In The Communist Manifesto, the authors Karl Marx and Engels feels that this capitalism with the help of industrialization is the increasing the productivity of economy way beyond expected. This is the main reason for class struggle where the oppressor rule and ruin the oppressed class. In short Capitalism has turned out to be a money making system in which rich people own private properties and to stay in the market, they distribute it according to the growing competition amongst themselves. “Capital is therefore not personal, it is social, power”(Marx and Engels 24). On the other, Thomas More’s “Utopia” is completely a different society called as an ideal society where people do not run their business for sake of profit but still live a peaceful life. The reason for peaceful and happiness in their life is unity and public ownership which solves the main social problems such as poverty and inequality. The political laws, religious principles and social issues are development in such a manner that it benefits not a single individual but the complete utopian society. Not only throughout the history but also in today’s society money is consider as a key to success and people think that power and fame along with the rise our their wealth.
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In the Communist Manifesto, the authors Marx and Engels point out that rise of capital as the main source of class struggle. “Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other – Bourgeoisie and Proletariat” (Marx and Engels 9). The Proletariats are the low working class society that live on the labor power and do not make any profit but rather work under Bourgeoisie to produce goods for the society. On the other hand Bourgeoisies are upper class people that own private properties and business that make profit by exploiting the Proletariats. A business can only make profit when the income of capital is more than the outcome or the expense. This is possible by making the labor class, work more and pay them less. “The average price of wage-labor is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labor in bare existence as a laborer” (Marx and Engels 24). This leaves labor with no choice, but to work under the upper class for their daily living. The authors believe that this upper class people should focus more on the improvement of their labor’s living, as they are their sole mode to earn profit. The class struggle has still not ended, in fact the rich are becoming richer and poor becoming poorer and wealth is the one responsible for this status. The case in Thomas More’s Utopia is different.
He has made up a destination named Utopia which is known for the ideal society, a perfect and a social life where there is no competition among the people. This is complete different society which has different principles which treats everyone equally and more importantly, no one owns any property by himself. Agriculture is the main occupation and each family is given a piece of land. One of the principles that is different from today’s time is that Utopian family has head of household that takes the things needed without any exchange for money or direct goods. Certainly fear of want makes all kind of animal greedy and rapacious, but only mankind is made so by pride, which makes them consider their own glory enhanced if they excel others in displaying superfluous possession, and in Utopia there is no place for such thinking. If everyone begins to think in such a manner, than there are chances that we could gain freedom from class struggle and achieve unity.
The Utopian laws are very fair to people because every decision is taken for the benefits of the complete society. However, some of these laws are illogical and hard on people. For example, the son must have same trade as his father. “But if anyone is drawn to another occupation, he is transferred by adoption into another household where he can work at the trade he wants to pursue”. This breaks the bond a child has with his family just to achieve different trade. However, after mastering both the trades, he gets to practice whichever he wants until and unless there is higher demand of the other trade in the city. Moreover, he works for the trade which benefits the society as a whole and not himself as an individual. The education in Utopian society is not mandatory and very few people are allowed to leave their labor work for education. They also believe that value of life is gained through education for which every child is given complete education. It is interesting to find that although the Utopians have labor work as their main career; most of this people are seen doing intellectual studies in their free time. In today’s time, the education system is in danger and needs to be rescued “from the influence of the ruling class” (***). This upper people, with the influence of Modern Industry, are affecting the education of children of working labor class. This leads to transformation of their children to “simple articles of commerce and instruments of labor” (***). Nowadays there are some countries which has public schools providing free education to children.
Utopia is titled as communist state not only by critics but also by the authors of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels. After reading the text, we find Utopia as communist state. It is mentioned in the Manifesto that profit and competition is damaging the importance of the community: “The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal â€¦ has left no other bond between man and man than naked self interest, than callous “cash payment”â€¦ has resolved personal worth into exchange value â€¦ and has set up that single, unconscionable freedom – Free Trade” (11). Similarly, in Utopia, Hythloday quotes that wherever there is property, everything is in the terms of wealth and profit. He further tells that it is hard for the common people to gain justice until “justice is served when all the best thing go to the worst people or that happiness is possible when everything shared among themselves who are not entirely happy, while the rest are plunged into misery” (46). However, some communist nations share few differences with Utopia in terms of religion. We know that religion exist in Utopia and has similar believe like other religions i.e., there is only one God but might have different nature. Whereas the communist nations like China and Russia are among the top atheist country where 59% and 22% of the population respectively, doesn’t believe in God and follow no religion (Atheist). We know also that in Utopia people do not own any money or property whereas in China official misuse power of their position to gain wealth for personal benefit.
The text by Thomas More, Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels shows that there could be two possible societies, an ideal society, i.e., Utopian Society, where everything works with perfection and money has no value and the other society would be our present society, which is divided into upper class and working class based on wealth. People are considering money as the sole source of happiness. This thinking of ours is ruining many lives each year. Although the unfair treatment such as inequality, labor wage, and class struggle had started off in the beginning of Capitalism, still continuing and seems to be an endless one. Today’s society detracts the attraction of being youthful by forcing work onto people in order to succeed. It is unjust to the workers who contribute the most to the society and receive very less in return. We must put an end to private ownership and encourage public ownership. In public ownership people don’t own anything and poverty doesn’t exist. However, people have a guarantees life of happiness and stability.
Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York: International Publisher, 2012. Print.
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