1) Marx considers all epochs, including the present
one, to be characterized by class antagonism. Why does he think
that his own epoch differs from the others?
2) What is the relationship as Marx describes it
between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat? How did these classes
according to Marx come into being? How is each class related to
industry and commerce, and the means of production and exchange?
3) What are the political consequences of the supremacy
of the bourgeoisie?
4) Socially, Marx explains, the development of the
bourgeoisie has torn apart the relations among human beings, leaving
"no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest,
than callus 'cash payment'." Moreover, the rule of the bourgeoisie
has reduced freedom to Free Trade, and substituted "naked,
shameless, direct, brutal exploitation" for "exploitation,
veiled by religious and political illusions." Explain what
Marx means by this. What are the consequences for families, religion,
and traditionally noble professions, etc.?
5) What according to Marx are the good or progressive
aspects of the development of bourgeoisie society?
6) Why does Marx call the bourgeoisie is its "own
7) When the proletariat, uniquely a majority, finally
begin to organize, they must determine to destroy private property
altogether, according to Marx. Why?
8) Consider how Marx describes the abolition of
private property. What charges against communism does he address
concerning individuality, freedom, laziness, culture? How satisfactory
are his responses?
9) What are the charges against communists concerning
the family, children and the community of women? How does Marx
answer them? Do these charges make sense to you? How satisfactory
are his responses?
10) What is Marx's opinion of law in capitalist
society? Why? What determines law, according to Marx?
11) Consider, finally, Marx's response to the charge
that communists are desirous of abolishing countries and nationalities.
How does he reply? Are you persuaded that hostilities between
individuals and nations could vanish with the abolition of private
12) What are the steps Marx outlines toward world
revolution? What despotic acts does Marx contemplate in such a
revolution? Why is despotism required? What will become of the
state and of politics?
1) Like Marx, Smith treats labor, and hence the
class of laborers, as a commodity. Explain the similarities and
differences of these authors on labor and justice.