The Widening Gap Between 'Bourgeoisie' and 'Proletariat'

Topics: United States, Capitalism, Poverty Pages: 3 (1223 words) Published: May 7, 2013
The widening gap between 'bourgeoisie' and 'proletariat'

As the title would suggest in this essay I intend to discuss the widening gap between the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat in today’s world. In a contemporary context I would take this to mean the widening gap between rich and poor and the economic inequality that continues to plague our world. In order to look at the situation in our present day we must first get an idea of what this divide means. In Marx’s day the term Bourgeoisie described a social class characterized by the ownership of capital, they were the rich industrialists who exploited the ‘Proletariat’ for their labour in order to amass great wealth. The Proletariat were the lower, working classes who in Marx’s view could ‘live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce.’ (1848) Today’s inequality follows a similar pattern, though perhaps a more complicated one. In our modern world the divide is not as simple as was viewed by Marx. The groups are not as easily definable as Bourgeoisie and Proletariat, though today’s inequality is still to a large extent caused by exploitation. The wealth of the world is concentrated in a few hands -– multimillion dollar companies who’s money making schemes, masked by intricate systems of bureaucracy, transverse the globe reaching into the everyday lives of the worlds inhabitants, making a small few rich at the expense of the masses. Today’s world can be split into people who have a large amount of money and those who do not – as stated by Luisa Kroll, a Forbes Rich List staff member “This year we’ve counted 1,226 billionaires, an all-time high... The average worth of a Forbes Billionaire is $3.7 billion.” At the opposite end of the scale lie the world’s poor, a worryingly high number who live in poverty every day. According to the website...

Bibliography: 1. 1776, The Declaration of Independence,
2. 7/23/2012,,
3. Kroll, Luisa. , 3/07/2012, Forbes World 's Billionaires 2012,
4. Marx, Karl., 1848, The Manifesto of the Communist Party,
Marx/Engels Selected Works, Vol. One, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1969, pp. 98-137;
5. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2012, The Price of Inequality, Allen Lane: An imprint of the Penguin books
Also used for research:
* Alcock, Pete., 2006, Understanding Poverty, Palgrave Macmillan
* Avineri, Shlomo., 1968, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx, Cambridge At The University Press
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