Ryan-Morales, The Communist Manifesto and The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte



The social class that I will highlight is the Proletarian class.

Marx sees the proletarians as “victims” of the brutal and greedy bourgeois. The bourgeois, are the ones who own the means of production and have total disregard for their workers. Bad work conditions and poor wages. There is no way a worker can move up the ladder to pursue a better life. According to Marx, these people own nothing of their production and are therefore vulnerable to their higher-ups. In Marx’s works, he proclaims that proletarians are the ones capable to rise up and start revolutions to adhere to their issues. They are able to take ownership of their means of production through these uprisings, and the worker will be able to disperse the earnings. Marx described Proletarian Revolutions like this, “Proletarian revolutions, like those in the nineteenth century, criticize themselves constantly, interrupt themselves continually in their own course, come back to the apparently accomplished in order to begin it afresh, deride with unmerciful thoroughness the inadequacies, weakness and paltriness of their first attempts, seen to throw down their adversary only in order that he may draw new strength from the earth and rise again, more gigantic, before them, recoil ever and anon from the indefinite prodigiousness of their own aims, until a situation has been created which makes all turning back impossible” (18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 19).  This kind of language that Marx uses, indicates that he sees the proletarian population as strong-willed and united to overthrow any kind of adversary in their way. This picture that Marx paints can make many think that these people are the toughest in society, as they are the ones to work in tough, dirty, and dangerous factory jobs daily. One can imagine these types of people, and how they would demonstrate uprisings in the streets.  Marx’s description of a proletarian society would be a proclamation of a “social republic”. This republic would distribute all resources equally to each worker and citizen and the social government would oversee this distribution to their citizens. It would be the counter of capitalism, where groups such as the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie would capitalize on the system and get richer, while they exploit the working common man, which is the proletarians. Marx compared this system of classism to the old Roman social system. “Wholly absorbed in the production of wealth and in peaceful competitive struggle, it no longer comprehends that ghosts from the days of Rome had watched nevertheless took heroism, sacrifice, terror, civil war and battles peoples to bring it into being” (18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 16). In a way, Marx is using history to apply it to his present-day as the kind of treatment of classes has been event throughout this entire history and points to the greatest civilization in history as being plagued by classism and exploitation. The martial interest of these people is power and ownership of their means of production. For every product produced in their factory, they would like the return of revenue from that product, not to their owner. Marx also has claimed that wealth will be accumulated through labor or natural resources. That means that if something takes a lot of labor to get attain or produce, then therefore the product will be more expensive. Things like diamonds and other minerals apply. They would not be rich by things known as “capital”. These material interests would be important for a proletarian government, as things known as capital such as land, houses, etc would be nullified and natural resources would be the main accumulation of wealth. Therefore, social ranks would be abolished by the state so everyone can live equally and own their own means of production. 

By analyzing Marx’s beliefs, some could argue that Marx himself is an actor of the proletarians. Marx claims all these righteous beliefs and constructs of the proletarian but Marx himself does not come from that class and could be seen as a privileged higher class individual. Unlike many proletarians, he got an education to read and write and think to critically. If he grew up as a proletarian, he would most likely not gain these skills. He wrote this piece as almost a battle cry of sympathy for the proletarians, so they can go out and cause chaos so an individual or group takes power away from “elites” and proclaim to be part of the workers. As history progressed, it was shown that this is what exactly happened, where one party claims to be part of the working class, while in reality they gain a lot of power and they themselves become “elitist”. 

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