Thursday, January 23, 2014

Communist Manifesto Part 2

The "Manifesto of the Communist Party" by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels employed several techniques of melodrama that described in the fifth chapter of Ben Singer's Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and its Contexts. Singer points out his his book that early Melodrama played a similar role to people that the church did:

"The contemporary spin interprets a hunger for moral stability and intelligibility as a reflection of a post-Enlightenment, postsacred, postfeudal world, or in short, a reflection of modernity."

The Communist Manifesto reflects this Melodramatic aspect of "filling the void of the church" by giving the proletarians a cause that they view as moral and just:

"Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product.
The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat."

By giving the proletarians a cause that they believe with a religious fervor is just, all Marx and Engels need to do is make them realize the power that they can exert over the Bourgeois:

The manner that the "Manifesto of the Communist Party" persuades its working class readers to join the Communist cause shows its effective employment of the persuasive genre of melodrama. 

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