Manifesto of the Communist Party
Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels
Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14,
German philosopher, political economist,
historian, sociologist, humanist, political theorist
and revolutionary credited as the founder of
Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5
German social scientist and philosopher, who
developed communist theory alongside his
better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-
authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848).
The Manifesto is more a political tract than
anything else (advocating a turn to
communism), but there is a lot in it that can be
unpacked if you understand what Marx
First published in 1848
One of the world's most influential political
manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist
League it laid out the League's purposes and
Does not lay out the form of communism so much as
it criticizes capitalism and details class struggle
p. 3 quot;The history of all hitherto existing society is the
history of class struggles.quot;
P. 3 ―Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie,
possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified
class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more
splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great
classes directly facing each other — Bourgeoisie and
First, what does he man by ―class‖?
Second, is this accurate? What about pre-history?
Third, are there really only two classes?
According to Marx, there are only two classes and they
are distinguished by their relationship to the ―means of
So, let’s look at ―social classes‖ and ―means of
Capitalism is, in a nutshell, private ownership of the
―means of production‖
Means of production are the tools necessary to
manufacture goods or provide services
Entrepreneur Profit for capitalists
(means of production)
$$ - Ford Durango Profit for capitalists
Work put into it
The value of a good or service in capitalism is equal to the time put into it plus
the profit generated for capitalists.
But value comes exclusively from one source: exploitation of the proletariat.
How does exploitation work?
1 pair of
1 worker goods $100
Cost = $20 in raw
goods, sales, etc.
Profit = $80
10 pairs of
1 worker goods $100
Cost = $100 in raw goods, sales,
Cost to Bourgeoisie = $200
Profit to Bourgeoisie = $800
Pay for worker = $100
P. 15 ―The average price of wage-labour is the
minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of
subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the
labourer in bare existence as a labourer. What,
therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means
of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and
reproduce a bare existence.‖
What do they mean here?
Social Class according to Marx
Two classes, depending on relationship to means of
Either you own the means of production = bourgeoisie
Or you own your ―labor power,‖ which is used to run the
means of production = proletariat
(means of production)
Is there anything wrong with Marx’s understanding of
How many classes are there?
What about small business owners or working
Where does a plumber fit into Marx’s distinction if he
owns his own business?
So, was Marx right about there only being two social
Max Weber argued that class was a combination of
property, prestige, and power.
Is this a better way of thinking about social class?
Why do you need all three in order to understand
Usually, if you have one, you can get the others…
Property Prestige Power
Bill Gates - Property
He has property - $58 billion as of 2008
Does he have prestige?
Just spoke at TED
What about power?
Bill Clinton - Power
He had power as president
Does he have property?
Made $35,000 per year as governor of Arkansas prior to running for
Standard speaking fee today - $150,000; makes around $10 million per
What about prestige?
Michael Phelps - Prestige
Gained prestige as an Olympic athlete
Does he have property?
Makes millions via endorsements
Net worth is somewhere around $6-$10 million
His contract with Speedo, which has been extended through 2009, is
estimated to be worth about $9 million.
What about power?
Weber’s distinction makes a lot of sense
But it isn’t the only way to distinguish the different
groups within a hierarchy
Class generally is used to refer to the groups within
a quasi-meritocratic hierarchy
Not all hierarchies are meritocratic
Why do we use ―class‖ in quasi-meritocratic hierarchies
but not in other hierarchies?
Does ―class‖ include more than just your relationship
to the means of production and your power, property,
Are there different cultures in different classes?
Systems of Social Stratification - Slavery
Debt, crime, war
Justifications later became – race, ethnicity, religion,
gender, etc. – ideological justifications
Was, at times, temporary (to pay off debt)
Not necessarily inheritable
Not necessarily powerless
Slavery in the New World
Bonded labor; indentured servitude
Does it continue today?
Child soldiers; sex trade
No ―classes‖ involved
Systems of Social Stratification - Caste
Status in the social hierarchy is determined by birth;
India’s Religious Castes
Brahman – priests and teachers
Kshatriya – rulers and soldiers
Vaishya – Merchants and traders
Shudra – Peasants and laborers
Dalit – outcastes; degrading laborers (clean up waste)
Abolished in 1949, but still continues at some levels
South Africa - apartheid
Divided by ―race‖ – blacks, whites, mixed, and Asians;
determined social status in hierarchy and jobs – ended in
U.S. Racial Caste System
Informal/formal system – considered ―higher status‖ if white;
for some groups, this continues until today (hate groups)
Systems of Social Stratification - Feudalism
Estate – feudalism: 3 estates
Nobility – owned everything (except, maybe,
Clergy – kind of existed independently
Commoners – owned as part of the land
Feudalism was replaced by the class
system of capitalism (more below)
Still a hierarchy (think of the pyramids at the
But more open – usually based on
possessions, power, prestige
Allows some fluidity – movement between
Social Class - Summary
Marx is referring to two social classes: bourgeoisie
Today, we think of social classes as existing in more
open hierarchical societies (quasi-meritocratic)
We also think of them as having many
characteristics and that there are more than just two
Origins of Capitalism
Pp. 3-4 ―The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up
fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese
markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in
the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to
navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the
revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.‖
As mentioned, Europeans developed capitalism first
Prior to capitalism, the primary economic system in place was a feudal
How did capitalism come about?
Co-existing with feudalism was mercantilism, which is basically exchanging of
goods for profit
Feudal manors were almost entirely self sufficient, reducing the need for trade
The developments of new technologies (faster ships) and new markets led to a
shift as the merchants began to accumulate such substantial amounts of wealth
that they began to replace the nobles
The most important development at the end of Feudalism was the emergence of
the dichotomy between wage earners and capitalist merchants
So, capitalism is the end result of mercantilism conquering
French seaport, 1638.
Government in Capitalism
p. 4 quot;The executive of the modern state is but a
committee for managing the common affairs of the
What does he mean here?
Is government in capitalism nothing more than a
―legitimated‖ means of protecting the wealth of the
The basis of our legal system is the right to own property
Property crimes and personal crimes both assume that
something can be owned (you own your person; women
The Right to Own Property
Urukagina, the king of the Sumerian city-state Lagash, established the first
laws that forbade compelling the sale of property. The Cyrus cylinder of
Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, documents the
protection of property rights.
The Ten Commandments shown in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-
21 stated that the Israelites were not to steal. These texts, written in
approximately 1300 B.C., were a blanket early protection of private property.
Aristotle, in Politics, advocates quot;private property.quot; In one of the first known
expositions of tragedy of the commons he says, quot;that which is common to
the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks
chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is
himself concerned as an individual.quot; In addition he says that when property
is common, there are natural problems that arise due to differences in labor:
quot;If they do not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much
and get little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive or
consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living together
and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having
common property.quot; (Politics, 1261b34)
The right to ―own property‖ is a right we have constructed over the years.
Humans didn’t always think of this as a right.
The Power of Capitalism
Marx and Engels recognize that capitalism is powerful:
p. 5 ―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 remaining 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.‖
What is he arguing here?
Is this not the actual argument of Osama bin Laden?
Are those who oppose Osama bin Laden implicit advocates of
The Power of Capitalism
P. 5 ―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 man of science, into
its paid wage labourers.‖
What is the major complaint of doctors? Too little time
with patients? Why is that the case?
Family Under Capitalism
P. 5 ―The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental
veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.‖
What does he mean here?
P. 17 ―Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this
infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the
present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private
gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among
the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the
practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public
prostitution. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course
when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the
vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the
exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead
Very odd, this; bourgeoisie families were not emblematic of familial
exploitation; they were the forerunners of today’s families where parents
give to their kids
It was the proletariats who exploited their kids – though they did this
because they were being exploited
Humans have done this for millennia on farms
The Power of Capitalism
P. 5 ―It [Capitalism] has accomplished wonders far
surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts,
and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions
that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations
Why is this?
P. 5 ―The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly
revolutionising the instruments of production, and
thereby the relations of production, and with them
the whole relations of society.‖
1927 Ford Model T 2009 Ford Taurus
Improvements in Production
Inherent in capitalism is competition – you compete
with other bourgeoisie to provide goods and services
that people want at a price they can afford.
You also want to reduce cost of production to
1913 Ford assembly line Modern assembly line
Can any nations withstand capitalism?
P. 6 ―The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all
instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated
means of communication, draws all, even the most
barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of
commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters
down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the
barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to
capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to
adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them
to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e.,
to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates
a world after its own image.‖
Why is capitalism so effective at spreading?
There is a reward for being a capitalist; what is it?
