In relation to property there are three great classes of society: the bourgeoisie who own the means of production such as machinery and factory buildings, and whose source of income is profitlandowners whose income is rentand the proletariat who own their labor and sell it for a wage.
This has been achieved, not through the introduction of new machinery but through the over-exploitation of British workers. Marx wanted to distance himself from this tradition of utopian thought, and the key point of distinction was to argue that the route to understanding the possibilities of human emancipation lay in the analysis of historical and social forces, not in morality.
However, pushing matters deeper, in an argument reinvented by innumerable critics of liberalism, Marx argues that not only is political emancipation insufficient to bring about human emancipation, it is in some sense also a barrier. As they wrote in the Communist Manifesto: "All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities.
For Marx, status, such as wealth or prestige, was usually but not necessarily the outcome of property ownership.
For citations see the Vol. Increasingly class conflict is manifested at the societal level.