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Chapter

Meridian week 7 notes


Department
History
Course Code
HISB31H3
Professor
Neville Panthaki

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1. How English Industrial Workers Lived by Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels, the son of a textile manufacturer, was born in the Rhineland town of Barmen in 1820 and was sent by his father to study
business methods in England, his radical sympathies were strengthened by observing the conditions created by early industrial capitalism
returning home, he then met the political émigré Karl Marx in Paris, and they collaborated in writing The Holy Family (1844), followed
by The Communist Manifesto in 1848
after taking part in 1848 revolution, both became exiles in England, where Engels worked in Manchester and supported Marx financially
in 1870 he joined Marx in London, assisting him in research and organization of the international socialist movement
after Marx’s death in 1883, Engels prepared the final volumes of Das Kapital for publication
his own works included The Peasant War in Germany (1850), Socialism, Utopian and Scientific (1880), The Origin of the Family (1884)
Engels died in 1895
The Condition of the Working Class in England, a fierce indictment of everyday life of the new industrial towns was published in
Germany in 1845, although not until 1886 in the US and 1892 in England
based on personal observation and wide reading, it combines moral outrage and analytical power
within the squalor and degradation, Engels sees the formation of a class that will eventually overturn the existing social order
when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is
quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under
conditions in which they cannot live—forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues
which is the inevitable consequence—knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its
deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual
that a class which lives under the conditions already sketched and is so ill-provided with the most necessary means of subsistence, cannot
be healthy and can reach no advanced age, is self-evident
atmosphere of British cities is so poor because 2 ½ million pairs of lungs, 250 000 fires, crowd upon an area 3 to 4 miles square, consume
an enormous amount of oxygen, which is replaced with difficulty, because the method of building cities impedes ventilation
carbonic acid gas, engendered by respiration and fire, remains in streets by reason of its specific gravity, and chief air current passes over
roofs of city; inhabitants’ lungs fail to receive due supply of oxygen, and consequence is mental and physical fatigue and low vitality
for this reason, the dwellers in cities are far less exposed to sudden, and especially to inflammatory, ailments than rural populations, who
live in a free, normal atmosphere; but they suffer from more chronic ailments
manner in which great multitude of poor is treated by society today is revolting—they are drawn into large cities where they breathe
poorer atmosphere than in country; they are relegated to districts which, by reason of method of construction, are worse ventilated than
any others; they are deprived of all means of cleanliness, of water itself, since pipes are laid only when paid for, and rivers so polluted
that they are useless for such purposes; they are obligated to throw all offal and garbage, all dirty water, often all disgusting drainage and
excrement into streets, being without other means of disposing of them; they are thus compelled to infect region of their own dwellings
that dwellings of workers in worst portions of cities, together with other conditions of life in this class, engender numerous diseases, is
attested on all sides; diseases include lung diseases, consumption, typhus, fever
another category of diseases arises directly from the food rather than the dwellings of the workers, such as scrofula and rickets
besides these, there are other influences which enfeeble the health of a great number of workers, intemperance most of all
all possible temptations, all allurements combine to bring workers to drunkenness—liquor is only source of pleasure, and all things
conspire to make it accessible to them; drunkenness has here ceased to be a vice, for which vicious can be held responsible; it becomes
phenomenon, necessary, inevitable effect of certain conditions upon object possessed of no volition in relation to those conditions
all the tendencies to disease arising from the conditions of life of the workers are promoted by it, it stimulates the highest degree the
development of lung and digestive troubles, the rise and spread of typhus epidemics
another source of physical mischief to the working class lies in the impossibility of employing skilled physicians in cases of illness
in view of all this, it is not surprising that the working class has gradually become a race wholly apart from the English bourgeoisie
bourgeoisie have more in common with every nation than with workers in whose midst it lives—workers speak other dialect, have other
thoughts and ideals, other customs and moral principles, different religion and other politics than those of bourgeoisie
favourable side of workers—more approachable, friendlier, and less greedy for money, though they need it far more than the property-
holding class; much less prejudiced, has a clearer eye for facts, and does not look at everything through spectacles of personal selfishness;
faulty education saves him from religious prepossessions, he does not understand religious questions, does not trouble himself about
them, knows nothing of the fanaticism that holds the bourgeoisie bound; practically he lives for this world, and strives to make himself at
home in it; his want of religious and other culture contributes to keep the working man more unconstrained, freer from inherited stable
tenets and cut-and-dried opinions, than the bourgeois who is saturated with the class prejudices poured into him from his earliest youth
unfavourable side of workers—drunkenness, sexual irregularities, brutality, and disregard for the rights of property
social war is under full headway, every one stands for himself, and fights for himself against all comers, and whether or not he shall
injure all the others who are his declared foes, depends upon cynical calculation as to what is most advantageous for himself; it no longer
occurs to any one to come to peaceful understanding with his fellow-men; all differences are settled by threats, violence, or in law-court
in short, everyone sees in his neighbour an enemy to be got out of the war, or, at best, a tool to be used for his own advantage and this war
grows from year to year, more violent, passionate, irreconcilable
2. All That is Solid Melts Into Air by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Karl Marx was born in 1818 to a German-Jewish family converted to Christianity
