Karl Marx III

Now it is once again time to vote. I have changed my banner to its original cool colors, with writing/image manipulation by Nezua. The warmed-up version, also by Nezua, is definitely staying on Z Blackground, where it is gorgeous. My last readers’ poll indicated that the warmer version should be here as well. Do you still think the same?

It is also time to read a bit more of Marx. The Communist Manifesto was issued in 1848 and I am fascinated because the world it describes seems so familiar. These are some very famous passages from Chapter 1, “Bourgeois and Proletarians.”

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.

The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of reactionaries, it has drawn from under the feed of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old, established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe.

In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures there arises a world literature.

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all nations, even the most barbarian, into civilization. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In a word, it creates a world after its own image.

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rules of the towns. It has created the enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made the barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.

More and more the bourgeoisie keeps doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralized the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralization. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class interest, one frontier and one customs tariff.

To what extent do, and/or do not these words describe the current juncture?

We can consider that question, or write a different question, and/or take a quiz on the Communist Manifesto here. I had to pay attention, but I got a 96!


9 thoughts on “Karl Marx III

  1. Thanks Nez and Sylvia – I thought so – but then got really used to the warmed-up image on this site! But each will now stay as they are. Reiteradas gracias, Nez – I’ve got to learn how to warm up and cool down images myself, I’ve got Gimp and Photoshop, but have not worked with all of their features!

  2. PZ …. Get a file and rotate em’, I changed mine the other day, it’s like clean sheets.

    What kind of a machine are you running ?

  3. Rotate, there’s an idea!

    I’m on Windows XP but want to strip it out and go to LINUX. Actually … have a Linux partition, SUSE 9.2, but do not have a word processor for that which I like. And … this machine did not come “Linux ready,” so putting Suse on it was a major, unforeseen pain. … Someone said UBUNTU Linux worked really well, but my issue is word processors: Open Office for English keyboards, last I checked, was very impractical for diacritical marks, of which I need many.

  4. I can’t believe how badly I’ve just done (ahem, 64%). I’m shocked; I have denounce my own complacency, and bourgeouis complicity, on my dependence on the welfare-state(!).

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