At the first glance, Manifesto seems to be merely a description of social and economic processes in Europe. Claiming that “all history has been a history of class struggles”, Manifesto argues that in the modern society there exist two main classes: bourgeoisie and proletariat, and as bourgeoisie owns of the means of production, it exploits proletariat by getting surplus value from wage-labour of proletarians:
“[t]he essential conditions 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. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.”
However, though Manifesto seems to be just a description of the state of affairs, it 's not – it is filled with value judgements and metaphors (like that of grave-diggers in the quoted above paragraph). This illusion of certain objectivity may possibly result from the fact that initially Marx and Engels wanted to present their ideas in the form of catechism, which, according to the editorial introduction to Ma...
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...ess, as in the case of the rich lady, ill from boredom. But, he tells, in a society established on the principles of “true Liberty, real Equality, ungrudging Fraternity”, in this society everybody will be able to enjoy “the fruits of their labor, the complete development of all their faculties; a rational, human and happy life!”
To conclude, I would suggest that Kropotkin 's account, because of his rich concrete examples, is a more persuasive account of the illnesses of capitalist world. Still, I think that Manifesto and Kropotkin 's pamphlet are complementary and each text wins when read in the combination: Manifesto provides a macro-account and a theoretical scheme of how capitalism came to being and how it will disappear and Kropotkin fills this skeleton with details and convincingly argues that the struggle for a better world is a struggle for everybody to join.
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