We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society.
For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule.
The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.
But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons -- the modern working class -- the proletarians.
No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer,so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord,the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.
With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie.
At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeoisie.
It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself.
The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle.
Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole.
Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class.
Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle.
In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.