Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Selection from The Communist Manifesto Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein   Marx and Engels identified with the proletariat, as the hope for a better future. The original idea of the piece was their concept of "economic determinism," i.e., that culture was an outgrowth of prevailing economic conditions. From Hegel they took the idea of dialectic, or thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Here the "haves" (thesis) and the "have nots" (their antithesis) would struggle ceaselessly until a new class (synthesis) would emerge to unite the warring factions. It was their fondest hope that the proletariat would ultimately win out over the middle class bourgeoisie and their capitalistic system and eventually establish a classless society under a communist economic system. Some of their ideas are as follows: Communism was already a power, as recognized by all European countries. It was time that those who espoused this ideology should openly codify and communicate their beliefs. The bourgeoisie was responsible for making money the bottom line in an economic system based on market economy. Free trade exploits people, to the point where all men have become wage earners, and even families are reduced to monetary relationships. In an industrial society, constant revolution of production modes and unending change breeds uncertainty for individuals, and individual men cease to matter. In their efforts to cover the globe and link it up in their market economy, the middle class marketers have dissolved nationalistic boundaries and created markets for rare goods. In place of nationalistic self-sufficiency, there is everywhere interdependence. But if the working class that is being exploited by the bourgeoisie could become the ruling class, then it would finally be possible to achieve democracy. It would then be appropriate to wrestle the capital from the hands of the middle class and center it in the state. In those states which will advance to the point of ruling through the proletariat, the following will come about: 1. Abolition of individually owned land, and all rents going to public purposes. 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of all property from all emigrants and rebels. 5. Centralization of all credit in the hands of the state. 6. Centralization of all communication and transportation systems in the hands of the state. 7. All factories and industrial complexes owned by the state. 8. An equal obligation of all to work, with an establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combining agriculture with industry, and gradually distributing the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children, and combining education with industrial production. The chief aim of the Communist movement was to equalize property. They saw several countries on the verge of a revolution against the bourgeoisie—France, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany. Wherever the Communists are, they strive unceasingly to establish hostilities between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Probably the most famous quotes from the Communist Manifesto are the final ones of this selection: "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. "Workingmen of all countries, unite!" Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily