Classes do not exist initially "in themselves" (as themselves, defined by production or by the economy) and subsequently "in struggle" (involved in politics). They only exist as opposed and antagonistic organic forces. They therefore define themselves in practice by their movement of opposition and struggle inherent in the relations of "production" and in the antagonistic interests which they imply. Not "production" in the immediate sense of referring exclusively to the production of things, but in the global sense, as the reproduction of the species, reproduction of exploitation, reproduction of two irreconcilable camps: exploited and exploiters, the reproduction of private property and an ever-growing mass of beings deprived by the property of others, deprived of all necessary means of ensuring their conditions of life... and, finally, the ever more intense reproduction of the antagonism between property owners (defenders of the world of private property) and those whose very existence opposes itself to them in the totality of their practical life in this world.

Therefore proletariat and bourgeoisie are defined by their mutual antagonism: the bourgeoisie as the personification of the capitalist relations of production, as the party of conservation, as a reactionary force; the proletariat as the negation of the whole of present society, as the party of destruction, bearer of communism.


TH8: These 8