Word Count: 2214TheThe latter part of thenineteenth century was teeming with evolved social andeconomical ideas. These views of the social structure ofurban society came about through the development ofideals taken from past revolutions and the present clash ofindividuals and organized assemblies. As the IndustrialRevolution steamed ahead paving the way for growingcommerce, so did the widening gap between the classstructure which so predominantly grasped the populace andtheir rights within the community.
The development of acapitalist society was a very favorable goal in the eyes ofthe bourgeoisie. Using advancing methods of productionwithin a system of free trade, the ruling middle class werestrategically able to earn a substantial surplus of funds andmaintain their present class of life. Thus, with theadvancement of industry and the bourgeoisies gain ofwealth, a counter-action was undoubtably taking place.The resultant was the degradation of the working- class, ofthe proletarians whom provided labour to a middle-classonly to be exploited in doing so. Exploitation is a quarrelbetween social groups that has been around since the dawnof mankind itself. The persecution of one class by anotherhas historically allowed the advancement of mankind tocontinue. These clashes, whether ending with positive ornegative results, allow Man to evolve as a species, definingHimself within the social structure of nature.
Mans rivalryamongst one another allows for this evolution! through theproduction of something which is different, not necessarilyproductive, but differing from the present norm and untriedthrough previous epochs. At this time in history, mankindwas moving forward very rapidly, but at the price of theworking-class. Wages were given sparsely, and whencapital gain improved, the money payed for labour did notreflect this prosperity. This, therefore, accelerated thedownfall of the proletarians and progressed towards ajustifiable revolt against the oppressive middle class.
Theconclusion of this revolt was envisioned to be a classlesssociety, one in which its people benefit from and thatbenefits from its people. The overthrow of capitalism wouldcreate a socialist society eventually flourishing intocommunism. Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 – 1883) was thephilosophical analysis who created communism and saw itas an achievable goal. Marx denounced religion andcreated what were thought to be radical ideas, whichresulted in the banishment from his native land of Germanyand then France, eventually ending up in England.(Comptons Encyclopedia, 121) Through dialecticalprocessing Marx was able to synthesize a theory of aclassless society.
This society would be achievable throughthe joint union of the proletarians and overthrow of thegoverning bourgeois. For the working-class man does notbenefit from the labour which he provides. His labour isexternal to himself and is not actually belonging to hisessential being. Therefore in work, the proletarian denieshimself and does not validate his worthiness as anindividual.
(Marx from Haberman, 183) The worker has noexistence except to work, which furthers the employer, butdegrades the labourer and eventually results in a graspingindividu! al. Marx realized that with the unification of theworking-class, they would be able to better themselves andtheir lives, and in doing so, better society on the whole. Theaspiration to achieve this was purely theoretical and thoughMarx felt attainable, it was undoubtably flawed. Thecommunist ideals are purely a utopian dream which cannotbe reached because of humans inescapable desire to satisfytheir own egos. A proletarian society would not remainharmonious without individuals seeking personalsatisfaction, and without a governing body chaos wouldresult, paving a road which would lead to totalitarianism.
Marxs views were of the proletarian class rising to crushthe bourgeois ideals which governed their lives. This wouldresult in a proletarian dictatorship, through which endswould have to be met in order to rid the community of theexisting means of production and prosperity. The abolitionof private property would be achieved by ridding thebourgeoisies ownership of lands, and allowing them to bepublicized. This would enable the removal of selfishindividualism which splits society into segregated portions,and allow the rich and poor to become more economicallyequal in status. This however is only partially attainable, forone cannot undo what has already taken place.
Marx statesthat the faster industry progresses, the weaker theproletarian becomes. Eventually storming the top of thesocial pyramid in order to reconstruct and overthrow thebourgeois assembly. This revolt would take place as aresult of the demands of the labourers not being met, andwages not increasing with the increase of profit. Theproletarian would feel worthless, and with nothing to lose,revolt against their employers. The vision of a capitaliststate neglecting its workers and allowing them to use theirmass of people to simply reverse the ways of society isridiculous.
