May 1, 2020 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org – On May 1, the global Marxist movement celebrates the most famous of Marx and Engels documents, the Communist Manifesto, first published in 1848. This longish document presents the communist case for forcibly overthrowing “bourgeoise market capitalism,” and replacing it with “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” As used herein, bourgeoise refers to the upwardly mobile middle class and the proletariat [derived from the Latin proletarias, property-less masses] is defined as the oppressed factory and other workers who have, according to the theory, been defrauded by the propertied of the true value of their labor, a proposition formally known as the labor theory of value.
“ A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies…The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles…It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a manifesto of the party itself…To this end, Communists of various nationalities have [published] this manifesto…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… we [have] traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat…Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers . Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable….” [emphasis added, source, Marx/Engels Selected Works, Vol. One, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1969, pp. 98-137]
The Manifesto is a justification for violent revolution by which the underclass, the proletariat, overthrows bourgeoise capitalism to form the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” It is reliant upon the Hegelian idea that history unfolds in predictable ways, adding the twist that the historical process will inevitably destroy market capitalism due to its own internal contradictions
Theoretically the Marxist dialectic predicts this based upon the principle of “ the negation of the negation .” Simply, this means that feudal/guild-based “private” property was supplanted by market capitalist ownership of property [the first negation] which in turn is violently overthrown by the dictatorship of the proletariat [the second negation] through which the means of production and private property will be held in common [by the state] until, mysteriously the state “withers away,” ultimately leaving the means of production and all property in the hands of the proles.
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