Communist Manifesto: 1848. What happened in Europe that year? LOTS OF REVOLUTIONS. Marx keeps getting kicked out of countries for writing stuff people odn?t like?first Germany, then France, ends up in Belgium with his friend Engels. The Communist Party commissions them to write them a manifesto. 1848: Called the Springtime of the Peoples. Why so many revs? Well, massive pop growth over the last 100 years drove folks from their rural homes to the cities. What was happening in the cities, 1800-1848? INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Life in these cities changed MASSIVELY ?cos of a shift from ?cottage industries? to big ol? factory industries. So we get the Europe we recognize until 1960 or so: Manchester, Liverpool. Steel mills, big factories, etc. Massive population influx leads to SLUMS LIKE WHOA. So youv?e got all these poor people who have to leave the country to work themselves to death in the dirty dark cities. Very unhappy, they are. Who also lives there? The ?middle classes?. What does it mean at this point? Probably that you own something. You?re also not a factory worker, you probably own a little apartment or a teeny tiny house, but they?re really quite nice. What did they not get to do in Europe in 1848? Well, they ain?t the aristocracy. Even in France it keeps resurging, but then there?s the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So what can?t you do? Well, you might be in a well-off profession, but you don?t have much control on the levers of political power. Despite all the great reforms of the French Revolution (which didn?t really spread out), aristocrats still sit firmly on power. But then BAM, revolution. There?s this HUGE angry group of angry angry angry impoverished people, and a disaffected, powerful, RICH, educated middle class. Together they put the final boot in on aristocrats, more or less. Does it work? 1848 revolutions: France, Germany, Denmark, A-H, Switzerland, Poland, Brazil. Did they work? No, in the short term they crashed and burned. What happens when a revolution that doesn?t work? Lots of people get killed. Iran: tried to have a revolution over the crooked revolution. Brutally put down by the military and police. This is how most revolutions end, including the ones of the Spring of the Peoples. Revolutions are attempts to seize the power of government, and if you?re going to win ?em you have to be able to seixe the means of violence. The Comms didn?t get the armies in the short term? ..but on the other hand, in the long term they were effective, because they scared the collective pants off the aristocracy by showing ?em what the middle class and proles can do in combination. So they start making a lot of political concessions?male suffrage, leading more or less to Democratic White Europe. So what?s this document about? It?s a big ol? mishmash of political agitation and an analysis of society. It was supposed to be read by everyone who could read, but it?s also a complex theory of society. No wonder it?s all confusing. Oh, and in 1989 there was the Fall of the Eastern Bloc, which counts, and then of course there was 1968 where there were lots of little revolts and student agitation across Europe and a lot of bits of the 3rd World. (And Japan!) So. COMMUNIST MANIFESTO M&E (Marx and Engels) Grand demands for social change in social analysis (this is important because in modern academic sociology the theory they set out is still very very relevant; indeed it?s the beginning of sociology). LEADS TO: a) Materialism: the core of a society is the division between those who work and those who profit off of other people?s work. In other words, social dynamics derive from class divisions. Real social change only comes from changes in property relations. (They?ve seen this personally, or their dads have: French Rev, feudal property is ended, though aristos keep political power. So it?s not inconceivable to them that in another 50 years even more radical changes could crop up. They?ve also seen that property relations were at root the same conflict?work vs profiting off it. At this point Russia is still feudal, German is in transit, and France and England are pretty much done feudally. This leads to:) b) Internationalism: ?Workers of the world unite!? That is, social relations that really matter exceed specific nation-states. The struggle between Proletariat and Bourgeoisie is BIGGER THAN ANY ONE COUNTRY. Do they think that national struggles aren?t important? Quite the opposite. After all, if you wanna have a revolution you need to get the Army under control. STILL?you can?t get too distracted with national struggles, and side with your country vs other proles. ?of course, the working classes of the world pretty much all cleaved to their countries. Of course, this is pretty much they were trying to agitate against, though not in the bits WE got to read. Working class people get sent to wars. A lot. WWI DEVASTATED the male pool of France, and a lot of the rest of Europe. Also they don?t trust the middle class worth a damn. After all, it was the workers who were on the streets being shot while the educated lawyers agitated parliament. ?in broad brushstrokes, anyway. But this just goes in with the usual class divide between the folks who go to war and those who fight ?em. ?they really did underestimate the power of nationalism, though. ?It?ll totally supersede things!? Um, no. People really do FEEL FRENCH or English or American or whatever. And it can be hard to estimate correctly?gods know M and E were internationalists. But they do see that the relationships are the same everywhere, regardless of border. They want to turn the basis of politics to that struggle so the workers aren?t just being used. This didn?t do so hot. (And then there?s the family as an exploitative location for power, but there?s also this argument that the ?so called family? only reaches apotheosis inside the bourgeoisie?which presupposes people who can?t afford separate rooms for their kids and in fact have to go drudge for those who can do so. But how awesome it?ll be once there?s a generation that?s never known anyone exploiting anyone else! This part was HUGE on the reading list for Second Wave (1965) American feminism. This stuff is not just in people?s heads, it?s material. But Marx calls the oppression of men by women as a product of class oppression between classes of men in a factory. The great feminist theories are kinda leery of this, because it?s hard to say that capitalism precedes patriarchy. Marx himself has SAID that the first slavery was in the family, but then he kinda forgets about it.) c) Progressivism: i. Capitalism has allowed humans to master nature as never before. Go it. (He is not at all about smashing stuff up. This is yet another sixties twist on Marxism, green Marxism. But you have to remember that he?s a product of the 1800s.) For the first time in Western Europe, there was the actual capability of lifting most of the population of various countries away from subsistence levels, that is, no need to fear hunger. No more ?one bad crop away from starving kids.? The great tragedy of this is that at that point the masses were still very close to hunger?they barely made enough to feed themselves. This seriously burnt Marx? grits, which is why he?s trying so hard to light a fire under your ass. That is, the unmet possibility of a majority of the population moving away from hunger. That didn?t happen. ii. Capitalism destroys all the old hierarchies and the ideas that justified them. It undermines old philosophies like The Divine Right of Kings. That?s cool, he likes that. It profanes all status systems except for one, the class system; money is the master medium for judging people. He doesn?t like this, but he thinks it?s a necessary step to getting better. It takes down everything else, and then it itself gets taken down, right? That should be awesome and inevitable! Markets are funny things. Nobody hates markets like Marx. But they destroy things like aristocratic privilege, and he just loves that. The market destroyed the Old Boys? network of academia. Now all you have to do is get published?based on the findings of a blind committee, rather than someone calling someone else. Bam goes an old form of privilege that predicated as much on being a white male protestant as anything else. Of course, you HAVE to get that paper published? but it could be worse, right?
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