Manifesto of the Communist Party

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Manifesto of the Communist Party . Karl Marx and Frederick Engels February 1848. Class struggle shapes history, as it always has - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Manifesto of the Communist Party Karl Marx and Frederick Engels February 1848

Bourgeois & Proletarians:class struggleClass struggle shapes history, as it always hasAlthough all previous historical periods featured social divisions between ruling and subordinate orders, the capitalist mode of production simplifies class divisions into "two hostile camps": a ruling class that owns the means of production (bourgeoisie) a subordinate class (proletariat) that lacks the means of production and the ability to sustain itself without selling its labor power to the ruling classSimplified class divisions sharpen class consciousnessBourgeois & Proletarians:economics and politicsAs the bourgeoisie advanced economically, it also advanced politically"The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. (55)Government represents the interests of the ruling class, regardless of its claims to act in the general interestTo simplify: economic relations politics

secularization, globalization, urbanizationCapitalism promotes secularization and materialism:All previous social bonds to family, religion, nation, tradition, etc. are replaced by the cold cash nexus"Capitalism promotes globalization: "The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe."Capitalism promotes urbanization:Forces people to leave rural areas and look for work as wage laborers in cities "The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns."

CrisisDue to its inherent contradictions, capitalism is prone to periodic crises, each one more threatening to the system than the lastThere develops an "epidemic of over-production," a glut of commodities that no one buys

Over-production of oranges, Hapolis, BrazilBourgeois & Proletarians:proletarianizationWorkers who must sell their labor in the market become just another commodityAs the use of machines and the division of labor intensifies, work loses all individual character and charm for the workerHe becomes an appendage of the machineThe industrial factory comes to be organized more and more despotically, in an almost military fashionThe lower strata of the middle class sink gradually into the proletariat, due to relative lack of investment capital and de-skilling (deterioration of specialized skills)

Stencil graffiti expresses themes found in Marxs writings Capital Karl Marx1867Capitalism is a system of commodity productionIn a capitalist system, producers do not simply produce for their own needs, or only for the needs of individuals with whom they are in personal contact capitalism involves a nation-wide, or international exchange-market

CommoditiesCommodity: A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside us, a thing by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another All commodities have the common quality of being products of laborAll commodities have a two-fold character: a use value and an exchange value

Use value and exchange valueThe utility of a thing is its use-valuean object can have use value whether or not it is a commodity, but to be a commodity it must also have exchange value Use value is realized only in process of consumptionUse values, which occur in all societies, are determined by their physical properties in relation to human needs clothing keeps one warm, bricks provide shelterExchange value refers to the value a product has when offered in exchange for other products in market transactionsexchange value presupposes "a definite economic relation," and only has meaning in reference to commodities, or the equivalent in money

Capitalism and the Fetishism of CommoditiesFetishism is the belief that natural objects have supernatural powers, or that something created by people has power over peopleAs labor increasingly becomes an abstraction in the capitalist system of production, we come to forget the human social relations behind the products of labor, even though the products were created by people

Commodity fetishismTo producers the relations connecting the labor of one individual with that of the rest appear, not as direct social relations between individuals at work, but as what they really are, material relations between persons and social relations between things It is value, rather, that converts every product into a social hieroglyphicit is just as much a social product as language