Capitalism and Cities
P. 6 ―The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to
the rule of the towns. It has created enormous
cities, has greatly increased the urban population as
compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a
considerable part of the population from the idiocy of
Is capitalism also responsible for the development of
Why do we have large, densely populated cities?
Capitalism and International Dependence
P. 6 ―Just as it has made
the country dependent on Peripheral
the towns, so it has made
barbarian and semi- Semi-peripheral
dependent on the civilised
ones, nations of peasants Core
on nations of bourgeois,
the East on the West.‖
How does this work?
Are the less-developed
countries dependent on
the developed countries?
Accumulation of Wealth
P. 6 ―The bourgeoisie… has agglomerated
population, centralised the means of production, and
has concentrated property in a few hands.‖
How does wealth accumulate into the hands of few
What does this have to do with politics and
Government can attempt to redistribute wealth, but it
depends on the values of those in power
Conservatives prefer to use government to protect the
property of those who have it (and to increase it)
Liberals prefer to use government to redistribute wealth
from those who have it (the bourgeoisie) to those who
need it (the unemployed and proletariat)
The Unemployed in Capitalism
The Employed are under two Where does the pressure
major pressures… come from?
In capitalism, the unemployed are:
(1) A tool of capitalists to exert pressure
(2) A necessity to keep wages down and
The Unemployment Rate refers to the number of people who (1) want
The Boss? and (2) can work who are unable to find jobs.
It’s usually expressed as a percentage of the total potential labor
What’s his/her motivation?
force (e.g., 5% to 10%).
Capitalism - Summary
So, up to the middle of page 7 has basically been a
summary of capitalism:
An economic system in which some people use capital to
build means of production then hire others for their labor
They make their money by exploiting workers
Capitalism is extremely powerful because it:
Has inherent motivation
Harnesses the power of lots of money and many workers
Governments in capitalistic economies exist to maintain
So, now he turns to the criticisms of capitalism
What’s wrong with capitalism?
Marx argues that there are inherent ―contradictions‖
You make a profit by exploiting your workers by paying
them less than they are worth
But you ultimately have to sell the product or service,
probably to other workers who are also exploited
If you can’t sell the product or service because no one
has any money because they are all paid too little, what
do you do?
This is one of the ―contradictions‖ of capitalism
Marx and Engels refer to this as ―the epidemic of over-
production‖ (p. 7)
Why is this a problem?
How does this result?
The Problem of Over-Production
Works fine until one becomes
What regulates production in
But what regulates demand?
Wages and salaries
What regulates salaries?
What people are willing to work for
but at the same time what
capitalists are willing to sacrifice Salaries
If you can’t make money off an
employee, it makes no sense to
So what happens when wages
and salaries go down? Demand
Is this the source of inflation?
If salaries don’t constantly go up in
a capitalistic system, capitalists
cannot continue to make a profit
Inflation and GDP
What is ―inflation‖?
Growth in the money supply in an economy without a
commensurate increase in the supply of goods and services
Fun with numbers (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/)
When I moved to Costa Rica in 1996, $1.00 ≈ 200 colones; when I
left in 1998, $1.00 ≈ 300 colones
A new professor in Sociology in 1970 would have made around
$9,130.94, compared with around $50,000 today.
A $200,000 house in 2006 would have cost $37,653.34 in 1970.
What is gross domestic product or GDP?
Total goods and services produced by a country
What is ―GDP per capita‖?
Goods and services over population
What do inflation, GDP, and GDP per capita indicate?
The Contradiction of Capitalism
So, capitalists need workers to make money to buy
But capitalists don’t want to give workers lots of
money because it cuts into their profits
Is this a contradiction?
To buy But don’t want
need to give them this
The easy solution is to expand into additional
How does this solve the problem?
First, you can build factories in locations where you
can pay workers less, then sell the goods to places
where workers make more
Second, you increase demand among those in the
But what happens when expansion ends – when
you’ve exploited every possible market?
It is a constant balance between wages for workers
and cost of goods
Current economic crisis
They create Loans work as Home prices
Banks want profit loans people long as home stop going up refinance to pay
can’t repay prices go up and fall back loans
Banks begin to Loans go bad
can’t afford Banks lay off Home prices fall
lose money on
homes and other people faster
bad loans repay them)
Other companies They lay off
steps in to stop
see profits fall workers
Is this an illustration of a contradiction in capitalism?
