On the Proletariat
---------------------- As communists, our doctrine can be, and has been, summarized in multiple different ways. One of the most frequently used summaries of the communist movement originates from the works of Marx and Engels: “Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.” So, simply put, communism is the liberation of the proletariat.
Then, what exactly is the proletariat? Well, I expect most people have a basic definition of the proletariat in mind, but these definitions are typically flawed and miss out important details about the proletariat.
The proletariat is the class in society that lives from the sale of its labor and doesn’t profit off of any capital. Proletariat comes from proletarius, which is Latin for "producing offspring." Defining the proletariat as simply the “working-class people” is false because there have been said working-class people before the existence of the proletariat. The proletariat originate from the two industrial revolutions that took place in England, and later the entire civilized world, from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Machinery that could produce products quicker, cheaper, and better was invented during this time. This machinery was very expensive, which caused only the most wealthy being able to purchase and own it. The workers and their tools were unable to produce at a level compared to that of the wealthy, and this led to the wealthy owning the means of production and the proletariat with nothing. From this point on, the proletariat has existed and is known as those who are obliged to sell their labor to the big capitalists in order to survive.
The proletariat can be simplified as the class whose main purpose is to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie.