Proletariat Vs Bourgeoisie Essay

Among other groups criminals, vagabonds, and sex workers are usually included in this category.

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Never had a President speculated more stupidly on the stupidity of the masses." For Marx, the lumpenproletariat represented those who were "corrupt, reactionary and without a clear sense of class-consciousness."Alongside ruined roués with questionable means of support and of dubious origin, degenerate and adventurous scions of the bourgeoisie, there were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged convicts, runaway galley slaves, swindlers, charlatans, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, procurers, brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, rag-pickers, knife-grinders, tinkers, beggars; in short, the entirely undefined, disintegrating mass, thrown hither and yon, which the French call la bohème.

In Capital (1867), Marx focused on the oppressive legislation which turned soldiers and peasants "en masse into beggars, robbers, vagabonds, partly from inclination, in most cases from stress of circumstances." By this, he deviated from his focus on the vicious and degenerate behavior of the lumpenproletariat in his writings on France.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) was one of the first to use lumpenproletariat in their rhetoric, particularly to indicate the scope of their view of a "desirable" working class and exclude the non-respectable poor.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rioting and violence was often attributed by the SPD and its newspaper Vorwärts to the lumpenproletariat working in collusion with the secret police. Evans argued that the SPD, thus, lost touch with the "militancy of the classes which it claimed to represent, a militancy which found expression in frequent outbursts of spontaneous collective protest, both political and industrial, at moments of high social and political tension." For many German socialists in the imperial period the lumpenproletariat—especially prostitutes and pimps—was not only a "political-moral problem, but also an objective, biological danger to the health of society." Karl Kautsky argued in 1890 that it is the lumpenproletariat and not the "militant industrial proletariat" that mostly suffer from alcoholism.

He argued that the lumpenproletariat had a dual nature.

Simultaneously, they were "victimized members of the laboring masses and untrustworthy elements with 'parasitic inclinations'", which made them waver between revolution and counterrevolution.Coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 1840s, they used it to refer to the "unthinking" lower strata of society exploited by reactionary and counter-revolutionary forces, particularly in the context of the revolutions of 1848.They dismissed its revolutionary potential and contrasted it with the proletariat.Instead, it exploited society for its own ends, and was in turn exploited as a tool of destruction and reaction.He drew a line between the proletariat and the lumpenproletariat to defend the moral character of the former." They used it to describe the plebs (plebeians) of ancient Rome who were midway between freemen and slaves, never becoming more than a "proletarian rabble [lumpenproletariat]" and Max Stirner's "self-professed radical constituency of the Lumpen or ragamuffin." The first work written solely by Marx to mention the term was an article published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in November 1848 which described the lumpenproletariat as a "tool of reaction" in the revolutions of 1848 and as a "significant counterrevolutionary force throughout Europe."The lumpenproletariat is passive decaying matter of the lowest layers of the old society, is here and there thrust into the [progressive] movement by a proletarian revolution; [however,] in accordance with its whole way of life, it is more likely to sell out to reactionary intrigues.Sometimes described as the bottom layer of a capitalist society. Some activists consider them "most radical" because they are "most exploited," but they are un-organizable and more likely to act as paid agents than to have any progressive role in class struggle.Economist Richard Mc Gahey, writing for the New York Times in 1982, noted that it is one of the older terms in a "long line of labels that stigmatize poor people for their poverty by focusing exclusively on individual characteristics." He listed the following synonyms: "underclass", "undeserving poor", and "culture of poverty".It is recruited from various classes and is incapable of organized political struggle.It constitutes, along with the petit bourgeois strata, the social basis of anarchism.Lenin and Trotsky followed Marx's arguments and dismissed its revolutionary potential, while Mao argued it can be utilized by a proper leadership.The term was popularized in the West by Frantz Fanon in the 1960s and has been adopted as a sociological term.


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