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Posted: September 4th, 2023

The Communist Manifesto by Karl marx

TOPIC: Answer from the Communist Manifesto by Karl marx

SUBJECT: History

TYPE: Essay (any type)

DESCRIPTION:
Read the following extract from the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and write a three-page essay answering the following questions: 1. What do Marx and Engels mean by the “class struggle”? In what ways is the class struggle responsible for historical change? 2. In what ways do Marx and Engels view capitalism as a revolutionary economic and social system? In what ways is it global? 3. Why did Marx and Engels think that capitalism would produce its own “gravediggers”? Why did they think that capitalism is doomed? Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) were both born in modern-day Germany. As young men they joined the Communist League, a revolutionary organization led by German political exiles in France and England, and in 1848 they were commissioned to write its political program. Their collaboration produced the Communist Manifesto, arguably one of the most influential documents in history. In 1848 both men participated in the democratic revolution in Germany, and after it was defeated they went into exile in Britain where they lived for the rest of their lives. Marx went on to write Das Kapital, a fulllength study of the workings of capitalist society, and both men played an active role in organizing international collaboration between communists and other radical activists. For more background information, see The Earth and Its Peoples, pages 568-569; 696-698.

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels argue that the history of all societies is the history of class struggle. They define class as a group of people who share a common relationship to the means of production, such as land, factories, and tools. The ruling class, who control these means, exploit the working class, who do not own them, but must sell their labor in order to survive. The class struggle arises from this fundamental economic inequality, and Marx and Engels believe that it is the driving force behind historical change.

Marx and Engels argue that the class struggle has taken different forms throughout history, from slavery to feudalism to capitalism. Each mode of production has its own ruling class and exploited class, and each has been overturned by a revolution of the exploited class. The rise of capitalism, however, is unique in that it is a global system that has created a world market and a global division of labor. Capitalism has created a new class of wage laborers, who are more numerous than any previous exploited class, and who are concentrated in the industrial centers of Europe and America.

Marx and Engels view capitalism as a revolutionary economic and social system because it has transformed the world more rapidly and more completely than any previous mode of production. Capitalism has created new technologies, new forms of communication, and new social relations. It has destroyed old forms of social organization, such as feudalism, and created new ones, such as the modern nation-state. Marx and Engels also argue that capitalism has a dynamic and self-destructive character. It is constantly revolutionizing the means of production, creating new forms of wealth, and expanding the global market. At the same time, it is undermining the social relations that sustain it, creating crises of overproduction and unemployment, and exacerbating the contradictions between the ruling class and the working class.

Marx and Engels argue that capitalism will produce its own “gravediggers” in the form of the working class. The working class is unique in that it is the only class that has nothing to lose but its chains. It is the most exploited and oppressed class in capitalist society, and it has the potential to overthrow the ruling class and establish a new society based on socialist principles. Marx and Engels believe that this revolution is inevitable because capitalism is a self-destructive system that cannot be reformed. The ruling class will never voluntarily give up its power, and so the working class must take it by force.

In conclusion, Marx and Engels view history as a product of the class struggle, which is responsible for historical change. They see capitalism as a revolutionary economic and social system that has transformed the world, but which is also doomed by its own internal contradictions. They believe that the working class is the only class that has the potential to overthrow capitalism and establish a socialist society. The Communist Manifesto remains a powerful critique of capitalism and a call to action for those who seek to create a more just and equal world.

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