h ) Formation of the Human Community
The primitive community is too poor and weak to take advantage of the potentialities of labour. It only knows work in its immediate form; everyone acts for his immediate subsistence. Labour is not crystallised, accumulated in instruments; past labour is not stored. When this becomes possible, exchange becomes necessary : production can be measured only by abstract labour, by average labour time, in order to circulate. Living labour is the essential element of activity, and labour time is the necessary measure. Labour time is materialised in money. Hence the exploitation of classes by other classes, the aggravation of natural catastrophes ( see above, on pre-capitalist crises ). Hence the rise and fall of States and sometimes empires which can grow only by fighting against one another. Sometimes exchange relations come to an end between the various parts of the civilised ( i.e., mercantile ) world, after the death of one or several empires. Such an interruption in the development may last for centuries, during which the economy seems to go backwards, towards a subsistence economy.
In this period mankind does not have a productive apparatus capable of making the exploitation of human labour useless and even ruinous. The role of capitalism is precisely to accumulate past labour. The existence of the entire industrial complex, of all fixed capital,  proves that the social character of human activity has finally been materialised in an instrument capable of creating, not a new paradise on earth, but a development making the best possible use of available resources to fulfil needs, and producing new resources in response to needs. If this industrial complex has become the essential element of production, then the role of value as a regulator, a role which corresponded to the stage when living labour was the main productive factor, is deprived of all meaning; value becomes unnecessary to production. Its survival is now catastrophic. Value, concretised in money in all its forms, from the simplest to the most elaborate, results from the general character of labour, from the energy ( both individual and social ) which is produced and consumed by labour. Value remains the necessary mediator as long as that energy has not created a unified productive system throughout the world : it then becomes a hindrance. 
Communism means the end of a series of mediations which were previously necessary ( in spite of the misery they entailed ) to accumulate enough past labour to enable men to do without these mediations. Value is such a mediation : it is now useless to have an element external to social activities to connect and stimulate them. The accumulated productive infrastructure only needs to be transformed and developed. Communism compares use values to decide to develop a given production rather than another one. It does not reduce the components of social life to a common denominator ( the average labour time contained in them ). Communism organises its material life on the basis of the confrontation and interplay of needs -- which does not exclude conflicts and even some form of violence. Men will not turn into angels : why should they ?
Communism is also the end of any element necessary for the unification of society : it is the end of politics. It is neither democratic nor dictatorial. Of course it is "democratic" if this word means that everyone will be in charge of all social activities. This will not be so because of people's will to manage society, or because of a democratic principle, but because the organisation of activities can only be carried out by those taking part in them. However, as opposed to what the democrats say, this will be possible only through communism, where all the elements of life are part of the community, when all separate activity and all isolated production are abolished. This can only be achieved through the destruction of value. Exchange among enterprises excludes all possibilities for the collectivity to be in charge of its life ( and first of all its material life ). The aim of exchange and value is radically opposed to that of people -- which is to fulfil their needs. The enterprise tries to valorise itself and accepts no leadership but that which allows it to reach its aim ( this is why capitalists are only the officials of capital ). The enterprise manages its managers. The elimination of the limits of the enterprise, the destruction of the commodity relation which compels every individual to regard and treat all others as means to earn his living, are the only conditions for self-organisation. Management problems are secondary, and it is absurd to want everyone to have a turn managing society. Bookkeeping and administrative work will become activities similar to all others, without privilege; anyone can take part in them or not take part in them.
"Democracy is a contradiction in terms, a lie and indeed sheer hypocrisy. . . In my opinion, this applies to all forms of government. Political freedom is a farce and the worst possible slavery; such a fictitious freedom is the worst enslavement. So is political equality : this is why democracy must be torn to pieces as well as any other form of government. Such a hypocritical form cannot go on. Its inherent contradiction must be exposed in broad daylight : either it means true slavery, which implies open despotism; or it means real freedom and real equality, which implies communism." 
In communism, an external force which unifies individuals is useless. Utopian socialists never understood this. Nearly all their imaginary societies, whatever their merits or their visionary power, need very strict planning and quasi totalitarian organisation. These socialists sought to create a link which is created in practice whenever people associate in groups. In order to avoid exploitation and anarchy at the same time, Utopian socialists organised social life in advance. Others, from the anarchist standpoint, refuse such authoritarianism and want society to be a permanent creation. But the problem lies elsewhere : only determined social relations based on a given level of development of material production make harmony among individuals both possible and necessary ( which includes conflicts : see above ). Then individuals can fulfil their needs, but only through automatic participation in the functioning of the group, without being mere tools of the group. Communism has no need to unify what used to be separate but no longer is.
This is also true on a world and even universal scale. States and nations, which were necessary instruments of development, are now purely reactionary organisations, and the divisions they maintain are an obstacle to development : the only possible dimension is that of mankind.
The opposition between manual and intellectual, between nature and culture, used to be indispensable. Separation between the one who worked and the one who organised work increased the efficiency of labour. The current level of development no longer needs this, and this division is nothing but a hindrance which exhibits its absurdity in all aspects of professional, "cultural," and school life. Communism destroys the division between workers crippled by manual labour and workers made useless in offices.
This also applies to the opposition between man and his environment. In former times man could only socialise the world by fighting against the domination of "nature." Nowadays he is a threat to nature. Communism is the reconciliation of man and nature.
Communism is the end of the economy as a separate and privileged field on which everything else depends while despising and fearing it. Man produces and reproduces his conditions of existence : ever since the disintegration of the primitive community, but in the purest form under capitalism, work, i.e., the activity through which man appropriates his environment, has become a compulsion, opposed to relaxation, to leisure, to "real" life. This stage was historically necessary to create the past labour which makes possible the elimination of this enslavement. With capital, production ( = production for valorisation ) becomes the ruler of the world. It is a dictatorship of production relations over society. When one produces, one sacrifices one's life-time in order to enjoy life afterwards; this enjoyment is nearly always disconnected from the nature of the work, which is just a means of supporting one's life. Communism dissolves production relations and combines them with social relations. It does not know any separate activity, any work opposed to play. The obligation of doing the same work for a lifetime, of being a manual or an intellectual worker, disappears. The fact that accumulated labour includes and integrates all science and technique makes it possible for research and work, reflection and action, teaching and working, to become a single activity. Some tasks can be taken in charge by everyone, and the generalisation of automation profoundly transforms productive activity. Communism supports neither play against work, nor non-work against work. These limited and partial notions are still capitalist realities. Work as the production-reproduction of the conditions of life ( material, affective, cultural, etc. ) is the very nature of humanity. 
Man collectively creates the means of his existence, and transforms them. He cannot receive them from machines : in that case mankind would be reduced to the situation of a child, who receives toys without knowing where they originate. Their origin does not even exist for him : the toys are simply there. Likewise communism does not turn work into something perpetually pleasant and joyous. Human life is effort and pleasure. Even the activity of the poet includes painful moments. Communism can only abolish the separation between effort and enjoyment, creation and recreation, work and play.
 Capital, Vol. II ( Moscow : Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961 ), chapters VIII, X, and XI, on fixed and circulating capital.
 See Marx's manuscripts of 1857-1858, often referred to by their German title : The Grundrisse, Pelican, 1973.
 Engels, "Progress of Social Reform on the Continent," The New Moral World, 4 Nov. 1843.
 Capital, Vol. I, Chapter 7 ( pp. 177-178 in the Foreign Languages Publishing House edition, Moscow, 1961 ).