THE THIRD, BOURGEOIS, SOCIAL REVOLUTION.
1. The origin of conflict between societyТs productive forces and socio-productive relations.
With the development of industrial-technical revolution in the course of wide expansion of machine technics and strengthening the role of industrial production, economic contradictions of slave-holding - serf society became so acute that they developed to a conflict between the grown and constantly changing productive forces of society and socio-productive relations. The slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations became narrow for further development of productive forces. They chained the progress of the latter.
With the origin and development of industrial-technical revolution, society could resolve the contradiction (having grown sharper in the period of Middle Ages) between the grown needs of people and the labour productivity that remained behind, owing to slowed-down economic growth, and did not enable to satisfy these growing needs. But the existing slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations slackened the pace of development of industrial-technical revolution and, at the same time, prevented from the complete resolution of contradiction between the growth of needs and the slow increase of labour productivity.
The countries of Western Europe, in which the serf slavery was abolished earlier than in other countries, in XIV-XV centuries, began to develop quicker in economic respect. The industrial development of these countries was faster than that in Eastern Europe and other countries of the world where the serf slavery remained to exist for still a long time.
The contradiction between the needs of people and labour productivity that, at first, began to diminish owing to the origin and development of industrial-technical revolution since about XI century, soon became to grow again because of the slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations being the fetters of productive forces.
With the development of industrial-technical revolution, the contradiction between the dominant slave-holding Ц serf socio-productive relations and the nature of labour of more and more numerous industrial workers became even more acute. The labour productivity in large industrial workshops based on the labour of serf slaves was lower than that in industrial workshops grounded on the labour of hired workers. But there were too few of hired workers. In order to cover the need of industrial workshops and arising factories in hired workers, it was necessary: first, to free producers from serf slavery and, second, to "free" them from their own means of production, from their households in which they, like free peasants and craftsmen, worked together with their families.
As long as serf slavery existed, the industrial businessmen had to buy serf slaves for them to work at their manufactory workshops and machine factories. They were forced to do so by the absence of sufficient number of free hired labourers. But the labour of serf slaves at the industrial enterprises, unlike that in agriculture with the help of primitive technics, was by far less efficient than the labour of hired workers. And the more perfect were the industrial enterprises, the more complex was the technics and technology of production, the more significant this difference was.
Comparing the labour of hunter, the labour of peasant with pre-machine technics, and the labour of industrial worker, especially that based on machine technics, by their nature, by their content, by their creativity, one can see that these kinds of labour are qualitatively different. The labour of hunter is the most creative, while the labour of peasant is the least creative one. The labour of industrial worker takes the middle position in this respect.
The mainly creative labour of hunter (and fisher), for its highest efficiency, is in need of humane, fair socio-productive relations, i.e. relations based on socio-communal ownership of the main means of production and free, associated or individual, labour, the such being the communal-clan socio-productive relations.
The predominantly non-creative, hard, crude labour of peasant (based on primitive pre-machine technics), that could be effective being based not only on communal, but also on private ownership of the main means of production; not only on free (associated, individual) or hired, but also on compulsory labour, gives birth to the most crude, most cruel forms of exploitation and productive relations, i.e. slave-holding relations and non-economic coercion.
The industrial labour, like other kinds of labour based on machine technics, is more creative than agricultural labour based on pre-machine technics but less creative than the labour of hunter or fisher. So, to be more effective, it needs more soft, more humane socio-productive relations, the same being the bourgeois-capitalist socio-productive relations based on private ownership of the main means of production and free hired labour grounded on economic coercion.
The slave-holding Ц serf socio-productive relations at the usurious phase of their development prevented the development, expansion of commodity production, commerce and, consequently, the social division of labour. Probably, at least in some places, the reduction of commodity production and commerce took place; production became more natural by form. The reason for this were the obstacles put in the way of traders by local authorities and slave-holders Ц usurers: duties, taxes, takings of all kinds for passing through their lands by traders and for trade in these lands. This decreased the rate of trade profit and led to the reduction of trade. The reduction of trade caused the reduction of commodity production, and the latter Ц the lowered the level of social division of labour and, consequently, reduced the labour productivity and living standards of population or, at least, prevented its further growth.
