Communist Manifesto By Karl Marx

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The industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries permanently altered the nature of work, and brought about pervasive changes to contemporary life, many of which are still felt today. Beginning in England in 1750, and spanning over a century, it later spread to France and Germany in mainland Europe, and then the United States. Inventions such as the steam engine or weaving machine revolutionised entire sectors of industry, allowing productivity to boom. This boom did not benefit all members of society equally, and Karl Marx was a witness to this phenomenon (Rockmore, 2002, pp. 22-25).
According to Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”, the industrial revolution arose as a result of feudalism’s inadequacy to satisfy the growing demands of an …show more content…

The Proletariat absorbs professions that would previously have belonged to the middle class, as their individual labour is no longer sufficient to sustain their livelihood- they do not have the means to compete with large industry and so, with capitalists, the Bourgeoisie (Marx, 2011, p. 28). Marx therefore describes the establishment of a two-class system as a consequence of the industrialisation that has swept through the Western countries. These classes are directly opposed to each other. The ruling elite profit from this system, while most are plunged into poverty (source). The poverty that has been induced as a result is not natural (Marx, 2000, p. 81), and implicitly, neither is …show more content…

146), selling his work to some higher power in complete control of salary and working time. The introduction of machinery reduces the number of workers required for the same amount of labour, requiring the worker to work longer hours on an often decreased wage. As machinery replaces workers, they are pushed even deeper into poverty. Its rapid expansion continuously forces more and more into wage-labour, until it becomes pervasive throughout society. Job loss is inevitable. Marx criticises this in harsh terms in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts: “political economy […] replaces labour by machines but throws a part of the workers back to barbaric labour and turns the other part into machines” (Marx, 2000, p. 88) .
Conversely, improved efficiency allows the Bourgeoisie to profit immensely while keeping investment in production minimal. The creation of surplus labour as a result of automation thus allows for the establishment of a general system of exploitation (Marx, 2000, pp. 398; 409-410): should a worker voice discontent concerning working conditions, it follows that that he can be immediately

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