The Working Class


  • John Molyneux


In The Poverty of Philosophy Marx writes ‘Just as the economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class so the Socialists and Communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class’

In The Communist Manifesto he wrote

Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class...

The essential condition for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers.

These statements raise two basic questions: 1) who are the working class or proletariat? 2) Why does Marx put such emphasis on the working class as the principal revolutionary class?