Presidential Papers Confidential To Be Shredded
We recently got our hands on Presidential papers that were set to be shredded but somehow escaped the shredder. We are calling this the spoof scandal. You won't believe what these papers contain.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Presidential Papers Confidential To Be Shredded
MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY[From the English edition of 1888, edited by Friedrich Engels]A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism.All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance toexorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot,French Radicals and German police-spies.Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponentsin power? Where is the Opposition that has not hurledback the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties,as well as against its reactionary adversaries?Two things result from this fact.I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself a Power.II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publishtheir views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet thisnursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London, and sketchedthe following Manifesto, to be published in the English,French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.I. BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANSThe history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in aword, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on anuninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in arevolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contendingclasses. In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicatedarrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of socialrank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages,feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of theseclasses, again, subordinate gradations.The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has notdone away with class antagonisms. It has but establishednew classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it hassimplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into twogreat hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie andProletariat.From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. Fromthese burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisiewere developed.
The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the risingbourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade withthe colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave tocommerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to therevolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapiddevelopment.The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production was monopolised byclosed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. Themanufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by themanufacturing middle class; division of labour between the different corporate guildsvanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop.Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacture nolonger sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. Theplace of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, the place of the industrialmiddle class, by industrial millionaires, the leaders of whole industrial armies, the modernbourgeois.Modern industry has established the world-market, for which the discovery of Americapaved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation,to communication by land. This development has, in its time, reacted on the extension ofindustry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in thesame proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, andpushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course ofdevelopment, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a correspondingpolitical advance of that class. An oppressed class underthe sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the mediaevalcommune; here independent urban republic (as in Italyand Germany), there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in theperiod of manufacture proper, serving either the semifeudalor the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, corner-stone ofthe great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment ofModern Industry and of the world-market, conquered for itself, in the modern representativeState, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern State is but a committee formanaging the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal,patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder themotley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors," and has left remaining no othernexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment." It hasdrowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, ofphilistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personalworth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless and indefeasiblechartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In oneword, for exploitation, veiled by religious and politicalillusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up
to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the manof science, into its paid wage labourers.The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced thefamily relation to a mere money relation. The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to passthat the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much admire,found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to showwhat mans activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptianpyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put inthe shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments ofproduction, and thereby the relations of production, and with themthe whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unalteredform, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes.Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions,everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones.All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudicesand opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they canossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at lastcompelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with hiskind.The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie overthe whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establishconnexions everywhere.The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitancharacter to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin ofReactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which itstood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily beingdestroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life anddeath question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous rawmaterial, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products areconsumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants,satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for theirsatisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and nationalseclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also inintellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become commonproperty. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindednessbecome more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures,there arises a world literature.The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by theimmensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nationsinto civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which itbatters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians intensely obstinate hatredof foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt thebourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation intotheir midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after itsown image.
The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has createdenormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, andhas thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as ithas made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbariancountries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nationsof bourgeois, the East on the West.The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of thepopulation, of the means of production, and of property. It hasagglomerated production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessaryconsequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connectedprovinces, with separate interests, laws, governments and systems of taxation, becamelumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier and one customs-tariff. The bourgeoisie, during its ruleof scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forcesthan have all preceding generations together.Subjection of Natures forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry andagriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents forcultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—whatearlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap ofsocial labour?We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation thebourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At acertain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, theconditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation ofagriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of propertybecame no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became somany fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitutionadapted to it, and by the economical and political sway of the bourgeois class.A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society with itsrelations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up suchgigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able tocontrol the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many adecade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt ofmodern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the propertyrelations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It isenough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on its trial, eachtime more threateningly, the existence of the entire bourgeois society. In these crises a greatpart not only of the existing products, but also of the previously createdproductive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemicthat, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity—the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; itappears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every meansof subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why?Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry,too much commerce.The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development
of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become toopowerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcomethese fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger theexistence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow tocomprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises?On the one hand inforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on theother, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the oldones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, andby diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turnedagainst the bourgeoisie itself. But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons thatbring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield thoseweapons—the modern working class—the proletarians.In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is theproletariat, the modern working class, developed—a class of labourers, who live only so longas they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. Theselabourers, who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity, like every other article ofcommerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all thefluctuations of the market.Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour, the work of theproletarians has lost all individual character, and consequently, all charm for the workman.He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, mostmonotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost ofproduction of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that herequires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of acommodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost ofproduction. In proportiontherefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, inproportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in the same proportionthe burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours,by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery, etc.Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the greatfactory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, areorganised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under thecommand of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants.Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are dailyand hourly enslaved by the machine, by the over-looker, and, above all, by the individualbourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to beits end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, themore modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded bythat of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity forthe working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according totheir age and sex.No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that hereceives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, thelandlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.
