Tools for production and tools for revolution
In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels discus how the bourgeois built a society in which they had all the power. The bourgeois controlled all means of production, therefore enforcing rules and regulations on the working class called the proletariat. This “modern working class” was to be subservient to the bourgeois in order to make a living. However, they did not expect the source of their power to run dry. As with all societies in the past, the oppressed cannot remain oppressed forever. Eventually, they will rise up and revolt against the oppressors as a unified front. This was just the case in the bourgeois and proletariat conflict. By creating this massive working class, the bourgeois was in fact bringing “death to itself”. As a result of this creation, the proletariat was provided with the tools and means necessary to take down the bourgeois.
In any conflict of power, there are fundamental factors necessary in order for any group to successfully take down another one. These tools are primarily provided so the lower power group can do their job. In the case of the bourgeois, this job was to produce, produce, and produce, as much as they can and as often as they can. Manpower was necessary because the more workers equates to the more produced. However, this manpower is what ultimately leads to the so-called death of a higher power group. As seen in history, the minority higher power is forcing its control over the lower powered majority. As stated by Marx and Engels, “Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers”. When one thinks of soldiers, one thinks of revolutions. If these workers are in fact organized in soldier-like ways, they must posses the ability to revolt. If the bourgeois were to engage in a physical revolt, the proletariat would win no question. The large number of workers would no doubt have enough manpower to concur the bourgeois.
Unification, however, is not enough to take down a higher power. There needs to be a sense of determination. This is exactly what the bourgeois did by exerting its power forcefully over the proletariat. The Communist says of the proletariat, “they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself”. The bourgeois is fostering contempt in the workers by these awful conditions. There only needs to be one individual expressing his contempt with the bourgeois and his working conditions in order to spark a trend. The trend would be others agreeing. This agreement can lead to future revolt. If not determined, there is no need for manpower because there is no need for successful revolt.
It is clear the bourgeois was bringing death upon themselves by creating the proletariat. The bourgeois provided the working class with the tools necessary to carry out production while simultaneously providing them with the means to the bourgeois’s end through manpower and shared determination.