Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto is a critique of the capitalist system. He differentiates between members of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie by stating that “the bourgeoisie has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations.” He goes on to explain that this change in social structure has created two classes: one that owns the means of production (the bourgeoisie), and one that must sell their labor power in order to survive (the proletariat).
The proletariat is made up of individuals who do not own any means of production; they only have their labor power to sell. This makes them dependent on wage labor and therefore vulnerable to exploitation by capitalists who can control their wages and working conditions. On the other hand, members of the bourgeoisie do own productive property such as factories or machines so they are able to produce goods without relying on others for employment.
Marx believed that capitalism was doomed to fail because it would eventually produce its own gravedigger in the form of a revolutionary class known as the proletariat (workers).
According to Marx’s theory of exploitation, capitalists exploit workers by paying them less than they produce as profit. He suggests that this difference between wages and profits creates class conflict between owners and laborers because laborers want more money while owners only want more profits.