Thus, the slave-holding Ц serf socio-productive relations entered their last, usurious phase in II-III centuries AD and were quite in line with productive forces in the period since III to X century giving the way for their development; however, since XI century, when the new, industrial-technical revolution in the development of productive forces began, they started to hamper the development of productive forces that resulted in slowing down the progress of industrial-technical revolution. There appeared just another conflict between the productive forces of society and the socio-productive relations that had to be resolved, sooner or later, by means of a new social revolution. And this new, bourgeois social revolution took place, in some countries earlier, in the others Ц later, but everywhere Ц after the beginning of industrial-technical revolution.
2. Industrial-technical and bourgeois social revolutions.
The dialectics of development of productive forces of society and its production relations is such that each revolution in the development of productive forces of society corresponds to interrelated revolution in the development of socio-productive relations. At that, every revolution in the development of productive forces causes the corresponding social revolution. And since the revolutions in the development of productive forces are the cause, and the social revolutions Ц their consequence, then first the revolutions in the development of productive forces complete or, at least, begin, whereupon the social revolutions caused by them occur.
The communal social revolution was the consequence of the hunting-technical revolution, and the slave-holding revolution was the consequence of the agrarian-technical revolution. In the same way, the bourgeois social revolution was the consequence of the industrial-technical revolution.
The bourgeois social revolution was the most important consequence of the industrial-technical revolution; in the course of it, the substitution of old socio-productive relations based on private ownership of the main means of production and non-economic coercion (serf slavery) for new socio-productive relations grounded on private ownership of the main means of production and economic coercion (free hired labour). This bourgeois social revolution occurred under the direct influence of industrial-technical revolution.
But it did not happen (as the historical science testifies) in such a way that first the revolution in the development of productive forces of society was accomplished and then, in some period of time, the social revolution, caused by the former, took place. First, the industrial-technical revolution began, then, along with continuation of industrial-technical revolution, the bourgeois social revolution took place, and then, after the completion of social revolution, the industrial-technical revolution came to the end.
The dialectics of productive forces and production relations in the period under consideration is such that the bourgeois social revolution takes place (begins, continues, comes to the end) after the beginning of industrial-technical revolution but before its completion. The old socio-productive relations based on the serf slavery hampered the development of industrial-technical revolution and, consequently, were undermined, substituted, by means of bourgeois social revolution, for the new, progressive socio-productive relations that opened the wide space to further development, expansion of industrial-technical revolution. If the industrial-technical revolution was born in the depths of old, slave-holding - serf society, then it was completed already under the new, bourgeois-capitalist socio-productive relations that not only secured the completion of industrial-technical revolution but also speeded up the pace of its development.
Thus, we can see that the third social revolution and the third revolution in the development of productive forces proceeded somewhat differently, in the sense of their interconnection, interaction, than the two first revolutions in the development of productive forces and production relations. Considering the latter, we saw that first the hunting-technical or agrarian-technical revolution took place (began, continued, came to the end) and only then, after their completion, social revolutions Ц communal or slave-holding Ц happened. One may ask quite a natural question, why there is such a distinction in the progress of different revolutions in the development of productive forces and socio-productive relations.
It seems to be evident that the reason is in the fact that the two first revolutions in the development of productive forces took place in pre-class (classless) society, while the industrial-technical revolution, for the first time in the history of society, happened in class society, saturated up to the limit with economic and political contradictions, class antagonism and class struggle, that left a mark on the mechanism of accomplishment of industrial-technical and bourgeois social revolutions differing them from the previous revolutions. However, this is only a supposition that is yet to be proved.
As we have stressed above, in the course of hunting-technical revolution, the position of the main kind of labour passed on to hunting labour, during the agrarian-technical revolution Ц to agricultural labour, and in process of industrial-technical revolution Ц to industrial labour. The labour of hunter (and fisher) could be effective being based on communal ownership of the main means of production and free labour that were established in the course of communal social revolution. But the labour of hunter could also be efficient under the absence of any kind of ownership that was the case after the completion of hunting-technical revolution but before the beginning of communal social one. Thus, the hunting-technical revolution could develop both simultaneously with communal social revolution and before its origin. In accordance with this circumstance, the hunting-technical revolution was not in need of communal social revolution for its development (origin, accomplishment, completion).
The same picture is for the agrarian-technical revolution. The agricultural labour could be effective on the basis of slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations, private ownership of the main means of production, and non-economic coercion that were established in the course of slave-holding social revolution. But this kind of labour could also be efficient being grounded on communal ownership of the main means of production and free labour, collective or individual, that existed before the slave-holding - serf social revolution. So, the agrarian-technical revolution could develop (begin, take place, come to the end) even before the origin of the latter. The agrarian-technical revolution was not in need of slave-holding social revolution for its accomplishment, the same way as the hunting-technical revolution was not in need of communal social revolution for its development.
But the accomplishment of industrial-technical revolution was quite another matter. The industrial labour, especially being based on machine technics, could be effective on the basis of bourgeois-capitalist productive relations, private ownership of the main means of production, and free hired labour that were established during the third social revolution. This kind of labour could also be efficient on the basis of communal ownership of the main means of production. But it could not be effective being based on slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations with their non-economic coercion to labour. Thus, the industrial-technical revolution, that established the industrial labour as the labour of the majority of able-bodied population, simply could not be completed within the framework of old, slave-holding - serf society Ц it could only begin then. And the completion of it should take place in the network of new, bourgeois-capitalist (or socialist) society.
As a result, the industrial-technical revolution could only begin in the slave-holding - serf society that, during the accomplishment of this revolution, was transformed to bourgeois-capitalist society by means of social revolution. So, it was completed already in new, bourgeois-capitalist society.
We have already dwelled upon the problem of so-called feudal society. Having considered the industrial-technical revolution in the previous chapter, we can add the following. If only the feudal socio-economic structure really existed, then the feudal social revolution in historical development of society should also take place. Consequently, there should be also a revolution in the development of productive forces corresponding to the feudal social revolution. Since the feudal social revolution, should it really exist, would occur after the slave-holding but before the bourgeois one, i.e. would be located between them, then the revolution in the development of productive forces of society interrelated with the feudal social revolution would happen in the period between agrarian-technical and industrial-technical revolutions. But there was no such in the history of society, like the feudal social revolution as well.
But letТs suppose, nevertheless, that such a hypothetical revolution in the development of productive forces did (or, at least, could) take place in real life. What would it represent? In each socio-economic structure, one of the branches of social production was the leading, main branch becoming such in the course of a revolution in the development of productive forces of society. So, during the agrarian-technical revolution, the agriculture became the main branch, and, in process of the industrial-technical revolution, the industry did the same. If there were a revolution in the development of productive forces in the period between the agrarian-technical and industrial-technical revolution, then, in the course of it, the agriculture would shift to the position of an auxiliary branch, while the role of the dominant branch would be taken by some other one. But there was no such in the real history of Middle Ages. But, may be, this revolution, being an exclusion, constituted the totality of only technological and technical overturns while the third, structural-branch overturn was absent in the course of it?
We have defined five technical forms in the development of technics, four of them belong to the machine technics: hand mechanisms, draught mechanisms, machines and automatic machines. At that, in process of agrarian-technical revolution, the draught mechanisms: wooden-plow, harrow, plough, cart, etc. became widespread, and in the course of industrial-technical revolution, machines became very popular. If there was one more revolution in the period between agrarian-technical and industrial-technical revolutions, then, during its accomplishment, one more form of mechanical means, different both from draught mechanisms and from machines, would become widely adopted. But there was no such in Middle Ages and in the history of technics at all. So, there were neither structural-branch, nor even technical overturn in the course of this hypothetical revolution in the development of productive forces. And if we consider the history of technological development, we would find out that there was no any technological overturn as well. Then, what does this revolution represent? Nothing at all! Such a revolution simply never existed, neither did the feudal social revolution, neither did the feudal socio-economic structure.
