Marx and the proletariat


Karl Marx and the proletariat, a universal class:

Before defining the proletariat and its importance in Marx’s thought, let’s see how this class appears in history: the division of labor, supposedly fairly distribute the work, creates an initial accumulation of wealth among a few. The gradual appropriation excludes most people, two classes are formed gradually: the bourgeois, owners of the means of production and the proletarians, who have only their labor power to sell to capitalists. The advent of the bourgeois society is fraught with contradictions: the mass against some individuals, the property facing the Dispossession widespread, abundant face deprivation and hardship. The contradictions are such that the situation becomes explosive between these two irreconcilable classes.

This point in history, according to Marx, is the beginning of the history, or rather the end of human prehistory. Indeed, these are the internal contradictions of capitalism that will cause its loss. The turnaround, in other words the transition from a bourgeois society to communism, is imminent.

The advent of Communism in Marx’s philosophy:

The proletariat is a universal class. The imminence of revolutionary transformation and communism is based on a perfect coincidence of the universalization of exchange and a class that has no particular interest to defend. Deprived of any status as to any property, the proletariat has virtually all of them. Exist virtually to himself, there is virtually to all other men. Communism means universal ownership, achievement of individuals.

Such re-appropriation can not occur to everyone that if it takes place for all. But this does not mean restriction of freedom. Marxian communism makes effective freedom:

Instead of the old bourgeois society with its classes and class antagonisms, there arises an association which the free development of each is the free development of all


Cite this article as: Tim, "Marx and the proletariat, April 5, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 5, 2012,

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