Tuesday, January 21, 2014


SORRY FOR THE DELAY.  I stink at computers!

The Manifesto relies on pathos and moral dichotomy, using strong terms and comparisons to demonize the bourgeois and victimize the proletariat.  Again, vocabulary colors and creates the melodramatic impression, and stock characterization manipulates through simplification the portrayal of the circumstances.  Modern bourgeois society is "like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells."  It gained power through chance in history, using this power to "simplif[y] class antagonisms," leaving the proletariat in a subordinate, oppressed, undeserved position. 
The document echos the binary response to political change outlined in Singer's article.  It reacts to the insecurity following political change by reassuring the Communist movement will transcend momentary conflict for the working class, because it is allied with the French Social-Democrats, the Switz Radicals, and so on; it ensures their protection beyond this initial revolution with power in numbers, and power in justice.  It dramatizes working class powerlessness within capitalism, explaining that laborers "live only so long as they find work, and... find work only so long as their labour increases capital."  They "like every other article of commerce, are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market."
The Manifesto uses these terms to rally the working class behind a revolution for liberal democracy, calling them to "question the operation of law and justice" (Singer).  Dramatic language can cause dramatic change in what was formerly an airtight, monopolized cultural structure.  This literature and its style illuminates the plausibility of social mobility, putting power in words to ignite feelings of power in the docile subordinate.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are restricted to course members only.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.