Many researchers mistakenly think that the industrial-technical revolution in Europe took place in XVIII-XIX centuries. However, considering the industrial-technical revolution in the previous chapter, we saw that it began (the phase of origin) approximately in XI century. The same way falsely, many researchers think that the bourgeois social revolutions in Western Europe took place in XVI (in Holland), in XVII (in England) and in XVIII (in France) centuries. Meanwhile, the bourgeois social revolutions in Western Europe occurred in XIV-XV centuries.
The reasons of this confusion are as follows: first, these researchers admit the availability of feudal socio-economic structure in the development of society; second, they reduce the industrial-technical revolution exclusively to technical overturn in industry (industrial overturn); and, third, they identify the bourgeois-political revolutions with the bourgeois social revolutions.
LetТs suppose, for example, that the social bourgeois revolution in England occurred in XVII, and the industrial-technical one Ц in XVIII-XIX centuries. Then it turns out that the social revolution preceded the revolution in the development of productive forces but not vice versa. And it means that the bourgeois social revolution is at the bottom of the industrial-technical revolution, that not productive forces but something else plays the decisive role in the development of socio-productive relations, that production relations play the key role in the development of productive forces. But this conflicts with all the history of development of society, from ancient times to present days. K.Marx was right (and we mentioned it considering the slave-holding social revolution) when he wrote: Уtogether with already accomplished revolution in productive forces Е the revolution in production relations takes place as wellФ.
The essence of bourgeois social revolution was the substitution of slave-holding Ц serf socio-productive relations for bourgeois-capitalist socio-productive relations, serf slavery Ц for free hired labour, non-economic coercion Ц for economic one, etc. These very events and processes took place in XIV-XV centuries. And the nature of bourgeois-political revolution was, first, the substitution of old political structure for another one, for example, of heritable absolute monarchy for democratic republic or constitutional monarchy, and, second, abolition of remnants of old society, for example, limitation of usurious exploitation of landowners (former slave-holders Ц landowners), restriction of large land ownership, etc.
The mixing of bourgeois-social and bourgeois-political revolutions causes the confusion in the determination of regularities of economic development of society.
The same way inadmissible is the reduction of the industrial-technical revolution to one of its phases Ц technical overturn in industry.
3. Bourgeois-social revolution as а consequence of class struggle.
As we saw above, the bourgeois-social revolution is а consequence of the industrial-technical revolution that began at а certain stage of development of society and its productive forces. The industrial-technical revolution was the reason of accomplishment of the bourgeois-social revolution, since the completion of the industrial-technical revolution, development of industrial production, development of any production based on the wide use of machine technics, efficient labour of industrial workers and other kinds of labour equivalent to it by their essence, character, level of creativity were simply incompatible with the existing slave-holding Ц serf socio-productive relations.
But the industrial-technical revolution could not lead to the substitution of the existing form of socio-productive relations automatically, by itself, without subjective factor. It could only happen by means of violent class struggle of both class of serf slaves and other classes against the economically and politically dominant class of slave-holders Ц landowners. All the classes, groups, sections and layers of society were united in their struggle against the class of slave-holders - usurers that became a reactionary class at the last, usurious phase of slave-holding Ц serf society. As а result of their joint activity, the rule of this parasitic class had been broken.
The revolutionary forces included the various classes and layers of society: the class of serf slaves carrying on their households and being exploited by slave-holders Ц usurers by means of ground-rent, as well as being occupied at large slave-holding enterprises; the class of serf slaves occupied in trade; the class of industrial capitalist bourgeoisie; the class of commercial capitalist bourgeoisie; middle classes: small free peasants, craftsmen, traders carrying on their household or commerce by their own labour and the labour of their families, intellectuals, and, finally, hired workers. The most revolutionary classes and layers were: the class of serf slaves carrying on their own small household, the class of traders, as well as the class of small and capitalist bourgeoisie. Other classes and layers were just casual fellow travellers of the revolutionary forces. For example, hired workers struggled against the enemies of their enemies.
