Bare-faced covetousness was the moving spirit of civilization from the first dawn to the present day; wealth, and again wealth, and for the third time wealth; wealth, not of society, but of the puny individual, was its only and final aim.
From the first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization.
The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not abolished. It dies out.
By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. By proletariat, the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live.
Just as Marx used to say about the French Marxists of the late seventies: All I know is that I am not a Marxist.
People think they have taken quite an extraordinarily bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Karl Marx German Philosopher, Economist
- Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach German Philosopher
- Christopher Hitchens Anglo-American Social Critic
- John Rawls American Philosopher
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German Philosopher
- Jacques Derrida French Philosopher, Literary Theorist
- Umberto Eco Italian Novelist
- Jose Ortega y. Gasset Spanish Philosopher
- Marshall Mcluhan Canadian Thinker
- Howard Zinn American Historian, Activist