The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his âoenatural superiorsâ, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous âoecash paymentâ. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom â" Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.
The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.
The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what manâ(TM)s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
"The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations."
It almost sounds as though Marx is an apologist for Feudalism here.
(a) I doubt that he seriously is, and
(b) I completely disagree that the bourgeoisie behaved or continue to behave in any manner substantially differnet from those they supplanted.
(c) However, this passage is consistent with the rhetorical need to instantiate the bourgeoisie as a new object for reader consideration.
"The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo. .
"The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation."
Karl the Kloset SoKon! It's almost as though he views the bourgeoisie as proto-Progressives, or something.
"The bourgeoisie has disclosed. .
Really, really needs some kind of reference as to what he means. Is Marx a crypto-Luddite?
"The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production. .
I don't actually think Marx is in any sense a Luddite. Rather, I think he's trying to strum the Luddite strings in his audience with this technological angst talk.
"The need of a constantly expanding market for its products. .
Well, if we're supposed to genuflect to the unions for the 40-hour work week, then let's at least offer a nod to the risk takers and experimenters who've actually *enabled* the modern world we like.
Or one could just head off to Papua-New Guinea, I suppose.
I can track Marx's point, insofar as having your bling steal your soul is an eternal tragedy--yes.
But bling as such is neither good nor evil, and not explicitely sinful, kept in perspective.
<a href="http://slashdot.org/~smitty_one_each/journal/1342943">Part 1</a>
<a href="http://slashdot.org/~damn_registrars/journal/1343899">Part 2</a>