An English In Kentucky


















Sunday August 12th 2012    Tim Candler

        I think the word 'lumpen' came to the English language during that time in European history when a significant proportion of the populace responded to tribulation by deciding society was scientifically comprehensible. And those who could not be bothered with this revelation were quite clearly just that little bit set in their ways.  Around one hundred and fifty years ago Marx gave the wonderful name 'lumpen-proletariat' to vagrants, criminals and the unemployed.  Such individualists comprised an underclass of people who had somehow avoided developing what he thought of as the consciousness of those with nothing beyond their labor to sell. 'Proletariat' was the Roman word for those without property.

      'Lumpen-bourgeoisie' then emerged as the polite, or perhaps more scientific way, to reference the 'macht hungrig scheisse kopfe' or Job Creators of their day.  This property owning class comprised the middle, or perhaps mercantile,  and upper classes. This class of people, the theory predicted, would become smaller and smaller in number as power gravitated  into increasingly corrupt and, fewer and fewer hands.  'Lumpen-bourgeoisie' was also a class considered way too self absorbed to care much about the historical inevitability of Kapital's decay, nor had they the necessary consciousness to conceive of a fairer and more just, or equitable, distribution of wealth.   Of course bourgeois too,  can also mean 'incredibly boring and wholly predictable.' 

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