The working class. "Proletariat" is a term generally used when discussing Marx's theory of history. Marx believed history could be explained in terms of class struggle. During his time, the bourgeoisie (also known as capitalists) had overthrown the old aristocracy, replacing Feudalism with Capitalism. Next, Marx predicted the working class would overthrow the Capitalists.

The proletariat is not the lowest social class. This role is befallen to the Lumpenproletariat.

Proletariat corresponds to the "working poor" class, and is seen as the only true revolutionary class. The lumpenproletariat is not even a real social class : it is composed of people who live on the fringe of society, the ones for whom surviving is a daily challenge. They are highly despised by Marx, who saw no revolutionary potential in them.

Prol`e*ta"ri*at (?), n. [F.]

The indigent class in the State; the body of proletarians.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.