he studied in Bonn and Berlin, where he was influenced by writings of Hegel and became a radical democratic critic of the Prussian state
as a political exile in Paris he began to develop his materialist conceptions of history, relating society to its economic foundations and
mode of production; he took part in the German revolutions of 1848 – 1849 then fled to London, where he played a leading role in the
International Working Men’s Association later dying in 1883 (funeral attended by 11 people)
first volume of his master work, Das Kapital, appeared in 1867
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Marx also wrote The German Ideology (1845 – 1846), The Poverty of Philosophy (1842), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
(1852), Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (1857 – 1858), and The Civil War in France (1870 – 1871)
first published in 1848, the year of European revolutions, and little read at the time, The Communist Manifesto became a foundation of
20th century Communist movements; it has been hailed more recently as a prophetic account of globalization
Marx and Engels argued that capitalism was digging its own grave by creating a proletariat that would eventually unseat the bourgeoisie
from power; they offer a famous account of capitalism itself as a revolutionary system that swept away old social and religious ties
the spectre of communism is haunting Europe—all the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre:
Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police spies
two things result from this fact: (1) communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself a Power; (2) it is high time
that communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet the nursery tale
of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself
history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles
oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight
that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes
in the earlier epochs of history, it is found almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold
gradation of social rank—in ancient Rome, and in the Middle Ages
modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms; it has but
established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in places of the old ones
society as a whole is splitting up into 2 great hostile camps, into 2 great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat
modern bourgeoisie is itself product of long course of development, of series of revolutions in modes of production and of exchange
each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class
the bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part—for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has
substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation
bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country
bourgeoisie, by rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all,
even the most barbarian, nations into civilization; it has subjected the country to the rule of the towns
modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, society that has conjured up such gigantic means
of production and of exchange, is like sorcerer, who is no longer able to control powers of nether world whom he has called up by spells
society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut
off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed because there is too much civilization, too
much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce
productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further development of conditions of bourgeois property; on contrary, they
have become too powerful for these fetters, they bring disorder into whole of bourgeois society, endanger existence of bourgeois property
weapons with which the bourgeois fuelled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself
but not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield
those weapons—the modern working class—the proletarians
bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding
law; it is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him
sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him
essential condition for the existence, and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition
for capital is wage labour, which rests exclusively on competition between labourers
development of modern industry cuts from under its feet very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products
3. Europe: Its Conditions and Prospects by Giuseppe Mazzini
Italian nationalist leader Giuseppe Mazzini was born in 1805 in Genoa, the son of a doctor, whose patriotic awakening came in 1821
when, while he was walking with his mother, he was confronted by a man soliciting donations to aid exiles who had joined in a failed
uprising in Sardinia earlier that year
that episode, Mazzini later recalled, impressed on him that citizens could and therefore should fight for their nation—as a law student at
University of Genoa, Mazzini became an ardent nationalist, and began dressing habitually in black in symbolic mourning for his nation
after graduating in 1827, Mazzini worked as a lawyer, mostly assisting poor clients, and wrote criticism for several literary journals with
patriotic leanings, also joining the Carbonari, a secret society that advocated Italian national independence and republicanism, and
became involved in increasingly dangerous political activity
he was arrested in Nov. 1830, and after spending several months in prison, in Jan. 1831 was forced into exile in France, where Mazzini
launched Young Italy, political organization calling for free, republican Italian state and seeking to unify numerous Italian secret societies
in 1833, Mazzini relocated to Geneva, where he plotted an invasion of Savoy, which ended abortively
after that, Mazzini focused on fostering a trans-European liberation movement, founding Young Europe in 1834
in 1837, Mazzini relocated to London, where he wrote pieces for numerous journals; became acquainted with John Stuart Mill and
Thomas Carlyle; attempted to revive Young Italy; and helped to establish a Free School for Workers in the city’s Italian section
in the midst of the revolutionary fervour of 1848 and 1849, Mazzini was able to return briefly to Italy
he saw temporary advances for his cause followed by reversals: in 1848, the Milanese temporarily drove out the Austrians, and in 1849 a
French army was forced to reinstall the Pope in Rome, which had been taken over by republican revolutionaries
returning to London, Mazzini was involved from afar in several more failed uprising attempts, which gained him the disapprobation of
more moderate nationalists led by Count Camillo Cavour
Mazzini was not involved directly in either the Piedmontese war against Austria in 1859 or in Garibaldi’s campaigns in southern Italy,
which led to the creation in 1861 of a new united Kingdom of Italy, exclusive of Venice and Rome
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