The Communist Manifesto

by

Karl Marx

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Free trade Term Analysis

Technically, free trade is international trade without restrictions or duties, such as import taxes or quantity limits. For Marx and Engels, it represents the method by which the bourgeoisie accumulates wealth. By trading, they are able to exploit the increased interconnectivity of society by buying or producing goods at a lower price than what they can sell them for later; this process then leads to greater interconnectedness. The bourgeoisie’s accumulated wealth increases their social, economic and political power, entrenching their dominance over the proletariat.

Free trade Quotes in The Communist Manifesto

The The Communist Manifesto quotes below are all either spoken by Free trade or refer to Free trade. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Capitalism and Progress Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of The Communist Manifesto published in 2011.
I. Bourgeois and Proletarians Quotes

Modern Industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America has paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.

Related Characters: Bourgeoisie
Page Number: 64-65
Explanation and Analysis:

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

Related Characters: Bourgeoisie
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
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Free trade Term Timeline in The Communist Manifesto

The timeline below shows where the term Free trade appears in The Communist Manifesto. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
I. Bourgeois and Proletarians
Capitalism and Progress Theme Icon
Class and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Inequality and Distribution of Wealth Theme Icon
Work Theme Icon
...the bourgeoisie has reduced all relations between “man and man” to “naked self-interest” and money. Free trade has come to dominate society and has made exploitation more open and “shameless,” whereas before... (full context)
Capitalism and Progress Theme Icon
Class and Hierarchy Theme Icon
In place of the restrictions of the feudal system came free market competition, bringing its own social political changes to match. Marx and Engels believe that a... (full context)
II. Proletarians and Communists
Class and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Inequality and Distribution of Wealth Theme Icon
...individuality and freedom. To the bourgeoisie, “freedom” means only the freedom to buy and sell— free trade . (full context)