The French Revolution, in 1789, wasthe event that is accepted as the turning point which declared all people inthe country to be equal and moved the society from a hierarchy to the modernity.Outcomes of the French Revolution included the establishment of a new capitalistsociety and new classes such as the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Thebourgeoisie were people who owned factories and the machines which createdcommodity. They replaced the aristocracy with the establishment of new classesand conditions of oppression and struggle. The proletariat became the majority,but only had their own physical labored bodies to trade in order to survive.
Thebourgeoisie hired the proletariat to work in their factories, once again repeatingclass struggles between the oppressor and the oppressed. Although the capitalists created a meansof production, they were unable to control it as capitalism itself is unstabledue to the constant demand to open up new markets and to produce betterproducts. If a bourgeoisie was unable to meet these demands, he wouldultimately become a proletariat himself.
When Marx and Engels write that thebourgeoisie “forged the weapons to bring death to itself,” they were hintingthat the productive forces of capitalism could eventually turn against thebourgeoisie. The “weapons” Marx and Engels refer to were the machines in whichthe bourgeoisie owned. These were the same machines that helped lead the end offeudalism, but could also be the cause for the end of the bourgeoisie as well. Therelation between the proletariat and those “weapons” was because theproletariat were the ones working the machines, allowing them to be able towield the “weapons.” However, a significant relation between the proletariatand their “weapons,” can be understood once the proletariat realize they weretheir own class. Class struggle has always occurred, but those oppressed maynot always be aware of their oppression. The realization would cause a change inthe social structure as the proletariat discovered the ways in which they wereexploited not only through labor, but also through political means as well.
AsMarx has stated, the breaking point would lead to either a reconstruction ofsociety or the ruin of the contending class. The 2ndpassage relates to the 1st passage as it juxtaposes Marx and Engels ideathat capitalism would result in a breaking point amongst the class struggle thatwould drive society to either enter the Dark Ages once again or reconstruct itselfinto the Communist society, ultimately the inevitable dissolution of thebourgeoisie. Marx and Engels conclude by arguing the bourgeoisie produce theirown “grave-diggers” since the bourgeoisie hired the proletariat to work themachines but could not produce anything themselves. While the proletariat wereable to produce products using the machines, the product being the “weapon”Marx and Engels write about.
This suggest that since the “weapons” could beused to overthrow the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie produced their own “grave-diggers”by giving the proletariat power over the “weapons.” Within the 2ndpassage, Marx and Engels state that the bourgeoisie produced their owngrave-diggers which resulted in the “victory of the proletariat.” The inequalitybetween the bourgeoisie and the proletariat increased and so did the tension. Ascapitalism feeds off of instability, the breaking point was bound to occur atsome point. When the proletariat revolted they fought for human rights, transformingthe capitalist society into a Communist society.