"A spectre is haunting Europe the spectre of Communism." This is the prophetic opening line of The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, one of the major and most well-known work of Marx and Engels, dealing with their ideal of a communist society. However, The Communist Manifesto is not a manual for communism, and the account of communist society can be found, scattered throughout several works by Marx. His description of communism is defined according to what is set to be its opposite capitalist society. He imagines a future society that is modelled on his conceptual analysis of capitalism, in a dialectical manner. Thus, his description contains repeated references to the capitalist society he lived in. Marx used an original approach in defining his ideal society that differs from the other works of political philosophy. The dialectic approach allowed him to be more descriptive and fewer idealists, by taking constant roots in the observation of the society he lived in. His economic and historical approach is also new in the field of political philosophy.
[...] In certain places and certain times, those societies could have been very complex, but when Marx writes about the society of his time, he acknowledges a simplified organisation, with two classes: the Bourgeois and the Proletarians, great classes facing each other” The Bourgeoisie can be defined as the dominant class, those who own the means of production (the factories, the companies and the land), and who use the workforce in order to accumulate capital. The Proletarians are the workforce, those who possess nothing but their own ability to work, that they sell to the Bourgeois in order to get subsistence. [...]
[...] Rousseau would totally oppose this point of view, and would argue that the ideal society has to be set up by a Social Contract, that supposes an agreement of all the individuals that form the society in the same terms. Where Marx sees a continuous struggle for domination, Rousseau advocates total alienation of each associate, together with all his rights, to the whole community” For him, there would be no reason to make the rules burdensome, since they apply to all, and nobody has reasons to seek domination upon the others. [...]
[...] As a consequence, in order to bring to the fore the interest of the working class, and then setting up communist society, the workers will have to take power, by revolution, because it is the only way to force history, and to break the domination of the Bourgeoisie. As Marx says it himself, “Communism is not for us 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” A revolution is thus the only way to wipe out a system and to replace it by another. [...]
[...] Moreover, the state for him is a narrowness of mind that constitutes a prejudice to the revolution. The state is an entity “superimposed upon society, when freedom would be to submit state to society” State in Marx's point of view is a trouble for freedom. For him there is no such thing as a free state, it is a contradiction in terms. In Rousseau's point of view, state is necessary because it constitutes the necessary basis for the implementation of the Social Contract, and thus guarantees the freedom of each. [...]
[...] Individuals in a communist society should be able to choose their activity, and to cultivate their personal talents, instead of being assigned an activity they didn't choose. So, place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonism, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of As the division of labour is an unfair situation, the retribution for labour in a capitalist society is also to change. [...]
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