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Proletarians and Communists

            In the second section of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' Communist Manifesto, appropriately titled "Proletarians and Communists," the authors craft a series of hypothetical criticisms, in which those that are opposed to the ideas of communism point out various flaws in its structure. Some of these criticisms include the abolition of private property, class culture and families, among other things. Although these criticisms are strictly rhetorical, the main purpose of the criticisms is to get rid of any doubts in the proletarian minds concerning communism, so that they will be properly informed and will not have any hesitation in rising up to fulfill the overthrow of the ruling bourgeoisie class. Among the various parts of communist doctrine that are brought into question, one of the biggest beliefs being criticized is the abolition of countries and nationality. Many people were opposed to the idea of abolishing their country's identity, because of their nationalistic and chauvinistic backgrounds. However, according to Marx and Engels, "the working men have no country" because "we cannot take from them what they have not got." They also say that in order to achieve a revolution, the proletariat must "acquire political supremacy" and "rise to be the leading class of the nation" (Marx and Engels 89). This passage is crucial to the Manifesto because it helps set the stage and lay the groundwork for the revolution that was to come. Although what Marx and Engels said seems fairly straightforward, one must take a closer look at the language and wording being used in the passage in order to truly dissect what is trying to be said by the authors. .
             By "working men," Marx and Engels are referring to the proletariat, or the "wage-earners." In the backwards society that Marx and Engels describe, the proletariat does all the work and receives none of the capital while the bourgeoisie does nothing and receives all of the capital.

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