The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, retiredtradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into theproletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on whichModern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists,partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by the new methods ofproduction. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins itsstruggle with the bourgeoisie. At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers, thenby the workpeople of a factory, then by the operatives of one trade, in one locality, againstthe individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against thebourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of productionthemselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash topieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished statusof the workman of the Middle Ages.At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country,and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compactbodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of thebourgeoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set thewhole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At thisstage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of theirenemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois,the petty bourgeoisie. Thus the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands ofthe bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie.But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number; itbecomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more.The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more andmore equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearlyeverywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competitionamong the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workersever more fluctuating. The unceasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidlydeveloping, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions betweenindividual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisionsbetween two classes.Thereupon the workers begin to form combinations(Trades Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate ofwages; they found permanent associations in order tomake provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there the contest breaksout into riots.Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battleslies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expandingunion of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication thatare created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contactwith one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous localstruggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But everyclass struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of theMiddle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarians,thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.
This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party, iscontinually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But itever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particularinterests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself.Thus the ten-hours bill in England was carried.Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further, in many ways, thecourse of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constantbattle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself,whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all times, with thebourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles it sees itself compelled toappeal to the proletariat, to ask for its help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. Thebourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own instruments of political andgeneral education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting thebourgeoisie.Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling classes are, by the advanceof industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least threatened in their conditions ofexistence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment andprogress.Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolutiongoing on within the ruling class, in fact within the whole nrange of society, assumes such aviolent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joinsthe revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at anearlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now aportion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of thebourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehendingtheoretically the historical movement as a whole.Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone isa really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face ofModern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product. The lower middle class,the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against thebourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. Theyare therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they tryto roll back the wheel of history. If by chance they are revolutionary, they are so only in viewof their impending transfer into the proletariat, they thus defend not their present, but theirfuture interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of theproletariat.The "dangerous class," the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by thelowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by aproletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of abribed tool of reactionary intrigue. In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society atlarge are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to hiswife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family-relations;modern industrial labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, inAmerica as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality,religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just asmany bourgeois interests.
