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Manifesto of the communist party

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Marty McFly
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The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles
.

This statement is almost true. There were class struggles in Europe, yes: the Lords and Serfs, the dictators, etc. but some countries were not like that anymore. The countries who were saved from Communism, I mean. They were saved because they did NOT have class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

All this is true in the lands where dictatorship ruled, like the French revolution.

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.

The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

If he is talking about free countries, I really don’t know where he saw it? Where in the world did he live, this Marx guy?

Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other -- bourgeoisie and proletariat.

Uh- huh. But these “camps” are only hostile as long as they stay in those “camps”. In a free country a pauper can, and eventually will, become rich. So now he switched camps didn’t he? Toward whom shall he be “hostile” now? But OK, let’s read on...

From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed.
There you go: again he is pulling his arguments from dictatorships. chartered burghers, see? chartered burghers

Definition of Charted: A document issued by a sovereign, legislature, or other authority, creating a public or private corporation, such as a city, college, or bank, and defining its privileges and purposes

The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.

tottering indeed. The feudal society should have died out a long time before then.

The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolized by closed guilds, now no longer suffices for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed aside by the manufacturing middle class; division of labor between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labor in each single workshop.
Sounds good, so what’s the problem?

Meantime, the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturers no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionized industrial production
.

Excellent. This led to all the wonderful inventions that we can’t live today without, like the computer, for example.

The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, MODERN INDUSTRY; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois.
If you were wondering, bourgeois means middle class shop keepers and merchants. I guess they became rich. ( what was the matter, Marx, you disagreed with the selling of material goods and earning (collecting) material riches? You decided to sell your dubious ideas and collect human souls, by making them feel guilty?)

Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.

We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.

This is a beautiful summery of the wonderful industrial revolution

Edited by Marty McFly
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the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages

I especially like this part. He says it like it's a bad thing...I dont get it? B)

I have to wonder with this obvious example of equivocation between producers in charge and looters in charge, if he was really unable to grasp the difference in how they came to power or if it was intentional obfuscation.

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The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.

1. The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors", and has left no other nexus between people than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment".

Wait a minute. Why is this a BAD thing?

It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstacies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value,

whoa, whoa, whoa! Personal worth? Into exchange value? Wait a minute! If a person is able to sell something worthy, why would his personal worth be affected?! Just the opposite! They are worth a lot, as they can see from how much of it they sold! And then they can keep score on how worth it they are by how rich they are from it!

and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
Can someone please explain this paragraph?!

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers
.

Well, yeaaaah, :duh: B) isn’t this just the way it should be?

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation into a mere money relation.
Oh, please, Marx, why not go on and prove it. Was your own family so tired of you and your stupid sentimentalities that they chucked you out?

The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigor in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former exoduses of nations and crusades.

Sounds like he is praising the bourgeoisie! I don’t get it!

Ok, I give up. I will continue it later

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I think the problem is in the concept of "class", specifically in not going beyond this to determine what was the essential cause of the problem. Classes of lords and serfs are very different from classes of rich and poor. It's the "meth-related deaths" phenomena of inadequate analysis.

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  • 1 year later...

When Marx concluded that he was unable to ignore Adam Smith's explanation of "exchange and division of labour" as the motor of economic progress he admitted that past human life had "required private property for its realization". His weird concept of alienated labour was therefore not "negative" but "rooted in the nature of human development".

So after this assumption he goes back to Hegel's Phenomenology of the spirit which offered "a transhistorical combination of history and psychology in which a form of alienation was accorded a positive and necessary role". Marx explained that the "outstanding achievement" of the book was that it conceived "the self-creation of Man as a process... [and]... objectification as a loss of the object, as alienation and as transcendence of this alienation".(Phenomenology of the spirit, Hegel)

*other quotes from Gareth Stedman Jones, lecturer

Sometimes I honestly think this is some conspiracy to confuse me, wtf is the "objectification[of what?] as a loss of the object[what object? who's object?], as alienation[from what?] and as transcendence of this alienation[so alienation and non-alienation at the same time?]"...

anyone?

p.s. I find it amusing how many of the rallying cries of communism are completely misapplied.

