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The Influence Of The Communist Manifesto On The Development Of Industrial Capitalism

1468 words - 6 pages


The Communist Manifesto left a tremendous impact on a society that was rapidly becoming industrialized, and its effects can even be seen on the dominating economic system of the twenty-first century. In the later nineteenth century, however, industrial capitalism was on the brink of ruin. “On many occasions during the past century, Marxists have thought that capitalism was down for the count . . . Yet it has always come back with renewed strength.” Industrial capitalism succeeded in the face of communism, despite numerous economic disasters. As the capitalist economists hopefully noted at the time, these economic earthquakes, temporary in character, soon cured themselves and left capitalism unscathed. Karl Marx sought to create a definitive statement for the emerging Communist party, and the goal of the Communist Manifesto was to rid society of the bourgeoisie class. As capitalism continued to be practiced, though, many of the guiding economic principles that are practiced today can be traced to the ideology of the Communist Manifesto. Greatly influenced by the Communist Manifesto, industrial capitalism established a strong middle class, ignored nationality, and focused on the individual prosperity of workers.

Industrial capitalism saw the rise of a strong middle class that forms the vast majority of the populations in capitalistic countries. “There are those defenders of capitalism who claim that Marx was wrong in stating that the development of capitalism was leading to a growing impoverishment of the working class and to the expropriation of the middle class by the capitalists.” While Marx was in fact incorrect about the destruction of the middle class, he was right about the eventual emergence of a class of workers that would dominate the population of capitalistic countries. Marx believed that “if the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms.” Such an instance occurred with the development of the middle class. Despite the continuation of capitalism, the middle class successfully emerged as the dominating class in our society. As Lewis Corey states, “Workers were becoming capitalists, the capitalists becoming workers.” Industrial capitalism spawned a middle class, molded the exact same way that Marx predicted in his major work.

In establishing the goals of the Communist party, Marx stated, “In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of entire proletariat, independently of nationality.” Once again, the Communist Manifesto espouses capitalistic ideas. By the end of the twentieth century,...

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