Marx defines the lumpen-proletariat as those discarded by society such as: 

  • The homeless
  • Unable to work 
  • The mentally disabled 

 First, I’ll disregard the disabled as they are able to work,  and with the right help can, and do, work. 

The homeless fit both remaining categories, as for whatever reason they find themselves homeless, whether it be eviction or thru choice, they’ve no address, so how do they apply for jobs with no forwarding address, and no bank account, and equally unable to get an account with no income, so equally nowhere for their benefits to go. 

What other reason is there to be unable to work. 

  • Carer? But then your needed and certainly not discarded by society
  • Addicted to drugs, I begin to understand, why addiction should be seen as an illness. 
  • In prison,  but then the system funds you work, maybe to actually make you feel valued 

In writing this why do I suddenly see (on a simplistic level) the need fir individuals to feel valued as part of and by society. After all the old saying says the devil makes work for idle hands. 

I can speak from the point of view of the homeless, having been there 12 years back, having split with my ex.although I was lucky I got a place in a hostel,  or had a good job, all I had to do was pay my rent. The thing that year dud for me was open my eyes, to one concrete fact. There is always somebody worse of than you. I was in a house with a whole cross section of society,  a lawyer down to a drug addict, everyone had their own story and reason for being in the hostel. 

I’ve never been Addicted to anything, as far as I’m aware. Never been out of work for long, and always had my family to fall back on. So even when I was homeless I’d still define myself as part of the proletariat. 

I hope this article doesn’t come over as judgemental as it is certainly not meant too. 


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