Since the children are young, parents have instilled in their children that as they grow and study they should have good grades in their studies, this with the excuse that they cannot be “just another bunch” referring to the working class known in technical words as the proletariat , which certainly does not have a favorable economic situation.

What is the proletariat?

When it comes to the proletariat, it refers to that class that within the traditional pyramid of power , is the least disadvantaged since it is lacking any type of good or productive medium , for which it must offer itself as a labor force to change of an economic remuneration. The proletariat is the most recognizable class within the social classes since it does not have any good except its services as a worker , it does not have “dignified” living conditions, and it is devoid of any financial plan that supports it because it does not count with something sustainable to support it.

  • Definition
  • Origin and history
  • Synonyms
  • Characteristics
  • Types
  • Industrial proletariat
  • Proletariat according to Marx
  • Dictatorship of the proletariat
  • How it differs from the bourgeoisie
  • Importance


The term  proletariat is defined in a common dictionary as that social class that with respect to the capitalist mode of production , does not have any type of control or benefit over the means of production and distribution , so it is totally forced to sell its forces of work receiving as payment a salary. This is largely represented by the workers.


Origin and history

The term proletariat was born within the Roman Empire where the last social class of the 5 that existed in Rome was called proletariat , these were the waste of society , they did not have property or nobody hired them because of their precarious situation, they could only join to the army to serve as a bulk within the ranks.

However, this term disappears for almost a century and is reinserted back into English society in the mid-16th century and only designated the 4th social class which was the last of those societies. After the French Revolution (1789), the term was readjusted to give it a little more eye – catching .

The readapted term is left with the following definition: The proletariat is that social class made up of working men who do not enjoy any type of benefit , but have great virtue and that is their great patience.

When the industrial revolution began thanks to the strikes promoted by the first trade unionists , the term “virtue” contemplated within the definition hitherto known was suppressed .

The specialist in Roman law Karl Marx , I never quite liked the adaptation given to this term, since it lacked any realism so he again adapts it to what is known today .


There are many pejorative synonyms used to refer in one way or another to the proletariat. Some of them are:

  • The working force .
  • The most disadvantaged .
  • Those who seek to achieve something effortless .
  • The communists .
  • The work train .
  • The last link in the chain .
  • The underprivileged .
  • The irreverent .
  • The exploited .


The proletariat has many characteristics that could be highlighted:

  • They make up a large part of society , since the private sector is in command of a small group within society, which for the proletariat is called the “ bourgeoisie ”.
  • In general, the proletariat ends up forming political groups or movements with political communist or socialist philosophies . They are often highly condemned since they often hold protests without any peaceful intention.
  • They are highly rejected worldwide , not because of their economic condition but because of their communist thoughts that everyone should have the same thing . (This generates a repudiation since they seek benefits without any effort)
  • The banks do not provide them with any financial support because they do not have an asset to ensure the capital in such a case of not being able to cover their debt.
  • Since the inception of unions made up of workers, they have ended in revolutions that usually only affect the worker himself.


According to Marx there are two types of proletariat, these are:

  • Common proletariat : made up of the working force , which, as its name indicates, changes its working capacities for a decent remuneration . This is the type of proletariat that represents the majority of workers.
  • Sub-proletariat or lumpenproletariat: It is represented by all the people who make up the sector that cannot offer or its work forces, they are the wrongly called “ waste of society ” which end up having an impact on illicit activities such as theft to sustain themselves

Industrial proletariat

The industrial proletariat is more adapted to the modern era , focused specifically on those workers who work within companies without contracts that enjoy benefits , and earning a basic salary without any added bonus .

These are the ones who end up forming unions , and forming strikes demanding benefits such as collective contracts , in order to be able to help each other.

Proletariat according to Marx

Within the readaptation made by Karl Marx , he refers to the proletariat as the working class to which no type of benefit or right is offered , having full full use of reason and / or conscience in the conditions in which it lives.

Dictatorship of the proletariat

In the theoretical framework of Marxism , there is a dream where the proletariat assumes all government positions, so the bourgeoisie ends since it would be the workers who would take over the entire productive apparatus , a transition to a different political model would also be sought , specifically communism in order for there to be a correct and balanced distribution of goods among society. This dream has somehow been attempted by various politicians worldwideas was the case of the late President Hugo Chaves in Venezuela.

How it differs from the bourgeoisie

As is to be expected, the difference between proletariat and bourgeoisie is vastly immense , the main and most substantial one is that while one can simply offer himself as a labor force , the other has absolute control of the productive apparatus of the nation, so while one changes his words and time for money the other has to exert all his human capacities to receive a payment.

The other great palpable difference is the economic situation that each one lives, while one lives in basic conditions , without allowing himself any additional expenses, the other lives comfortably and luxuriously spending his money with total pleasure since he has a secure source of income.


Although it sounds very ugly, the proletariat or the workforce is extremely necessary to raise a nation , they are the ones who put their workforce at order , pushing the company to achieve the objectives it has, and this therefore supports the nation in economic aspects , improving the gross domestic product .

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