"Let the ruling classes[all those staking a claim on your life, especially socialists] tremble at a Communistic [Objectivistic] revolution. The proletariats [industrious workers, not mindless brute labourers] have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win!"

Edited by yoni
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Marx little history lesson is intended to show that class divisions have become simplified and were (at the time of writing) reduced to the point where there were really just two, the Oppressors (Bourgeois) and the Oppressed (Proletariat).

His theory is that this is the point at which society needed to be in order for his Communism to 'evolve'.

Don't forget, Marx believed that his revolution would occur naturally without being forced on the world (a la Lenin). He believed that the inequalities of capitalism would cause it to collapse on its own and that communism would rise from the ashes.

The fact that in order to 'succeed' Communism had to be born into violence in a nation that was even by the standard of the time a backward, developmentally retarded, agrarian nightmare is completely lost on most, if not all Communists.

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It is remarkable how wrong Marx actually was...

The original Marxist thesis was that capitalism would collapse. That had not happened. The first fall-back position (Khrushchev's) was that the 'socialist bloc' would overtake the West in living standards. That had not happened either. The second fall-back position, used from the early 1970's onwards, which was sold to the Third World and became the UN orthodoxy, was that high Western living standards, far from being the consequence of a more efficient economic system, were the immoral wages of the deliberate and systematic impoverishment of the rest of the world. The argument that the West was somehow to blame for world poverty was itself a Western invention.

-- Paul Johnson in Modern Times: A History of the 20th Century, pg. 691

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Marx explained that the "outstanding achievement" of the book was that it conceived "the self-creation of Man as a process... [and]... objectification as a loss of the object, as alienation and as transcendence of this alienation".(Phenomenology of the spirit, Hegel)

*other quotes from Gareth Stedman Jones, lecturer

Sometimes I honestly think this is some conspiracy to confuse me, wtf is the "objectification[of what?] as a loss of the object[what object? who's object?], as alienation[from what?] and as transcendence of this alienation[so alienation and non-alienation at the same time?]"...

anyone?

Yes, essential to understanding Marx is an acknowledgement of Hegel's explicit rejection of Aristotelian logic, specifically his rejection of the law of identity. Hegel believed not only that contradictions were possible, but that they are an essential element of existence, inherent in everything. For Hegel, the history of the world was a process of the development of the Absolute which consisted of thesis and antithesis becoming transcended into a new synthesis; in other words of A (which is/isn't both A and non-A) becoming synthesized into non-A (which is/isn't both non-A and A) in a process which both resolves and doesn't resolve the contradiction. Hegel described everything (the Absolute) as mind, a position known as idealism. Marx "stood Hegel on his head" by claiming that everything was in fact physical (materialism). Which is not much of a different position once you take into consideration the rejection of the law of identity. But that's how Marx gets to the reductionist position that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." He literally means that the entire history of society so far has been class struggle and *only* class struggle. Philosophical ideas play no role in history, for Marx, because all philosophy is merely an ideological expression of the interests of the ruling class, and all ideology is socially determined--in other words, a mere bi-product of the class struggle. The embrace of blatant contradictions, blatantly false statements, and statements that obviously contradict facts and evidence as long as they support the cause of communism are thus a quite intentional element of the Marxist formula. Frustration will be saved if one accepts that fact early on when coming to grips with Marxists' often absurd and irrational statements and conclusions..

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If he is talking about free countries, I really don’t know where he saw it? Where in the world did he live, this Marx guy?

Uh- huh. But these “camps” are only hostile as long as they stay in those “camps”. In a free country a pauper can, and eventually will, become rich. So now he switched camps didn’t he? Toward whom shall he be “hostile” now? But OK, let’s read on...

