Expository essay on The Communist Manifesto

Essay by mureddaaHigh School, 12th gradeA, April 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 113 times

Karl Marx's and Frederick Engels' Manifesto of the Communist Party, the most influential work in the history of socialism, focused on the idea of historical development, the importance of the economic mode of production, the role of class struggle and the nature of social and political change. Among the topics they discussed was the development of the proletariat from a disorganized group of industrial workers to a unified class in opposition to the bourgeoisies.

Marx and Engels saw the development of the proletariat as inevitable due to their belief of the importance of the role of class struggles in historical change. They believed that oppressor and oppressed would always come into conflict and that this conflict would bring about changes in history. The current situation was to be no different: the proletariat and bourgeoisie were simply the latest classes in conflict in the newest class struggle.

The two men theorized that this class struggle would develop as a result of the proletariat's development of consciousness.

The course of its development would, however, not be without its struggles, and it would occur in stages. The first stage of the struggle with the bourgeoisie would begin at birth: forced to work in poor, physically and emotionally strenuous conditions, the worker was left with little room to be concerned with political matters but instead worked solely as a means to survive. He was thus unorganized and unfit to become united with others to achieve better conditions - each worker strived only to survive. Furthermore, mutual competition stood in the way of the proletariat becoming one unified class in opposition to the bourgeoisie. The very nature of capitalism inhibited this development as it ensured that each worker was working for an individual bourgeois who was in turn competing with other bourgeoisie in other...