“Workers of the world, unite!” is a famous rallying cry from the “Communist Manifesto,” which was written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
The slogan encapsulates the main ideas of Marxism and its call for the working class, known as the proletariat, to overcome national boundaries, recognize their shared conditions of exploitation, and collectively rise up against the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class that owns the means of production) to establish a classless, communist society.
In the context of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution had led to significant socio-economic changes. The rise of factories and mass production meant that many people had moved from rural areas to urban centers, working under often exploitative conditions. Marx and Engels saw this new working class as the key force for revolutionary change. By uniting, they believed that workers could overthrow the capitalist system, end their own exploitation, and establish a new society where the means of production would be communally owned, thus ending class divisions and ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources and power.
The phrase is thus not just a call for unity among workers but also an exhortation to revolution and transformative social change.
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A Biblical Perspective on the Marxist Call for Global Worker Unity
From a biblical perspective, while the call “Workers of the world, unite!” might resonate as a plea for unity and the betterment of society, it seems to overlook a foundational scriptural principle: God’s sovereign orchestration over nations and borders. The Bible states in Acts 17:26, “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” The establishment of nations and their borders is a part of God’s divine plan. Furthermore, Romans 13:1-2 posits, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.” This underscores the biblical teaching that resisting established authorities is tantamount to opposing God’s will. While the injustices of exploitation should indeed be addressed, it’s essential to approach societal change with a perspective that honors God’s design for nations and the authorities He places in charge.