All the preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought to fortify their already acquiredstatus by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarianscannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their ownprevious mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode ofappropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission isto destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property.All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interests ofminorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of theimmense majority, in the interests of the immense majority. The proletariat, the loweststratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the wholesuperincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air.Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie isat first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settlematters with its own bourgeoisie. In depicting the most general phases of the developmentof the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society,up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violentoverthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.Hitherto, every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonismof oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditionsmust be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence.The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just asthe petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to develop intoa bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the progress ofindustry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. Hebecomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. Andhere it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class insociety, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law.It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within hisslavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him,instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in otherwords, its existence is no longer compatible with society.The essential condition for the existence, and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is theformation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labourrests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whoseinvoluntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due tocompetition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. Thedevelopment of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation onwhich the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore,produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat areequally inevitable.II. PROLETARIANS AND COMMUNISTSIn what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties.They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the
proletarian movement.The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only:(1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point outand bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently ofall nationality.(2) In the various stagesof development which the struggle of the working classagainst the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere representthe interests of the movement as a whole.The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced andresolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushesforward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of theproletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and theultimate general results of the proletarian movement.The immediate aim of the Communist is the same as that of all the other proletarianparties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy,conquest of political power by the proletariat. The theoretical conclusions of theCommunists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, ordiscovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer. They merely express, in generalterms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historicalmovement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is notat all a distinctive feature of Communism.All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical changeconsequent upon the change in historical conditions.The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeoisproperty.The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but theabolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeoisprivate property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing andappropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the manyby the few.In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence:Abolition of private property. We Communists have been reproached with the desire ofabolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a mans own labour,which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity andindependence.Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of the pettyartisan and of the small peasant, a form of property thatpreceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industryhas to a great extent already destroyed it, and is stilldestroying it daily.Or do you mean modern bourgeois private property? But does wage-labour create any
property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property whichexploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a newsupply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is basedon the antagonism of capital and wage-labour. Let us examine both sides of thisantagonism.To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production.Capital is a collective product, and only by the unitedaction of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members ofsociety, can it be set in motion.Capital is, therefore, not a personal, it is a social power.When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of allmembers of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It isonly the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class-character.Let us now take wage-labour.The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means ofsubsistence, which is absolutely requisite in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore,the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong andreproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation ofthe products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproductionof human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. Allthat we want to do away with, is the miserable character of this appropriation, under whichthe labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so faras the interest of the ruling class requires it.In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. InCommunist society, accumulated labour is but a means towiden, to enrich, to promote theexistence of the labourer. In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; inCommunist society, the present dominates the past. In bourgeois society capitalis independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has noindividuality.And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individualityand freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeoisindividuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, freeselling and buying.But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talkabout free selling and buying, and all the other "brave words"of our bourgeoisie aboutfreedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with restricted selling andbuying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed tothe Communistic abolition of buying and selling, of the bourgeois conditions of production,and of the bourgeoisie itself.You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existingsociety, private property is already done away with for ninetenths of the population; itsexistence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. Youreproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessarycondition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense
majority of society.In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so;that is just what we intend. From the moment when labour can no longer be converted intocapital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., fromthe moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property,into capital, from that moment, you say individuality vanishes.You must, therefore, confess that by "individual" you mean no other person than thebourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept outof the way, and made impossible. Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriatethe products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate thelabour of others by means of such appropriation. It has been objected that upon theabolition of private property all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheeridleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquireanything, do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of thetautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating materialproducts, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic modes of producingand appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of classproperty is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is tohim identical with the disappearance of all culture.That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training toact as a machine.But dont wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeoisproperty, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your veryideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeoisproperty, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, awill, whose essential character and direction are determined by the economicalconditions of existence of your class.The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and ofreason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form ofproperty—historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production—thismisconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearlyin the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property,you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property.Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of theCommunists.On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, onprivate gain. In its completely developed form this familyexists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in thepractical absence of the family among the proletarians, and inpublic prostitution.The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, andboth will vanish with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop theexploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. But, you will say, wedestroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.
And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions underwhich you educate, by the intervention, direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools,etc.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do butseek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence ofthe ruling class.The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation ofparent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of ModernIndustry, all family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their childrentransformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the whole bourgeoisiein chorus.The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that theinstruments of production are to be exploited in common, and,naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all willlikewise fall to the women. He has not even a suspicion that the real point is to do away withthe status of women as mere instruments of production.For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois atthe community of women which, they pretend, is to beopenly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need tointroduce community of women; it has existed almost fromtime immemorial.Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians attheir disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducingeach others wives. Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus,at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with, isthat they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openlylegalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of thepresent system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of womenspringing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Sincethe proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading classof the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in thebourgeois sense of the word.National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing,owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world-market,to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto.The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of theleading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of theproletariat.In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, theexploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. Inproportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility ofone nation to another will come to an end.
The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical, and, generally,from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving ofserious examination.Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that mans ideas, views and conceptions, inone word, mans consciousness, changes with everychange in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his sociallife?What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes itscharacter in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each agehave ever been the ideas of its ruling class. When people speak of ideas that revolutionisesociety, they do but express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new onehave been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with thedissolution of the old conditions of existence.When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome byChristianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18thcentury to rationalist ideas, feudalsociety fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religiousliberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competitionwithin the domain of knowledge."Undoubtedly," it will be said, "religious, moral, philosophical and juridical ideas have beenmodified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality philosophy, politicalscience, and law, constantly survived this change." "There are, besides, eternal truths, suchas Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolisheseternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on anew basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historicalexperience."What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted inthe development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms atdifferent epochs. But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all pastages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder,then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety itdisplays, moves within certain common forms, or generalideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of classantagonisms.The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations;no wonder that its development involves the most radicalrupture with traditional ideas.But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism.We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise theproletariat to the position of ruling as to win the battle ofdemocracy.The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from thebourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of theproletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces asrapidly as possible.
Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroadson the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means ofmeasures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in thecourse of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old socialorder, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionisingthe mode of production.These measures will of course be different in different countries.Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generallyapplicable.1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with Statecapital and an exclusive monopoly.6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringinginto cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of thesoil generally in accordance with a common plan.8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially foragriculture.9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of thedistinction between town and country, by a more equabledistribution of the population over the country.10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of childrens factory labour inits present form. Combination of education withindustrial production, &c., &c.When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and allproduction has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, thepublic power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely theorganised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contestwith the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organiseitself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such,sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with theseconditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and ofclasses generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall havean association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the freedevelopment of all.III. SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST LITERATURE1. REACTIONARY SOCIALISMA. Feudal Socialism Owing to their historical position, it became the vocation of thearistocracies of France and England to write pamphlets against modern bourgeoissociety. In the French revolution of July 1830, and in the English reform agitation, these
aristocracies again succumbed to the hateful upstart.Thenceforth, a serious political contest was altogether out of the question. A literary battlealone remained possible. But even in the domain of literature the old cries of the restorationperiod had become impossible. In order to arouse sympathy, the aristocracy were obliged tolose sight, apparently, of their own interests, and to formulate their indictment againstthe bourgeoisie in the interest of the exploited working class alone. Thus the aristocracytook their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master, and whispering in his earssinister prophecies of coming catastrophe.In this way arose Feudal Socialism: half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past,half menace of the future; at times, by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking thebourgeoisie to the very hearts core; but always ludicrous in its effect, through totalincapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.The aristocracy, in order to rally the people to them, waved the proletarian alms-bag infront for a banner. But the people, so often as it joined them,saw on their hindquarters the old feudal coats of arms, and deserted with loud andirreverent laughter.One section of the French Legitimists and "Young England" exhibited this spectacle.In pointing out that their mode of exploitation was different to that of the bourgeoisie, thefeudalists forget that they exploited under circumstances and conditions that were quitedifferent, and that are now antiquated. In showing that, under their rule, the modernproletariat never existed, they forget that the modern bourgeoisie is the necessary offspringof their own form of society.For the rest, so little do they conceal the reactionary character of their criticism that theirchief accusation against the bourgeoisie amounts to this,that under the bourgeois regime a class is being developed, which is destined to cut up rootand branch the old order of society.What they upbraid the bourgeoisie with is not so much that it creates a proletariat, as thatit creates a revolutionary proletariat. In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercivemeasures against the working class; and in ordinary life, despite their high falutin phrases,they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to bartertruth, love, and honour for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits.As the parson has ever gone hand in hand with the landlord, so has Clerical Socialism withFeudal Socialism. Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Hasnot Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage,against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy andmortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but theholy, water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.B. Petty-Bourgeois Socialism The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that was ruined bythe bourgeoisie, not the only class whose conditions of existence pined andperished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society.The mediaeval burgesses and the small peasant proprietors were the precursors of themodern bourgeoisie. In those countries which are but little developed, industrially andcommercially, these two classes still vegetate side by side with the rising bourgeoisie.
