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lumpenproletariat

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked class consciousness.
  • n. The underclass of a human population.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the lowest stratum of the proletariat
  • n. a social underclass; the riffraff

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the lowest level of the proletariat, comprising unskilled workers, the unemployed, and the dispossessed, alienated from the class with with they would normally identify and having little or no class solidarity; -- an important element in Marxist theory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Marxism) the unorganized lower levels of the proletariat who are not interested in revolutionary advancement

Etymologies

German : Lumpen, pl. of Lump, ragamuffin (from Middle High German lumpe, rag) + Proletariat, proletariat (from French prolétariat; see proletariat).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from German Lumpenproletariat, which is Lumpen ("rag") + French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius, the lowest class of Roman citizen. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • An older fellow-Communist at school patiently explained that the violent intimidation I had witnessed was a perfect example of "the dictatorship of the proletariat"; my friends on the receiving end being, as mere construction workers, the "lumpenproletariat".

    Back To Normal

  • The term '' 'lumpenproletariat' '' (trans. 'ragged proletariat' or 'lumpen masses') was introduced in '' The German Ideology '' by [[Karl Marx]] and [[Friedrich Engels]]

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • It incorporates Vichy France nostalgics, assorted anti-Semites, royalists, religious fundamentalists, pagan fascists and skinheads as well as the lumpenproletariat of alienated French.

    In the Name Of the Father

  • The populations of unemployed youth building and festering across the region became an inconsequential blur, an Arab lumpenproletariat.

    Is U.S. Democracy Just Talk?

  • In the aftermath of Hillsborough a concerted effort was made, lead by the Sun, to depict the victims as lumpenproletariat, too disorderly to be trusted.

    Hillsborough petition shows some wounds cannot be healed by time | Ellie Mae O'Hagan

  • While the journalistic head yearns toward a middle-class living, the respect of those in power, maybe a seat at the table and a small trophy or two, many a heart also thumped for the hard-drinking, bare-knuckled access to what Black condescendingly branded "the lumpenproletariat" readership of traditional tabs: Jimmy Breslin speaks truth to power.

    Robert Teitelman: Murdoch, Britain and the Tabloid Mentality

  • The problem in the U.S. is that this lumpenproletariat, the populist masses, the traditional working class, has been shredded, fragmented and mostly lost to TV.

    Robert Teitelman: Murdoch, Britain and the Tabloid Mentality

  • Zombies have been depicted as mind-controlled minions, the shambling infected, the disintegrating dead, the ultimate lumpenproletariat, but in all cases, they reflect us, mere mortals afraid of death in a society on the verge of collapse.

    John Joseph Adams » The Living Dead

  • No doubt for some this is more evidence of the false consciousness that our lumpenproletariat is prone to fall into.

    Wal-Mart Does Saul Alinsky

  • Libra One of the lesser lumpenproletariat whom you have invited to one of your legendary social events will make an ass of themselves.

    Horoscope for the week of July 14, 2008

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