The Communist Manifesto and the Role of Class

Defining Marx’s emphasis on class and class struggle.

This paper explores how Marx emphasized the significance of class and social distinction in The Communist Manifesto, but he did not provide a definition of what class actually was. Through investigating the concept of class within the Communist Manifesto, the reader witnesses why Marx did not supply a definition for class. In terms of his views upon class and society, the nature of class within human history has characterized the role of every principle humanity is supposed to detest and prohibits the acceptable conquest of those qualities the human being is supposed to idealize.
Of specific note by Marx are the classes of the Proletarian and the Bourgeois. For Marx, the new class of the Bourgeois (interpreted as the industrialist class) is the cause of a new era of social class strife. Marx writes: Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. (35) In this concept of class antagonisms, Marx refers to the concept that the middle class of the Bourgeois now has powers that were forbidden to the peasantry, and this serves to further polarize the classes into those that rank as the Bourgeois and those that rank among the Proletarian.