Thursday, 17 February 2011

Meet the Precariat.

I posted this showed Tory MP John Glen attacking his own consituents, working people who had difficulty making ends meet and therefore had to live off food parcels from local charities. According to Mr Glen, his constituents were "chaotic" and, by implication, undeserving.

Today I came across this video and article on the guardian website. It's by John Harris and John Domokos and it puts real flesh on the idea of how anyone can be in work, earning the minimum wage or slightly above, and still be achingly poor.

It introduces (to me at least) the idea of a section of society who might be termed "the precariat", i.e. people who live on a precarious balance between working poverty and absolute destitution, and who seem unable to find a way out of their predicament, no matter how they try or what avenues they explore.

1 comment:

  1. To paraphrase Marx:

    Considering, that against this combined power of the elite classes the primary producers or precariat cannot unite and act for itself except by constituting itself into a mass party-movement, distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties and movements, that this constitution of the precariat into a mass party-movement is indispensable in order to ensure the emancipation of its labour power,

    That such labour power can be emancipated only when, at minimum, the precariat is in collective possession of all means of societal production, all commons, etc., that there are only two forms under which all means of societal production, all commons, etc. can belong to them or return to community:

    1) The individual form which has never existed in a general state and which is increasingly eliminated by industrial progress;
    2) The collective form the material and intellectual elements of which are constituted by the very development of capitalist society;


    That again this collective re-appropriation, or political and economic expropriation of the elite classes, can arise only from the direct action of the primary producers or precariat, organized in a distinct mass party-movement;

    Such permanent organization must be pursued by all the means the precariat has at its disposal.