IV. The Lumpen Proletariat

There remains to be discussed one more stratum in capitalist society: the lumpen proletariat. The lumpen proletariat is that sector of the population that, having been denied a legitimate way to make a living, resorts to the illegitimate: i.e. thieves, fences, drug pushers, numbers men, gamblers, pimps, prostitutes, loan sharks, beggars, thugs, etc. The general … Read more


The proletariat is, in Engels’ words, “the class of modern wage labourers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live”. The concentration of the means of production in the hands of the bourgeoisie and the expropriation of the small producers is mirrored by … Read more

The Petty Bourgeoisie

The petty bourgeoisie is an intermediate class between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, composed of a myriad of different sectors which vary from poverty-stricken to wealthy. It is divided into two main sections: 1) the small proprietors who still own the means of their own livelihood and “work for themselves”; and 2) the petty bourgeois … Read more