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At the base of contemporary capitalist society lies the principle of private property, owing to which society is divided into two fundamental classes--the capitalists and the proletariat. The former and less numerous class possesses all the capital, the tools and means of production, while the latter and more numerous class is deprived of all these and possess only its labor-power, both physical and intellectual. Under the pressure of need, the working class sells this power to the capitalists at a price below its real value; the unremunerated part of labor power finds its way, in the form of surplus value, into the pockets of the capitalists. As a result, the latter class is in possession of fabulous wealth, while the proletariat and kindred social groups are afflicted by dire poverty. This contrast stands out most boldly in countries of highly developed capitalism. This contemporary economic order is defended by the entire might of the state, with its morality and its religions;.

Capitalist production is commodity production; that is to say, its products are made for the market. The market is the most important feature of the system of distributing goods under capitalism. In such a society, everything is based on purchase and sale. The people, selling to the capitalists their physical and intellectual energy, are a kind of commodity--a living commodity--and the results of their activities, both in the material field and in the domains of science, art and morals, are also marketable goods. Hence a small group of exploiters enjoys the greater share of the fruits of modern science and technology, the fruits--in other words--of the progress of mankind as a whole.

Owing to the economic inequality of the two parties, the principles of free labor and voluntary contract, inherent in the hire of workers, are advantageous only to the capitalists, and any attempt on the part of the proletariat to equalize the conditions of the two parties to the agreement results in persecution by the state, which is intent on defending the privileges of capital.

Scientific and technological progress leads to an enormous mechanization of production, and this process, in turn, results in the concentration of capital and the proletarianization of the population. The mechanization of production makes the capitalists increasingly independent of manpower,

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