Karl Marx – Communist Manifesto

What, according to Engels, was “the first great battle between proletariat and bourgeoisie”? The defeat of the Parisian Insurrection of June 1848
What were the consequences of that battle? Drove again into the background the social and political aspirations of the European working class.
Why could not the International Workingmen’s Association, formed in 1864, “at once proclaim the principles laid down in the Manifesto”? The International Workingmen’s Assoc. was bound to have a program broad enough to be acceptable to the English trade unions, to the followers of Proudhon in France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, and to the Lassalleans in Germany.
How was “the intellectual development of the working class” to be brought about? Combined action and mutual discussion
What might have been some of the “favorite nostrums” of the working class which would be proven insufficient when the working class had developed intellectually? The notion that you could cure the problems merely by political revolution
What would be the nature of the “more complete insight into the true conditions of working class emancipation” which would be achieved by an intellectually developed working class? They would recognize the necessity of total social change
Why could Marx not call the manifesto a “Socialist” manifesto” in 1848? Marx says there are too many sects in socialism which had many different kinds of views and communism differed from these in 1848.
What was the distinction between socialist and communist in 1848? Socialism was a middle-class movement, communism a working-class movement. Socialism was, on the Continent at least, “respectable”; communism was the very opposite.
What is the “fundamental proposition” which forms the nucleus of the communist manifesto? The exploited and oppressed class – the proletariat – cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class – the bourgeoisie – without emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinction, and class struggles
What do you learn from the first five paragraphs of part I of the Communist Manifesto about Marx’s explanation of the origins, nature, and development of class struggle from primitive times to modern times? Class struggle ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
How did the division of labor change from the feudal system of production to the manufacturing system? The feudal system of industry no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. Division of labor between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labor in each single workshop.
What is the bourgeoisie according to Marx, how does it come into existence, what are its characteristics, and what effects does it have in the world? “The class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor”. Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations.
How does the feudal system of industry become transformed into the modern industrial system? The markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionized industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry
How has the bourgeoisie advanced politically, and what is the characteristic form of bourgeois political domination or rule? Political centralization: Independent provinces became lumped together into one nation. In order to attain its own political ends it is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion.
What kind of wonders has bourgeois activity brought about? Put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. Destroyed “natural superior” thought replacing it with humanity seeing one another as a means to gain more wealth. Resolved personal worth into exchange value.
How is the bourgeoisie revolutionary? The bourgeoisie has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. It has converted all professions into its paid wage laborers.
Why does the bourgeoisie cause “chagrin to reactionaries”? They take from the raw materials from other nations to continue to accumulate wealth, but in doing so kill other civilized nations by exploiting them and giving the materials out to every corner of the earth
What is a reactionary? One who tries to roll back the wheel of history
What effects does the bourgeoisie have on “nations” and national industries? Universal inter-dependence of nations.
How does the bourgeoisie “batter down all chinese walls” and what does this mean? The Bourgeoisie can offer products at a lower price than the Chinese forcing them to interact with outsiders.
How has the bourgeoisie made the country dependent on the towns and the east on the west, and what does this mean? By creating enormous cities and jobs for people who otherwise would be farmers or other rural area workers. It has agglomerated population, centralized the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. It has made everyone around the world dependent on one another for products.
How long has the bourgeoisie been “ruling? What does this mean? One hundred years, meaning they were able to create more productive and colossal forces than any other of the proceeding generations put together
How does Marx describe bourgeois replacement of feudal conditions of production and exchange? The Feudal organization of agriculture and manufacturing became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces. The Bourgeoisie replaced the feudal conditions of production with capitalism which made property available to the wealthy but not to the working class.
How is the replacement of feudalism by capitalism similar to the replacement of capitalism by communism? Feudalism was replaced by capitalism because it could not keep up with or contain the individuals in society and later this will take place with communism overtaking capitalism.
How does the Proletariat come into being and how does it develop? The bourgeoisie created the proletariat (working class) and they develop simultaneously with the bourgeoisie and they live only so long as they find work, and find work only so long as their labor increases capital.
What is the character and what are the conditions of the proletariat? Lost all individual character and becomes a part of the machine. Masses of laborers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers.
