March 12, 2010

On The Conditions of the Working Class in England, by Friedrich Engels

The condition of the working class in England is bad. Not the book,this book is compelling and sad. The actual material conditions the workers of England must live and toil in are enough to dehumanize the most hardy soul. Reading the work, I am reminded about the irrational hatred and even the opinions of the socially aware are against them. Anti-Irish sentiment runs from Edmund Spenser to Friedrich Engels. That is not the main issue but one that kept popping into my head.

The main issue is that the material conditions of the workers is bad. Engels paints vividly why the revolution will come to England as soon as 1846 or 1847. Man cannot live as slave, no matter what you call the master. Most striking is that as I was reading, I could easily call forth a sense of righteous indignation against the crimes of the bourgeois. These were not against the bourgeois of Engels's observed industrial England, but of the employing class of today's America. On many of the crimes he speaks of, it is still too easy to find analogues in contemporary society. I have suffered the same as the poor souls in a different time and place. I have lived the benefits of reform, but I still toil in the same system