Social Grievances : Contests Between Exploiting And The Exploited

Better Essays
Ryan Beattie

Professor Billingsley

Hist 5 M/W @1030

10 OCT 15

Social Grievances: Contests between exploiting and the exploited

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York: International Publishers, 1948 edition), 48 pages

The industrial revolution of the mid 19th century brought about a rapid advancement in the production of goods, urbanized the population and concentrated vast amounts of wealth and power into the hands of a few. Coupled with the liberal idea of private property, this gave rise into a new invisible system that resolved to meet the base needs of human life and replace mans daily routine with something other then the struggle to survive. In other words, instead of working the physical land
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2 Opening his book with one short sentence he is able to set the historical context of his argument, frame the perspective from which he views society, and engage the reader in reflective thought that will set the tone for this compelling critique of society. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (9) Viewing society from the perspective of the classes - a class being a group of people who share a role within the economy - Marx argues that all of history can be boiled down into the classes struggle for power. This inherently antagonistic relationship is the basis from which Marx trains his analysis and commentary. “[In] our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie…society…is…splitting up into two hostile camps…bourgeoisie and proletariat” (9) A one sided relationship between the working class, or proletariat 's and the ruling class, the bourgeoisie. The loser of this relationship is the proletariat, “... A class of laborer, who live only so long as they find work, and who finds work so long as their labors increase capital.” (15) Marx claims the working class contends with ever increasing worsening conditions until an eventual and inevitable revolt against their masters, the bourgeoisie. A pillar of Marx 's contention with
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