Skip to content

Communism

Marx & Engels, The German Ideology, 1845

This “alienation” (to use a term which will be comprehensible to the philosophers) can, of course, only be abolished given two practical premises. For it to become an “intolerable” power, i.e. a power against which men make a revolution, it must necessarily have rendered the great mass of humanity “propertyless,” and produced, at the same time, the contradiction of an existing world of wealth and culture, both of which conditions presuppose a great increase in productive power, a high degree of its development.

And, on the other hand, this development of productive forces (which itself implies the actual empirical existence of men in their world-historical, instead of local, being) is an absolutely necessary practical premise because without it want is merely made general, and with destitution the struggle for necessities and all the old filthy business would necessarily be reproduced; and furthermore, because only with this universal development of productive forces is a universal intercourse between men established, which produces in all nations simultaneously the phenomenon of the “propertyless” mass (universal competition), makes each nation dependent on the revolutions of the others, and finally has put world-historical, empirically universal individuals in place of local ones. Without this, (1) communism could only exist as a local event; (2) the forces of intercourse themselves could not have developed as universal, hence intolerable powers: they would have remained home-bred conditions surrounded by superstition; and (3) each extension of intercourse would abolish local communism.

Empirically, communism is only possible as the act of the dominant peoples “all at once” and simultaneously, which presupposes the universal development of productive forces and the world intercourse bound up with communism. Moreover, the mass of propertyless workers – the utterly precarious position of labour – power on a mass scale cut off from capital or from even a limited satisfaction and, therefore, no longer merely temporarily deprived of work itself as a secure source of life – presupposes the world market through competition. The proletariat can thus only exist world-historically, just as communism, its activity, can only have a “world-historical” existence. World-historical existence of individuals means existence of individuals which is directly linked up with world history.

Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

ALBA INFO

Information on The Bolivarian Alliance

Völkerrechtsblog

Der Blog des Arbeitskreises junger Völkerrechtswissenschaftler*innen

Henry Brooke

Musings, Memories and Miscellanea

A Chronicle of Current Events

For Human Rights and Freedom of Expression in the USSR

Radical Lambeth : 1978-1992

The history of a borough that fought back

Justice in Conflict

On the challenges of pursuing justice

Michael Roberts Blog

blogging from a marxist economist

nsnbc international

Your Independent Daily

In Moscow's Shadows

Analysis and Assessment of Russian Crime and Security

Assemblies for Democracy

Assemblies for Democracy will start to make a difference. Re-imagine democracy!

Capital reading group - Newcastle

Notes, questions and dates for a study group on Marx's Capital Vol. I in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Antarsya UK

Front of the Anticapitalist, Revolutionary , Communist Left and Radical Ecology

IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

Defend the defenders of peoples' rights

UK Constitutional Law Association

affiliated to the International Association of Constitutional Law

Head of Legal

legal comment from Carl Gardner

%d bloggers like this: