Chapter 1b of The Communist Manifest Simplified

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April 28, 2022

The capitalist focuses on centralization. It has:

  • agglomerated population
  • centralised the means of production
  • concentrated property in a few hands.

This necessarily led to political centralisation.

Thhis centralization has led to colossal productive forces in less than 100 years.

They replaced feudalism with free competition under the economic and political sway of the capitalist class.

This centralization has led to the revolt of modern productive forces that manifests as having too much production, too much commerce, too much civlization.

The capitalists solves these by:

  • the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces
  • the conquest of new markets and a more thorough exploitation of the old ones.

The weapons which the capitalists used against feudalism are now turned against the capitalists itself.

They also created the class that will use those weapons. This class is the modern working class — the proletarians

  • The more the capital of the capitalists, the more numerous the proletariat becomes.
  • These labourers are a commodity and are consequently exposed to competition and fluctuations of the market.
  • Because of mechanization, their work loses all individual character and all charm for the worker.
  • He becomes an appendage of the machine doing the simplest, most monotonous task

This is why his wages are restricted to the price of maintaining him according to his means of subsistence and the propagation of his race.

Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist.

Masses of labourers crowd into the factory and organised like soldiers, obeying a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants.

They are slaves of:

  • the capitalist class
  • the capitalist State
  • the machine
  • the supervisor
  • the capitalist manufacturer himself.

The more modern industry becomes, the less strength is needed in manual labour, the more the labor of men are superseded by that of women.

  • Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class.
  • Everyone becomes instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.

The exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer ends when the laborer earns his cash wages. That is when the exploitation by the other parts of the capitalists, as the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc., begins.

The lower strata of the middle class is made up of;

  • small retailers
  • small manufactuerers and handicraftsmen
  • small farmers

These sink gradually into the proletariat because of:

  • their small capital cannot compete with the large capital of Modern Industry
  • their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production.

In the beginning, the proletariat struggle with the capitalists:

  • by individual labourers,
  • then by factory workers
  • then by those of one locality

They destroy imported wares, machinery, and factories.

The proletariat increases in number with the development of industry and becomes more concentrated,

  • This leads to organized riots.

The proletarians then become a class, and, consequently a political party.

  • They lobby for better laws, such as the ten-hours’ bill in England.

This leads to a class struggle.