In countries where modern civilisation has become fully developed, a new class of pettybourgeois has been formed, fluctuating between proletariat and bourgeoisie and everrenewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. The individual members of thisclass, however, are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action ofcompetition, and, as modern industry develops, they even see the moment approachingwhen they will completely disappear as an independent section of modern society, to bereplaced, in manufactures, agriculture and commerce, by overlookers, bailiffs and shopmen.In countries like France, where the peasants constitute far more than half of the population,it was natural that writers who sided with the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, should use,in their criticism of the bourgeois regime, the standard of the peasant and petty bourgeois,and from the standpoint of these intermediate classes should take up the cudgels for theworking class. Thus arose petty-bourgeois Socialism.Sismondi was the head of this school, not only in France but also in England.This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditionsof modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved,incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; theconcentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed outthe inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, theanarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial warof extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old familyrelations, of the old nationalities.In its positive aims, however, this form of Socialism aspires either to restoring the oldmeans of production and of exchange, and with them the old property relations, and the oldsociety, or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange, within theframework of the old property relations that have been, and were bound to be, exploded bythose means. In either case, it is both reactionary and Utopian.Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture, patriarchal relations in agriculture.Ultimately, when stubborn historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception, this form of Socialism ended in a miserable fit ofthe blues.C. German, or "True," SocialismThe Socialist and Communist literature of France, a literature that originated under thepressure of a bourgeoisie in power, and that was the expression of the struggle against thispower, was introduced into Germany at a time when the bourgeoisie, in that country, hadjust begun its contest with feudal absolutism.German philosophers, would-be philosophers, and beaux esprits, eagerly seized on thisliterature, only forgetting, that when these writings immigrated from France into Germany,French social conditions had not immigrated along with them. In contact with German socialconditions, this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance, and assumed apurely literary aspect. Thus, to the German philosophers of the eighteenth century, thedemands of the first French Revolution were nothing more than the demands of "PracticalReason" in general, and the utterance of the will of the revolutionary French bourgeoisiesignified in their eyes the law of pure Will, of Will as it was bound to be, of true humanWill generally.
The world of the German literate consisted solely in bringing the new French ideas intoharmony with their ancient philosophical conscience, or rather, in annexing the French ideaswithout deserting their own philosophic point of view. This annexation took place in thesame way in which a foreign language is appropriated, namely, by translation.It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts onwhich the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written. The German literatereversed this process with the profane French literature. They wrote their philosophicalnonsense beneath the French original. For instance, beneath the French criticism of theeconomic functions of money, they wrote "Alienation of Humanity," and beneaththe French criticism of the bourgeois State they wrote "dethronement of the Category of theGeneral," and so forth.The introduction of these philosophical phrases at the back of the French historicalcriticisms they dubbed "Philosophy of Action," "True Socialism," "German Science ofSocialism," "Philosophical Foundation of Socialism," and so on.The French Socialist and Communist literature was thus completely emasculated. And,since it ceased in the hands of the German to express the struggle of one class with theother, he felt conscious of having overcome "French one-sidedness" and of representing, nottrue requirements, but the requirements of truth; not the interests of the proletariat, but theinterests of Human Nature, of Man in general, who belongs to no class, has noreality, who exists only in the misty realm of philosophical fantasy.This German Socialism, which took its schoolboy task so seriously and solemnly, andextolled its poor stock-in-trade in such mountebank fashion, meanwhile gradually lost itspedantic innocence. The fight of the German, and especially, of the Prussian bourgeoisie,against feudal aristocracy and absolute monarchy, in other words, the liberalmovement, became more earnest.By this, the long wished-for opportunity was offered to "True" Socialism of confronting thepolitical movement with the Socialist demands, of hurling the traditional anathemas againstliberalism, against representative government, against bourgeois competition, bourgeoisfreedom of the press, bourgeois legislation, bourgeois liberty and equality, and of preachingto the masses that they had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by thisbourgeois movement. German Socialism forgot, in the nick of time, that the French criticism,whose silly echo it was, presupposed the existence of modern bourgeois society, with itscorresponding economic conditions of existence, and the political constitution adaptedthereto, the very things whose attainment was the object of the pending struggle inGermany.To the absolute governments, with their following of parsons, professors, country squiresand officials, it served as a welcome scarecrow againstthe threatening bourgeoisie.It was a sweet finish after the bitter pills of floggings and bullets with which these samegovernments, just at that time, dosed the German workingclassrisings.While this "True" Socialism thus served the governments as a weapon for fighting theGerman bourgeoisie, it, at the same time, directly represented a reactionary interest, theinterest of the German Philistines. In Germany the petty-bourgeois class, a relic of thesixteenth century, and since then constantly cropping up again under various forms, is the
