The Bourgeoise’s Conflict With Other Classes

Reading the Communist Manifesto reminded me a lot about the Marxist Theory of the origin of the French Revolution. When we briefly went over the Marxist Theory at the beginning of the French Revolution unit, I didn’t realize that Carl Marx was the principal thinker that went along with this theory. I remember finding it interesting that an entire Revolution, and the France’s case, one that lasted for many phases and generations, could be a result of conflict between social classes. As I read the Communist Manifesto now, I realize just how complicated Marx’s theory really is. It’s not just that there is conflict within the classes, a need for representation for all people, and neglect of that need. What I gather now is that the main driving force that the bourgeoise provides for a Revolution is its desire and need to continue a nation’s progress. As Marx criticizes a capitalist society in the start of the book, he also states that the bourgeoise, the class who supports capitalism because of its inherent drive towards advancing technology, is the driving force because they are the ones who sense the progress that the world must take, whether it is technologically, familiarly, or governmentally. The bourgeoise’s promotion of capitalism, in my opinion, is what begins the tension between them and the other classes. While other classes want to veer away from a capitalist society, the bourgeoise disagrees, and thus starts the conflicting classes, which leads to the rest of the Revolution. Do you all agree with this, or does anyone have a different interpretation of what Marx tries to teach the readers in the opening chapters of the Communist Manifesto?

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4 Responses to The Bourgeoise’s Conflict With Other Classes

  1. Emma Hart says:

    I disagree. I think that the French Revolution was not about class and it shouldn’t be put that type of broad umbrella. I feel that the reasons for the french revolution are much more complex and should not be put in the same category. I feel that the communist manifesto is not describing the french revolution but a whole different kind of revolution based on class

    • Jon Rubenstein says:

      Emma, I think that class conflict cannot be overlooked and must be considered at least a major cause of the French Revolution. Perhaps it is not the only cause, but it is certainly one of them. Anytime a class feels neglected or like they do not have very good rights, they are bound to rebel and cause some chaos in society. That’s just what the bourgeoisie did – they felt neglected so they led a social revolution that caused chaos and eventually changed the entire government of France. I think the Communist manifesto coincides very well with the Marxist theory because both are teaching that class conflict causes social problems. In socialism, class conflict is more avoided. This is what the Communist Manifesto is aiming at and so is the Marxist theory.

      • nlokker2014 says:

        Kassie, I disagree somewhat with your interpretation of the Communist Manifesto. In my opinion, the conflict did not really come from the fact that the proletariat no longer wished to have a capitalist society, but that they were on the wrong side of society. I don’t think that if the members of the proletariat were instead part of the bourgeoisie that they would have still wished for change; it was only because the current society did not benefit them specifically that they were unhappy. I think that if they had been able to thrive under capitalism, those who opposed it would not have wanted any change. So basically what I am trying to say is that they didn’t have an inherent problem with capitalism but with the way that it was impacting them in particular.
        Also, to respond to Jon and Emma, I think that the French Revolution definitely was very complex in its causes. However, when you think about it all of the other secondary causes can really be traced back to a common source of class antagonism. The reason the communist manifesto and the Marxist theory are so similar is that they are essentially the same thing. The communist manifesto, written by Marx, was the source of the Marxist theory that was then applied to all the later revolutions such as the French Revolution.

  2. dkorfhage says:

    Nick,

    How would you (and by extension, Marx) respond to the Revisionist claim that there wasn’t really a conflict between the bourgeosie and the nobility, than in fact both classes intermingled and intermarried and shared Enlightenment values (see, for example, this cahiers from the French nobility, in which they propose equality before the law and give up their exemption from taxation), and that therefore the Marxist interpretation is incorrect?

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