Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friedrich Engels. 1880. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Friedrich Engels. 1880. “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.” Part III.

From the materialist conception of history, the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought in the changes in modes of production and exchange, the economics of each particular epoch.

The perfecting of machinery is making human labor superfluous. Machinery becomes the most powerful weapon in the war of capital against the working-class; that the instruments of labor constantly tear the means of subsistence out of the hands of the laborer; that the very product of the worker is turned into an instrument for his subjugation.

But the perfecting of machinery also gluts the market and the extension of the markets cannot keep pace with the extension of production. Products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, commerce stills, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence, and the stagnation wastes and destroys productive forces until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off or depreciated in value.

When economic bankruptcy recurs regularly every 10 years because of capitalism, people will burst free of the bonds that the capitalist mode of production had imposed upon them and society will seize the means of production. Men will reorganize the means of production, classes will fall away, and government will be obsolete.

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