As we state in Our Purpose, we believe that one of the biggest reasons that the Marxist science has not taken root in Western Culture, where its principles would be most applicable, is the fact that far too many people simply don’t understand the language used. This is an attempt to modernize the Communist Manifesto into a more easily accessible, understandable, and globally inclusive literature, while still preserving the ideas and concepts of Marx and Engels in their entirety. A link to the original text (English translation) can be found in the sidebar. Part I. Part III. Part IV. Part V – Addendum.
II. The Proletariat and the Communists
Where do Communists stand in relation to the Proletariat as a whole?
The Communists do not form a separate opposition party to the other Working Class parties.
They have no interests separate from the Proletariat as a whole.
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own to shape the Proletarian Revolution.
The Communists are distinguished from other Working Class parties by only two unique characteristics:
- In national struggles of Proletarians of other nations, the Communists point out and bring to the front the common interests of the Proletariat as a whole regardless of nationality.
- Throughout the inevitable development of the Capitalist Class and the Working Class, the Communists always represent the common interests of the Proletarian Revolution everywhere as a whole.
The Communists are, therefore, the most advanced and determined of the Working Class parties in any nation – the party which pushes forward all other parties. The Communists are equipped with a greater understanding of the conditions of the Proletarian movement and the ultimate goals and general results, and, therefore, have an advantage over the Conservative and Reactionary influences within the Working Class.
The immediate goals of the Communists are in line with the Proletariat itself – Unification and organization of the Working Class into a force of social and political movement, and the overthrow of the Capitalist supremacy and all of the division and Class Antagonisms it creates.
The Communists do not base their conclusions on theories proposed by Capitalist apologists who would seek to reform the Class divisions currently in place to appease the Working Class, if only for a short time prolonging the inevitability of the Proletarian Revolution. The Communist conclusions simply demonstrate in general terms the reality of the Material Conditions of the existing Class divide from its beginnings to the current day. The abolition of the current form of social structure in regards to the Class Struggle is not a concept unique to Communism.
This social structure, of oppressor against oppressed, is one that historically has always been subject to change relative to a shift in the Material Conditions of the time. The distinguishing characteristic of Communism is not the abolition of property in general – that is to say, personal property – but the abolition of Capitalist Private Property, or the privatized means of production. But the Privatized Property of the Capitalist Class is the most complete result of the Capitalist system of appropriating the production of the Working Class – a system based on Class Antagonisms, and on the exploitation of the many by the few.
Through this lens, the Communist ideal may be summed up simply: Abolition of the Privatization of the Means of Production – removing the means of production from the hands of the Capitalist Class, the Bourgeoisie who are its sole beneficiaries, and putting those means of production to work in the interests and benefit of the Working Class, the Proletariat, as a whole.
Communists have been accused of wanting to abolish the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of labor. This property and the right to acquire it is said to be the foundation of all personal freedom and independence.
“Hard work has earned this property!” it is said.
Do you mean the property of the Proletariat? The personal items that the Worker has furnished themselves with to ease the existence of their slavery to the Bourgeoisie? This is a form of property that preceded the existence of Capitalist property. There is no need to abolish that – the development of Modern Industry has already destroyed much of it, and is destroying the rest each day, little by little.
Or do you mean Bourgeoisie Private Property? Does Wage-Slavery produce any property for the Worker other than that of the personal nature? Not at all. It creates Capital, the kind of Privatized Property that exploits the Worker, and which cannot increase as Capitalism demands unless and until the condition is met that a fresh supply of wage-labor is created. This Privatized Ownership of Capital Property, in its present exploitive form, is only made possible through the Class Antagonisms of Capital v Wage Labor, of Capitalist v Worker, of Bourgeoisie v Proletariat – of Oppressor v Oppressed.
Let us take a look at these two opposing forces.
To be a Capitalist is to have not only a purely personal status in production – that is to say, they do not perform any of the necessary manual functions of the production itself – but also to have a social status in production. Because Capital is a collective product of the Working Class, and it can only be created when the conditions of social labor have been met.
