Please read the short essay, or just click the answers to these simple questions. You may need to *enable popups.
1. Why did different classes begin?
* It is natural for people to compete rather than cooperate with one another
* People discovered ways to create surplus wealth
* One geographic group, often the northerners, conquered the others
* The more clever people "rose to the top."
2. Which might be considered the most evident of class struggle?
* A group of workers organizes a union and goes on strike against their employers
* A highly qualified squad of soldiers takes over a capitol building
* A Prince has his father assassinated and takes control
* Daring young people blow up an important building
3. In this period, which class of people seems the most progressive?
* Slaves, because they have the least to lose and the most to gain
* Homeless people who beg for shelter from the cold
* A group that seeks to extend civil rights
* Several wealthy people pooling their donations to build a shelter for the poor
4. Why do Communists side with the working class in their struggle against the capitalists?
* Workers are clearly more moral than capitalists
* Workers are smarter than capitalists and thus could govern better
* Workers' victories lead to a more democratic future for the benefit of all
* Capitalists just never realized their full potential
5. Which kind of political activity would seem most progressive?
* Helping organize workers to accomplish their own goals
* Scheming with saboteurs
* Plotting a takeover
* Becoming martyrs to teach everybody a lesson
*If popups don't work when you click on the answers, you will probably get a yellow line across the top of your screen. Click on it and choose "temporarily enable popups."
Class Struggle Is the Key to Understanding History
Before there were separate economic classes (and before writing
was invented) humans were barely able to survive. They spent virtually all their
waking hours avoiding predators and looking for food. Over the ages, they began
to keep live animals and perform some rudimentary agriculture. For the first
time in human existence, small groups of people accumulated more of the necessities
of life than they could immediately consume.
With the improved production, people could live longer and better, but class society was also born. One class took control of the farmland and/or herd of animals; the other class did the work. As Frederick Engels made clear in his great book, "Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State," all kinds of societal changes occurred after people began to accumulate wealth and divide into opposing classes.
The great changes in humanity's conditions came about as the classes struggled against one another. These struggles continue today, and are the driving force of change. Workers want more democracy: capitalists want less. Workers want better wages and living conditions; capitalists want them to have less. The battle against racism is a battle of workers against bosses. Peace demonstrations are carried out by workers and opposed by capitalists. Many victories are victories of one class over another. Many defeats are defeats of one class at the hands of the other.
The capitalists who control virtually all of our culture and information deny that different classes exist, that the main classes oppose one another, and that anything at all results from this process. Some of the relatively meaningless words they use to explain, or rather to confuse, struggles are "liberal," "conservative," "leftist," "rightist," "intellectual," "redneck," "urban," or "rural." They want us to believe that a new laundry soap is "revolutionary," but that any advance of democracy for working people is the Devil's work! Capitalists depend on keeping the working class confused and divided because they know that they could not continue their rule if workers and our allies were united.
In today's society, human progress is progress of the working class. It is resisted by the capitalist class. Many people or groups of people may temporarily support the working class or condemn the capitalist class as the battles go on. What distinguishes the Communists from all others is that we unwaveringly support the working class as the class of the future, up to and including the time that workers replace the capitalists as the dominant class. Communists have no interests outside those of the working class.
This simple identification of the Communists is denied by the capitalist information monopoly. They want people to believe that Communists are undemocratic organizations that somehow plan to wrest governmental control away from the capitalists by themselves. They particularly want people to believe that Communists want to use violence or subversive means. They want people to think that we see the working class as some kind of stooges that we will "use" to gain power for ourselves.
The truth is that Communists believe the growing working class will inherit power from a capitalist class that is clearly no longer capable of governing. The capitalist class today controls enough atomic weapons to destroy most life on Earth. They are polluting the planet so badly that they may kill us all even before they get a chance to use their bombs! Democratic control by the working class could bring an end to these capitalist menaces. Communists work and struggle to unite and empower the working class for a bright human future.
A professor named David Harvey put his opinions of class struggle on You Tube.
For a comical take on class struggle, with a lot of foul language, comedian George Carlin has recorded a hilarious explanation.
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