Aus dem Manifest Der Kommunistischen Partei
|The Communist Manifesto's look at socialism....|
|By Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848|
|From I. Bourgeois and Proletarians|
The 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 place of the old ones.
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 the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom―Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.|
|The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.|
|Note: By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labour.|
|This note was made by Engels in the 1888 English edition.|
|From III. Socialist and Communist Literature|
|1. Reactionary Socialism c. German or “True” Socialism|
|The socialist and communist literature of France, a literature that originated under the pressure of a bourgeoisie in power, and that was the expression of the struggle against this power, was introduced into Germany at a time when the bourgeoisie in that country had just begun its contest with feudal absolutism.|
|German philosophers, would-be philosophers and men of letters eagerly seized on this literature, only forgetting that when these writings immigrated from France into Germany, French social conditions had not immigrated along with them. In contact with German social conditions this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance and assumed a purely literary aspect....|
*sighing* A bit like capitalism and Hollywood's
diathesis on the world today then.
|3. Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism|
|The first direct attempts of the proletariat to attain its own ends, made in times of universal excitement, when feudal society was being overthrown; these attempts necessarily failed, owing to the then undeveloped state of the proletariat, as well as the absence of the economic conditions for its emancipation, conditions that had yet to be produced, and could be produced by the impending bourgeois epoch alone. The revolutionary literature that accompanied these first movements of the proletariat had necessarily a reactionary character. It inculcated universal asceticism and social leveling in the crudest form.|
|Historical action is to yield to the personal inventive action; historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones; and the gradual, spontaneous class organisation of the proletariat to an organisation of society especially contrived by these inventors. Future history resolves itself, in their eyes, into the propaganda and the practical carrying out of their social plans.|
|In the formation of their plans they are conscious of caring chiefly for the interests of the working class, as being the most suffering class. Only from the point of view of being the most suffering class does the proletariat exist for them.|
|The undeveloped state of the class struggle, as well as their own surroundings, causes Socialists of this kind to consider themselves far superior to class antagonisms. They want 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, by preference, 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 attain their ends by peaceful means, and endevour, by small experiments, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the force of example, to pave the way for the new social Gospel.|
|....They still dream of experimental realisation of their social utopias, of founding isolated phalanstères, of establishing “Home Colonies,” or setting up a “Little Icaria”....|
The complete Manifesto is available from: