Essay on Karl Marx And The Communist Manifesto

1226 Words Mar 28th, 2016 5 Pages
Karl Marx defined society as being broken up into the base and superstructure. Marx described the base in A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy as the means of “production” that “constitutes the economic structure of society”, while the superstructure is the “social, political and intellectual life” that makes up the “social consciousness.” Moreover, in Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto, they elucidate on the development of capitalism and the need for a global revolution. Through this work, as well as the works of other Marxist writers, one can see the ways in which capitalism has become hegemonic, what political theorist Antonio Gramsci termed as “the success of the dominant classes in presenting their definition of reality” as “common sense”, in both the economic base and the cultural superstructure. In this system, Marx would describe the bourgeoisie as the dominant class, while the dominated class is the proletariat. Capitalism as the economic hegemonic system can be revolutionized behind Communism if the proletariat is able to have an awakening of class consciousness against the cultural hegemony that has stabilized the base and superstructure of society. The establishment of Capitalism as a globally hegemonic system can be attributed to the increase of colonialism in the 19th century. However, Marx and Engels do laud the bourgeoisie’s overthrow of the old feudal system and the progressive aspect of colonialism, writing that “The East-Indian and…

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