When Private Property is converted into Social (or Common) Property, the Property of all members of a society, personal property is not magically transformed into Common Property as well. Personal property creates no Capital, other than the ability of the Worker to continue working. Only the Socialized character of the once Privatized Property has changed. It loses its Class character.
Now let us look at Wage-Labor.
The average price of Wage-Labor is the basic means of subsistence that is required to keep the Worker in the bare minimum of existence as a Worker. What the Wage-Laborer appropriates by means of their labor is merely sufficient to sustain their existence and to reproduce the labor pool. The Communist by no means intends to do away with this personal appropriation of the products of labor by the Worker, which is meant to sustain and propagate. This appropriation does not carry with it the ability to control and profit from the labor of others. All that we seek to abolish is the idea that the Worker lives only to increase Capital, and that they are allowed to live only as long as the Capitalist requires them to.
In Capitalist society, the living Labor Force is nothing more than a tool, a commodity, a means of producing wealth through accumulated labor. In Communist society, accumulated labor is nothing more than a means to enrich and promote the existence of the Laborer.
In Capitalist society, the present day is controlled by the past, as Conservatives and Reactionaries seek to maintain the status quo or to roll back the advancement of society. In Communist society, the past is controlled by the present day, as society removes all historic and current Class Divisions and, with them, all Class Struggle and Antagonisms.
In Bourgeois society, Capital is independent and has individuality, where the Wage-Laborer has no individuality or independence. And the Bourgeoisie calls the abolition of the current Social Conditions an abolition of individuality and independence. And of course they would. The abolition of Bourgeois individuality, of Bourgeois independence, of Bourgeois freedom, all at the cost of the perpetual enslavement and exploitation of the Working Class, is precisely what we take aim at.
By Bourgeois “Freedom”, we mean free trade, free buying and selling, under the Capitalist conditions of Privatized Ownership of the Means of Production and the exploitation of the Worker for profit.
But if all buying and selling were to disappear, this “Free” trade would also disappear. The illusion of the Freedom of the Proletariat, of the opportunity of “Free” Trade, and all of the other noble and virtuous talk of the Bourgeoisie, only have meaning in contrast with the idea of restricted trade. But these words have no meaning at all when confronted with the idea of Communist abolition of the Capitalist conditions of production, of the Capitalist Freedom of buying and selling labor value, and ultimately of the Capitalist Class itself.
You are horrified at the thought of the Communist abolishing Privatized Capitalist Property. But in the existing society, Privatized Capitalist Property is already abolished for 99 percent of society. The existence of that Privatized Property in the hands of the few is only possible by its non-existence in the hands of the many. You are rich only because we are poor. You grow angry at us for intending to do away with a form of property that can only exist because it does not exist in the hands of the vast majority of society.
In essence, you reproach us for intending to do away, not with property in general, but with your property. Your anger is justified – that is exactly what we intend.
From the moment when Wage-Labor of the Worker can no longer be converted into Capital, or profit from sale or rent – from the moment that the Labor of the Proletariat can no longer be transformed into a social power that can be monopolized by the Capitalist Class – you say that individuality vanishes. From the moment that the individual property of the Working Class – Labor – can no longer be converted into Bourgeois Property – Capital – you say that everyone is made the same and no individuality can exist.
You must confess, then, that the “individuality” that you speak of is the individuality of the Bourgeoisie, the owner of Capital. The Proletariat are molded into instruments of production that can hardly be separated from the machinery they are chained to. The function – and therefore the identity – of the Wage-Laborer is the exact same regardless of the individual performing that function. The Bourgeois individual, who finds the ability to seek out personal individuality through the appropriation of the Proletarian’s individuality, must absolutely be swept away and made impossible.
The Communist does not seek to deprive a society of the ability to appropriate the products of that society, of Wage-Labor. All that Communism does is to deprive the Bourgeoisie, or those that would aspire to Ruling Class status, of the ability to subject another to the conditions of Bourgeois existence – that is to say the exploitation and appropriation of Labor.
You raise the objection that Communism will just make a society universally lazy, that the abolition of Private Property will remove the incentive to produce. According to this objection, the Capitalist society we now live in should have crumbled to dust long ago – those in our society who work acquire no Capital, and those in our society that acquire Capital do not work. This objection that you raise does nothing but prove the point of the Communist – there will no longer be Wage-Slavery when there is no longer Capital.
Each objection that you raise against the Communist mode of production and the social appropriation of material products are the same objections that you raise to the Communist mode of producing and appropriating intellectual products – music, art, literature, etc. To the Bourgeoisie, the abolishment of Class Property is the disappearance of production itself. Likewise, the disappearance of the Class Culture is, to the Bourgeoisie, the disappearance of all Culture. In reality, it is only the Culture and Property of the Bourgeois Class, the conditions that the Ruling Class relies on for its existence, that will disappear. This is what the Capitalist objects to, and all the while the conditions of the existence of the Bourgeoisie require that all Property and Culture be stripped from the Proletariat.
The Culture of the Bourgeoisie is nothing more than the training of the Proletariat to behave as parts of the Capitalist machinery. This is what the Bourgeoisie object to losing.
Your objections against our intentions of abolishing Capitalist Private Property are meaningless. There is no debate to be held when you apply your false notions of Bourgeoisie freedom, culture, and rule of law. Those concepts are nothing more than outgrowths of Bourgeois existence, the conditions of Capitalist Production and Property, the notion that holding Capital, which by the very nature of Capitalism is impossible for the vast majority of society, somehow grants the Capitalist the right to exploit and to appropriate and to expand and to accumulate wealth. Your idea of Jurisprudence, of Justice and Equality in the Eyes of the Law, is nothing more than the imposed will of the Capitalist Class. The only Justice that exists is in the favor of the Bourgeoisie. There is no equality as long as Class exists, as long as Class Struggle endures. Bourgeois freedom, culture, and law are nothing but a reinforcement of the conditions necessary for the existence of the Ruling Class.
You sit with a selfish misconception that you share with every Ruling Class throughout the ages until this time – some idea of the Divine Right of the Ruling Class to exist, for the few to hold power over the masses. You attempt to justify this right by invoking Bourgeois conceptions of the Laws of Nature and and Logic. You say that Class divisions are the natural order of things, and that the conditions of Capitalist society are not caused by Capitalism itself but by the laws of Human Nature. The conditions of the Bourgeois existence arise from the development of Modern Industry, the modes of production and appropriation. What you will point out as flaws in Monarchistic Feudalism or in Authoritarian Despotism, you are compelled to overlook in your own methods of exploitation. You refuse to see the same problems arising from your own form of Bourgeoisie Property.
You accuse the Communist of wanting to abolish family relations! What ridiculousness. Even the most radical of us get incensed at this notion.
What is the Bourgeoisie family based on? Nothing more than Capital, on the private gain of profit by way of exploitation. Fully developed, this family only exists within the Bourgeois class. But among the Proletarians, family relations have been torn apart, replaced by the cash exchange of Wage-Labor and Surplus Production Value. The existence of family relations in the Bourgeois Class finds balance in the absence of family relations in the Proletariat. The Bourgeois parent has the time and ability to strengthen family relations, where the Proletarian parent must abandon their family until such time as their necessities can be met. What abolishment of family could there be, then, other than that of the Ruling Class? These family dynasties retain wealth and power over the Proletariat, handing them down through generations like an heirloom. Family relations, in this sense, do not exist for the vast majority of society. Again, your objection is one of a selfish, personal, Bourgeois nature.
The existence of the Bourgeois Family will be destroyed as the absence of the Proletarian Family is also destroyed, and both of these will vanish upon the abolition of Privatized Capital Property. In other words, the true position of “Working Class Family Values” is the position of the Communist.
Do we seek to end the exploitation of children by parents? To this we plead guilty. The Proletarian family relations, especially in cases of extreme poverty, requires as much Labor from the children as it does of the adults. The Unpaid Labor of household and family maintenance is as much a part of the Bourgeois method of appropriation as the Capitalist mode of production. As a result, the future generations of the Proletariat are under-educated, making them more subject to the conditions of Bourgeois existence.
