If there is a single thesis statement in the Communist Manifesto, it is this, found in the introduction to the document:
[N]ot only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the proletarians.
This statement sums up the core arguments of the Manifesto: history is properly understood in terms of class relations based on economic terms; conflict between social classes advances history; industrial development has created the bourgeoisie and the proletariat; and history is moving inevitably toward the destruction of the former by the latter.
The context for the Manifesto was the revolutions that convulsed Europe in 1848—revolutions which Marx and Engels saw as harbingers of the open class confrontation that would destroy the bourgeoisie. By this point, the authors argued, the bourgeoisie had become so powerful and had so thoroughly ripped apart the traditional forces...
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