Almost at the same time of the appearance of classes in the society, that division that implies that some men live thanks to the exploitation of other men, in the social conscience emerged the need of emancipation, the need of the suppression of that exploitation and the oppression it implied. Spartacus, in times of slavery, or Münzer, in feudal times, leaded movements whose target was the liberation of slaves and servants. Both movements symbolize the conscience of the emancipation of the oppressed in times previous to capitalism; both of them knew how to penetrate the antagonistic nature of the social relations present at that time and how to reduce to the maximum their irreconcilable character: the confrontation between possessors and dispossessed, between rich and poor, regardless of the forms that confrontation could show in each historic time.
But, at the same time in which the material conditions of the society permitted to open the men consciousness to the idea of emancipation, they also imposed a limit accordingly with the insufficient development of the productive forces. This limit was underlined not only by the mystic-religious language which was used to express that program of liberation (above all in the case of the majority of the antifeudal peasants' revolts), but mainly in the program itself, which did not give any other alternative to the slave than escaping, and to the servant no other than becoming the individual and private owner of the land he tilled (which, therefore, promoted the perpetuation of the classes).
Only when the capitalism arrives, the production mode that develops the productive forces at a never seen speed, the production begins to acquire a social character that involves all his components in the economy and begins to integrate them through economic ties of interdependence; a new exploited class arrives, which is legally free, which creates all the richness but possesses nothing, the proletariat; It is only then, when the objective conditions are created for the real emancipation of the entire mankind; it is only then, when its program of justice and freedom can be scientifically formulated.
Nor the slave, neither the servant are liberated from their misery by their permanent, and at some times heroic, struggle against their lord and owner. The problem of surpassing the old ways of exploitation is solved by the disintegration of the slavery regime together with the importation of new social relations in the antique world; in the case of feudalism, by the entrance of a new social class which had been developing in secondary spheres of the society (the bourgeoisie). The problem of the social exploitation is not directly solved by the class struggle between the producers, who carry on their shoulders the creation of richness, and the ones who expropriate it; it only solves the forms of the exploitation. Therefore, the history of mankind before the arrival of the proletariat is summarized by the simple change of exploitation forms, by the simple relief of some classes by others (both of exploiters and exploited), of some production modes by others in the society. And that is how it is expressed, from a politic point of view, the contradiction which is shared by all precapitalist socio-economic formations; due to that contradiction, the suppression of their social relations of exploitation (of which the oppressed begin to be conscious) is not achieved by them or the class struggle, but by the arrival of other social forces different from the ones that constituted the central axis of those formations (the relation lord-slave or the one between the servant and the owner).
This contradiction, however, this separation made by the social development between the conscience of the exploited and his program of emancipation, by one side, and the tools and means to suppress that exploitation and fulfill the liberator program (basically the class struggle), by the other side, was surpassed when the feudalism let the capitalism enter, and the owner became a bourgeois and the servant a proletarian.
Actually, capitalism begins to remove, step by step, all the old ways of production, or begins to assimilate and take them under its command; doing so, it begins to convert all the producers in wage earners, or to subject them to the inflexible laws of the capitalist market. The general law of capitalist accumulation transforms progressively all the social relations in capitalist ones, and divide radically the producers in owners who monopolize the means of production -who are day by day fewer and stronger- and not-owner people, who only have their force of work. The capital socializes the production, divides to the maximum the steps needed to produce merchandise, and involves an increasing number of people in this process, displacing the direct and individual producer at the same time. The social division of work gets deeper at the same time as the organization of all the social production gets concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The satisfaction of the personal needs stops being an individual question and becomes a social matter. The contradiction between the progressive socialization of the production and its private form of appropriation develops and gets acuter, impregnating all the spheres of the society. The problems related to the exploitation and oppression, characteristic of all class societies, acquire a new content, and at the same time demand a new solution.
The work carried out by the slaves sustained a parasitic society of nobles, who did not consider the work as an integrating part of their politic life. The liberation of the slave was the manumission (that is to say, becoming a parasite), the escape or the death by exhaustion. The servant paid the leisure time and the warrior raids of the feudal armed retinues for centuries, while the peasants fought to get rid of their menial condition and tried to emancipate as a class (becoming free owners of the land). But this emancipation was the one of a class which aspired to become an independent class. That did not mean the suppression of the classes. The capital surged from the peasant emancipation, and created the proletariat. The aim of this new class could only be guided by the emancipation of its own condition as a class -and, doing so, liberating the entire mankind from the class division-, and by the suppression of all classes and the suppression of all the opprobrium and misery they imply. The capital proletarizes the entire mankind, and at the same time, expropriates them from their means of life. The proletariat only needs to expropriate their expropriators in order to allow all men to be the owners of both themselves and their fate. For the first time in history, the special position of a class permits that the appropriation of their means of life may lead to the disappearance of the private property and the classes; doing so, the society will be organized not by the rule of necessity, but by the free association of their members, who stop depending from their means and product of their work to become their own sovereigns and full subjects of their lives.
But this task sets new requirements and problems related to the tools and the means which the proletariat may use to fulfill this historic mission. The first and most important is the class struggle. The proletariat, unlike the rest of the exploited classes throughout the history, can set a positive correlation between the implementation of its class struggle and the program of auto-emancipation and emancipation of the mankind to free them from exploitation and oppression; that is to say, the proletariat can set a direct path from its struggle as a class and the destruction of all classes. In order to do so, however, it needs to destroy the politic power of the capital (political revolution), and establish its own to build a new society upon different bases (Communism). But before becoming a political force, the proletariat needs to become a political party.
One of the historic peculiarities of the proletariat class is that its condition as a class goes in parallel and simultaneously with its condition as a political party. The proletariat really does not appear as a class in history when the bourgeoisie begins to produce in a capitalist way and expropriate and convert the producers in wage earners; not even when the mass industrialization of the economy converts the vast majority of producers in wage earners; the working class emerges in history when those wage earners or their most advanced representatives become conscious that they constitute a separate class with their own interests, opposed to the ones of the rest of classes in the society. Then, they organize themselves as a class: they try to struggle for the same demands, try to unify those struggles, create their unitary organizations for the defence of their interests, etc. These struggles and this unitary will for the defence of their common interests is the motor of the workers' movement. In this sense, the proletariat is a class because, in their movement, become conscious of itself as a class, of its social and economic peculiarity; but it is not yet conscious of their historic role as a class. The proletariat, at this stage, sees what it is, but does not see yet what it has to be; it becomes conscious of its class, but it has not become yet conscious of itself as a revolutionary class.
The frame of the bourgeois society can really tolerate, without feeling subverted, the existence of the political organization of a part of the society. In fact, the bourgeoisie does not deny, nor can deny, the existence of social classes, nor the existence of different social interests, nor the political organization for the defense of these interests. And in fact, as Marx said, the emergence of the proletariat as a class from the centralization of their struggles in a national struggle, that is to say, in a class struggle, also means the birth of the proletariat as a political party, for "every class struggle is a political struggle”. But the character of this political struggle corresponds to the character of the consciousness and organization of the class; it corresponds to the level of development related to its recent formation as a social class. In other words, it is related to the level of consciousness and organization as a class conscious “of itself”, and not yet “for itself”. That is why the political content of the programs and activities of the worker organizations, in this stage of development, is basically economic and claimer, reformist. This political content corresponds, from the point of view of the society in general, to the still ascending development of the capitalism; from the point of view of the proletariat class in particular, it corresponds to the period of quantitative accumulation (or “strength accumulation”), previous to the qualitative leap, in parallel with the entrance of the capitalism in its imperialist stage or its general crisis stage, which favors the Proletarian Revolution. In this period, the spontaneous consciousness and the economicist or tradeunionist organization of the old, reformist, worker party (social democrat) can no longer fulfill the necessities of the worker class: in this period, it is required the political organization of a new type of the proletariat.
This political organization of new type is the Communist Party (C.P.), which begins to emerge when the proletariat, mainly through their most advanced sector, obtains a revolutionary consciousness. In fact, the CP is the consequence of that historic step and, at the same time and once created, is also its cause: that is to say, the CP emerges because the class has begun to understand its revolutionary role, and surges as an instrument that the class gives to itself in order to assume and completely fulfill this role.