This may be true today, but how was it true at the time when Marx was writing? Its pretty ridiculous to say that an uneducated factory worker in 1870 working 12 hours a day would be likely to achieve a non-pauper lifestyle through hard-work alone (I mean I guess it could happen in a few cases, but its pretty unlikely - late 19th century industrialism isnt really known for its social mobility and conditions at the time Marx was writing were _horrible_ for most workers). You cant drop the historical context here - Marx was writing about a particular society, not the one which exists at present. Western societies evolved in ways which Marx didnt predict, and I'm sure if he were alive today he would revise a lot of his claims (20th century Marxists have been constantly revising them, and you arent going to find many serious Marxists who agree with Marx on most things).

Also the Communist Manifesto was a propaganda piece aimed at average workers, not a work of 'serious' philosophy/economics. If youre really interested in what Marx thought, you'd be better off engaging with his more in-depth works rather than picking low-hanging fruit. As far as I know, the CM was written to provoke action/revolution, not to be a short replacement for Kapital/German Ideology/etc.

Edited by eriatarka
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For Hegel, the history of the world was a process of the development of the Absolute which consisted of thesis and antithesis becoming transcended into a new synthesis

I forgot to mention that the synthesis of thesis and antithesis then becomes a new thesis which is then synthesized with its antithesis and so on.. That's the "dialectic process". Which inspires the question, what happens after communism is achieved? Which most communists will say can't be answered or even conceived of at the present time. Besides that it will mark the end of ideology and individuality etc lol.

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Hegel never ever used the terms thesis/anti-thesis/synthesis by the way, thats was earlier Kantians like Fichte/Schelling. Hegel did believe that history often evolved through negation, but it wasnt as simplistic as the "thesis and antithesis merge to form a synthesis" stuff that gets falsely attributed to him.

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Hegel never ever used the terms thesis/anti-thesis/synthesis by the way, thats was earlier Kantians like Fichte/Schelling. Hegel did believe that history often evolved through negation, but it wasnt as simplistic as the "thesis and antithesis merge to form a synthesis" stuff that gets falsely attributed to him.

Yeah, Hegel suffers from the problem that most of the things people "know" about what he said, they get through Hegel's self-proclaimed followers. All too often then what people "know" about Hegel is what some follower of his said but that Hegel never asserted.

But most famous thinkers suffer from the same problem (although Hegel's bad style makes it worse in his case).

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Hegel never ever used the terms thesis/anti-thesis/synthesis by the way, thats was earlier Kantians like Fichte/Schelling. Hegel did believe that history often evolved through negation, but it wasnt as simplistic as the "thesis and antithesis merge to form a synthesis" stuff that gets falsely attributed to him.

Well, I have read some of Hegel's works, but I have read more from his followers, because I've found them to be much more clear, consistent, and explicit. This is not a subject in philosophy I've studied much in depth, so it's quite possible I've misunderstood something.

If you believe the thesis/antithesis/synthesis description of the dialectic process to be an inaccurate portrayal of Hegel's philosophy, would you mind providing us with a better description of the meaning of negation, and the dialectic process? Was it really Hegel, or Hegel's followers that were primarily an influence on Marx and Engels?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

for such a collected amount of intelligence you guys really do miss lot.

first of all, yes you may be objectivists, you may support capitalism, and you may not agree with both the history of communism or the ideals of communism,

BUT!

can you at least understand it?

communism in its pursuit form simply means man working for the sake of his people.

now marx's manifesto spoke those words frankly, however they were polluted with the social and political travesties of the day.

i mean when it ultimatly comes down to it,

all the manifesto was was a pampelt aimed at informing people of this poltical party...

essentially propaganda.

of course he wirtes about the proliteriate adn the bouguaise,

of course he looks down upon the cpaitalist pigs that keep people from self improvement...

which brings me to two off topic questions:

why do you support capitalism to such an extent?

communism supported the betterment of a group, which indirectly supports the wants of the individual. objectivist?