Capitalism is its own Grave-Digger
P. 8 ―But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the
weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into
existence the men who are to wield those weapons —
the modern working class — the proletarians.‖
What do they mean here?
P. 8 ―In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is
developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the
modern working class, developed — a class of labourers,
who live only so long as they find work, and who find
work only so long as their labour increases capital. These
labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a
commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are
consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of
competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.‖
Criticism of Capitalism
P. 8 ―Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and
to the division of labour, the work of the proletarians
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, most monotonous, and most easily acquired
knack, that is required of him.‖
P. 8 ―Hence, the cost of production of a workman is
restricted, almost entirely, to the means of
subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and
for the propagation of his race.‖
What is the key factor in determining someone’s salary?
Criticisms of Capitalism
P. 9 ―The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in
manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry
becomes developed, the more is the labour of men
superseded by that of women. Differences of age and
sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the
working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less
expensive to use, according to their age and sex.‖
What do they mean here?
P. 9 ―No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the
manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his
wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions
of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the
What do they mean here?
Criticisms of Capitalism
P. 9 ―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, partly because their diminutive capital
does not suffice for the scale on which Modern
Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the
competition with the large capitalists, partly because
their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new
methods of production. Thus the proletariat is
recruited from all classes of the population.‖
Were they right on this point?
He notes that the proletariat are not fans of
They strike back by sabotaging machinery
Destroying cheaper imported goods
P. 10 ―Thereupon, the workers begin to form
combinations (Trades’ Unions) against the
bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the
rate of wages; they found permanent associations in
order to make provision beforehand for these
occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest
breaks out into riots.‖
What is the purpose of unions?
P. 10 ―This organisation of the proletarians into a
class, and, consequently into a political party, is
continually being upset again by the competition
between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up
again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels
legislative recognition of particular interests of the
workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among
the bourgeoisie itself.‖
Was he right?
Has union membership increased or decreased over
the years in the US?
Problems with Capitalism
P. 10 ―Altogether collisions between the classes of the old
society further, in many ways, the course of development of
the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a
constant battle. 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 time
with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles, it
sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for
help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. The
bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its
own elements of political and general education, in other
words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the
What’s the implication here?
In order to better compete against other capitalists, capitalists
need an educated workforce.
That results in the proletariat realizing their exploitation.
Thus, capitalists’ needs lead to their own undoing?
The Communists in this pamphlet are a political party
(1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different
countries, they point out and bring to the front the common
interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all
(2) In the various stages of development which the struggle of
the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass
through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of
the movement as a whole.
P. 11 ―The immediate aim of the Communists is the same
as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the
proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois
supremacy, conquest of political power by the
P. 14 ―The distinguishing feature of Communism is
not the abolition of property generally, but the
abolition of bourgeois property.‖
P. 14 ―In this sense, the theory of the Communists
may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition
of private property.‖
Goal of Communism
P. 15 ―We by no means intend to abolish this
personal appropriation of the products of labour, an
appropriation that is made for the maintenance and
reproduction of human life, and that leaves no
surplus wherewith to command the labour of others.
All that we want to do away with is the miserable
character of this appropriation, under which the
labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is
allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the
ruling class requires it.‖
Freedom Under Capitalism
P. 15 ―By freedom is meant, under the present
bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free
selling and buying.‖
Is this true?
Private Property Under Capitalism
P. 15 ―You are horrified at our intending to do away
with private property. But in your existing
society, private property is already done away with
for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the
few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of
those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with
intending to do away with a form of property, the
necessary condition 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.‖
Aims of Communism
P. 16 ―Communism deprives no man of the power to
appropriate the products of society; all that it does is
to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour
of others by means of such appropriations.‖
P. 16 ―It has been objected that upon the abolition 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 sheer idleness; for those those
of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those
who acquire anything do not work. The whole of this
objection is but another expression of the tautology:
that there can no longer be any wage-labour when
there is no longer any capital.‖
P. 17 ―The Communists have not invented the
intervention of society in education; they do but seek
to alter the character of that intervention, and to
rescue education from the influence of the ruling
Public schooling is advocated by communists
Women and Communism
P. 18 ―The bourgeois sees his wife a mere
instrument of production. He hears that the
instruments of production are to be exploited in
common, and, naturally, can come to no other
conclusion that the lot of being common to all will
likewise fall to the women.‖
Marx was actually something of a feminist
P. 18 ―Our bourgeois, not content with having wives
and daughters of their proletarians at their
disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take
the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s
Political Entities Under Communism
P. 18 ―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. Since the proletariat
must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise
to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute
itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not
in the bourgeois sense of the word.‖
Why do the bourgeoisie like countries?