What does it mean to say that a proletarian is a commodity? The workers will be reduced to items for sale of their work. Wage is enough to keep you living but the product of your labor is being stolen from you.
What is the relation between improvements in machinery and the condition of the proletariat? If there is more demand for commodities, the worker works more, makes less money, and the machinery is overworked
How does modern industry create conditions for the relatively rapid development of the proletariat as a class (relative, for example, to the development of the bourgeoisie)? Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labor, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex. The lower strata of the middle class – the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants – all these sink gradually into the proletariat
How and why does the bourgeoisie furnish the proletariat “with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie”? The bourgeoisie supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education in order for the proletariat to help them fight the aristocracy. But then the proletariat can use this knowledge to fight the bourgeoisie.
What are some of the other classes (besides the proletariat) that fight against the bourgeoisie, and why are they not revolutionary but reactionary? The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the Bourgeoisie. They want things to go back to the way they were before the bourgeoisie revolutionized everything.
What are the general phases of the development of the proletariat? It starts as a civil war against the bourgeoisie, then breaks out into open revolution, into a violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie.
Why is the bourgeoisie “unfit to rule”? It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slaver that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him
How does the bourgeoisie produce its own “gravediggers”? Capitalism concentrates wealth causing the workers they exploit to become more and more outraged eventually resulting in an organized group of these workers that will revolt against the bourgeoisie.
What distinguishes the communists from the “great mass of the proletariat”? They point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat. They represent the interests of the movement as a whole.
What is expressed by the theoretical conclusions of the communists? They merely express actual relations springing from an existing class struggle.
What effect on property relations did the French Revolution have? Abolished feudal property in favor of bourgeois property
What is “modern bourgeois private property”? The system of producing and appropriating products on the exploitation of the many by the few.
In what sense may the theory of the communists be summed up in the phrase: “Abolition of private property”? Abolition of bourgeois private property
What is capital, and why is capital not a form of personal property? Capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion.
What is a necessary condition for the existence of bourgeois private property (Who has it and therefore who does not?) The condition of the Bourgeoisie to own property is the majority of people not to own property.
What must happen to the middle class owner of property? This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.
What does it mean to say, “In bourgeois society . . . the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past”? In bourgeois society, living labor is but a means to increase accumulated labor. In Communist society, accumulated labor is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the laborer. Accumulated labor = present, living labor = past
What determines the character of bourgeois ideas, jurisprudence, laws, and social forms? A will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.
How do the communists intend to change the place of women in society? Do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production
How are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat related to national differences and antagonisms? 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.
Where do men’s ideas, views, consciousness come from? Determined by the conditions of his material existence
What is meant when people speak of “ideas that revolutionize society”? They do but express that fact that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.
What is one fact common to all past societies? The exploitation of one part of society by the other. All past societies have struggles with class antagonism
Why does the communist revolution involve “the most radical rupture with traditional ideas”? “Abolition of private property.”
What is the first step in the revolution by the working class? Bring the Proletarian above the Bourgeoisie so that democracy be achieved and everything made equal.
What will the proletariat do as ruling class? Pull all capital from the Bourgeoisie, centralize all instruments of production into the hands of the Proletariat organized as the ruling class, and increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.
Can this be done peacefully? No but it will gradually become easier and easier.
What are some of the means by which the proletariat will affect its ends? 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 rights of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
What is political power properly so called? The organized power of one class for oppressing another
What will follow after the proletariat has succeeded in its task as ruling class? It will have swept away class antagonism, through the conditions, it will have abolished class supremacy and since the property is now equal, the proletariat will no longer be
Why must the communists turn their immediate attention primarily to Germany? Because Germany is in a fragile Bourgeois state that could easily turn to proletariat rule which will ultimately lead to communism.
What is the communists’ role in all revolutionary movements? The Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.
What does it mean to “bring to the front . . . the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time.” They discuss the issue of the ownership of property and what belongs to whom no matter what stage of development property is at, at the time.
What does Marx, on behalf of the Communists, “openly declare” at the end of the Communist Manifesto? Their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.

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