Again you object! You say that replacing home, or private, education with Social Education destroys the most revered of all Family Relations!
Again, this relation exists only among the Bourgeoisie. This Bourgeois education is also a Social education, but only insofar as it relates to the Ruling Class. It is determined by the social conditions of the Ruling Class. Communists did not invent the idea of Social Education, but we do seek to change its character, and to remove all influence of the Ruling Class in that Education.
The selfish notions held and offered by the Capitalist Class, this Bourgeois nonsense about Family Values and Education, about the revered relations between Parent and Child are even more disgusting when we see that those same revered relations are torn apart in the Proletariat by the development of Modern Industry. The children of the Working Class are transformed into nothing more than commodities, instruments of labor and sources of wealth for the Ruling Class.
While the Bourgeois Class of the modern day, on its surface, puts on airs of Gender Equality, it is equality only insofar as the Capitalist class will benefit from it. The Ruling Class has co-opted the forces of Feminism and equality between genders, and even more so between people of a more fluid gender identity. It publicly states that it believes in the right to equal pay for equal work.
However, in practice, the Ruling Class sees in women the ability to expand and exploit even more, and still views the vast majority of women as nothing more than the instruments of production and of the propagation of the labor pool – women, held as equal in this light, are still seen today as Property with a Labor-Value to be extracted by the Capitalist. Evidence of this is seen in today’s Gender Wage Gap – but does this Pay Gap not show evidence of inequality between genders? Yes, in the one sense that Proletarian women are seen as less deserving of the same wage that men would be paid for the same work. But also no, in the sense that the Capitalist sees an increased profit from the Labor of Women, who is paid a lesser wage than a man for the same work – in this way, generally speaking, the Labor of Women is more valuable to the Capitalist than the Labor of men. The more exploitive the relation, the more the Capitalist profits.
It is for this reason that, once the mask of pseudo-feminism is removed from the Ruling Class, the Bourgeoisie will loudly protest that the Communist would introduce the community of women into society as fully recognized and equal members. The Capitalist does not understand that our aim is to remove the status of women, and of all people, as mere instruments of production to exploit.
The rest of this objection is just more illogical nonsense from the Bourgeoisie, angered that we take focus on yet another method of their exploitation of the masses. In reality, the Communist has no need or desire to introduce an equal community of women to society – they have always existed since the beginning of humanity. We seek to remove their status as second-class humans, a status handed down through the ages and exacerbated by the conditions of Capitalist Society.
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 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 is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is selfevident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.
(Original text, English translation)
*Please see Part V – Addendum in regards to the language used here, and for further clarification on the concept of the Lumpenproletariat
The Bourgeoisie also denounce the Communist as “Globalist”, desiring to abolish all borders, countries, and nationalities. The Working Class has no country. The Ruling Class is called the Ruling Class for that exact reason – they hold dominion over all lands, all methods and means of production, and all State political power. The nations of the Earth belong to the Capitalist Class, to the few. The vast majority of Society have no country, save for the land where they were born or claim as home. The notion of Nationality – of pride in the superiority of the dirt on one side of an imaginary line over the dirt on the other side of that line, and therefore also of the people born on either side of that imaginary line – is just more nonsense when we look at the Proletariat as a whole.
We cannot abolish from the Proletariat that which they do not have. The Proletarians, as a matter of the course of Revolutionary development, must acquire political dominion, to turn the State, the tools of the Bourgeoisie, on itself. The Proletariat must rise to the status of the leading Class in society, and therefore must comprise the country in which they live. They are therefore national in nature, but not a nation in the Bourgeois sense of the word.
Looking at the Working Class as a whole, the differences in nations and the antagonisms between them quickly disappear. As the World Market has expanded and drawn more of the Middle Class into the Proletariat, the differences in the Working Class of one nation to another diminish and eventually vanish. The World Market is the Great Equalizer – but only for the Proletariat, as the Capitalist continues to elevate themselves through their exploitation of that market. In this way, the idea of a National Identity for the Proletarian does not, in fact, exist except by the Ruling Class control of borders.
The Capitalist Class uses these imaginary lines to create a sense of National Pride – a particularly effective method of disturbing any unity among the Proletariat of different nations, and to encourage further competition between Wage-Laborers, two conditions meant to secure the existence of the Ruling Class. But, for all of the perceived virtue of Nationality and Heritage, the Communist understands that this Nationalism leads only to the exclusion of certain peoples from the Proletariat, seeing them as less deserving simply because of the dirt on which they happened to be born. Nationalism only leads to Fascism, which is based wholly on inequality, the existence of which the Communist is sworn to fight anywhere that this fight might arise. In this sense, the Communist does indeed intend to abolish the borders of exclusion, and the idea of a National or Ethnic Supremacy.
Modern Industry has, as an unintentional consequence of expansion and development, already destroyed much of the National Identity of the Proletariat, and the rise of the Working Class will only make them vanish wore swiftly. As the inevitability of the collapse of Capitalism draws closer, the Proletarians of each nation rising up against their oppressors will ultimately band together to destroy all remnants of Bourgeois society. The United actions of the Proletariat in the most developed nations is a necessity for the liberation of the Proletariat as a whole. We see smaller revolutions throughout developing and semi-developed countries around the globe. As Communists, we support these revolutions in the emancipation of the Proletariat of those particular lands, though there still exists a certain exploitive element in these lands in various forms. This is understandable, as the Capitalist Class actively seeks out and attempts, with varying degrees of success, to crush any rebellion of the Working Class. We call on the remaining Proletarians of all nations to follow the example of those in history and present day who would fight for the liberation of the Proletariat as a whole from the exploitive and oppressive grip of the Ruling Class.
In this way, and proportionally, as the dismantling of the Exploitive Social Structure of Capitalism will end the exploitation of one human by another human, so too will the exploitation of one nation and people by another be put to an end. As the Class Antagonisms within a nation are destroyed by a Unity within the Proletariat of that nation, so too will the hostilities between nations will also cease to be as a result of the Unity between Proletarians of those nations. This is the inevitable course of the development of the Proletarian Revolution. Those among the Working Class who would oppose this Unification and preserve the status quo are Conservative, those who would roll back these developments are Reactionary.
Those further objections to Communism made from religious, philosophical, or ideological stances are not worth serious debate here. The Communist does not deal with intangibles or faith – we deal with the reality of the Material Conditions that we exist in, and the exploitive nature of the Capitalist v Wage-Slave relation.
As the material conditions of society change, and the conditions of social relations, so does the general philosophies and ideologies of the individual. History shows us that intellectual production changes along the same lines as material production is involved. The artists, authors, musicians of any given time express the Material Conditions they find themselves or society in, even in matters of spirituality. The generally dominating religions, philosophies, and ideologies of any age have always been the ideas of the Ruling Class of that particular time. Ancient Egyptians were told that their Pharaohs were gods, and they believed it. Modern Capitalists have convinced the Working Class that they depend on the Capitalist to exist rather than the other way around – and they believe it. In both cases, the general population believes in something that is completely false simply because the Ruling Class wishes them to believe it.
When people speak of the ideas that have revolutionized society in times past – and of today – they speak only of the fact that a new society has been created within the old one, and that the ideas of the previous Ruling Class are dissolved at the same time and rate as the old conditions of existence.
When the earliest civilizations were in their collapse, the ancient polytheistic religions were overtaken by the monotheistic Abrahamic religions – Judaism strengthened, and Christianity and Islam were created. When the Abrahamic traditions fell to Rationalism in the 18th Century, Feudal Society was revolutionized into the Bourgeois Society of today. The thought of liberty and morality, of consciousness, revealed the competition of education and the purpose of withholding knowledge from the oppressed. In recent decades, there has been a return to those faiths of old and the ideas of social structure they embrace – this is reactionary thinking, the desire to roll back the development of society to a previous form and structure where the unquestioned loyalty to a faith determined the course of social development. In this, we see that the prevalent ideas of religion, of philosophy, and of ideology are simply that of the Ruling Class, handed to the Proletariat, and the objections of the Bourgeoisie to the Proletariat shrugging off those ideas are meaningless nonsense, like every objection before it.
The final objection of the Ruling Class to the rise of the Proletariat, after all other objections have been shown to be nothing more than selfish ideas of the preservation of the existence of the Bourgeoisie, which we know to be incompatible with society, will appeal to a hypocrisy of the Communist. Where the Communist sees and understands the Class Antagonisms that have existed in various forms throughout the ages, we base our conclusions on the historical development of the Age of Capitalism.
“The religious, philosophical, and moral ideas of the ages surely have changed through the course of societal development,” this objection begins, “but these entities, these Institutions of Religion, of Philosophy, of Political Science, of the Rule of Law, have always existed and survived these changes. These Eternal Institutions are common to all states of social existence. But Communism would abolish these Eternal Institutions rather than reforming them on a new foundation, as all other social revolutions have before. Is it therefore not contradictory to the historical experience of the development of the Class Divisions, and hence hypocritical of the Communist who claims to only be following the inevitable conclusions of the historical experience?”
What exactly does this argument accuse us of? When it is reduced, this objection simply shows exactly what we intend – to finally and completely remove all Class, and therefore all Class Antagonism, from society.
The historical experience of the development of society throughout the ages has been one of exploitation, in one form or another, of one class of people by another. It is logical that those who would maintain the current state of things would appeal to the idea that society must exist in that certain form, and to reinforce those general ideas which will never completely vanish without completely destroying all Class Antagonisms.
The Communist Revolution is one of a most radical departure from the traditional Class Relations of Privatized Capital Property v Wage-Slavery. It makes sense, then, that the development of Communism would also be a most radical departure from the traditional social structure of all the ages up to and including the Age of the Capitalist.
We are done with debating the objections of the Capitalist. We have seen these objections for what they truly are – the selfish notions of preserving Bourgeois conditions of existence.
We have seen that the first step of the Proletarian Revolution is for the Working Class to rise up to political dominion and win the battle of democracy. With that political dominion, the Working Class will take control of all Privatized Capital Property, to socialize the instruments of production in the hands of the Proletarian State – that is to say a State of the Working Class, now organized as the Ruling Class, which will replace the Bourgeois State – and to increase the productive forces as swiftly as possible, until full employment of all those who are able to work is reached.
In the beginning, this cannot occur without some steadfast despotism in assaulting the Property Rights of the Bourgeoisie, and on the conditions of Bourgeois production. These assaults on Capitalist Property Rights will come in the form of certain measures, each one necessitating the next and unattainable without the prior. These measures will be unavoidable, and, again, the powerful will not relinquish that power willingly. Or peacefully.
Though the form of these measures will vary from country to country, they will generally adhere to the following:
- 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 hands 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 State.
- 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 agriculture.
- 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.
(Original text, English translation)
*Please see Part V – Addendum in regards to the language used here, and for further clarification on the concept of the Lumpenproletariat
When, through the course of these measures, all Class distinctions have disappeared and all production has been passed to the hands of a vast association of the entire people of a nation, the power of the Proletariat, now positioned as the Ruling Class, will lose its political nature. Political Power is nothing more than the organized power of one class to oppress another. The course of this final stage of development of the Communist Society can described in this way: If the Proletariat is forced to organize itself as a political party against the Bourgeoisie, and through Revolutionary movement positions itself as the Ruling Class, and, as the Ruling Class, then by force destroys all the old conditions of Bourgeois society, then it will have also destroyed all the conditions for the existence of Class Antagonisms and all distinctions of Class in general, in turn abolishing its own supremacy as the Ruling Class. In short, through these political and social measures, Communists seek to abolish the very idea of Supremacy of any person or people over another, including the Supremacy of the Proletariat.
In place of Bourgeois Society, with all of its Class Divisions and Antagonisms, we will have a free association of humankind, in which the free development and enrichment of each is the condition for the free development and enrichment of all.