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why do you support capitalism to such an extent?

Capitalism is THE only moral economic system. It is predicated on men dealing with each other voluntarily as traders.

communism supported the betterment of a group, which indirectly supports the wants of the individual. objectivist?
Communism does no such thing. It subordinates the individual to the collective and ends up hurting both.
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for such a collected amount of intelligence you guys really do miss lot.

first of all, yes you may be objectivists, you may support capitalism, and you may not agree with both the history of communism or the ideals of communism,

BUT!

can you at least understand it?

communism in its pursuit form simply means man working for the sake of his people.

now marx's manifesto spoke those words frankly, however they were polluted with the social and political travesties of the day.

i mean when it ultimatly comes down to it,

all the manifesto was was a pampelt aimed at informing people of this poltical party...

essentially propaganda.

of course he wirtes about the proliteriate adn the bouguaise,

of course he looks down upon the cpaitalist pigs that keep people from self improvement...

which brings me to two off topic questions:

why do you support capitalism to such an extent?

communism supported the betterment of a group, which indirectly supports the wants of the individual. objectivist?

I've seen communism up close.

In 1988 I visited the Czechoslovakian border. I saw the fences of barbed wire with the tops angled in to Czech territory. I saw first hand the machine gun emplacements, they too faced into the country (not out to the west to prevent Capitalist expansion as the Czech's were told). This was my first and only visit to the iron curtain, the only place I've ever been that was more depressing was the Death camp, Bergen Belsen. The single thought I came away with that day was "what sort of evil does it take to turn an entire country into a prison and every person in it into a prisoner."

The answer is of course Collectivism which is what Communism is all about . The subjugation of every single human endeavor, every productive work to the nameless faceless whole.

I understand just fine what Communism was about. And before you start into the whole "But the USSR wasn't real communism" bromide, how many times do you think that you can add 2+2 and insist that someday, somehow, if it's done just right that those numbers will equal 5 not 4?

Communism is what it is. It will not produce peace, prosperity or a better society. It will only give yet another excuse to those dictators that want to control and/or destroy the few inalienable rights that all people should be free to enjoy, Life, Liberty and Property.

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i understand stand that what i wrote came off that way,

but i meant that communism in itself is just collectivization,

some of the things people were writing here were going way off the edge.

i absolutely agree with you however,

communism does NOT work,

in the same way that fascism doesn't work, that any really totalitarianist method of government doesn't work.

i was writing in there about how the manifesto was just a pamphlet of propaganda supporting a very simple philosophical movement...

i envy your experiences however sobering they may have been.

and gags,

ill probably start a thread, because i really want to explore your guys' opinions on capitalism, but:

are you sure its the ONLY moral system?

ive seen numerous arguments for capitalism on this site that generally revolve around the looking out for number one mentality...

which i absolutly dont belive in.

granted my own opinions follow a similar ideal, but not to an extent that i think ayn would have justified.

i mean without government intereetnion, youd have monoplys left and right!

what good woudl that do?

(while i dotn personally agree with this argument, it can be used)

what about drugs? without government intervention our country would run amuck with crime in filth, which im absolutely sure most of you are not okay with.

what about the situation america is currently in?

this country has gotten to a certain extent, where politics themselves are dictated by the financial succeses of a select few.

i look at capitalism the same way i look at abortion.

its an unfortunate solution to an even more unfortunate problem.

and becuase i know someone is goign to get angry with my comparison, i mean in it the sense that:

in certains cases lives lost are better not lived,

and unfortunately we live in a world where greed and want run rampant

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ive seen numerous arguments for capitalism on this site that generally revolve around the looking out for number one mentality...

We are more than sure, we are certain. We are also certain that selfishness is moral, and any state that does not allow one to be selfish is a prison.

You should probably read some Rand if you want to know how we know this.

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