real social basis of the existing state of things.To preserve this class is to preserve the existing state of things in Germany. The industrialand political supremacy of the bourgeoisie threatens it with certain destruction; on the onehand, from the concentration of capital; on the other, from the rise of a revolutionaryproletariat. "True" Socialism appeared to kill these two birds with one stone. It spread like anepidemic.The robe of speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dewof sickly sentiment, this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped theirsorry "eternal truths," all skin and bone, served to wonderfully increase the sale of theirgoods amongst such a public. And on its part, German Socialism recognised, more andmore, its own calling as the bombastic representative of the petty-bourgeoisPhilistine.It proclaimed the German nation to be the model nation, and the German petty Philistine tobe the typical man. To every villainous meanness of this model man it gave a hidden, higher,Socialistic interpretation, the exact contrary of its real character. It went to the extremelength of directly opposing the "brutally destructive" tendency of Communism, and ofproclaiming its supreme and impartial contempt of all class struggles. With veryfew exceptions, all the so-called Socialist and Communist publications that now (1847)circulate in Germany belong to the domain of this foul and enervating literature.2. CONSERVATIVE, OR BOURGEOIS, SOCIALISMA part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances, in order to secure thecontinued existence of bourgeois society. To this section belong economists,philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organisersof charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperancefanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. This form ofSocialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.We may cite Proudhons Philosophie de la Misere as an example of this form.The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without thestruggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom.They desire the existing state of society minus its revolutionary and disintegratingelements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. The bourgeoisie naturallyconceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois Socialism developsthis comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. In requiring theproletariat to carry out such a system, and thereby to march straightway into the social NewJerusalem, it but requires in reality, that the proletariat should remain within the bounds ofexisting society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie.A second and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought todepreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class, by showing thatno mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, ineconomic relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the materialconditions of existence, this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolitionof the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be effected only by a
revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continuedexistence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relationsbetween capital and labour, but, at the best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrativework, of bourgeois government.Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression, when, and only when, it becomes a merefigure of speech. Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for thebenefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the workingclass. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois Socialism.It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois—for the benefit of the workingclass.3. CRITICAL-UTOPIAN SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISMWe do not here refer to that literature which, in every great modern revolution, has alwaysgiven voice to the demands of the proletariat, such as thewritings of Babeuf and others.The first direct attempts of the proletariat to attain its own ends, made in times of universalexcitement, when feudal society was being overthrown, these attempts necessarily failed,owing to the then undeveloped state of the proletariat, as well as to the absence of theeconomic conditions for its emancipation, conditions that had yet to be produced, and couldbe produced by the impending bourgeois epoch alone.The revolutionary literature that accompanied these first movements of the proletariat hadnecessarily a reactionary character. It inculcated universal asceticism andsocial levelling in its crudest form.The Socialist and Communist systems properly so called, those of Saint-Simon, Fourier,Owen and others, spring into existence in the early undeveloped period, described above, ofthe struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie (see Section 1. Bourgeois and Proletarians).The founders of these systems see, indeed, the class antagonisms, as well as the action ofthe decomposing elements, in the prevailing form of society. But the proletariat, as yet in itsinfancy, offers to them the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or anyindependent political movement.Since the development of class antagonism keeps even pace with the development ofindustry, the economic situation, as they find it, does not as yet offer to them the materialconditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. They therefore search after a new socialscience, after new social laws, that are to create these conditions.Historical action is to yield to their personal inventive action, historically created conditionsof emancipation to fantastic ones, and the gradual, spontaneous class-organisation of theproletariat to the organisation of society specially contrived by these inventors. Futurehistory resolves itself, in their eyes, into the propaganda and the practical carrying out oftheir social plans.In the formation of their plans they are conscious of caring chiefly for the interests of theworking class, as being the most suffering class. Only from the point of view of being themost suffering class does the proletariat exist for them.