The bourgeois-social revolution could win both at the initial stage of the industrial-technical revolution, in the middle of its development, and, finally, in its second half. It only depended upon the acuteness, violence of class struggle, upon the solidarity, level of organisation of revolutionary forces. In the countries, where the acuteness of class struggle was high, where the correlation of class (revolutionary and counter-revolutionary) forces was in favour of the former, the bourgeois social revolution won early, at the initial stage of the industrial-technical revolution. This was the case in the countries of Western Europe: France, England, Holland, Spain and Italy in XIV-XV centuries.
In the countries, where the acuteness of class struggle was insufficient and the correlation of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces was in favour of the latter, there, after the first unsuccessful revolutionary actions, the triumph of reaction came, the slave-holding - serf structure strengthened itself, and the victory of bourgeois social revolution took place later on, in the middle or in the second half of development of industrial-technical revolution. Such a scenario took place in the countries of Central and
Eastern Europe, in the southern states of the USA, where the bourgeois social revolution occurred only in XIX century. The postponement of bourgeois social revolution in these countries caused their economic, especially industrial, lag behind Western Europe in Middle Ages, slowing down the development of industrial-technical revolution in them.
Thus, although the industrial-technical revolution was the first cause of accomplishment of bourgeois social revolution, its direct cause was class struggle.
The industrial-technical revolution and class struggle were the two reasons or two factors Ц objective and subjective Ц of integrated reason of accomplishment of bourgeois social revolution. Neither industrial-technical revolution without class struggle, nor class struggle without industrial-technical revolution could result in the complete victory of bourgeois-capitalist socio-productive relations.
Without industrial-technical revolution, economic contradictions could not reach the level necessary to the accomplishment of bourgeois social revolution. The conflict between productive forces and production relations could not appear, and, consequently, the subjective conditions for the growth of class struggle could not occur. And if, nevertheless, the revolted serf slaves could win, then, sooner or later, the slave-holding - serf productive relations would appear again. Only the redistribution of wealth could occur, but not the substitution of slave-holding - serf structure for bourgeois-capitalist one. That is why, no one insurrection of slaves that took place before the beginning of industrial-technical revolution can be called bourgeois social revolution. There were no material conditions for the latter then.
The role of class struggle could be compared with the social transfer mechanism, by means of which the social engine - industrial-technical revolution Ц sets the bourgeois social revolution in motion.
After the mass decentralization of large slave-holding production in II-III centuries AD, the class struggle in slave-holding society somewhat subsided, but, with the beginning of industrial-technical revolution, approximately since XI century, it strengthened again, gained acuteness and then was concluded by the bourgeois social revolutions in a number of countries of Western Europe. At that, the event of great importance for the victory of bourgeois-capitalist socio-productive relations, bourgeois social revolution in Western Europe was the downfall of Byzantine slave-holding - serf state as the latter already could not give support to the ruling class of slave-holders Ц landlords in Europe.
4. Consequences of bourgeois social revolution.
After the bourgeois social revolution, the same way as earlier, after communal and slave-holding social revolutions, the radical, revolutionary transformations in the social relations of society Ц national-ethnic, spiritual-cultural and political Ц took place. The bourgeois-national, bourgeois-cultural and bourgeois-democratic revolutions occurred.
