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*Most of these are works in progress

The Principles of Communism - Fredrick Engles - Fall of 1847 First published (according to marxist archive by German socialist party in 1914) Boldy: "Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat." ## The Proletariat: "The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; [sic] whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor." Further, "The Proletariat, or the class of proletarians, is, in a word, the working class of the 19th century." The proletariat haven't always existed: "There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor." But workers haven't always lived under the conditions they do today, ie. under 'free unbirdled competitions.' # Origins: - Chiefly in the industrial revolution - Only massive capitalists could buy factory equip; they did - This reduced the worker's own property value (ie. tools, hand-loom, etc) to near 0 - Same effect in middle class sectors (ie. 'handicraftsmen'); destroyed middle class - Control over means of subsistence concentrated in hands of capitalists # Result: - Two classes: - Bourgeoisie: the class of big capitalists in nearly exclusive possesion of all the means of subsistence, AND all of the instruments and materials required to produce the means of subsistence - Proletariat: propertyless class, obliged to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie to recieve the means of subsistence. # Under what conditions does this happen? - Labor is a commodity - Under free competition (-eq big industry): - price of commodity == cost of production - therfor, price of labor == cost of prodution of labor - Cost of production of labor (then) == minimum to keep worker alive & working - This effect gets stronger the more the capitalists take over 'branches of production' # Pre industrial revolution working classes vs. proletariat: - Antiquity: slaves (still true of southern US at time of writing..) - "The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily" - "The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master’s interest. The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence. This existence is assured only to the class as a whole." - Feudal serfs (still true in Poland, Russia, Hungary at time of writing..) - "The serf gives up, the proletarian receives. The serf has an assured existence, the proletarian has not. The serf is outside competition, the proletarian is in it." - Handicraftsmen: has the goal of collecting capital to then exploit other workers - Though some protections may exist preventing the factory system from being implimented, the more it is, the more the the handicraftman must either enter the bourgeoisie, or begin exchaning his labor for his continued subsistence. - Manufacturing workers: - 16th-18th century man. workers still possesed instruments of personal production: the loom, a bit of land to work in spare time, etc - Man. workers largely lived in country - Proletariat mostly in cities ## Consequences of this emergent divide (B & P): - Lowered prices of industrial products produced via machine destroyed the old system of hand manufacture - Globalized market: Ex. A new english mechaninical invention puts 1 million chinese out of work within a year - Wherever this happened, the bourgeoisie exploded in power and wealth, wrested political control from aristocoracies, monarchies - Instead of societal roles, competition reigned, but only if one had the required capital - Capital is now the 'decisive power', placing the bourgeoisie in the first class position - In europe, this structure takes form of constitutional monarchy, where capital is a voting requirement - Growth of bourgeoisie wealth proportional to proletariat growth in size - More concentration of both in cities, proletariat mass conciousness strengthens, as wages sink to 'minimum' -> miserable, but 'strong', social revolution foment - A further consequence are the periodic crises which arise from overproduction, and the following period of stagnation (where factories close, workers laid off). This cycle repeats - To Engles, this is clearly inevitable: - Big business, built on free competition, can't sustain itself without periodically destroying itself to a large extent. - His recipe to rectify: - "Production must be directed by a whole society operating according to a definite plan and taking account of the needs of all." - Further, that the enormous production excess of big industry could, given proper social order, result in every member of society being able to develop themseleves to their fullest 'in complete freedom'. # What would this *new* order look like? - Control over industry & all branches of production removed from individuals and transferred to the whole of society. - No private property! # Couldn't we have not abolished private property before now? - Engels answers directly: "No. Every change in the social order, every revolution in property relations, is the necessary consequence of the creation of new forces of production which no longer fit into the old property relations." - Further claims: "Private property has not always existed." Instead, it was a nescesary outgrowth of the development of modes of production which couldn't be sustained by the prior modes. In this case, manufacturing. - 'Now' that we have it, and now that it has produced a system of cyclic chaos which damages all strata, it must necessarily be abolished. # Will peaceful abolish be possible? - Engles sugar coats this 'big time' - Something along the lines of 'we communists would love to be peaceable, but if words won't do it, deeds it must be.' - Revolution here is not 'arbitrary' but a 'necessary consequence' .. of forces outside the control of the revolving group/party # Can we abolish it all at once? - No, it will probably be gradual. - Suggests a critical mass of collectivized means of production ## The Revolution - To establish via a democratic constitution the direct of indirect dominance of the proletariat - "Democracy would be wholly valueless to the proletariat if it were not immediately used as a means for putting through measures directed against private property and ensuring the livelihood of the proletariat." - The following measure are stipulated (mostly direct quote): 1. Limitation of private property through: a. Progressive Taxation b. Heavy inheritence taxes c. Abolition of inheritance though collateral lines (brothers, nephews, etc.) d. Forced loans 2. Gradual expropriation of landowners, industrialists, tycoons etc by: a. Competition by state industry (partly) b. Compensation in the form of bonds (partly) 3. Confiscation of all possessions of emigrants and rebels against the majority of people 4. Organization of labor/employment of prot. on publicly owned lands in factories, workshops, with competition among the workers being abolished and with the factory owners ('in so far as they still exist') being obliged to pay same high wages paid by the state. 5. Equal obligation on all members of society to work until such time as private propertyhas been completely abolished. Formation of industrial armies, especially for agriculture 6. Centralization of money and credit in the hands of the state through a national bank with sate capital, and the supression of all private banks and bankers. 7. Build factories, workshops, infrastructure, cultivate new land, improve old land 8. Educate all children 'from the moment they leave their mother's care' at state schools, paid for by the state 9. Construction of public palaces for dwellings: a. Won't have disadvantages of EITHER city or rural life... 10. Destruction of all poorly built, in bad repair buildings in urban areas 11. Equal inheritence rights for children born in AND out of wedlock 12. Concentration of all means of transportation in the hands of state. - Engels notes that you can't do all this at once, but suggests one will lead to the next - This 'formula' will result in the dissapearance of private property - Further: 'Money will become superfluous'! # Can the revolution happen in one country alone? - Engels: No. By virtue of the global market, the revolution will be global (at least in 'civilized' countries..) - "It is a universal revolution and will, accordingly, have a universal range." # What will happen when finally get rid of private property? - This is the dream section.. - '..the evil consequences which are now associated with the conduct of big industry will be abolished." - The currently misery-causing overproduction will instead provide people with all they need, and some more, creating new needs, and fulfilling them. - Classless society (no need, and indeed 'intolerable') - He speaks to an educational system free of tracts, where you'd be free to develop into a polymath, instead of an expert in, say, rototilling. - He also speaks to a blurring of the line between city and country, which seems to be about class, but also related to the non-requirement of living in a city to find work. # How will it effect the family? - "By transforming the relations between the sexes into a purely private matter which concerns only the persons involved and into which the society has no occasion to intervene." - Since by virute of children being educated communally and the complete absence of private property removes the two bases of marriage (which is basically a property contract). - Also, it will do away with prostitution, ie. "Community of Women". # What about existing nationalities, religions? - Nationalality based distinctions will dissapear as inter-mingling of groups occurs - Religion, an "expression of historical stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples" will be replaced by communism by virtue of its classless (read groupless) nature. ## How is it not Socialism? - "The so-called socialists are divided into three categories." # Reactionary Socialists: - "..adherents of a feudal and patriarchal society which has already been destroyed [sic] by big industry and world trade and their creation, bourgeois society." - Since they see evil around them, they conclude a previous system must be restored. More specifically, a pre-big industry time w/o the evils of big-industry must be restored. - Despite their "..partisanship and their scalding tears for the misery of the proletariat..." communists oppose them becuase: 1. They strive for something impossible 2. Though maybe better than the current plight of the prot, the systems they wish to restore are not evil free, and in some ways may be worse. Certainly for the prot 3. As soon as the proletariat become revolutionary and communists, these reactionaries "show their true colors" and side with the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. # Bourgeois Socialists: - Adherents of the current system, aware of some of its evils, but interested in maintaining it, while making changes/improvements to reduce the evil. - Communists "must unremittingly struggle" against this group as the system they aim to maintain is the precise system the communists aim to overthrow. # Democratic Socialists: - Share many communist goals, but - like the bourgeois socialists - aim to change the existing system, not transition to communism. - Engels notes that "in moments of action, the communists will have to come to an understanding with these democratic socialists". ## Communist attitude toward other political ideologies: - Engels covers the parties in various european countries (and 'America'), and how they stand in relation to the communists. - Notes that in places where the bourgeoisie still rule, democratic parties should be worked with to an extent porpotional to the degree to which they support communist ideals. - On Germany he notes that the power struggle of the day is between the bourgeoisie and the absolute monarchy, and that communists should be wary of the benefits promised the prot. by a bourgeoisie victory. - The day they overthrow the monarchy falls, the stuggle between bourgeoisie & prot begins.