The Communist Manifesto


Karl Marx

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A guild is an association comprised of people on the basis of a particular skill or trade. They were especially prevalent in the Middle Ages, which is why Marx and Engels mention them. Some of the proposed benefits of guilds were improved organization, the ability to provide good training for new craftsmen, and high quality standards. Examples of guilds include weavers, cobblers, bakers, and painters.

Guilds Quotes in The Communist Manifesto

The The Communist Manifesto quotes below are all either spoken by Guilds or refer to Guilds. 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

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, that each time ended, either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

Page Number: 62-63
Explanation and Analysis:

Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrialist capitalist. Masses of laborers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers. As privates of the individual army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.

Related Characters: Bourgeoisie, Proletariat, Artisans
Related Symbols: Chains
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Guilds Term Timeline in The Communist Manifesto

The timeline below shows where the term Guilds 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
Work Theme Icon
...this increased trade, the manufacturing system replaced the old feudal system of industry governed by guilds. The division of work into different guilds turned into the division of different tasks within... (full context)