In process of bourgeois-national revolution, a number of neighbouring peoples (and states), first of all Ц related ones, were being united in one, larger state. The necessity of such an amalgamation, often compulsory, was conditioned by the process of formation of international commodity market appearing as a result of rapid development of machine technics, industry, operational division of labour, commodity production, and international trade. It was insistently necessary for victorious bourgeoisie to consolidate their dwarfish states with their borders, duties, customs, that constrained the trade and, consequently, the commodity production and development of all the economy, first of all Ц industry. So, sooner or later, the next, third national revolution took place, that consolidated many nationalities into a larger national commonality Ц nation and many small states Ц into a large allied state, in which, on the basis of assimilation of nationalities, the common territory, economy, habits, psychology, and, as a rule, common language were gradually formed. And, of course, in process of bourgeois-national revolution, like during all previous national revolutions Ц communal and slave-holding Ц the common border, money, tax system, foreign and home policy, military forces, etc. appeared.
The bourgeois-cultural revolution happened simultaneously with the bourgeois-national revolution. The revolutionary changes in ideology and morals, known in the history of Western Europe under the name of Reformation, took place. This Reformation was a natural phenomenon in the development of society. It could not happen in Western Europe earlier, before the bourgeois social revolution. The same way, it could not take place after the victory of bourgeois social revolution in Western Europe since so-called Reformation (and Renaissance) was a component part of the bourgeois-cultural revolution, the third revolution in historical development of spiritual relations of society. Each country, in which the bourgeois social revolution took place, had its own УReformationФ.
The bourgeois-cultural revolution substituted the old, slave-holding - serf morals for new, bourgeois-capitalist morals; the old, slave-holding - serf ideology Ц for new, bourgeois ideology; the old, slave-holding culture Ц by new, bourgeois culture; etc. In short, the out-of-date spiritual-cultural relations were replaced by new, more progressive spiritual-cultural relations.
At the same time, i.e. after the bourgeois social revolution, there occurred the bourgeois-democratic revolution in bourgeois-capitalist society, that substituted the outdated political relations that did not meet the spirit of new time for new, more progressive socio-political relations: tyrannical (or oligarchic) form of state was forcedly substituted for democracy; monarchy, though not in all countries, gave way to republican form of government; unitary state was transformed to federation or confederation; monarchical-presidential legislation gave way to parliamentary or direct popular legislation. Wide people mass had got democratic freedoms and political rights. Political repressions were either eliminated or cut down sharply.
The necessity of the bourgeois-democratic revolution was stipulated by the fact that, in process of the evolution of slave-holding - serf society, the evolution of political relations took place as well. The slave-holding democracy, after the transition of slave-holding society from its trade phase to the second, production (latifundial) phase, was eliminated, replaced by oligarchy and, then, tyranny; republic was replaced by monarchy (empire) that, in the course of time, became absolute. It happened because the democracy, as time went by, began to pose a threat to the rule of class of large slave-holders Ц landowners, especially at the last phase of slave-holding - serf society. And democracy, sooner or later, was replaced by despotic regime.
After the victory of bourgeois social revolution, trade capitalism retained the despotic state for some time because it played a progressive, revolutionary role in new society being directed against the overthrown class of slave-holders Ц landowners that strived for restoration of the old social structure based on serf slavery. But, as time went by, the necessity in tyrannical (or oligarchic) state became no longer relevant. And the bourgeois-democratic revolution, that is mistakenly identified with bourgeois social revolution by some researchers, happened in capitalist society. The bourgeois social revolution that established the trade capitalism occurred in Western Europe in XIV-XV centuries, while the bourgeois-democratic revolution took place somewhat later: in Netherlands Ц in XVI century, in England Ц in XVII century, in France Ц in XVIII-XIX centuries (the bourgeois-democratic revolution in 1789 had suffered a defeat).
Thus, like previously, after the bourgeois social revolution being the third social revolution in the development of socio-productive relations and the consequence of the industrial-technical revolution, the revolutions in all spheres of social relations: spiritual-cultural, national-ethnic and political, took place. Sooner or later, peacefully or forcedly, the bourgeois-cultural, bourgeois-national and bourgeois-democratic revolutions were accomplished that, together with the industrial-technical and bourgeois social revolutions, radically refreshed the medieval society taking it out of the era of stagnation, decay, degradation to the era of rapid, progressive development.
[Table of contents]