Carl Marx and Fredrick Engels criticised the industrial revolution which was characterised by modern factories. The two saw industrialization as being largely exploitative of workers. They therefore predicted that the factory system would soon collapse as more workers took control of the system. In the communist manifesto, the duo described the coming of a new society that would demolish the social classes brought about by the dynamics of the industrial revolution. According to Marx and Engels there would be massive hostility between the ruling class (bourgeois) and the working class (proletariats) (Engels, 23). This is what would herald the collapse of the modern factory system.
Although Marx and Engels were critics of capitalism evidence points towards them believing that industrialization could also bring about positive development. For example as more industries were developed, the number of people joining the working class would increase. This would translate to more people finding jobs and thereby contributing to the growth of their economies and therefore positive development. Going by the arguments by Marx and Engels that there are different developmental stages and with industrialization, the toils of the working class would soon yield positive results.
Engels notes that the numbers of people joining the working class would not only increase but also their concentration in larger masses thereby strengthening them (18). As such they would be in a better position to fight for equality with the bourgeois. The developments in the the modern factory system would also cause the plight of workers to become uncertain and therefore prompt workers to form unions. The unions would agitate for better wages and better working conditions from the bourgeois.
The formation of workers’ unions would give them temporary victory over their masters. The positive results of the efforts by the proletariat are actually not seen immediately due to the rapid and continuous expansion of workers’ unions. The positive results are realized in the long run as the workers’ unions stabilised and agitated for common needs. Industrialization would also improve communication and this would make the operations of the workers unions more effective. The workers would be able to stay in touch with each other and thus agitate better for common rights.
Effective communication would help centralize the struggles of different workers’ unions and enable them form a national force. Communists had the ability to support each revolutionary movement that was formed to challenge existing social and political order. It was envisioned that the ruling class would not stand against communist revolution (Marx & Engels, 25). The working class stood to lose nothing apart from the inequality and the chains of oppression in which they had been bound. The communist manifesto, therefore, presents industrialization as a positive step in ending capitalism.
Communist revolution would also bring about economic benefits. The acquisition of better economic status would help eradicate poverty. As envisioned by Marx and Engels industrialization would bring out connections between neighbourhoods bringing about issues about urban sociology. In such a case the working class would be in a position to seize the macrostructure created by industrial cities. The greed and heartlessness of the ruling class and the very rich industrial owners would be minimised as more people join the working class and get economically empowered (Engels, 20). To date people still cry foul of oppressions at the working place following the industrial revolution. But today the advent of human rights and constitutional orders that are democratic has seen the workers get most of the rights they were fighting for since the days of Marx and Engels.
Engels, Fredrick. The Communist Manifesto. Kessinger Publishing. 2004. Print
Marx, Karl. & Engels, Fredrick. 1848 Manifesto of the Communist Party. Pp. 62–98 in Karl Marx, Political Writings: The Revolutions of 1848, edited by Fernback, D. Harmondsworth UK: Penguin. 1973.Print