In their studies and theories of bureaucracy, Weber and Michels focused on improving government through the refinement of bureaucracy, as did almost all sociologists and political philosophers up to their time. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, however, argued that power stems from economics. Marx based his philosophy in history. He observed that with the rise of capitalism, two opposing groups formed in society, the bourgeoisie, or the owners, and the proletariat, or the workers. "The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor -- hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition," wrote Engels in his "Principles of Communism." The owners systematically exploited the workers; they were nothing more than a commodity to the owners. In this way, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. Consequently, the workers inevitably became dissatisfied and alienated. Marx and Engels wrote, "the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition." But Marx and Engels theorized that it was only a matter of time before the masses realized that they were being unfairly treated and rose up against the bourgeoisie, in a conflict between numbers and the power of wealth. After revolution, Marx believed that a temporary "dictatorship of the proletariat" would arise, restoring ownership of farms, factories, and businesses to the workers. In such a way, the foundation of a classless and fair society would be created. The state would soon "wither away," according to Marx, providing for what he envisioned as a near-utopian society-communism (Light 395-396).
Marx and Engels' views are outlined primarily by two documents, Engels' "Principles of Communism" and The Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels. The "Principles of Communism" was a letter sent from Engels to Marx outlining what he thought should be the doctrine for the Communist League. This letter would serve as a rough draft for the Communist Manifesto, which Marx and Engels would write together. The Communist Manifesto outlined the principles of the Communist League and was published in 1848. It begins with the statement "A spectre is haunting Europe -- the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies." The Manifesto is divided into four sections. Marx outlines his aforementioned theory of history and his prophesized end to the exploitation of the proletariat in the first section. This includes an in depth discussion of the nature and origins of the proletariat and the course the revolution will take. The communists are identified as the allies of the proletariat in the second section. Here, Marx also discusses the need to abolish private property, making everything public domain and destroying the ideological manifestation of capitalism so that class distinctions will fade away. The third section is essentially an argument against opposing socialist visions. The last section cites the similarities between communist tactics and those of other opposing parties in Europe. It ends with a cry for unity: "Workers of All Countries, Unite!" (Marx).