The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor — hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition. The proletariat, or the class of proletarians, is, in a word, the working class of the 19th century. There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor. But there have not always been workers and poor people living under conditions as they are today; in other words, there have not always been proletarians, any more than there has always been free unbridled competitions.
The Proletariat originated in the industrial revolution, which took place in England in the last half of the last 18th century, and which has since then been repeated in all the civilized countries of the world. This industrial revolution was precipitated by the discovery of the steam engine, various spinning machines, the mechanical loom, and a whole series of other mechanical devices. These machines, which were very expensive and hence could be bought only by big capitalists, altered the whole mode of production and displaced the former workers, because the machines turned out cheaper and better commodities than the workers could produce with their inefficient spinning wheels and handlooms.
The machines delivered industry wholly into the hands of the big capitalists and rendered entirely worthless the meagre property of the workers tools, looms, etc. The result was that the capitalists soon had everything in their hands and nothing remained to the workers.
This marked the introduction of the factory system into the textile industry. Once the impulse to the introduction of machinery and the factory system had been given, this system spread quickly to all other branches of industry, especially cloth- and book-printing, pottery, and the metal industries. Labor was more and more divided among the individual workers so that the worker who previously had done a complete piece of work now did only a part of that piece.
This division of labor made it possible to produce things faster and cheaper. It reduced the activity of the individual worker to simple, endlessly repeated mechanical motions which could be performed not only as well but much better by a machine. In this way, all these industries fell, one after another, under the dominance of steam, machinery, and the factory system, just as spinning and weaving had already done.
But at the same time, they also fell into the hands of big capitalists, and their workers were deprived of whatever independence remained to them.
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Gradually, not only genuine manufacture but also handicrafts came within the province of the factory system as big capitalists increasingly displaced the small master craftsmen by setting up huge workshops, which saved many expenses and permitted an elaborate division of labor. This is how it has come about that in civilized countries at the present time nearly all kinds of labor are performed in factories — and, in nearly all branches of work, handicrafts and manufacture have been superseded.
This process has, to an ever greater degree, ruined the old middle class, especially the small handicraftsmen; it has entirely transformed the condition of the workers; and two new classes have been created which are gradually swallowing up all the others.
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These are:. This is the bourgeois class, or the bourgeoisie. This is called the class of proletarians, or the proletariat. Labor is a commodity, like any other, and its price is therefore determined by exactly the same laws that apply to other commodities.
In a regime of big industry or of free competition — as we shall see, the two come to the same thing — the price of a commodity is, on the average, always equal to its cost of production. Hence, the price of labor is also equal to the cost of production of labor. But, the costs of production of labor consist of precisely the quantity of means of subsistence necessary to enable the worker to continue working, and to prevent the working class from dying out.
The worker will therefore get no more for his labor than is necessary for this purpose; the price of labor, or the wage, will, in other words, be the lowest, the minimum, required for the maintenance of life. However, since business is sometimes better and sometimes worse, it follows that the worker sometimes gets more and sometimes gets less for his commodities.
But, again, just as the industrialist, on the average of good times and bad, gets no more and no less for his commodities than what they cost, similarly on the average the worker gets no more and no less than his minimum. This economic law of wages operates the more strictly the greater the degree to which big industry has taken possession of all branches of production. The working classes have always, according to the different stages of development of society, lived in different circumstances and had different relations to the owning and ruling classes.
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In antiquity, the workers were the slaves of the owners, just as they still are in many backward countries and even in the southern part of the United States. In the Middle Ages, they were the serfs of the land-owning nobility, as they still are in Hungary, Poland, and Russia. In the Middle Ages, and indeed right up to the industrial revolution, there were also journeymen in the cities who worked in the service of petty bourgeois masters. Gradually, as manufacture developed, these journeymen became manufacturing workers who were even then employed by larger capitalists.
The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence. This existence is assured only to the class as a whole. The slave counts as a thing, not as a member of society. Thus, the slave can have a better existence than the proletarian, while the proletarian belongs to a higher stage of social development and, himself, stands on a higher social level than the slave.
The slave frees himself when, of all the relations of private property, he abolishes only the relation of slavery and thereby becomes a proletarian; the proletarian can free himself only by abolishing private property in general. The serf possesses and uses an instrument of production, a piece of land, in exchange for which he gives up a part of his product or part of the services of his labor.
The proletarian works with the instruments of production of another, for the account of this other, in exchange for a part of the product. The serf gives up, the proletarian receives. The serf has an assured existence, the proletarian has not. The serf is outside competition, the proletarian is in it. The serf liberates himself in one of three ways: either he runs away to the city and there becomes a handicraftsman; or, instead of products and services, he gives money to his lord and thereby becomes a free tenant; or he overthrows his feudal lord and himself becomes a property owner.
In short, by one route or another, he gets into the owning class and enters into competition. The proletarian liberates himself by abolishing competition, private property, and all class differences. In contrast to the proletarian, the so-called handicraftsman, as he still existed almost everywhere in the past eighteenth century and still exists here and there at present, is a proletarian at most temporarily.
His goal is to acquire capital himself wherewith to exploit other workers. He can often achieve this goal where guilds still exist or where freedom from guild restrictions has not yet led to the introduction of factory-style methods into the crafts nor yet to fierce competition But as soon as the factory system has been introduced into the crafts and competition flourishes fully, this perspective dwindles away and the handicraftsman becomes more and more a proletarian.
The handicraftsman therefore frees himself by becoming either bourgeois or entering the middle class in general, or becoming a proletarian because of competition as is now more often the case. In which case he can free himself by joining the proletarian movement, i. The manufacturing worker of the 16th to the 18th centuries still had, with but few exception, an instrument of production in his own possession — his loom, the family spinning wheel, a little plot of land which he cultivated in his spare time.
The proletarian has none of these things. The manufacturing worker almost always lives in the countryside and in a more or less patriarchal relation to his landlord or employer; the proletarian lives, for the most part, in the city and his relation to his employer is purely a cash relation. The manufacturing worker is torn out of his patriarchal relation by big industry, loses whatever property he still has, and in this way becomes a proletarian. First, the lower and lower prices of industrial products brought about by machine labor totally destroyed, in all countries of the world, the old system of manufacture or industry based upon hand labor.
In this way, all semi-barbarian countries, which had hitherto been more or less strangers to historical development, and whose industry had been based on manufacture, were violently forced out of their isolation. They bought the cheaper commodities of the English and allowed their own manufacturing workers to be ruined.
Countries which had known no progress for thousands of years — for example, India — were thoroughly revolutionized, and even China is now on the way to a revolution. In this way, big industry has brought all the people of the Earth into contact with each other, has merged all local markets into one world market, has spread civilization and progress everywhere and has thus ensured that whatever happens in civilized countries will have repercussions in all other countries. It follows that if the workers in England or France now liberate themselves, this must set off revolution in all other countries — revolutions which, sooner or later, must accomplish the liberation of their respective working class.
Second, wherever big industries displaced manufacture, the bourgeoisie developed in wealth and power to the utmost and made itself the first class of the country. The result was that wherever this happened, the bourgeoisie took political power into its own hands and displaced the hitherto ruling classes, the aristocracy, the guildmasters, and their representative, the absolute monarchy. The bourgeoisie annihilated the power of the aristocracy, the nobility, by abolishing the entailment of estates — in other words, by making landed property subject to purchase and sale, and by doing away with the special privileges of the nobility.
It destroyed the power of the guildmasters by abolishing guilds and handicraft privileges. In their place, it put competition — that is, a state of society in which everyone has the right to enter into any branch of industry, the only obstacle being a lack of the necessary capital. The introduction of free competition is thus public declaration that from now on the members of society are unequal only to the extent that their capitals are unequal, that capital is the decisive power, and that therefore the capitalists, the bourgeoisie, have become the first class in society.
Kimberley has been in the industry for nine years and said her role is about 'creating an experience'. As Kimberley has embarked on 14 world tours, travelled to more than countries and travelled on 27 different types of business jets she has seen it all. You want to make sure they've got everything they want - their favorite whiskies and scotch,' she said. It's her job to ensure that nothing gets out of hand when hosting these kinds of events, which often involves making sure no one drinks too much but not spoiling the fun.
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This requires her to be attentive while also being vigilant in case something changes. Kimberley said so far in her career she's flown with the likes of pop bands, royalty, millionaires, billionaires and heiresses. Kimberley said there is no net salary for this position so it all comes down to negotiating. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Comments 22 Share what you think.
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