A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.
Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power?
Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?
Two things result from this fact: I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers to be itself a power.
II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a manifesto of the party itself.
To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.
- Section I: Bourgeois and Proletarians
- Section II: Proletarians and Communists
- Section III: Socialist and Communist Literature
- Section IV: Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties
- Section V: Draft of A Communist Confession of Faith
- Section VI: The Principles of Communism
Section I: Bourgeois and Proletarians
This section essentially outlines the historical development of the bourgeoisie as a dominant class and the emergence of the proletariat as its main adversary. It emphasizes the revolutionary potential of the proletariat in the face of modern industry and capitalism.
Class Struggles in History:
All of history is marked by class struggles.
Throughout history, there have been various classes in opposition, such as freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, and guild-master and journeyman.
These class struggles have either led to a revolutionary reconstitution of society or the mutual destruction of the contending classes.
Bourgeoisie and Proletariat:
The modern era, characterized by the dominance of the bourgeoisie, has simplified class antagonisms into two primary opposing classes: the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat.
The bourgeoisie emerged from the chartered burghers of early towns, and their rise was accelerated by events like the discovery of America, the establishment of trade routes, and the colonization of new lands.
Modern industry and commerce gave an unprecedented boost to the bourgeoisie, leading to the decline of feudal societies.
Weapons of the Bourgeoisie:
The tools and systems that the bourgeoisie used to overthrow feudalism are now turning against them.
The bourgeoisie has inadvertently created its own adversaries, the proletarians or the modern working class.
As the bourgeoisie (capital) develops, so does the proletariat. The proletariat consists of laborers who rely on selling their labor to survive. Their existence and conditions are tied to the demands of capital.
Origins and Development of the Proletariat:
The proletariat, as a distinct class, originated during the industrial revolution, especially evident in England during the latter half of the 18th century.
The conditions of the modern proletariat differ from the working classes of previous eras. The modern proletariat’s existence is closely tied to industrial capitalism and the competitive market dynamics it brings.
Proletariat’s Revolutionary Potential:
The organization of the proletariat into a distinct class and political party faces challenges, especially from competition within the class itself. However, it keeps re-emerging stronger and more unified.
The proletariat, through its struggles, often forces legislative changes that recognize its interests. An example given is the ten-hours’ bill in England.
The bourgeoisie is constantly in conflict, initially with the aristocracy and later with segments of its own class that oppose industrial progress. During these internal conflicts, some members of the bourgeoisie align with the proletariat, recognizing the historical and revolutionary momentum of the latter.
Of all classes that oppose the bourgeoisie, only the proletariat is genuinely revolutionary. Other classes, like the lower middle class, small manufacturers, and peasants, are gradually decaying in the face of modern industry.
Section II: Proletarians and Communists
This section essentially outlines the position of Communists in relation to the broader proletarian movement, emphasizing their role in guiding and representing the interests of the proletariat.
It also touches upon the themes of nationality, the changing nature of consciousness in relation to material conditions, and the revolutionary aims of the Communists.
Relationship of Communists to the Proletariat:
Communists do not form a separate party distinct from other working-class parties.
They do not have interests that are separate from the general interests of the proletariat.
They do not adhere to specific sectarian principles that would shape the proletarian movement in a particular way.
Distinctive Features of Communists:
Communists emphasize the common interests of the entire proletariat across different countries, regardless of nationality.
They represent the interests of the proletarian movement as a whole throughout its various stages of development against the bourgeoisie.
Practically, Communists are the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties, pushing other sections forward.
Theoretically, they have a clear understanding of the direction, conditions, and general outcomes of the proletarian movement.
Nationality and the Proletariat:
The working men do not have a country in the traditional sense, as they don’t possess the means of production.
As the proletariat seeks political supremacy and becomes the leading class, it becomes national in its own right, but not in the bourgeois sense.
National differences and antagonisms are diminishing due to the development of the bourgeoisie, global commerce, and the world market.
The rise of the proletariat will further diminish these national differences. United action among the leading civilized countries is essential for the emancipation of the proletariat.
Communists believe that man’s consciousness changes with every alteration in the conditions of his material existence and social relations.
Intellectual production changes its character based on changes in material production. The dominant ideas of each age have always been the ideas of its ruling class.
Communists openly declare their objectives and believe that their goals can only be achieved by forcibly overthrowing all existing social conditions.
The ruling classes should fear a Communist revolution.
The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains and have a world to win. The manifesto ends with the rallying cry: “Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”
Section III: Socialist and Communist Literature
This section categorizes and critiques various forms of socialist and communist literature, highlighting their historical contexts, main ideas, and limitations. It underscores the difference between these forms and the revolutionary socialism and communism that Marx and Engels advocate for.
The aristocracies of France and England, due to their historical positions, wrote against modern bourgeois society.
After their defeats in events like the French Revolution of July 1830 and the English reform agitation, they could only engage in literary battles.
To gain sympathy, they had to appear as if they were advocating for the working class, even though their primary interest was in preserving their own status.
The bourgeoisie’s rise led to the decline of not just the feudal aristocracy but also other classes like medieval burgesses and small peasant proprietors.
In less industrially developed countries, these classes still exist alongside the bourgeoisie.
The petty-bourgeois class in Germany, a relic from the past, is the basis of the current state of affairs. Preserving this class means preserving the status quo in Germany.
“True” Socialism emerged as a means to counter the threats posed by the bourgeoisie’s industrial and political supremacy.
Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism:
This form of socialism seeks to redress social grievances without posing any threat to capital and profit.
It essentially represents the bourgeoisie’s interests under the guise of advocating for the working class.
The summary suggests that this form of socialism is hypocritical, as it claims to be for the benefit of the working class while actually serving bourgeois interests.
Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism:
This category does not refer to literature from revolutionary movements like those of Babeuf but to the literature that accompanied the proletariat’s early movements.
These early movements were bound to fail due to the proletariat’s undeveloped state and the lack of necessary economic conditions for their emancipation.
The literature from this period had a reactionary character, promoting ideas like universal asceticism and crude forms of social leveling.
As the modern class struggle developed, the significance of Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism diminished.
These forms of socialism and communism often aimed to deaden the class struggle and reconcile class antagonisms.
They dreamt of establishing isolated communities based on their utopian ideals, but these were unrealistic and out of touch with the actual conditions and needs of the working class.
Section IV: Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties
This section outlines the strategic alliances and positions the Communists take in various countries based on the political landscape. It emphasizes their adaptability and commitment to the broader goal of proletarian revolution and the overthrow of the bourgeoisie.
The attitude of the Communists towards other political parties varies based on the country and its specific political context.
Communists support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order.
In all movements, the property question is brought to the forefront, regardless of its developmental stage at the time.
Communists work towards the union and agreement of democratic parties globally.
England, France, and Belgium: Communists have common interests with various democratic parties, especially when these parties champion socialistic measures that align with Communist objectives. In England, the working-class Chartists are closer to the Communists than the democratic petty bourgeoisie or the Radicals.
America: With a democratic constitution already in place, Communists align with the party that will use this constitution against the bourgeoisie for the proletariat’s benefit, specifically the agrarian National Reformers.
Switzerland: Communists can cooperate with the Radicals, especially the most advanced among them, like the Vaudois and Genevese.
Germany: The primary struggle is between the bourgeoisie and the absolute monarchy. Since the decisive battle between Communists and the bourgeoisie can only occur once the bourgeoisie is in power, Communists aim to help the bourgeoisie gain power to overthrow them sooner. Thus, Communists support the radical liberal party against the governments.
Conclusion: Communists are transparent about their views and objectives. They openly state that their goals can only be achieved by forcibly overthrowing all existing social conditions. The manifesto ends with a rallying cry for workers from all countries to unite.
Section V: Draft of A Communist Confession of Faith
Note: The “Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith” (often referred to as the “Credo”) was a draft program discussed at the First Congress of the Communist League in London from June 2-9, 1847.
The document was prepared as part of the reorganization of the League of the Just, an organization of German workers and craftsmen founded in Paris in 1836-37. The League later became the Communist League.
The “Credo” was discovered in 1968 and became known to the broader public. It was written by Engels in June 1847.
This took to the form of a series of questions and answers, that explained the basics tenets of communism and how it would be implemented.
The answers below are summarized because they original answers are quite lengthy.
Question 1: Are you a Communist?
Question 2: What is the aim of the Communists?
Answer: To organize society in such a way that every member can develop and use all his capabilities and powers in complete freedom without infringing the basic conditions of this society.
Question 3: How do you wish to achieve this aim?
Answer: By the elimination of private property and its replacement by community of property.
Question 4: On what do you base your community of property?
Answer: Firstly, on the mass of productive forces and means of subsistence resulting from the development of industry, agriculture, trade, and colonization, and on the possibility inherent in machinery, chemical, and other resources of their infinite extension.
Secondly, on the fact that in the consciousness or feeling of every individual there exist certain irrefutable basic principles which, being the result of the whole of historical development, require no proof.
Question 5: What are such principles?
Answer: For example, every individual strives to be happy. The happiness of the individual is inseparable from the happiness of all, etc.
Question 6: How do you wish to prepare the way for your community of property?
Answer: By enlightening and uniting the proletariat.
Note: This section delves into the historical and socio-economic evolution that led to the emergence of the proletariat and distinguishes their position from that of slaves.
Question 7: What is the proletariat?
Answer: The proletariat is that class of society which lives exclusively by its labor and not on the profit from any kind of capital; that class whose well-being and woe, life and death, depend on the alternation of times of good and bad business, i.e., on the fluctuations of competition.
Question 8: Then there have not always been proletarians?
Answer: No, while there have always been poor and working classes, not all workers were proletarians. The concept of the proletariat is tied to the emergence of free competition.
Question 9: How did the proletariat arise?
Answer: The rise of the proletariat is linked to the introduction of machines in the mid-last century, notably the steam-engine, spinning machine, and power loom.
These expensive machines were owned by the rich and replaced traditional workers, making production faster and cheaper.
This shift favored big capitalists and rendered the workers’ tools and equipment worthless.
The factory system emerged, and as it expanded to various labor sectors, it further empowered big capitalists and eroded workers’ independence.
This evolution led to the formation of two main classes:
The bourgeoisie: Big capitalists who control the means of subsistence and production.
The proletariat: Those without property, forced to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie for survival.
NOTE: The questions and answers below delve into the distinctions between different working classes, the historical context for the emergence of communism, and the stance of the Communists on the concept of revolution.
Question 10: In what way does the proletarian differ from the slave?
Answer: While a slave is sold once, a proletarian sells his labor continually.
Slaves are owned by one master and have a guaranteed (though often meager) subsistence, while proletarians are at the mercy of the entire bourgeois class without guaranteed sustenance.
Slaves are seen as property, not members of society, whereas proletarians are recognized as individuals and members of civil society.
The proletarian is at a higher developmental stage than the slave. While a slave can elevate himself by becoming a proletarian, a proletarian can only free himself by abolishing property altogether.
Question 11: In what way does the proletarian differ from the serf?
Answer: The serf uses a piece of land (an instrument of production) and gives a portion of the yield as a return. The proletarian works with tools owned by someone else and gets a portion of the products based on competition.
The serf’s share is determined by his own labor, while the proletarian’s share is determined by competition and the bourgeois.
The serf has a guaranteed subsistence; the proletarian does not.
The serf becomes free by becoming a property owner and joining the privileged class. The proletarian becomes free by abolishing property, competition, and class differences.
Question 12: In what way does the proletarian differ from the handicraftsman?
Answer: The handicraftsman, unlike the proletarian, is a temporary proletarian aiming to acquire capital to exploit other workers.
The handicraftsman’s prospects change with the introduction of the factory system and competition, making him more of a proletarian.
The handicraftsman can either become a bourgeois, join the middle class, or become a proletarian and join the communist movement.
Question 13: Then you do not believe that community of property has been possible at any time?
Answer: Communism became a possibility only when machinery and other inventions offered a prospect of well-rounded development and happiness for all society members.
Communism is a liberation theory possible only for the proletarians and is specific to the 19th century.
Question 14: As you wish to prepare for community of property by enlightening and uniting the proletariat, do you reject revolution?
Answer: Conspiracies are seen as not only useless but harmful.
Revolutions arise from necessary circumstances, not deliberate actions.
The proletariat’s development is repressed by the possessing classes, pushing towards a revolution.
If a revolution is forced upon the proletariat, they will defend their cause through actions, not just words.
NOTE: These questions and answers in this section delve deeper into the practical aspects of transitioning to communism, the implications for family and nationality, and the stance of Communists on religion.
Question 15: Do you intend to replace the existing social order by community of Property at one stroke?
Answer: No, the development of the masses can’t be decreed but is determined by their living conditions, thus it proceeds gradually.
Question 16: How do you think the transition from the present situation to community of Property is to be effected?
Answer: The primary condition is the political liberation of the proletariat through a democratic constitution.
Question 17: What will be your first measure once you have established democracy?
Answer: Ensuring the subsistence of the proletariat.
Question 18: How will you do this?
Answer: Limit private property to gradually transform it into social property (e.g., progressive taxation, limiting inheritance rights).
Employ workers in national workshops, factories, and estates.
Educate all children at the state’s expense.
Question 19: How will you arrange this kind of education during the period of transition?
Answer: All children will be educated in state institutions once they can be separated from initial maternal care.
Question 20: Will the introduction of community of property be accompanied by the community of women?
Answer: No, interference in personal relationships or family will only occur if it disturbs the new social order. The family structure has evolved based on property relationships, so ending private property will influence it.
Question 21: Will nationalities continue to exist under communism?
Answer: Nationalities of peoples joining in community will be compelled to merge and supersede themselves, just as class differences disappear with the end of private property.
Question 22: Do Communists reject existing religions?
Answer: All past religions were expressions of historical development stages of peoples. Communism, being a new stage, makes existing religions superfluous and replaces them.
Section VI: The Principles of Communism
This section is titled “Principles of Communism” and wasn’t actually a part of the original Communist Manifesto. It was written by Engels in the year 1847, but was only published in 1914.
Similar to a “Communist Confession of Faith” it takes the form of a series of questions and answers.
Principle 1: What is Communism?
Communism is the doctrine that outlines the conditions required for the liberation of the proletariat.
Principle 2: What is the proletariat?
The proletariat is the class that relies solely on selling its labor for survival. They don’t benefit from any capital and their existence is tied to the demand for labor. Essentially, they represent the working class of the 19th century.
Principle 3: Proletarians, then, have not always existed?
Proletarians, as defined in the context of the 19th century, haven’t always existed. While there have always been workers and poor people, the specific conditions and challenges faced by the proletarians of the 19th century are unique, especially in the context of free competition.
Principle 4: How did the proletariat originate?
The proletariat came into existence due to the industrial revolution, primarily in England during the latter half of the 18th century. This revolution was driven by the discovery and implementation of various machines, which were expensive and thus only accessible to big capitalists. These machines changed the entire mode of production, favoring the capitalists and making the small assets of the workers obsolete. As a result, industries shifted towards the factory system, leading to the dominance of big capitalists and the decline of small craftsmen. This evolution resulted in the creation of two main classes: the bourgeoisie (big capitalists) and the proletariat (those without property who sell their labor).
Principle 5: Under what conditions does this sale of the labor of the proletarians to the bourgeoisie take place?
Labor is treated as a commodity, and its price is determined by the same laws as other commodities. In a system dominated by big industry, the price of labor equates to its production cost, which is essentially the minimum required for a worker’s survival. The wage a worker receives, on average, is just enough for sustenance.
Principle 6: What working classes were there before the industrial revolution?
- Antiquity: Workers were slaves, owned by masters. This still exists in some backward countries and parts of the U.S.
- Middle Ages: Workers were serfs, bound to land-owning nobility. This remains in places like Hungary, Poland, and Russia. In cities, there were journeymen serving petty bourgeois masters.
- Post-Middle Ages: With the rise of manufacturing, journeymen transitioned to manufacturing workers employed by larger capitalists.
Principle 7: In what way do proletarians differ from slaves?
Slaves are sold once; proletarians sell their labor continually.
Slaves have a guaranteed (though possibly miserable) existence due to the master’s vested interest; proletarians don’t have such security.
Slaves are outside competition, while proletarians are subject to its fluctuations.
Slaves are seen as objects, not societal members. Despite potentially better conditions, slaves are socially below proletarians.
Slaves can elevate themselves by abolishing only the slavery relation, becoming proletarians. Proletarians can only free themselves by abolishing all private property.
Principle 8: In what way do proletarians differ from serfs?
Serfs use a production instrument (land) and give a part of their product or labor services in return. Proletarians work with someone else’s production instruments and get a portion of the product.
Serfs have a guaranteed existence; proletarians don’t.
Serfs are outside competition; proletarians are in it.
Serfs can liberate themselves by various means, all leading to property ownership and competition. Proletarians can only liberate themselves by abolishing competition, private property, and class differences.
Principle 9: In what way do proletarians differ from handicraftsmen?
Handicraftsmen, typical of the 18th century, are temporary proletarians. Their aim is to acquire capital to exploit other workers.
With the rise of the factory system and competition, handicraftsmen often become proletarians. They can free themselves by becoming bourgeois, entering the middle class, or joining the communist movement.
Principle 10: In what way do proletarians differ from manufacturing workers?
Manufacturing workers, from the 16th to 18th centuries, usually had their own production instruments like looms or small land plots. Proletarians don’t own such things.
Manufacturing workers typically lived in the countryside with a patriarchal relationship to their employers. Proletarians mostly live in cities with a purely monetary relationship to employers.
Big industry uproots manufacturing workers from their patriarchal relationships, making them lose any property and turning them into proletarians.
Principle 11: What were the immediate consequences of the industrial revolution and of the division of society into bourgeoisie and proletariat?
Machine labor led to significantly lower prices of industrial products, destroying the old hand-labor-based system of manufacture globally.
Semi-barbarian countries were forced out of isolation, buying cheaper English goods and ruining their own manufacturing workers. This revolutionized countries like India and even began to impact China.
The rapid pace of machine invention in England affected millions of workers globally.
Big industry connected all global markets, ensuring that events in one country affected all others. If workers in one country liberated themselves, it would trigger global revolutions.
Principle 12: What were the further consequences of the industrial revolution?
Big industries led to the bourgeoisie becoming the dominant class, both economically and politically.
The bourgeoisie replaced the aristocracy, nobility, and guildmasters, introducing free competition and establishing themselves as the ruling class through representative systems.
As the bourgeoisie grew, so did the proletariat, with their growth directly linked to the growth of capital. The proletariat’s increasing numbers and concentration in cities made them more aware of their collective strength.
The industrial revolution led to periodic commercial crises due to overproduction.
Principle 13: What follows from these periodic commercial crises?
These cycles of prosperity and crisis occurred roughly every five to seven years, threatening societal stability.
Big industry has outgrown free competition. Maintaining it results in chaos every few years, threatening civilization.
The solution is a new societal organization where production is directed by society as a whole, not competing individuals.
Principle 14: What will this new social order have to be like?
The new order should control all production branches collectively, abolishing competition in favor of association.
This implies the abolition of private property, replacing it with communal ownership of goods.
The end of private property is the most significant change required by industrial development, making it a primary demand of communists.
Principle 15: Was not the abolition of private property possible at an earlier time?
Changes in property relations arise from the creation of new production forces that don’t fit old property structures.
Private property hasn’t always existed. It emerged at the end of the Middle Ages when new modes of production outgrew feudal and guild property forms.
For manufacture and early big industry stages, private property was the only feasible form.
As long as production doesn’t exceed demand, there will always be a ruling class and an oppressed class. Their constitution varies with development stages: Middle Ages had barons and serfs; later cities had guildmasters, journeymen, and day laborers; the 17th century saw manufacturing workers; the 19th century introduced big factory owners and proletarians.
With big industry’s development, production forces have expanded immensely, concentrating in few bourgeois hands. The proletariat’s situation worsens as the bourgeoisie’s wealth increases. These production forces threaten societal order, making the abolition of private property not just possible but necessary.
Principle 16: Will the peaceful abolition of private property be possible?
While a peaceful transition is desirable, communists recognize that revolutions arise from conditions beyond individual or class control.
The suppression of the proletariat’s development in many countries has pushed them towards revolution. If a revolution occurs, communists will actively defend proletarian interests.
Principle 17: Will it be possible for private property to be abolished at one stroke?
Private property can’t be abolished instantly, just as production forces can’t be immediately expanded for a communal society.
The proletarian revolution will likely transform society gradually, abolishing private property when there are enough production means.
Principle 18: What will be the course of this revolution?
The revolution will lead to either direct or indirect dominance of the proletariat. Direct dominance will occur in countries like England, where proletarians are the majority.
Indirect dominance will be seen in countries like France and Germany, where the majority consists of proletarians, small peasants, and petty bourgeois. These groups are gradually aligning with proletarian interests.
Main Measures Post-Revolution:
- Implement progressive taxation and abolish certain inheritance rights.
- Gradually expropriate landowners, industrialists, and other magnates.
- Confiscate possessions of emigrants and rebels.
- Organize labor on publicly owned lands and factories, ensuring fair wages.
- Mandate societal work obligations until private property is abolished.
- Centralize money and credit through a national bank, eliminating private banks.
- Expand national factories, workshops, railroads, and ships.
- Provide national education for all children, integrating education with production.
- Construct communal dwellings for citizens, combining urban and rural benefits.
- Demolish substandard urban dwellings.
- Ensure equal inheritance rights for all children.
- Centralize all transportation under national control.
These measures will be implemented progressively, with each step naturally leading to the next. The ultimate goal is to centralize all capital, agriculture, transport, and trade under the state, leading to the disappearance of private property and making money redundant.
Principle 19: Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?
The revolution cannot be confined to one country due to the interconnectedness created by the world market. Big industry has linked all nations, especially the civilized ones, making them interdependent.
The communist revolution must occur simultaneously in all major countries, especially in England, America, France, and Germany. The pace of the revolution will vary based on each country’s industrial development and wealth.
The revolution will influence other countries, altering their developmental trajectories and accelerating their pace.
It’s a universal revolution with a global impact.
Principle 20: What will be the consequences of the ultimate disappearance of private property?
Centralized Control of Production:
Society will manage all forces of production, commerce, exchange, and distribution based on a comprehensive plan.
This will eliminate the negative impacts associated with big industry, such as crises.
Abundance of Goods:
Industrial and agricultural production will expand significantly, ensuring that society’s products meet everyone’s needs.
The division of society into hostile classes will become obsolete.
Transformation of Labor:
The division of labor, which currently binds individuals to specific roles (e.g., peasant, cobbler, factory worker), will disappear.
Society will require well-rounded individuals who understand the entire production system.
People will be free from the limitations imposed by the current division of labor, allowing them to explore various roles based on societal needs or personal inclinations.
Education and Development:
Education will help individuals understand the entire production system and transition between different production roles.
This comprehensive development will lead to the disappearance of classes, as everyone will have the opportunity to develop and use their faculties fully.
Eradication of City-Country Divide:
The distinction between city and countryside will fade.
Both agriculture and industry will be managed by the same group, eliminating the division between agricultural and industrial populations.
This integration is essential for the progress of both sectors.
General Co-operation and Class Liquidation:
All members of society will collaborate for planned production.
The expansion of production will ensure everyone’s needs are met without compromising others.
The complete elimination of classes and their conflicts will occur.
The combination of city and country living will offer the best of both worlds to all members of society.
In essence, the abolition of private property will lead to a society where production is optimized for the benefit of all, the division of labor is flexible and comprehensive, and class distinctions are eradicated.
This will foster a harmonious coexistence where individuals can fully realize their potential and contribute to the collective good.
Principle 21: What will be the influence of communist society on the family?
Relations between sexes will become a private matter, with no societal intervention.
The society will remove the traditional bases of marriage by eliminating private property and communal child education. This will end the dependence of women on men and children on parents.
Contrary to the notion of “community of women” associated with bourgeois society and expressed in prostitution, communist society will actually abolish this concept.
Principle 22: What will be the attitude of communism to existing nationalities?
The association based on the principle of community will lead to the mingling and dissolution of nationalities. Just as class distinctions disappear with the abolition of private property, national distinctions will fade in a communist society.
Principle 23: What will be its attitude to existing religions?
All religions have historically reflected the developmental stages of specific peoples or groups.
Communism, being a stage of historical development, will render all existing religions unnecessary, leading to their eventual disappearance.
In essence, under communist society, traditional family structures will be transformed, national distinctions will dissolve, and the relevance of existing religions will diminish.
Principle 24: How do communists differ from socialists?
They long for a return to feudal and patriarchal society, which is continuously being dismantled by modern bourgeois society.
Main Criticisms by Communists:
Their goals are impossible to achieve.
They aim to restore a society with its own set of evils, without offering the proletariat a chance for liberation through a communist revolution.
When the proletariat becomes revolutionary, these socialists side with the bourgeoisie against the proletarians.
They are supporters of the current society but are concerned about its inherent issues.
They aim to maintain the current society while eliminating its problems.
Some propose welfare measures, while others suggest extensive reform systems to “re-organize” but essentially preserve the existing society.
Communists actively oppose them because they protect the very society that communists seek to overthrow.
They support some measures that communists advocate but see them as solutions to current societal issues, not steps towards communism.
They are either proletarians not fully aware of their class’s liberation conditions or represent the petty bourgeoisie, which shares some interests with the proletariat before achieving democracy.
Communists might collaborate with them during actions, as long as these socialists don’t serve the ruling bourgeoisie or oppose the communists. However, this collaboration doesn’t prevent the discussion of differences.
In essence, while all these groups aim to address societal issues, their methods, goals, and perspectives on the future of society differ significantly. Communists have specific criticisms and stances towards each of these socialist categories.
Principle 25: What is the attitude of the communists to the other political parties of our time?
In Countries with Bourgeois Rule (e.g., England, France, Belgium):
Communists have shared interests with democratic parties.
The closer these parties’ socialistic measures align with communist aims, the stronger the shared interest.
In England, the working-class Chartists are closer to communists than the democratic petty bourgeoisie or Radicals.
With an established democratic constitution, communists align with the party that will use this constitution against the bourgeoisie for the proletariat’s benefit.
They support the agrarian National Reformers.
Communists can only cooperate with the Radicals, a diverse party.
Among these Radicals, the Vaudois and Genevese factions are the most progressive.
The primary struggle is between the bourgeoisie and the absolute monarchy.
Communists aim to help the bourgeoisie gain power to subsequently challenge and overthrow them.
They support the radical liberal party against the governments but remain wary of the bourgeoisie’s promises.
The proletariat’s benefits from a bourgeois victory would be:
Concessions aiding in unifying the proletariat.
Assurance that the struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat will commence as soon as the absolute monarchies fall.
In essence, the communists’ strategy is to align with or support parties that further their ultimate goal, even if it means temporarily supporting a future adversary like the bourgeoisie. Their alliances vary based on the political landscape of each country.