Nature of Capitalism in The Communist Manifesto

What do Marx and Engels write in The Communist Manifesto about the nature of capitalism and of the revolution that they hoped would overthrow it?

The Communist Manifesto (published in 1848) is a guidebook, which details how capitalism should be overthrown by socialism. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels portray the laws and features, which guide a capitalist society. Marx and Engels describe capitalism as a system, which is based on the class system in the production, as well as exchange of goods and services. The two authors state that although capitalism has changed since the 19th century, a minority still exploit the majority. In capitalism, the majority are controlled by the minority who comprise those who own the production means. Marx and Engels refer to the capitalists as the bourgeoisie while the oppressed are referred to as the proletariat. The bourgeoisie own the means of production while the proletariats provide labor. According to the Communist Manifesto, the bourgeoisie compels the working class to sell their labor at a meager age (Marx, & Engels, 2007).

Marx and Engels argue that capitalism must pave the way for another form of society; they advocate for socialism, which proposes the abolition of social classes. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels held the belief that capitalism was the seed of its own destruction. They predicted that a revolution by the proletariats would lead to the destruction of capitalism. According to Marx and Engels, the continued exploitation of the working class created resentment, which would lead to a proletarian revolution. A struggle would ensue between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, leading to the overthrow of capitalism and those who supported it. The defeat of the bourgeoisie by the proletariat would lead to the formation on a new society, which will not be based on classes. In the new society, all people would share labor, land, and wealth. Marx and Engels proposed that the proletariat revolution would ensure equal access to amenities such as education and harmony would take center stage in society (Marx, & Engels, 2007).

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