In a capitalist state, the class which finds itself inthe position of dividing up labour to produce a marketableproduct is the one which benefits the most. The bourgeoisin this case would be in this class, and in ruling, would notallow the organized overthrow of their established system.In order to increase net profit, the employer must exploitthe labour provided by his workers to ensure the increasein overall revenue. In a capitalist society, the expansion ofmarkets and growth of production allows for theunfortunate increase between classes and their economicalvalue. Having acquired business sense which has allowedthem to maintain their more than satisfactory lifestyle, thebourgeois would have unquestionably not have exploitedthe work of proletarians to the extreme.
Not increasingwages and allowing the workers to become restless wouldhave been a grave mistake on the part of the employers. Asolution in preventing an outcry at a revolutionary levelwould be to i! ncrease wages sufficiently in providingmaximum surplus capital, but at the same time creating apayroll which would satisfy the workers. While raising thelevel of pay would create wage wars amongst differentproletarian groups, it would stabilize the lifestyle which thebourgeois were living. If wages did not increase at least aminute amount, then the middle- class lifestyles wouldbecome threatened, eventually resulting in personalinstability which would not be worth the money saved inkeeping payrolls at such a low level. If the working classdid decide to proceed to overthrow the bourgeois, then yetanother problem would arise. This problem would be in thecontrol of the revolting populace.
The communist goal is toachieve a classless society with the eventual abolition of thestate itself, in order to unite all working-class men. Thiswould be very difficult without the organization of agoverning assembly which would then defeat therevolutions own purpose. In order to achieve an ultimategoal, there must be some type of plan implemented in orderto successfully do this.
A spontaneous clash with anopposing minority would just reveal to that class what it isthat they have done wrong, and allow them to correct theirerrors in order to restore the profitable production whichthey have to this point maintained. To properly overthrowthe ruling class, an appointed assembly, within the revoltingassembly, would need to direct and acquire the ideas andinterests of all its followers. This would create theestablishment of the proletarians own class society withintheir own people, therefore going against everything inwhich the revolution was trying to accomplish.
Thisorganization of the proletarians could enable them to attainthe goals which they set out to grasp. Upon reaching thesegoals it would be reasonable to question whether theclasses now set up within would actually disintegrate andallow for equality amongst all men. This would mean thatthe governing proletarian assembly would deteriorate andbecome one of the same. Also, the defeated bourgeoiswho were hated and envied, could not themselves beoppressed by the proletarians. In order to meet the goals ofthe revolution, they would have to become equals andallowed to take from society as all else do. This wouldleave the door open to a counter revolution in order torestore society to the previous means of operation. As well,through human nature man cannot simply defeat its enemyand then expect to live along side of it.
To defeat yourenemy is to become your enemy, and in this case thatwould result in an oppressor and an oppressed, oppositelysituated when looking at i! t from a class structure. The ideaof creating an equal society is a provocative promise inorder to rally people together and create a common goal,but keeping this goal is very unrealistic. Now the rulingassembly within the working-class has gained power, andlike the bourgeois, they can see that this power is easilyharnessed.
By altering the goals of the revolution in a waythat still brings about change from the past ways of society,allows the ruling class to bring prosperity to their own lives.Falling under the same spell as the bourgeois didthemselves, the new rulers can fulfill their own egos whilegoverning a body of people who are much more tolerable.Their tolerance comes from the feeling of victory whichreally just creates a much more efficient work force.Because of their own blindness, they cannot see that in thelight of change, in fact, nothing really has.
The CommunistManifesto ends proclaiming: Workingmen of all countries,unite! This is to further emphasize Marxs belief that theproletarians have only each other and do not belong to acountry or state. What exists as a state is only known anddeveloped within a capitalist society by the bourgeois. Thestate is created in order to identify with trade andproduction techniques, and helps in creating variousbounded markets.
The technique which the proletarianclass would use to overthrow the bourgeois would be tojoin all workers in a mutual interest of intent. In doing so,Marx believes the state or nation will collapse, allowing theunification of all labourers, regardless of heritage and stateof origin. Therefore clashes between nations would cease,and only one world of united people who want to live andwork equally would exist. Another imperfection in Marxstheories is revealed. If socialism, communism being theultimate goal, was to flourish, it would not be ubiquitous.Hence, some states would progress faster than others,while some would not be interested in a socialist society atall. In theory, this develops a unified nation which throughjoint interest becomes stronger as it strives toward itstarget.
Through the collaboration of many, a devotiondevelops in the form of nationalistic views. This nationalismwhich strengthens the undertaking, will directly andindirectly threaten other nations or states which have notprogressed at the same pace. This will obviously createtension between nations, especially those geographicallybordering each other, and could lead to conflict orpersecution of one state by another. This would then takethe capitalist theory of the oppressed and the oppressor toa different level, again steering away from the communistgoals which were to be accomplished. An example ofcommunisms flaws can be seen in the revolution led byV.I.
Lenin in Russia. Using politically left winged tactics, hesought to achieve communism through the heading of theBolsheviks. Following his death, Stalin saw the opportunityto create an industrial state which could grow to engulf thelarger capitalist states around. Stalins form of governingresulted in the political system known as totalitarianism,which created an ultimate power.
This corrupted theutopian dream of communism and again resulted with aspecific figure and class living off the wealth produced bythe rest of the state. Throughout history man has evolved,becoming a more and more complex thinker. This processof evolution is in order to further himself and socially adaptto the changing times in which he lives. Evolution isinevitable and will never cease, therefore man will continuelearning, trying to gain more knowledge and accomplishwhat hasnt been done. Communism does not allow formans own gratification, that is why it is an impractical wayof thought. To strive towards a society which everyone isequally represented does seem pleasant, but it becomes aninaccurate way of reasoning. For once the ideal communistsociety is reached, what would be the point of working?Labour and work are to advance society as a whole,though not all at the same rate, varying on the type of workand strength at which one strives.
Therefore oncecommunism has been reached, essentially the evolution ofman ceases. This would be an impossibility. Since man isborn into an imperfect world, he too is imperfect, changingto meet his own needs within the needs of the environmentin which he lives. Since the only consistentcy in the universeis change, then man cannot expect to become thecontrolling factor of change and govern its principles.
Inliving in a communist society, man believes that all areequal, contributing to the advancement of the ra! ce as awhole. But the error here is that not all believe that all areequal. Many feel that their own personal goals are correct,and they set out to reach them. Consequently, a society ofclassess begins to develop, where one voice gainsfollowers while another speaking out against the firstcreates his own aswell. What then results from these criesis a clash between various groups, leading to theestablishment of a class system.
Communism is an idealistsutopian dream. It is only achievable through the unificationand agreement of all who populate a state. Only when anentire populace lose their own individuality will a communistsociety then take form. Man continuously strives to provehis own self worth, to himself and not humanity. Humanityon a whole will continue to progress regardless of personalachievements great men rise while others fall.
It is thereforeseen that a communist society due to the facts regardingsocial evolution, cannot exist. For a communist societymoves ahead together, yet remains idle when looking at anindividual. This is illogical, for we are just that, individuals.We as humans are imperfect individuals, and selfishly stridetowards justifying our personal goals, collaborating withothers only when knowing it will strengthen our own grip.Works Cited Communism. Academic AmericanEncyclopedia. 1989.
Marx, Karl. ComptonsEncyclopedia. 1986.
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Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. The CommunistManifesto. Illinois: AHM Publishing Corporation, 1955.McKay, John P. and others. A History of WesternSociety.
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