The undeveloped state of the class struggle, as well as their own surroundings, causesSocialists of this kind to consider themselves far superior to all class antagonisms. Theywant to improve the condition of every member of society, even that of the most favoured.Hence, they habitually appeal to society at large, without distinction of class; nay, bypreference, to the ruling class. For how can people, when once they understand their system,fail to see in it the best possible plan of the best possible state of society?Hence, they reject all political, and especially all revolutionary, action; they wish to attaintheir ends by peaceful means, and endeavour, by smallexperiments, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the force of example, to pave the way forthe new social Gospel.Such fantastic pictures of future society, painted at a time when the proletariat is still in avery undeveloped state and has but a fantastic conception of its own position correspondwith the first instinctive yearnings of that class for a general reconstruction of society.But these Socialist and Communist publications contain also a critical element. They attackevery principle of existing society. Hence they are full of the most valuable materials for theenlightenment of the working class. The practical measures proposed in them—such as theabolition of the distinction between town and country, of the family, of the carrying on ofindustries for the account of private individuals, and of the wage system, theproclamation of social harmony, the conversion of the functions of the State into a meresuperintendence of production, all these proposals, point solely to the disappearance ofclass antagonisms which were, at that time, only just cropping up, and which, in thesepublications, are recognised in their earliest, indistinct and undefined forms only. Theseproposals, therefore, are of a purely Utopian character.The significance of Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation tohistorical development. In proportion as the modern class struggle develops and takesdefinite shape, this fantastic standing apart from the contest, these fantastic attacks on it,lose all practical value and all theoretical justification. Therefore, although the originators ofthese systems were, in many respects, revolutionary, their disciples have, inevery case, formed mere reactionary sects. They hold fast by the original views of theirmasters, in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. They,therefore, endeavour, and that consistently, to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile theclass antagonisms. They still dream of experimental realisation of their social Utopias, offounding isolated "phalansteres," of establishing "Home Colonies," of setting up a "LittleIcaria"—duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem—and to realise all these castles in the air,they are compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois. By degrees theysink into the category of the reactionary conservative Socialists depictedabove, differing from these only by more systematic pedantry, and by their fanatical andsuperstitious belief in the miraculous effects of their socialscience.They, therefore, violently oppose all political action on the part of the working class; suchaction, according to them, can only result from blindunbelief in the new Gospel.The Owenites in England, and the Fourierists in France, respectively, oppose the Chartistsand the Reformistes.IV. POSITION OF THE COMMUNISTS IN RELATION TO THE VARIOUS
EXISTING OPPOSITION PARTIESSection II has made clear the relations of the Communists to the existing working-class parties, such as theChartists in England and the Agrarian Reformers in America.The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of themomentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they alsorepresent and take care of the future of that movement. In France the Communists allythemselves with the Social-Democrats, against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie,reserving, however, the right to take up a critical position in regard to phrasesand illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution.In Switzerland they support the Radicals, without losing sight of the fact that this partyconsists of antagonistic elements, partly of Democratic Socialists, in the French sense, partlyof radical bourgeois.In Poland they support the party that insists on an agrarian revolution as the primecondition for national emancipation, that party which fomented the insurrection of Cracow in1846.In Germany they fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way, againstthe absolute monarchy, the feudal squirearchy, and the petty bourgeoisie.But they never cease, for a single instant, to instil into the working class the clearestpossible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, in orderthat the German workers may straightaway use, as so many weapons against thebourgeoisie, the social and political conditions that the bourgeoisie must necessarilyintroduce along with its supremacy, and in order that, after the fall of the reactionaryclasses in Germany, the fight against the bourgeoisie itself may immediately begin.The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eveof a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions ofEuropean civilisation, and with a much more developed proletariat, than that of England wasin the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeoisrevolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediatelyfollowing proletarian revolution.In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against theexisting social and political order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front,as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree ofdevelopment at the time.Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of allcountries.The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims.They openly declare that their ends can be attained only bythe forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution.The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.They have a world to win.
WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO ***