Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto

Read and compare the condition of the working class as described by

Dr. Kay (Uploaded File #1)

Dr. Ure (Uploaded File #2)

Fredrich Engels (Uploaded File #3)

Relate these conditions to the following proposal from the Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto (1848):

Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.

These measures will, of course, be different in different countries. Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.

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.

5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. 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.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so-called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.

Assignment:

Discuss the conditions of the working classes in the industrial revolution and how either liberalism or socialism/communism tried to deal with the problem. To write this essay you will need to consult not only the online sources (essays, recordings, etc.), including the reading of the entire Manifesto, but also include analysis based on what you read in chapters 6 and 7 in the Wiesner text. There are several items in the “The Communist Manifesto” folder in the Course Documents tab that provide explanations and modern perspectives on Marx and his writings that should be useful as well.

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