it with monetary value. He is mad that the people of ole that use
to be upper class such as skills man, trades people, & shopkeepers, are now slip
ping into the proletarians or working class. He talks of the bourgeoisie getting
to be so greedy that they are forced to nest all over the world to hock their g
oods. This is talking about the new import and export system that has formed. He
says the working class has to deal with the flux of the market and is disposed
of more easily than the machines used in the market. He says that they actually
become part of the machine while working. Doing the simplest and most monotonous
part of the job. In this new system Marx says "as repulsiveness of work increas
es, the wage of work decreases". He also prophesizes that machines will become s
o advanced that the wages for man will become one extremely low rate. He says th
e proletarians live a life of exploitation. By being exploited at work in the wa
ys stated above to the landlord to the shopkeeper to the pawnbroker.
Marx says it would be in the best interests of the proletarians to join with the
communists. He begins trying to use a sort of a reverse psychology, by saying t
he communists do not write their principles specifically for the proletarians. R
ather, just by chance, the communist vision is perfect for the proletarians to u
se. He said the problem of all other societies before this time have been a batt
The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx explains the history of all societi
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