The basic thought running through the manifesto is that all history has been a history of class struggles between the exploited and exploiting, between dominated and dominating classes at different stages of social evolution. (Slavery, Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism). This struggle, however, is believed to have reached a stage where the exploited and oppressed class (the proletariat) can no longer liberate itself from the bourgeoisie. This thought belongs to Marx and Marx only as we've learned.
Communism is haunting Europe. Two things result from this:
Communism is already declared by all European powers to be itself a power.
It is time that Communists openly, publish their views, their aims, and their tendencies.
This manifesto was sketched by communists of various nationalities that assembled in London, and published it in English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish.
Bourgeois and Proletarians
The oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another. Each time this fight ended either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
Now, class oppositions are simplified. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great aggressive (hostile) camps, into two great classes directly facing each other- the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
The first elements of the bourgeoisie developed during the middle ages. The discovery of America then opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie.
The modern bourgeoisie is itself the outcome of a long course development of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and exchange.
Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance in that class. "It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor (passion), of chivalrous (medieval knightly system) enthusiasm, of philistine (person who is hostile) sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation." So it also reduced the family relation into a mere money relation.
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must settle everywhere, make connections everywhere. In place of the old wants, we find new wants; therefore a universal inter...
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...eases in number, it becomes concentrated in greater masses, therefore the workers begin to form "trade unions", they club together to keep up the rate of wages. Here and there the contest breaks into riots/chaos. (Revolt)
The real fruit of their battles is not in the immediate result, but in the expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication. Still, every class struggle is considered a political struggle.
The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense/huge majority. The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up without the whole strata of official society being sprung into the air.
The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.
Up to now, in every society we have seen the oppressing and he oppressed classes. The essential conditions for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeoisie class are the formation and expansion of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labor. Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers.
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