The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
Communist Manifesto,section 1-Bourgeois and Proletarians.
An oppressed class is the vital condition for every society founded on the antagonism of classes. The emancipation of the oppressed class thus implies necessarily the creation of a new society. For the oppressed class to be able to emancipate itself it is necessary that the existing productive powers and social relations should no longer be capable of existing side by side. Of all the instruments of production, the greatest productive power is the revolutionary class itself. The organisation of revolutionary elements as a class presupposes the existence of all the productive forces which could be brought to fruition within the framework of the old society.
Does this mean that after the collapse of the old society there will be a new dominant class culminating in a new political power? No. The condition for the emancipation of the working class is the abolition of every class, just as the condition for the liberation of the third estate, of the bourgeois order, was the abolition of all estates and orders.
The working class in the course of its development will substitute for the old civil society an association which will exclude classes and their antagonism, and there will be no more political power as such, since political power is precisely the official expression of antagonism in civil society.
Meanwhile the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is a struggle of class against class, a struggle, which carried to its highest expression, is a total revolution. Indeed, is it at all surprising that a society founded on the opposition of classes should culminate in brutal contradiction, the shock of body against body, as its final denouement?Do not say that social movement excludes political movement. There is never a political movement which is not at the same time social. It is only in an order of things in which there are no more classes and class antagonisms that social evolutions will cease to be political revolutions. Till then, on the eve of every general reshuffling of society, the last word of social science will always be:
"Combat or Death: bloody struggle or extinction. It is thus that the question is inexorably put."
The Poverty of Philosophy