The proletariat is a social class composed of workers, usually of humble origin.

The existence of the term proletariat acquires special importance in the 19th century thanks to the postulates of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and the appearance of the communist manifesto. In this way, the meaning of the proletarian individual was formed and, therefore, of the union of these workers in a majority working class and confronted with bourgeois capitalism.

The proletariat as a social aggregation has its base in the urban and industrial environment, carrying out its professional work in factories and companies in exchange for a certain remuneration and without having ownership of the means of production. However, there is also the concept of the rural proletariat, more dedicated to field work such as livestock and agriculture.

According to the original socialist and communist theses, the maximum expression of the role of the proletariat must exist through the figure of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Furthermore, based on socialist and communist socio-economic arguments, this social sector is responsible for the advancement of society and identifies with the working class.

Advancement of the concept of the proletariat

For communist and Marxist theory, the proletariat is the main force for the economic advancement of a territory, as well as the main tool for controlling the bourgeoisie as a mechanism of class oppression.

According to the bases of communism, the precarious conditions in which the proletariat carries out its professional work will provoke a reaction from the working class, translatable to a certain extent as class struggle.

Against the lack of labor rights or the existence of situations of insecurity or minimum wages, proletarian workers would organize and through the workers' struggle they would have to confront the bourgeois employer. Historically this has come about through social revolutions, as was the Russian Revolution in the early 20th century.

In this way and with the economic and technological development that occurred in the 20th century, the concept of the proletariat has evolved together with the appearance of phenomena such as social democracy or neoliberalism and the appearance and growth of the middle classes in Western societies mainly.

Proletariat and proletarian

It should be noted that when we speak of the proletariat and the proletariat, we are speaking of the part and the whole. That is, they are very similar but not the same concepts. Thus, for example, a branch and a tree are closely related concepts. In that line, the branch is the part of the tree.

Continuing with the example, we could say that the branches are the proletarians and the proletariat is the tree.

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