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Titre Marx et le lumpenprolétariat
Auteur Jean-Claude Bourdin
Mir@bel Revue Actuel Marx
Numéro no 54, octobre 2013 Populisme / contre-populisme
Rubrique / Thématique
Dossier : Populisme/Contre-populisme
Page 39-55
Résumé anglais Marx and the Lumpenproletariat
Marx's use of the word “lumpenproletariat” first strikes us by its violence: the term functions as a derogatory stigmatization of heterogeneous groups whose social position is essentially one that is determined by the sphere of exchange and pure circulation in a service economy. The study of Marx's use of the term demonstrates that it is not a concept: it alludes to the problem posed by the participation of proletarians in the repression of June 1848 or by the lazzaroni in the failure of the liberal revolutions. The term does not designate a “class”. Its use is rather to identify a type of behavior evident at all levels of the society: predation, enrichment by misappropriation, the improductive speculations undertaken by the “declasses” of a society's “Bohème”. The hypothesis advanced here is that Marx's articulation between the lumpenproletariat and the importance of the ethical evaluation of its tenuous relation to work partly derives from the Hegelian conception of poverty (the “social question”). An analysis of the “inhuman” needs and the speculative deduction of the proletariat in 1844 demonstrates that the negative determinations of the proletariat establish the lumpenproletariat as the proletariat of the proletariat. The difference is then located in the revolutionary subjectivity of the proletarians, to which the members of the lumpenproletariat do not accede.
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