In the Manifesto, the discussion of the bourgeoisie is extensive and complex. How ca we define this group and the Marxist  attitude toward it?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Marx uses a fairly straight forward definition for the bourgeoisie.  In his mind, it is the class of individuals that own the means of production.  These individuals are in the position of economic power and drive industry as well as the miseries of their opposing force, the proletariat.  For Marx, the current stage of historical economic development pits both forces against another.  The bourgeoisie has the current Status Quo holding of economic power and control, exercising most of it against the proletariat, working class.  For Marx, this ownership of what is produced, the wealth it generates, and how that wealth is maintained and protected is what he sses as the operational definition of the ruling class bourgeoisie.  In Marx's mind, this will be the last expression of class based conflict.  It is in this understanding that Marx plays out his belief that the battle between it and the proletariat will take some time, but will eventually turn out in favor of the latter and the elimination of the class system, of which the bourgeoisie depends on in terms of power and identity.

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The Communist Manifesto

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