They protect their right to own property and give them
Communism and Religion
P. 19 ―The charges against Communism made from
a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an
ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious
What is Marx’s view of religion?
Communist Understanding of Religion –
Oppression and panacea
freeing the oppressed from the panacea of religion
Communism and Political Views
P. 19 ―What else does the history of ideas
prove, than that intellectual production changes its
character in proportion as material production is
Do people’s political views change as they get more
money? What about when they have less money?
Ten Steps to Communism
Which have taken place
in the US?
Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Centralisation of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with
State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the
Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the
bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in
accordance with a common plan.
Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for
Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the
distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the
populace over the country.
Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour
in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.
Socialism – The Alternative to Capitalism
Public (i.e., government, which is the same
thing) ownership of means of Production
Distribution of goods without profit motive
(means of production)
Goods: Capitalism vs. Socialism
$$ - Ford Durango Profit for capitalists
Work put into it
$$ - Lada-VAZ
Work put into it
Ideologies of Capitalism and Socialism
Market demand should determine products and
Profit is good
Profit is immoral
Item’s value based on the work that went into it
Government protects workers from exploitation
Which system is better?
Criticisms of Capitalism and Socialism
Leads to social inequality
Tiny top layer exploits vast bottom layer
Few who own the means of production reap huge
No concern for consumers or exploited (Nealey’s
Does not respect individual rights
Others control people’s lives
Give everyone an equal chance to be poor
Convergence of Capitalism and Socialism
Does either capitalism or socialism exist today in its
Capitalist countries and socialist countries are growing
Where is the US today? Where is Russia?
Where does communism fit in all of this?
Theoretical communism is the same as
The communism that generally
develops, however, is different:
The Communist Party becomes something of an
oligarchy – a ruling class
The Communist Party owns everything, not the
It then adopts many of the ideas of socialism –
production is based on centralized control, not
So, why haven’t we seen a revolution in the US and
other developed countries?
P. 11 ―The lower middle class, the small
manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the
peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to
save from extinction their existence as fractions of
the middle class. They are therefore not
revolutionary, but conservative.‖
P. 27 ―A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in
order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society. To this section
belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the
condition of the working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for
the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner
reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of socialism
has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems… A part of the
bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the
continued existence of bourgeois society. To this section belong
economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the
working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention
of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of
every imaginable kind. This form of socialism has, moreover, been worked
out into complete systems.‖
This is basically what we have today in the US
P. 28 ―Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for
the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working
class. 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 working class.‖
Isn’t this basically how these ideas are sold to the American public today?
Almost seems like Republicans and capitalists are reading Marx, doesn’t it?
Capitalism and Stratification
Does capitalism lead to stratification?
What checks and balances do we have on capitalism
in the U.S.?
Regulation, anti-monopolization legislation
Why does capitalism seem to be winning around the
Capitalism leads to competition
Competition (think evolution) leads to change, generally
toward more advanced technologies
Competition gives capitalist countries the edge over non-
capitalist countries – in both money and technology
Capitalism (and overspending) destroyed Soviet
How Do Elites Maintain Stratification?
Do elites try to maintain stratification systems?
Why would they?
How do they do it?
Ideologies and Force
Hugo Chaves in U.S. media
Who owns the media companies in the U.S.?
NBC – owned by GE; CBS – was owned by Westinghouse, now by
National Amusements, Inc.; ABC – Walt Disney company; Fox – News
All of these companies own businesses other than news; Why?
Kill or imprison those who criticize
Free press – necessary?
Comparative Social Stratification
Social Stratification in Great Britain
Slightly different from the U.S. – bigger middle and
lower classes, small upper class
Social Stratification in Former Soviet Union
Membership in the communist party translated into
Everyone else was supposed to be the same
But this didn’t work, either – people recognized differences and
tried to compensate for them
However – people were pretty equal (though that mostly
translated into everyone being poor), including women
History of Socialist Thought
The end of the book is basically just a history of
Does mention that aristocrats are not fans of the
bourgeoisie, so they try to show solidarity with the
What about Christian socialism?
Call to Action!
P. 32 ―The Communists disdain to conceal their
views and aims. They openly declare that their ends
can be attained only by the 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!